The Color of Magic by Terry Pratchett
Perhaps this book should have been called “The Limitlessness of Imagination” or “The Never Ending Depths of Creativity”. Either of these would have accurately described the writing, because while crafting this story, Mr. Pratchett must have been constantly thinking, “Where’s the wildest, craziest, most off the wall, most whimsical place I can now take the action?” Then he doubled that, or in some cases tripled the unexpectedness, and then made it happen. Thankfully, he did it all in a great, highly entertaining way.

The Color of Magic begins the epic Discworld series, of which there are 41 books. The Discworld is a fantasyland that’s being carried across space and time on the shoulders of four enormous elephants who are all standing on the back of a gargantuan turtle. Yep. In this opening novel, Rincewind--the bumbling yet resolute wizard--finds himself reluctantly in charge of protecting a naive, harmless, thoroughly-excitable little fellow named Twoflower, the Discworld’s first ever tourist. And the whole thing is also about a truly remarkable piece of luggage.

You know what, I’m just going to stop right now. Amazing, astonishing, funny, spectacular, outlandish things happen to all the characters, over and over and over. There’s too much going on and it’s impossible to describe in one little measly paragraph. However, Rincewind and Twoflower’s adventures are all wonderfully written and brilliantly imaginative. Of course things do go pretty far over the top and get exhausting at times. And naturally, a few bits are too creatively complex, thus becoming basically unexplainable, requiring you to simply say to yourself, “Mmmmmm-Kay” . . . and then you move on. For example, there are the one or two brief moments of random inter-dimensional time travel transportation.

Overall, I enjoyed this story quite a lot. Actually, I dug it the first time I read it too, many years ago. I think, back then, I went on to read a few more in the series, but I can’t recall for sure. Perhaps this time I will continue on and work my way through the Discworld books. But I don’t know, I have an awful lot of sure-to-be amazing books standing by on on TBR shelf and hundreds more on my Amazon wish list.

Anyways, if you know any Douglas Adams fans (he wrote the fabulous Hitchhikers’ Guide to the Galaxy), they will absolutely dig the Discworld series. And anyone else who’s a fan of comical, supremely-imaginative, high-fantasy, adventure stories with whimsical swords and sorcery should give The Color of Magic a try.

This first book was clean, appropriate and safely written for any age, really. But the depth of the story, complicated twists, and multitude of characters, makes it best for middle school or high schooler readers and up. I must say, however, it seems Mr. Pratchett could throw some nudity or sex into this series of books at any moment. Basically, absolutely ANYTHING could happen in these stories, and I just have a feeling a hero could one day, randomly, inexplicably, tumble into a temple full of buxom maidens. And be forced into performing some “for mature audience only” duties. Or perhaps this will never happen. We won’t know, until it happens in Discworld, where there are seemingly no limits. So, be prepared, and . . .

Happy Reading!