Chidambaram Annamalai's Reviews > The Color of Magic

The Color of Magic by Terry Pratchett
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's review
Jun 27, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: fantasy, humor

Being a fantasy book involving a lot of journeying (and dragons to a lesser extent), the most direct comparison would be with The Hobbit. The differences are clear too: Middle-earth described in The Hobbit has a much more clearer scope in understanding what is allowed, and what isn't, while the fantasy that exists in Discworld is some freeform magic with a scientific likeness to them. This was disconcerting at first for me but this fit in surprisingly well with the rest of the book in being both somewhat arbitrary and largely funny. The inverse square law controlling the magical intensity, the building of magical potential by dryads spinning in a circle discharging Elemental Magical Force, and the harmonics that travel through the astral plane were some that I found really funny in their respective contexts.

The scope of the worlds that are being described in this book are truly immense, and it is all the more impressive when you finish the book and ponder over it's relative smallness, in pages, in comparison. Terry Pratchett's descriptions of the sights and sounds that make up these strange lands (and the characters that venture over it) with vivid metaphors are truly unforgettable. I thoroughly enjoyed the traits that make up the voice of Kring, the magical sword, and Death, who has a definite sense of humor. Reading this book another time is certainly on the cards!

The pace towards the end when the lead characters is certainly gripping and I'm sure you'll enjoy the fights (duels and truels), the flights (astride dragons), and the falling (off of dragons and the edge of the world).

It's certainly tempting to think that a more well-defined plot that fit into a larger scheme of things would have made the novel a little more comprehensible. But it would have also killed the character of the book, which is unique, and markedly different in that aspect from the LOTR series which had an overarching plot that purposed the journeying, owing to the serendipitous nature in which the two lead wanderers (Rincewind and Twoflower) stray into foreign lands in the most unpredictable manner. Also, I'm willing to relax that expectation of mine this being the first novel in a series. Indeed, I think it's unbelievable that I should like a book that really had no discernible plot! Just a bunch of lucky and comic coincidences that fit nicely with the light-hearted theme of the entire book.

Make no mistake. Terry Pratchett has written a great book, and the only reason I'm giving this four stars is because I would have liked to see a little more of everything that made this book so likable in the first place.

I really can't wait to read the next novel in this series! (The Light Fantastic) You should too, if you're interested in a book with quirky humor, staggering scope, awesome pace, but no obvious plot!
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