Book Review – Eric by Terry Pratchett

Summary

Eric is fourteen; he is the Discworld’s first-ever demonology hacker. Unfortunately, he’s not very good at it. All he wants is his traditional three wishes granted – nothing fancy: to be immortal, to rule the world, and to have the most beautiful woman on the Discworld fall madly in love with hum; all the usual things. But instead of a nice, tractable demon, he raises Rincewind, probably the most incompetent wizard in the universe, and the extremely intractable and hostile travel accessory known simply as the Luggage. With them on his side, Eric’s in for a ride through space and time that is bound to make him wish – quite fervently – this time that he’d never been born.

Eric

Eric, or Faust Eric, by Terry Pratchett is the 9th book in the Discworld series and the fourth book following Rincewind, the world’s most incompetent wizard. The edition I am reviewing was illustrated by Josh Kirby. The book was originally published simply as “A Discworld story” in a larger print format along with these illustrations, but was later reissued as a normal paperback without them. I was notably interested in getting to this book in the series because of how dramatically Pratchett seemed to have changed up the format. Most of his books come to about 300 pages long, give or take, but this was dramatically shorter. I was curious to see what, if anything, got sacrificed to make this tale more condensed.Read More »

WWW Wednesday – 2017/10/04

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WWW Wednesday is a book meme run by Taking on a World of Words.

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

Currently Reading

Guards!Guards!Due to some current travel and misuse of reading time over the weekend I’m still about 100 pages shy of finishing Guards! Guards! by Terry Pratchett. Regardless, it is quickly becoming one of my favourite of the Discworld novels I’ve read thus far. I had already expected to really like it, but it has taken some unexpected turns that have made it even better. A figure I thought was only going to be a plot device became a key player in the plot and I love where it has gone thus far. I should have it finished soon, with a review up within the next week.

ThroughTheLookingGlassI started reading the final volume of the Guardians of the Galaxy run I’ve been going through, Through the Looking Glass, but was disappointed to find that once again half of the issues in the book tied into an event. I’ll be damned if I read chapter 2 and 7 of a story without filling in the holes, so I put the book down to pick up the event comic and read it at a later date. It’s a shame Marvel never let this series stand on its own much at all.

Recently Finished

It’s been a slow week, unfortunately, so nothing finished for this week. I’m hopeful this will be a lull in an otherwise busy month.

Reading Next

ItDevours!Since I haven’t dug into any horror just yet, here’s the third book I have planned for reading this month: It Devours! by Joseph Fink & Jeffrey Cranor, which will be released on October 17. I’m a big fan of Welcome to Night Vale and loved the first novel, so I’m really excited to see what strange and intriguing places this book goes to.

Book Review – Pyramids by Terry Pratchett

‘Look after the dead’, said the priests, ‘and the dead will look after you.’

Wise words in all probability, but a tall order when, like Teppic, you have just become the pharaoh of a small and penniless country rather earlier than expected, and your treasury is unlikely to stretch to the building of a monumental pyramid to honour your dead father.

He’d had the best education money could buy of course, but unfortunately the syllabus at the Assassin’s Guild in Ankh-Morpork did not cover running a kingdom and basic financial acumen…

Pyramids

Pyramids by Terry Pratchett is the seventh novel in his comic Fantasy series Discworld, telling a standalone story this time around. It takes place in the old kingdom of Djelibeybi (jelly-baby), which is based on the cultures and mythology of Ancient Egypt. In my progress through the series, this book was admittedly one I wasn’t particularly looking forward to. There are only a few books in this massive series that are actually standalone tales, involving characters who will not, as far as I know, be appearing in any meaningful way again. Regardless of this, I was pleasantly surprised with this novel.Read More »

Book Review – Wyrd Sisters by Terry Pratchett

Summary

Three witches gathered on a lonely heath. A king cruelly murdered, his throne usurped by his ambitious cousin. A child heir and the crown of the kingdom both missing…

Witches don’t’ have these kind of dynastic problems themselves – in fact, they don’t have leaders. Granny Weatherwax was the most highly-regarded of the leaders they didn’t have. But even she found that meddling in royal politics was a lot more complicated than certain playwrights would have you believe, particularly when the blood on your hands just won’t wash off and you’re facing a future with knives in it…

WyrdSistersCover

Wyrd Sisters by Terry Pratchett is the sixth book in the Discworld series. It is also the second book to focus on the Witches, reintroducing Granny Weatherwax, who first appeared in Equal Rites. She is part of a coven with her old friend Nanny Ogg and a younger witch Magrat, the trio serving as a parody of the three witches from Macbeth, as well as a play on the archetype of the Crone, the Mother, and the Maiden. The works of Shakespeare are a particular subject in this novel, with a traveling theatre troupe playing a huge role, and story elements from the plays Macbeth, Hamlet, and King Lear being adapted as well.Read More »

Book Review – Sourcery by Terry Pratchett

Summary

There was an eighth son of an eighth son. He was, quite naturally, a wizard. And there it should have ended. However (for reasons we’d better not go into), he had seven sons. And then he had an eighth son… a wizard squared…a source of magic…a Sourcerer.

Unseen University has finally got what it wished for: the most powerful wizard on the disc. Which, unfortunately, could mean that the death of all wizardry is at hand. And that the world is going to end, depending on whom you listen to. Unless of course one inept wizard can take the University’s most precious artefact, the very embodiment of magic itself, and deliver it halfway across the disc to safety…

SourceryCover

Sourcery is the 5th Discworld novel by Terry Pratchett, and the third one to focus on Rincewind, the cowardly and inept wizard. Going in I had a lot of mixed feelings. Rincewind has grown on me more and more, especially after this book, and Pratchett has definitely managed to keep his perspective interesting and little more nuanced. However, I was wary because this book seemed to follow a plotline that had become quite familiar: situation concerning magic and the wizards escalates to cataclysmic proportions. While quite different in their own way, that’s now three of the first five Discworld books that have a plot like that, two of which involve Rincewind.Read More »

Book Review – Mort by Terry Pratchett

Summary

Death comes to us all. When he came to Mort, he offered him a job.

Henceforth, Death is no longer going to be the end, merely the means to an end. It’s an offer Mort can’t refuse. As Death’s apprentice, he’ll have free board, use of the company horse – and being dead isn’t compulsory. It’s a dream job – until he discovers that it can be a killer on his love life…

mortcover

Death as a character in the Discworld series is someone who has always grabbed my attention. This dry, knowledgeable, humorously frank, and surprisingly compassionate grim reaper hung out at the fringes of the first three books, having brief yet memorable appearances. Mort is the first novel among a number that focuses specifically on Death: his concerns, his job, and his realm. This was a book I was dying to reach, held back only by my desire to read Terry Pratchett’s massive series in order.Read More »

Book Review – Equal Rites by Terry Pratchett

Summary:

The last thing the wizard Drum Billet did, before Death laid a bony hand on his shoulder, was to pass on his staff of power to the eighth son of an eighth son. Unfortunately for his colleagues in the chauvinistic (not to say misogynistic) world of magic, he failed to check that the baby in question was a son. Everybody knows that there’s no such thing as a female wizard. But now it’s gone and happened, there’s nothing much anyone can do about it. Let the battle of the sexes begin…

equalritescover

Equal Rites by Terry Pratchett is the third novel in the fantasy comedy Discworld series, this time focused on a new cast of characters. While I enjoyed the perilous escapades of Rincewind and Twoflower, I have been looking forward to reading about characters who aren’t quite so hapless. The story follows Eskarina Smith, a young girl who inherited a wizard’s staff at birth and has an unbridled knack for magic. She is accompanied by Granny Weatherwax, an old witch who serves their community and takes it upon herself to guide Esk into the magical arts.Read More »

Book Review – The Colour of Magic by Terry Pratchett

ColourOfMagicCover

The Colour of Magic is a 1983 comic fantasy novel written by Terry Pratchett. The novel is the first of 41 total books in the author’s immensely popular Discworld series. The story follows Rincewind, an incompetent and craven wizard who gets roped into escorting the Discworld’s first ever tourist. This tourist is a naïve but rich man named Twoflower from the Agatean Empire, who is accompanied by a sentient luggage chest with hundreds of legs. The book is divided into sections, each section kind of like its own short story, following the pair as they travel across the Discworld to see the sights and regularly get into mortal peril.Read More »