Sourcery (Discworld Series #5)

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Overview

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 son — a wizard squared (that's all ...

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2001 Paperback New 9780061020674. 0.9 x 6.6 x 4.2 Inches; 288 pages; Book is New, bright and crisp.

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Sourcery (Discworld Series #5)

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Overview

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 son — a wizard squared (that's all the math, really). Who of course, was a source of magic — a sorcerer.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
This fifth Discworld tale ( Mort ), about a barely averted apocalypse there, reasserts Pratchett's adroitness as a storyteller. Inventive, satirical of the contemporary scene, Pratchett does not merely play with words, he juggles shrewd observations with aplomb. His creations are gently allegorical: for instance, the Unseen University Library is the repository of magic, its librarian an orangutan and its archchancellorship reserved for the most powerful magician, a ``sourcerer'' named Coin. But the author never takes himself or his message too seriously, and maintains a feather-light touch throughout. Even Death, an important minor character here, receives a distinctive voice. (Dec.)
From the Publisher
 • "Like Jonathan Swift, Pratchett uses his other world to hold up a distorting mirror to our own, and like Swift he is a satirist of enormous talent... incredibly funny... compulsively readable." --The Times

 • "His spectacular inventiveness makes the Discworld series one of the perennial joys of modern fiction." --Mail on Sunday

 • "May well be considered his masterpiece... Humour such as his is an endangered species." --The Times

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780061020674
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 2/28/2001
  • Series: Discworld Series , #5
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Edition description: Reissue
  • Pages: 288
  • Lexile: 820L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 6.78 (w) x 4.16 (h) x 0.79 (d)

Meet the Author

Terry Pratchett

Terry Pratchett's novels have sold more than eighty-five million (give or take a few million) copies worldwide. In January 2009, Queen Elizabeth II made Pratchett a knight in recognition of his "services to literature." Sir Terry lives in England with his wife.

Biography

Welcome to a magical world populated by the usual fantasy fare: elves and ogres, wizards and witches, dwarves and trolls. But wait—is that witch wielding a frying pan rather than a broomstick? Has that wizard just clumsily tumbled off the edge of the world? And what is with the dwarf they call Carrot, who just so happens to stand six-foot six-inches tall? Why, this is not the usual fantasy fare at all—this is Terry Pratchett's delightfully twisted Discworld!

Beloved British writer Pratchett first jump-started his career while working as a journalist for Bucks Free Press during the '60s. As luck would have it, one of his assignments was an interview with Peter Bander van Duren, a representative of a small press called Colin Smythe Limited. Pratchett took advantage of his meeting with Bander van Duren to pitch a weird story about a battle set in the pile of a frayed carpet. Bander van Duren bit, and in 1971 Pratchett's very first novel, The Carpet People, was published, setting the tone for a career characterized by wacky flights of fancy and sly humor.

Pratchett's take on fantasy fiction is quite unlike that of anyone else working in the genre. The kinds of sword-and-dragon tales popularized by fellow Brits like J.R.R. Tolkein and C. S. Lewis have traditionally been characterized by their extreme self-seriousness. However, Pratchett has retooled Middle Earth and Narnia with gleeful goofiness, using his Discworld as a means to poke fun at fantasy. As Pratchett explained to Locus Magazine, "Discworld started as an antidote to bad fantasy, because there was a big explosion of fantasy in the late '70s, an awful lot of it was highly derivative, and people weren't bringing new things to it."

In 1983, Pratchett unveiled Discworld with The Color of Magic. Since then, he has added installments to the absurdly hilarious saga at the average rate of one book per year. Influenced by moderately current affairs, he has often used the series to subtly satirize aspects of the real world; the results have inspired critics to rapturous praise. ("The most breathtaking display of comic invention since PG Wodehouse," raved The Times of London.) He occasionally ventures outside the series with standalone novels like the Johnny Maxwell Trilogy, a sci fi adventure sequence for young readers, or Good Omens, his bestselling collaboration with graphic novelist Neil Gaiman.

Sadly, in 2008 fans received the devastating news that Pratchett had been diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer's. He has described his own reaction as "fairly philosophical" and says he plans to continue writing so long as he is able.

Good To Know

Pratchett's bestselling young adult novel Only You Can Save Mankind was adapted for the British stage as a critically acclaimed musical in 2004.

Discworld is not just the subject of a bestselling series of novels. It has also inspired a series of computer games in which players play the role of the hapless wizard Rincewind.

A few fun outtakes from our interview with Pratchett:

"I became a journalist at 17. A few hours later I saw my first dead body, which was somewhat…colourful. That's when I learned you can go on throwing up after you run out of things to throw up."

"The only superstition I have is that I must start a new book on the same day that I finish the last one, even if it's just a few notes in a file. I dread not having work in progress.

"I grow as many of our vegetables as I can, because my granddad was a professional gardener and it's in the blood. Grew really good chilies this year.

"I'm not really good at fun-to-know, human interest stuff. We're not ‘celebrities', whose life itself is a performance. Good or bad or ugly, we are our words. They're what people meet.

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    1. Also Known As:
      Terence David John Pratchett
    2. Hometown:
      Salisbury, Wiltshire, England
    1. Date of Birth:
      April 28, 1948
    2. Place of Birth:
      Beaconsfield, Buckinghamshire, England
    1. Education:
      Four honorary degrees in literature from the universities of Portsmouth, Bristol, Bath and Warwick

Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

There was a man and he had eight sons. Apart from that, he was nothing more than a comma on the page of History. It's sad, but that's all you can say about some people.

But the eighth son grew up and married and had eight sons, and because there is only one suitable profession for the eighth son of an eighth son, he became a wizard. And he became wise and powerful, or at any rate powerful, and wore a pointed hat and there it would have ended ...

Should have ended . . .

But against the Lore of Magic and certainly against all reason-except the reasons of the heart, which are warm and messy and, well, unreasonable -- he fled the halls of magic and fell in love and got married, not necessarily in that order.

And he had seven sons, each one from the cradle at least as powerful as any wizard in the world.

And then he had an eighth son . . .

A wizard squared. A source of magic.

A sourcerer.

Summer thunder rolled around the sandy cliffs. Far below, the sea sucked on the shingle as noisily as an old man with one tooth who had been given a gobstopper. A few seagulls hung lazily in the updraughts, waiting for something to happen.

And the father of wizards sat among the thrift and rattling sea grasses at the edge of the cliff, cradling the child in his arms, staring out to sea.

There was a roil of black cloud out there, heading inland, and the light it pushed before it had that deep syrup quality it gets before a really serious thunderstorm.

He turned at a sudden silence behind him, and looked up through tear-reddened eyes at a tall hooded figure in a black robe.

Ipslore the Red? itsaid. The voice was as hollow as a cave, as dense as a neutron star.

lpslore grinned the terrible grin of the suddenly mad, and held up the child for Death's inspection.

"My son" he said. "I shall call him Coin."

A name as good as any other said Death politely. His empty sockets stared down at a small round face wrapped in sleep. Despite rumor, Death isn't cruel -- merely terribly, terribly good at his job.

"You took his mother," said Ipslore. It was a flat statement, without apparent rancor. In the valley behind the cliffs lpslore's homestead was a smoking ruin, the rising wind already spreading the fragile ashes across the hissing dunes.

It was a heart attack at the end, said Death. There are worse ways To die take it from me

lpslore looked out to sea. "An my magic could not save her," he said.

There are places where even magic may not go.

"And now you have come for the child?"

No. The child has His own destiny I have come for you.

"Ah." The wizard stood up, carefully laid the sleeping baby down on the thin grass, and picked up a long staff that had been lying there. It was made of a black metal, with a meshwork of silver and gold carvings that gave it a rich and sinister tastelessness; the metal was octiron, intrinsically magical.

"I made this, you know," he said. "They all said you couldn't make a staff out of metal, they said they should only be of wood, but they were wrong. I put a lot of myself into it. I shall give it to him."

He ran his hands lovingly along the staff, which gave off a faint tone.

He repeated, almost to himself, "I put a lot of myself into it."

It is a good staff, said Death.

Ipslore held it in the air and looked down at his eighth son, who gave a gurgle.

"She wanted a daughter," he said.

Death shrugged. Ipslore gave him a look compounded of bewilderment and rage.

"What is he?"

The eighth son of an eighth son of an eighth son said Death, unhelpfully. The wind whipped at his robe, driving the black clouds overhead.

"What does that make him?"

A sourcerer, as you are well aware.

Thunder rolled, on cue.

"What is his destiny?" shouted Ipslore, above the rising gale.

Death shrugged again. He was good at it.

sourcerers make their own destiny. They touch the earth lightly.

Ipslore leaned on the staff, drumming on it with his fingers, apparently lost in the maze of his own thoughts. His left eyebrow twitched.

"No," he said, softly, "no. I will make his destiny for him."

I advise against it.

"Be quiet! And listen when I tell you that they drove me out, with their books and their rituals and their Lore! They called themselves wizards, and they had less magic in their whole fat bodies than I have in my little finger! Banished! Me! For showing that I was human! And what would humans be without love?"

Rare, said Death. Nevertheless --

"Listen! They drove us here, to the ends of the world, and that killed her! They tried to take 'my staff away!" Ipslore was screaming above the noise of the wind.

"Well, I still have some power left:' he snarled. "And I say that my son shall go to Unseen University and wear the Archchancellor's hat and the wizards of the world shall bow to him! And he shall show them what lies in their deepest hearts. Their craven, greedy hearts. He'll show the world its true destiny, and there will be no magic greater than his."

No. And the strange thing about the quiet way Death spoke the word was this: it was louder than the roaring of the storm. It jerked lpslore back to momentary sanity.

lpslore rocked back and forth uncertainly. 'What?" he said.

I said No. Nothing is Final. Nothing is absolute. Except me, of course. Such tinkering with destiny could mean tee downfall of the world. There must be a chance, however small. The lawyers of fate demand a loophole in every prophecy...

Sourcery. Copyright © by Terry Pratchett. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 57 )
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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 57 Customer Reviews
  • Posted April 6, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Terry Pratcett books are my favorite

    the book is about a young prodigy who changes all of the old wizardry on discworld into violent and unstable sourcery and an innept wizard rincewind must stop it. a major message is if you have nothing you can still accomplish even the mightiest of challenges. i liked the unforced humor and satire that terry pratchett augments the story with. this book is easily appealing and would be enjoyable to most. the storyline is sometimes a bit challenging to follow as it switches from scenes so i would recommend it to those who are teenage and older. the discworld series is a phenominal story, starting with The Color of Magic, which is a particular favorite.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 27, 2001

    Outstanding!

    The book Sourcery by Terry Pratchett is a great book for anyone who enjoys a good laugh. It includes tons of fun and adventure ,and in the inept wizard Rincewind's case despair of never leading a normal life.I believe anyone who reads this book will enjoy it as much as I have.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 21, 2013

    To: terry pratchett books are my favorite

    I wholeheartedly agree. The Diskworld series are amazing, andI would reccomend for teens 13-18. For preteens around10-12, I would reccomend the Wee Free Men series.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 25, 2005

    Brain candy

    a fantastic vacation from reality in one sitting. everyone should read at least one of Terry Pratchett's books in their lifetime

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