Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Sourcery by Terry Pratchett

A couple years ago I set out on a quest to read all the Discworld novels in order of publication. As anyone who has seen The Stack can guess, there are lots of distractions that keep this from becoming a fast moving quest. When I was knocked out last weekend with the latest incarnation of the ‘crud’ going around, a return to Discworld seemed to be just what the doctor ordered.

Sourcery is a relatively early book in the series, and like all of the books, it more or less stands on its own. Pratchett returns to the life of Rincewind who is probably the most incompetent wizard of all time. When the eighth son of an eighth son breaks the traditions forbidding Wizards to mingle with the fairer sex he has an eighth son himself, bringing a Sourcerer into the world.

So typical things happen – someone tries to cheat death and makes up a destiny for the newborn Sourcerer, setting in place the necessary pieces for the end of the world. Rincewind, a hat, the Librarian, and a handful of other colorful characters do their best to stay alive.

Pratchett can be absolutely brilliant at times and positively unremarkable at others. Unfortunately, Sourcery is one of these other times. There is relatively little outright satire going on, and very few political or pop-culture references, which is where he tends to shine as an author. Aside from a few funny lines and an amusing scene in a pub with the Four Horsemen of the Apocralypse, this entry in the Discworld series is entirely forgettable. On my 10-point rating scale, Sourcery scores 5, an unfortunate score for a writer who can do better.


Paul Abbamondi said...

It's been many years since I've read Sourcery, but your comments brought a lot of the story back to me. I remembered enjoying it, but was not blown away by it.

Thud! is sitting on my shelf right now, waiting to be read. I think as Pratchett developed his world and got further and further into it with each book, they got better. Or it could just be that I never cared too much for Rincewind. I'm a Vimes fan, as well as the Witches.

Good review though. Hope you're feeling better soon.

Neth said...

Thanks Paul.

From what I've heard, Pratchett gets better with time and the Rincewind books just aren't the best anyway. I've read Guards!Guards! so I know that it can be much better than Sourcery.

I'll to the others...eventually


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...