The Color of Magic (Discworld Series #1)

The Color of Magic (Discworld Series #1)

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by Terry Pratchett
     
 

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Terry Pratchett's profoundly irreverent, bestselling novels have garnered him a revered position in the halls of parody next to the likes of 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

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Overview

Terry Pratchett's profoundly irreverent, bestselling novels have garnered him a revered position in the halls of parody next to the likes of 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.

Editorial Reviews

Washington Post
“Ingenious, brilliant, and hilarious.”
From the Publisher
"One of the best, and one of the funniest English authors alive:
-Independent

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780060855925
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
09/13/2005
Series:
Discworld Series, #1
Pages:
240
Sales rank:
331,224
Product dimensions:
5.31(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.54(d)
Lexile:
890L (what's this?)

Read an Excerpt

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-lovingfleabag 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…

 

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