Review of ‘The Color of Magic’on

‘The Color of Magic’ is a highly imaginative, sometimes a little funny fantasy that I just did not enjoy. I’m not really sure how reflect on the book.  It’s satisfactorily well written. The characters are at least mildly interesting and the plot movements are OK.  I just could not keep my attention from drifting throughout the entire book.

The central plot of the book involves a generally incompetent wizard on an unusual plate-like planet who takes on the duty of showing around a “tourist” from another world. Ostensibly, this world is meant to be nothing like our own planet or any that we know – it is, after all, a flat plate sitting on the backs of four elephants who are standing on the back of a turtle – but characters weave in and out of humanoid behaviors with no apparent logic, and I could never get out of my head the question of why this fantasy world that presumably has no relationship whatsoever to the universe in which we readers live is founded on beings – elephants and a turtle – from our own world. And I could never get a sense of what to think about characters, whether I was supposed to sympathize with certain ones or not or how I knew which characters to like and root for and which ones were supposed to be nemeses. There are wizards and trolls and apparently elves and other fantastic creatures throughout the book, but I just never get a sense of what these descriptions mean if they’re supposed to apply to a world totally different from our own.

It was, in short, a real struggle  to concentrate on what was happening or what was being said. I’ll probably read at least one more book in this Discworld series because it was so highly recommended to me, but it’s going to have to be much more comfortable to follow than this one.