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(Discworld #5)

3.89  ·  Rating details ·  86,165 ratings  ·  2,252 reviews
When last seen, the singularly inept wizard Rincewind had fallen off the edge of the world. Now magically, he's turned up again, and this time he's brought the Luggage.

But that's not all....

Once upon a time, there was an eighth son of an eighth son who was, of course, a wizard. As if that wasn't complicated enough, said wizard then had seven sons. And then he had an eighth
Mass Market Paperback, 276 pages
Published April 2008 by Harper (first published May 26th 1988)
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Gina It's technically the fifth book, but it's the third Rincewind book, so you don't have to worry about missing out on anything. …moreIt's technically the fifth book, but it's the third Rincewind book, so you don't have to worry about missing out on anything. (less)
Benjamin I am also just now reading the book but wikipedia ( tells me that Rincewind appears in 8 books so even after y…moreI am also just now reading the book but wikipedia ( tells me that Rincewind appears in 8 books so even after you finish this one, you're less than have way done. The Rincewind books are (in order of publication):

The Color of Magic
The Light Fantastic
(small cameo in Mort but this is a Death book)
Interesting Times
The Last Continent
The Last Hero
Unseen Academics(less)

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Average rating 3.89  · 
Rating details
 ·  86,165 ratings  ·  2,252 reviews

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Start your review of Sourcery (Discworld, #5; Rincewind #3)
Mario the lone bookwolf
Mar 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: pratchett-terry
Chastity, celibacy, abstinence, contraceptives, and vasectomy all don´t help if determination predicts and wants that the chosen one is born. To do the usual Discworld shattering stuff.

One knows these problems with prophecies, long awaited, much turmoil surrounding them, and as soon as they become reality it happens completely different than Cassandraded and Michel de Notredamed because of black swans, butterfly effects, or unexpected variations in anything quantum.

Evil, hate filled villains cou
Mar 26, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
This is going to sound rather critical despite my rating, but I feel like I ought to be rather honest. The basic over-story is pretty good, as is the action and most of the humor, but there was still swaths of text that felt like it was trying too hard.

More funny, more witty, more like Color of Magic than Color of Magic. It wasn't just Rincewind, who I always loved. Rincewind reminds me of Schmendrick from Last Unicorn, only he really doesn't have any magic at all. Ever. And yet, his whose sense
Ahmad Sharabiani
Sourcery (Discworld, #5; Rincewind #3), Terry Pratchett

Sourcery is a fantasy novel by British writer Terry Pratchett, the fifth book in his Discworld series, published in 1988.

Death comes to collect the soul of Ipslore the Red, a wizard who was banished from Unseen University for marrying and having children, something forbidden for wizards. Bitter over this fate, Ipslore vows to take revenge upon the wizards through his eighth son, Coin.

As the eighth son of a wizard, Coin is born a sourcerer,
What can one say, it had magic, it had heroes (and heroines), it had the Librarian, it had Rincewind, it had The Luggage and it had DEATH . What more do you need for a great Discworld novel.
More tomorrow, now where’s that banana 🍌

And so continues my journey through the Discworld novels. I am purposefully restricting my self to one a month to ensure that a) they last as long as possible and b) I don't binge read them all to the detriment of all other books.

This was number 5 and I started in Dec
Sep 05, 2015 rated it liked it
Sourcery is Sir Terry Pratchett’s fifth installment of his brilliantly funny and inventive Discworld series.

First published in 1988, this is another Rincewind novel and centers around the Discworld phenomena of the eighth son of an eighth son – of an eighth son!! is a Sourceror, meaning a source of magic and therefore much more powerful.

Pratchett populates this entry with many familiar characters such as The Librarian, Nijel the Destroyer and Conina the Hairdresser, daughter of Cohen the Barbari
Apr 19, 2015 rated it liked it
Back to the Pratchett reread after skipping Mort. (I love Mort, but I can just about recite it at this point; I didn't need to reread it).

On the Discworld the eighth son of an eighth son is a wizard and that would normally be the end of that. But if that wizard also has sons then his eighth son is a sourcerer, a source of magic of Disc-shattering power. Our hero from the first two books in the Discworld series, Rincewind, returns with a young sourcerer arriving at Unseen University. Events after
May 07, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy
Maybe I am tiring of this series. Maybe this book really was slow. Whatever the case is, I had a difficult time getting into it. The humour was sometimes engaging and sometimes forced. It almost felt like the author was following the formula that had worked in previous books and reproducing it mechanically rather than spontaneously. It reminded me of a musical band that has had a couple of hit songs and decided that since they want to make money, they better reproduce the next song with the exac ...more
2.5 stars.

I hate rating this low, but I have to be honest. I spent more time counting off pages to completion than I did on reading it.

There were some really funny parts and snippets of awesome. But in the end, it just wasn't connecting with me. It took me a month to finish. Ugh...

Still, I certainly didn't dislike it. I'm just hoping to get more hooked on the series before too much longer....
May 16, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: funny, fantastical
“Not much call for a barbarian hairdresser, I expect,' said Rincewind. 'I mean, no-one wants a shampoo-and-beheading.”

For some reason this, the fifth instalment of the Discworld series, feels the most derivitive and the most puerile in terms of humour.

The premise, as much as you can call it that, is the story of an eighth son of an eighth son of an eighth son. He was, quite naturally, a wizard. A wizard squared...a source of magic...a Sourcerer. Sourcery died out on the Disc thousands of years
In common with Equal Rites the resolution in this book focuses on the need for self-restraint, the best use of power is not to use it at all (view spoiler). This principle allows for the presence of the wizards as a whole in the Pratchett universe to be non-disruptive, but more broadly is a common theme in the Discworld novels and is true also of the Witches stories in which magical interven ...more
Jul 29, 2018 rated it liked it
Here we have the third book featuring Rincewind (and the Luggage). The plot of this story is secondary to the quirkiness of the characters and the settings. There’s Sourcery vs. Magic and some spoofing off the Arabian Nights. I was getting a little tired of it by the end. But it was still funny, and I found some favorite bits to quote:

“I meant,” said Ipslore bitterly, “what is there in this world that truly makes living worthwhile?”
Death thought about it.
CATS, he said eventually. CATS ARE NICE.

Why did I give this two stars the first time I read it? I have no idea.

The whole thing with the library made me cry. I need a banana.

Rincewind faces his most horrible situation yet.

A pretty woman and a magic hat.
Sep 12, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the 5th Discworld book and the 3rd with Rincewind. He's not exactly a main character though, or at least not the only one.

You see, we already know from the 3rd novel that the eighth son of an eighth son is predestined to become a wizard, but here we discover what happens if that eighth son of an eighth son then goes on and has an eighth son as well - the boy becomes a wizard squared, a sourcerer.
There is a reason why wizards aren't allowed to have families/children. However, as you will
Julian Worker
Sep 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Wonderful imagination and terrific humour as usual from this excellent fantasy author.
Simcha York
Feb 05, 2013 rated it really liked it
Sourcery, the fifth book in Terry Pratchett's Discworld series, marks his first real triumph. Like the previous book in the series, Mort, Sourcery builds on the humor of the first several books in the series and adds to it a depth of empathy and narrative prowess. The humor in particular is no longer derivative of Douglas Adams but has morphed into a style that is much more incisive and distinctive to Pratchett.

The story is similar in many ways to both The Light Fantastic and Equal Rites, but un
An entertaining story and the typical, occasional very clever and funny observation about the world and things.^^
A.B. Neilly
May 09, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy, comedy
The idea was fantastic. The Sourcerer is the eight son of and eight son... Of an eight son. But the story gets slow and a little boring as it goes on. There are some great laughs and I love the idea of a tower for every magician when they get wild. But still worthy of been read.
Marc *Dark Reader of the Woods*
More than 25 years after Sourcery was published, the final discworld book was posthumously released, called The Shepherd's Crown. It was woefully unfinished, but at least it gave us an example-in-print of Sir Terry's writing process, also described in the book's afterword by Pratchett's long-term assistant Rob Wilkins. To paraphrase, he (Pratchett) would write the whole bones of a book, then zip all around polishing up scenes, improving linkages, and basically revising the whole thing repeatedly ...more
Aug 17, 2020 rated it really liked it
While Wizardry clashes with Sourcery, Kubla Khan meets the Götterdämmerung Teatime of the Gods, the Arabian Nights faces the answering machine, and everybody struggles to be who he/she/it really is. Even if nature, tradition and genetic heritage may not agree...
(feat. Death, the Luggage, the Librarian...).
Mar 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2018-books
A few weeks ago, I seriously injured myself. I spilled a crockpot full of boiling chicken broth on my arm and hand and sustained second degree burns. It was incredibly painful and awkward (not like I need my dominant hand for anything!), and I was on super-duper heavy pain meds for almost a week.

So what do you do when you can't concentrate, can't care about anything, just float about in a drug-induced haze of no-thinking, no-feeling oblivion?

You read Terry Pratchett, of course.

Sourcery was the
Nov 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
The Rincewind books seem to get better and better throughout the discworld series. This one features some of the best side characters that Pratchett has created, Nijel and Coin among the stand outs, as well as some of the most relentless Tom foolery. The Luggage has some of its best moments, and really, isn’t it the best character in the whole series? Aren’t passages like this one what we come here for?

“The luggage stood in the dripping street, the knife still quivering in its lid, and stared at
Theresa Abney
Jul 23, 2007 rated it really liked it
Shelves: kindle
"Despite rumor, Death isn't cruel- merely terribly, terribly good at his job." p.2

"It wasn't that he was unaware of the despair and nobility of the human condition. It was just that as far as he was concerned you could stuff it." p.10

"Psst," it said.
"Not very," said Rincewind, who was in a state of mind where he couldn't resist it, "but I'm working on it." p.37

"He examined his conscience.
It said: I'm out of options. Please yourself." p.204

PERISTALSIS: successive waves of involuntary contraction
Emma Sam
Jun 26, 2014 rated it it was ok
I've loved almost all the Pratchett books I've read in the past, but coming back to this one was unsatisfying. Partly because I started to notice the repetition in descriptions (yes the air feels 'greasy' when magic's being used, and yes a surprising number of things feel like a sock or a glove full of something else); but even more so by some of the characters and the ending itself which just seemed to... fizzle out.

Conina - introduced as thief among thieves, most deadly fighter, most beautiful
Aug 05, 2020 rated it liked it
I'm not really sure why, but for some reason this book just doesn't stick in my head. I like the concept of the plot, I like Rincewind... But I read this entire thing and just feel kind of blah.

Rincewind always shines in the spotlight. Perhaps not the way your typical protagonist does, since he's as unheroic a person as you'll ever meet, but it is Rincewind who gives you the humor in the tale. The other characters all felt a bit one-note, especially his traveling companions, Conina, Nijel, and
3.5 stars. Pratchett's Discworld books are always entertaining and cleverly written. As such, I enjoyed this one and particularly like the character of Rincewind who is the central figure of this story. That siad, I thought the first two books of this series were so good that I have been a little disappointed that the next 3 books have not, for me at least, been quite as good. I will continue to read them as they are still worth reading, I just hope that I can come across another installment of ...more
This was a good fun read (as all the Discworld books are) but it wasn't my favourite in the series. I feel like Rincewind isn't my favourite character (although I love the Luggage) and so I knew this would only be around a 3*s, but I cannot fault Pratchett for humour and I will always enjoy reading these.

This story focuses on what happens when a Sourcerer is brought into the world to challenge the magicians at the University and all the inevitable chaos that ensues on the Discworld. It's a romp
Feb 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
Another delightful Discworld/Rincewind book. A great mixture of fantasy, comedy, adventure and wit, all put together. I think I will read them all.
"Silence filled the University in the same way that air fills a hole. Night spread across the Disk like plum jam, or possibly blackberry preserve.
But there would be a morning. There would always be another morning."
Feb 15, 2011 rated it it was amazing
No, that title isn’t a misspelling. It’s one of Pratchett’s plays on words that he’s so fond of. Because in this book – which was the fifth Discworld novel- sourcery is when magic goes beyond wizardry and taps into the very source of magic- raw power that ordinary wizards can’t touch.

‘Sourcery’ takes on sword and sorcery fantasies, taking satirical swipes at pretty much all the big ones- Lord of the Rings, Narnia, Fantasia, The Tempest, Conan the Barbarian, 1001 Nights, Fafhrd and Grey Mouser-
Ilija Ilić
Mar 13, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Great of course :D Terry Pratchett still the best and forever in our hearts <3
Mar 18, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction, fantasy
Perhaps not quite as funny as I have found the other volumes, or some of the characters are running thin for me, not to say I still didn't find things to chuckle about. This may happen naturally when you return often to the same world. That will not stop me, however, from continuing on with this series (as jumbled as it is). I also seemed to get interrupted a lot while reading this one. I think once you get a dose of the disc, you are terminally infected. ...more
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Born Terence David John Pratchett, Sir Terry Pratchett sold his first story when he was thirteen, which earned him enough money to buy a second-hand typewriter. His first novel, a humorous fantasy entitled The Carpet People, appeared in 1971 from the publisher Colin Smythe.

Terry worked for many years as a journalist and press officer, writing in his spare time and publishing a number of novels, i

Other books in the series

Discworld (1 - 10 of 41 books)
  • The Color of Magic (Discworld, #1; Rincewind, #1)
  • The Light Fantastic (Discworld, #2; Rincewind #2)
  • Equal Rites (Discworld, #3; Witches, #1)
  • Mort (Discworld, #4; Death, #1)
  • Wyrd Sisters (Discworld, #6; Witches #2)
  • Pyramids (Discworld, #7)
  • Guards! Guards! (Discworld, #8; City Watch #1)
  • Eric (Discworld, #9; Rincewind #4)
  • Moving Pictures (Discworld, #10; Industrial Revolution, #1)
  • Reaper Man (Discworld, #11; Death, #2)

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“I meant," said Ipslore bitterly, "what is there in this world that truly makes living worthwhile?"
Death thought about it.
CATS, he said eventually. CATS ARE NICE.”
“And what would humans be without love?"
RARE, said Death.”
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