Cover image for The color of magic : a Discworld novel
Title:
The color of magic : a Discworld novel
Author:
Pratchett, Terry.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : HarperPaperbacks, [2000]

©1983
Physical Description:
210 pages ; 18 cm
Language:
English
Reading Level:
890 Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR UG 6.4 11.0 43814.

Reading Counts RC High School 6.3 16 Quiz: 25623 Guided reading level: NR.
ISBN:
9780061020711

9780060855925
Format :
Book

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Summary

Summary

Terry Pratchett's profoundly irreverent novels are consistent number one bestsellers in England, where they have garnered him a revered position in the halls of parody next to Mark Twain, Kurt Vonnegut, Douglas Adams, and Carl Hiaasen.

The Color of Magic is Terry Pratchett's maiden voyage through the now-legendary land of Discworld. This is where it all begins--with the tourist Twoflower and his wizard guide, Rincewind.


Author Notes

Terry Pratchett was on born April 28, 1948 in Beaconsfield, United Kingdom. He left school at the age of 17 to work on his local paper, the Bucks Free Press. While with the Press, he took the National Council for the Training of Journalists proficiency class. He also worked for the Western Daily Press and the Bath Chronicle. He produced a series of cartoons for the monthly journal, Psychic Researcher, describing the goings-on at the government's fictional paranormal research establishment, Warlock Hall. In 1980, he was appointed publicity officer for the Central Electricity Generating Board with responsibility for three nuclear power stations.

His first novel, The Carpet People, was published in 1971. His first Discworld novel, The Colour of Magic, was published in 1983. He became a full-time author in 1987. He wrote more than 70 books during his lifetime including The Dark Side of the Sun, Strata, The Light Fantastic, Equal Rites, Mort, Sourcery, Truckers, Diggers, Wings, Dodger, Raising Steam, Dragons at Crumbling Castle: And Other Tales, and The Shephard's Crown. He was diagnosis with early onset Alzheimer's disease in 2007. He was knighted for services to literature in 2009 and received the World Fantasy award for life achievement in 2010. He died on March 12, 2015 at the age of 66.

(Bowker Author Biography)


Excerpts

Excerpts

The Color of Magic THE COLOR OF MAGIC Fire roared through the bifurcated city of Ankh-Morpork. Where it licked the Wizards' Quarter it burned blue and green and was even laced with strange sparks of the eighth color, octarine; where its outriders found their way into the vats and oil stores all along Merchant Street it progressed in a series of blazing fountains and explosions; in the streets of the perfume blenders it burned with a sweetness; where it touched bundles of rare and dry herbs in the storerooms of the drugmasters it made men go mad and talk to God. By now the whole of downtown Morpork was alight, and the richer and worthier citizens of Ankh on the far bank were bravely responding to the situation by feverishly demolishing the bridges. But already the ships in the Morpork docks-laden with grain, cotton and timber, and coated with tar-were blazing merrily and, their moorings burnt to ashes, were breasting the river Ankh on the ebb tide, igniting riverside palaces and bowers as they drifted like drowning fireflies toward the sea. In any case, sparks were riding the breeze and touching down far across the river in hidden gardens and remote rickyards. The smoke from the merry burning rose miles high, in a wind-sculpted black column that could be seen across the whole of the Discworld. It was certainly impressive from the cool, dark hilltop a few leagues away, where two figures were watching with considerable interest. The taller of the pair was chewing on a chicken leg and Mugu "Just go away, will you?" said the rider. "I just haven't got time for you, do you understand?" He looked around and added: "That goes for your shadow-loving fleabag partner, too, wherever he's hiding." The Weasel stepped up to the horse and peered at the disheveled figure. "Why, it's Rincewind the wizard, isn't it?" he said in tones of delight, meanwhile filing the wizard's description of him in his memory for leisurely vengeance. "I thought I recognized the voice." Bravd spat and sheathed his sword. It was seldom worth tangling with wizards, they so rarely had any treasure worth speaking of. "He talks pretty big for a gutter wizard," he muttered. "You don't understand at all," said the wizard wearily. "I'm so scared of you my spine has turned to jelly, it's just that I'm suffering from an overdose of terror right now. I mean, when I've got over that then I'll have time to be decently frightened of you." The Weasel pointed toward the burning city. "You've been through that?" he asked. The wizard rubbed a red-raw hand across his eyes. "I was there when it started. See him? Back there?" He pointed back down the road to where his traveling companion was leaning on a sword that was only marginally shorter than the average man. If it wasn't for the air of wary intelligence about him it might have been supposed that he was a barbarian from the Hubland wastes. His partner was much shorter and wrapped from head to toe in a brown cloak. Later, when he has occasion to move, it will be seen that he moves lightly, catlike. The two had barely exchanged a word in the last twenty minutes except for a short and inconclusive argument as to whether a particularly powerful explosion had been the oil bond store or the workshop of Kerible the Enchanter. Money hinged on the fact. Now the big man finished gnawing at the bone and tossed it into the grass, smiling ruefully. "There go all those little alleyways," he said. "I liked them." "All the treasure houses," said the small man. He added thoughtfully, "Do gems bum? I wonder. 'Tis said they're kin to coal." "All the gold, melting and running down the gutters," said the big one, ignoring him. "And all the wine, boiling in the barrels." "There were rats," said his brown companion. "Rats, I'll grant you." "It was no place to be in high summer." "That, too. One can't help feeling, though, a-well, a momentary-" He trailed off, then brightened. "We owed old Fredor at the Crimson Leech eight silver pieces," he added. The little man nodded. They were silent for a while as a whole new series of explosions carved a red line across a hitherto dark section of the greatest city in the world. Then the big man stirred. "Weasel?" "Yes?" "I wonder who started it." The small swordsman known as the Weasel said nothing. He was watching the road in the ruddy light. Few had come that way since the Deosil Gate had been one of the first to collapse in a shower of white-hot embers. But two were coming up it now. The Weasel's eyes, always at their sharpest in gloom and half-light, made out the shapes of two mounted men and some sort of low beast behind them. Doubtless a rich merchant escaping with as much treasure as he could lay frantic hands on. The Weasel said as much to his companion, who sighed. "The status of footpad ill suits us," said the barbarian, "but, as you say, times are hard and there are no soft beds tonight. " He shifted his grip on his sword and, as the leading rider drew near, stepped out onto the road with a hand held up and his face set in a grin nicely calculated to reassure yet threaten. "Your pardon, sit" he began. The rider reined in his horse and drew back his hood. The big man looked into a face blotched with superficial burns and punctuated by tufts of singed beard. Even the eyebrows had gone. "Bugger off," said the face. "You're Bravd the Hublander,* aren't you?" Bravd became aware that he had fumbled the initiative. "Just go away, will you?" said the rider. "I just haven't got time for you, do you understand?" He looked around and added: "That goes for your shadow-loving fleabag partner, too, wherever he's hiding." The Weasel stepped up to the horse and peered at the disheveled figure. "Why, it's Rincewind the wizard, isn't it?" he said in tones of delight, meanwhile filing the wizard's description of him in his memory for leisurely vengeance. "I thought I recognized the voice." Bravd spat and sheathed his sword. It was seldom worth tangling with wizards, they so rarely had any treasure worth speaking of. "He talks pretty big for a gutter wizard," he muttered. "You don't understand at all," said the wizard wearily. "I'm so scared of you my spine has turned to jelly, it's just that I'm suffering from an overdose of terror right now. I mean, when I've got over that then I'll have time to be decently frightened of you." The Weasel pointed toward the burning city... The Color of Magic . Copyright © by Terry Pratchett. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold. Excerpted from The Color of Magic by Terry Pratchett All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.