Sourcery (Discworld Series #5)

Sourcery (Discworld Series #5)

by Terry Pratchett

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780062225726
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 04/30/2013
Series: Discworld Series
Pages: 336
Sales rank: 33,869
Product dimensions: 4.32(w) x 7.52(h) x 0.84(d)

About the Author

Sir Terry Pratchett was the internationally bestselling author of more than thirty books, including his phenomenally successful Discworld series. His young adult novel, The Amazing Maurice and His Educated Rodents, won the Carnegie Medal, and Where's My Cow?, his Discworld book for “readers of all ages,” was a New York Times bestseller. His novels have sold more than seventy five million (give or take a few million) copies worldwide. Named an Officer of the British Empire “for services to literature,” Pratchett lived in England. He died in 2015 at the age of sixty-six.


Salisbury, Wiltshire, England

Date of Birth:

April 28, 1948

Place of Birth:

Beaconsfield, Buckinghamshire, England


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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Sourcery 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 92 reviews.
1d2d3dkirby More than 1 year ago
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.
Guest More than 1 year ago
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.
kaylol on LibraryThing 5 months ago
It is as good as all the other Terry Pratchett books I've read. Rincewind is hilarious! This time he has to win over a sourcerer who is :dangerous for the world and the university and life in general.
mjmorrison1971 on LibraryThing 5 months ago
It kept me going while writing reports - probably not the best of the disc world series but entertaining nonetheless. I think the lack of real world social/political commentary found in many of the books was what I felt was missing but probably made it a better report writing read.
Alan_Dawson on LibraryThing 5 months ago
Loved it, I do like poor old Rincewind and the antics he gets up to. It was really easy to read and i couldnt put it down as like any of Terry's books. **Spoiler, so dont read on if you want the book to remain a suprise. -- It will be interesting to see if Rincewind actually returns from his predicament and i loved how a Barbarians daughter, who had all the instincts and traits of her farther just wanted to be a Hairdresser! Funny ;o)
love2laf on LibraryThing 5 months ago
Amusing as always. Not one of my faves in the discworld series, but there's a hell of a lot of books in the series. Most of the books stand alone, but this one is important to read before reading Eric.
jnicholson on LibraryThing 5 months ago
Rincewind returns and is now a more rounded character. When a sourceror arrives at Unseen University, it is up to Rincewind to defend wizardry against the newcomer. Some brilliant parody is to be found in this novel. Also to be found is Terry Pratchett's invitation to readers to draw their own map.
isabelx on LibraryThing 5 months ago
When the rats flee the Unseen University Rincewind knows that something ominous is afoot. And it's not only the rats that are leaving; the ants, bedbugs, cockroaches and even the Gargoyles are going too, as they know that a sourcerer is coming, the eighth son of an eighth son of an eighth son, a source of magic, and that means big trouble - perhaps even the Apocralypse.
reading_fox on LibraryThing 5 months ago
Quite possibly my least favourite Diskworld book, less fun even than Colour of Magic. I didn't spot a single pun, everything else was predictible, there were a few footnotes, but these were equally trivial rather than funny. In terms of plot, a Sourcerer appears on the Disk, applies too much magic, Rincewind goes all 1001 nights with a hairdresser/ barbarian, the luggage sulks, and - well you can guess what happens to the rest of the disk, but there are another 30 odd books after this one.The one saving grace is that enough space is cleared in the UU for funny / permentant wizards we get in the rest of the series to appear. Much else is out of character with established causality / history which in general means that history is wrong - but it comes across very odd ot the reader. As far as I'm aware, the events in Sourcery have little impact in the rest of the Diskworld series, its almost as if it didn't happen. (Apart from the fate of Rincewind - good riddance I say).Far and away from being his best. It is still not actually bad, and the Luggage remains amusing, but contains none of the bits that make Pratchett a world renown name.
eddy79 on LibraryThing 5 months ago
And we are back to Rincewind in the Discworld novels. can;t remember much about this one except to say that it kept me reading to the end, so it must have had something to keep me interested. Seemed like a short read too.
comfypants on LibraryThing 5 months ago
The story isn't as strong as the previous Discworld books (this is the 5th). The whole threatened-fabric-of-reality thing is getting worn a bit thin. But it has better, more humorous characters than the last two books, and it's a lot of fun.
391 on LibraryThing 5 months ago
This is one of my favorites in Rincewind's storyline - the ending is a total nail-biter for me, and reading from about 3/4 of the way through to the end is like sprinting towards a finish line. It's so, so good (though I immediately had to start Eric to reassure myself that Rincewind was ultimately alright :D )
redfiona on LibraryThing 5 months ago
I didn't like this book on first reading, which may have had more to do with the conditions than the book (peevishly hungover is not a good way of starting a new book). However, I was determined to work my way through the Discworld books, so I started it again.I'm happy that I did so, because, while certainly not the best of the Discworld books, there are lots of enjoyable parts to this book, and bad puns about geese will always amuse me. I liked a lot of the characters, particularly the hat, and felt sorry for poor Coin.The opening scene with Ipslore and Death is particularly strong, and I was itching to find out what happened next to Rincewind after the end of the book.
njstitcher on LibraryThing 5 months ago
Another great book from Pratchett continuing the story of Rincewind the Wizard and the Luggage.
Teipu on LibraryThing 5 months ago
Summary:When a new sourcerer, an eight son of an eight son of an eight son (or better a wizard square), was born, it was clear that the Discworld is in trouble again.We follow the wizard Rincewind, the barbarian hairdresser Conina, the hero in training Nijel and Creosote, Seriph of Al Khali, on their journey to rescue the world from crazy magicians, the Ice Giants and the Apocralypse.Opinion:I'm not a big fan of Rincewind, as he's always too deep in self-pity, but the Luggage and the Librarian make that even.Not the best Discworld book but it has some very funny moments and even it has a closed ending, one storyline ends in a nice cliff-hanger.
debnance on LibraryThing 5 months ago
Yet another Discworld book. Here, the eighth son of an eighth son of an eighth son is born, destined to be a sorcerer. Sorcerers and wizards compete to control the world.
ravenwood0001 on LibraryThing 5 months ago
Yet another book starring our beloved Rincewind. In this book we meet the boy Coin, the first sourcerer in ages, posessed of his father's staff he begins to renovate first the Unseen University, then Ankh-Morpork, and spreading on over the remainder of the Disc. In the meantime, Rincewind is being forced first to hide away the remainder of the Wizard's Magic, with the help of Cohen's long lost daughter, Conina, a want-to-be hair dresser, that he finds he has feelings for. However, she has eyes only for the barbarian-hero-in-training Nijel. If that was not enough, let us drop in the Seriph of Al Khali, Creosote, an out of touch royal who does nothing more than write poorly thought out poetry and drink himself silly and his magical relics, including a Genie and a flying carpet. In Rincewind's final act of bravery he saves Coin and of course the Discworld, but will he survive?
jayne_charles on LibraryThing 5 months ago
The idea of a 'wizard squared' was an interesting concept, but I found this hard to get into. Lots of witty observations, as in all the Discworld novels. I particularly liked: 'Abrim laughed. It wasn't a nice sound. It sounded as though he had had laughter explained to him, probably slowly and repeatedly, but had never heard anyone actually do it." !!!
rincewind1986 on LibraryThing 5 months ago
Rincewind and the luggage return for a really funny adventure, anything with rincewind in to me is always going to be funny, one of the best discworld novels.
kittyNoel on LibraryThing 5 months ago
Sorcery By Terry Pratchett Some people end up on all the adventures... it's to bad for Rincewinds that once again he's pulled into adventure. On diskworld there is an eighth color, great wizards are the eighth son of an eighth son... eight is a special number when you are dealing with magic. Wizards and women also don't mix. The why is nether really covered it;s just not done. So when a wild and diferent Wizard becomes astranged from the Unseen University builds a family has seven (wizard) sons then has an eighth things get complicated. When Sorcery is let louse on the world dangerous things happen. Rincewind takes it upon himself to run away. Trying to get as far away as possible only to find he cares and is the only one left to do anything about it. The world may survive (since this is book 5 out of 38 thats a safe guess) even if Rincewind gets stuck in the Dungeon Dimension at of it all. Theres not much to really say about this book... the only question I had is where are the witches will all these wizard towers and magic being brought up from nowhere... I KNOW its not a story about them... but Diskworld is generally very good about covering all the options about people who might be able to have an effect on the situation and this was the first time I really questioned things...
lauriebrown54 on LibraryThing 5 months ago
No, that title isn¿t a misspelling. It¿s one of Pratchett¿s plays on words that he¿s so fond of. Because in this book ¿ which was the fifth Discworld novel- sourcery is when magic goes beyond wizardry and taps into the very source of magic- raw power that ordinary wizards can¿t touch. `Sourcery¿ takes on sword and sorcery fantasies, taking satirical swipes at pretty much all the big ones- Lord of the Rings, Narnia, Fantasia, The Tempest, Conan the Barbarian, 1001 Nights, Fafhrd and Grey Mouser- with a few bits from Omar Khayyam, Kublai Khan and Casablanca along the way. But unlike many satires, this is also a great story. When the eighth son of an eighth son of an eighth son is born, he is not just a wizard but a sourcerer. His father, who was fated to die shortly after the child¿s birth, tricks Death by becoming a part of the wizard¿s staff he gives to his infant son, which allows him to control his son and the power he wields. Father isn¿t completely sane, and his aim is to destroy the Unseen University and its wizards- and the world. He puts this action into motion when the boy is 10, thinking it¿s going to be an easy thing. But he hasn¿t counted on the inept wizard Rincewind and his sentient pearwood Luggage, the Unseen University¿s orangutan librarian, a wizard¿s hat, the daughter of Cohen the Barbarian¿s daughter, a would be adventurer who is learning adventuring from a book, and a genie who doesn¿t follow the usual genie pattern. While all these characters are funny, not one of them is flat or there just for a single joke. They are all interesting people who have backstory and dimension, people who we come to care about. And while the events of the prospective end of the world happen in a ridiculous fashion, the threat and danger is real. It¿s not an easy task to make a satire that incorporates these things. One of my favorite Discworld novels so far- other than the Tiffany Aching ones, of course.
ngeunit1 on LibraryThing 5 months ago
Sourcery is the fifth Discworld novel and the third in the Rincewind story line. The novel tells the story of an eight son of an eight son of an eight son, which in the Discworld, is fated to become a Sourcerer named Coin. The Sourcerer in the Discworld is not only known as having an unbelievable command over magic, but also changes the ebb and flow of magic to a much higher level, which casuses many other problems for the normal wizards on the Disc.This story again has Rincewind as a main character, who again finds himself in the unsuspected role of the hero, to attempt to restore order in the magic world containing the Sourcerer Coin. This is one of the best early novels in the Rincewind series, as there are many characters that play really great roles including a fan favorite, The Luggage.This novel has all of the great Terry Pratchett humor and satire that fans of the series keep coming back for more of. One of the things that makes Sourcery one of the greats in my opinion, is that the story telling here is really excellent. All of the various threads that start up in throughout the story really come together at the end and make for a very enjoyable and satisfying story.
Caitak on LibraryThing 5 months ago
I enjoyed the bits with Coin and would have liked for there to have been more of him in it - I really like the way Terry Pratchett writes children so I'm looking forward to his books for younger readers.Found this one didn't hold my attention as much in the middle, though I'm not sure exactly what it was about it that caused problems.Liked having more of the Librarian - I've always liked him in all the books.Interested to see this one adapted for TV.
zabet17 on LibraryThing 5 months ago
I think I have hit the wall with Terry Pratchett. Perhaps I will try this one again later....
fiverivers on LibraryThing 5 months ago
As always Pratchett delivers entertaining story-telling with wit and style. In this Discworld tale we return to Rincewind and the legendary Luggage, in a Discworld upheaval caused by the release of sourcery (essentially raw, wild magic) by a son held puppet by his father's power and consciousness that has been locked into an iron staff. As a reader, it's refreshing to read a writer's work that suspends my disbelief (quite the feat given this immprobable world, and quiets the editor. Pure, entertainment at the top of its form.