Book Reviews: “Discworld”


The Star Turtle, Great A’Tuin

Margaret Mateya, Staff Writer

Plenty of writers and non-writers enjoy a good fantasy read, and I am no different.

Fantasy stories, books, plays, anything that includes the imagination and faraway lands are fast escapes from reality and into something new. Hundreds of fantasy authors exist today, but none of them seem to have that one trope you’ve been craving, or that one scenario that lives in your head and has never found itself on a page. How do you know which story is right for you?

Allow me to introduce you to “Discworld.”

“Discworld” is a fantasy series created and written by the late Terry Pratchett, consisting of a total of 41 books over the course of 32 years. Quite a lot of time and dedication has gone into it, but high numbers like that tend to make readers overwhelmed. I am here to tell you, yes, “Discworld” is a very long series, but it also a rollercoaster ride fit for everyone and everything.

The series is comic fantasy full of jokes fit for both British and American readers. If you’re looking to wind down and have a good laugh, “Discworld” is perfect for you.

The “Discworld” is a world that is flat as a disc, balancing on the backs of four elephants, who in tandem are standing on the shell of the star turtle Great A’Tuin flying through space.

The first book, “The Color of Magic,” takes place in the malodorous city of Ankh-Morpork, where the main character, Rincewind, a wizard whose magical ability is same as a fish who is good at mountain climbing, meets the “Discworld’s” very first tourist: Twoflower. Together they go on an adventure across the disc, discovering strange things, people, and situations.

Terry Pratchett’s compelling writing style had me hooked in the first few pages. There are fantastic descriptions and characters that come to life on the page. The books themselves play out like movies in your head, which is always a huge delight. It was the exact type of satirical humor I’d been searching for.

“The Light Fantastic,” the second book of the series, is a direct sequel, while most of the other books tend to go in nonlinear narrative. By far, this one book is everything I’d ever wanted in a fantasy book: it has the hero’s journey to save the world, a compelling character arc, a dramatic twist, a boss fight (in which the main character uses no magical cheats whatsoever, using his bare fists), and a bittersweet ending. I won’t be so harsh and spoil it all. It is best to experience it for yourself.

So far these two books are a fantastic gateway into the lives of the people living on the “Discworld,” and the mysteries, secrets, and godly superpowers that lie within. Originally written and published in the 1980s, “Discworld” has come a long way, unfortunately ending with the final book in 2015 before Terry Pratchett’s death.

Happy reading!