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TOP 50 REVIEWERon December 31, 2002
As a big Rincewind fan, I count Sourcery as one of my favorite Pratchett novels. This fifth novel of Discworld is the first to have a real epic quality to it. Seeing as how the plot is hinged around the "Apocralypse" (even though an inebriated Pestilence, War, and Famine cannot remember the proper term for it), it pretty much has to be an epic. Ipslore was a natural-born wizard, the eight son of an eighth son, who did the unthinkable (not to mention unwizardly) act of marrying and having an eighth son of his own--a sourcerer. By tricking Death, he enters his own wizard staff and later guides the ten-year-old boy Coin in assuming the Archchancellorship of Unseen University and trying to take over the world. A sourcerer has free rein over the use of magic, unlike modern-day wizards who talk about magic but rarely perform it. Sourcerers almost destroyed the Discworld in ancient times in the Mage Wars, and young Coin sets in motion a modern-day Mage War that can only end in disaster. Only one man can stop the sourcerer and save the world--most unfortunately, that one man is the inept wizard Rincewind. His only allies are the wise and good Librarian (who happens to be an orangutan), the beautiful yet deadly thief Conina (daughter of Cohen the Barbarian), and Nigel, the skinniest hero on the Discworld whose only heroic wisdom comes from a ghost-written book by Cohen the aforementioned Barbarian. The Luggage also plays a part, but he/she/it is not there at Rincewind's side.

I love how the character of Rincewind is strengthened and expanded in this novel; he's still the funny little man in a pointy hat that we met in earlier Discworld novels, but instead of running around all over the world trying to avoid dying, Rincewind is transformed in these pages into a hero--not a very good one, of course, but a hero nonetheless. His commitment to wizardry is steadfast and firm, while the vast majority of successful wizards go along with Coin, delight in the new magical powers they gain through sourcery, and eventually wage a magical war among themselves in the pursuit of raw power. Rincewind redeems himself admirably here by actually performing some acts of bravery, risking his life--albeit reluctantly--for the sake of the Discworld.
The book starts out like gangbusters, and although it loses a little steam and wanders a little bit in the later stages, the conclusion brings everything together rather nicely. It does, however, leave a few questions unanswered for the time being. The character of Coin, the ten-year-old sourcerer, could have used more thrashing out, I felt, but Conina and Nigel are very interesting new characters in Pratchett's universe. Sourcery is overflowing with typical Pratchett humor, but it also features an exciting, narrowly-focused storyline that provides a wealth of new information about the wizards of Unseen University, the brave and wise banana-craving Librarian, and the crucial role and importance of magic in the Discworld. Whereas earlier novels sometimes seemed to have stories built around the jokes, this novel is built upon a solid foundation of an epic fantasy plot--the comedy is just icing on the cake. Of the first five Discworld novels, this is by far the most exciting and entertaining.
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on May 10, 2000
As you read in the reviews, there was an eighth son of an eighth son of an eighth son. He was a sourcerer, name of Coin. He was only 10 years old, but his father's soul was in Coin's staff, and he (the father) had many grudes against the Unseen University. So when Coin was ten years of age, he went to the UU and there lured all of the wizards with promises of power and threats to come to his side. He gave the wizards so much power that (as everyone knows wizards would do if they had enough power) they took over the Dic. No hope survived. Nothing could stand up to their magic. No wizards were left free from Coin's rule. Except for one. You see, when one wizard saw the hordes of rats, mice, bedbugs, gargolyes, ravens, and cocrouches leaving the UU, he decided to go out and get quietly drunk. While there, that certain wizard meet Corina, daughter of Cohen the barbarian, (who wants to be a hairdresser, but whose instincts keep getting in the way) who stole the Archchalcellor's Hat (which was the first thing that not only asked to be stolen, but gave instuctions in an athoritive tone as to how it would be disposed of.) Rincewind the wizard isn't much of a wizard, but he's the only hope the Dic has as the powers of the Hat fight with the powers of Sourcery,(both of which care nothing for what their stuggles do to the land.) After The Hat betrays him, this cowerdly wizard myust find a way to stop the Disc from being destroyed by the magical wars, the dungon dimensions from eptying into the universe, and somehow destroy Coin's staff, with only the help of the Luggage, a magic carpet, (One of Rincewind's greatest fears is heights) and a half-brick in a rubber sock. The ending left me hankering for Eric, the next book in the series.
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on May 21, 2001
Quite a few of Terry Pratchett's magnificent series of Discworld books revolve around some kind of looming apocalypse or other.
This is one of the best.
In 'Sourcery,' we have the Four Horseman of the Apocralypse (not a misspelling), Rincewind the incompetent "wizzard" but experienced coward, Nijel the Barbarian, Coin the seemingly omnipotent title character, and oh so many more characters.
The esteemed Mr. Pratchett is obviously having fun in this book. In most of the Discworld series, actual magic is kept mostly low-key, and when it is performed, it is usually something on a small scale, say, fireballs.
Here, however, uncountable numbers of wizards cast an uncountable number of spells, all of them powerful and most definitely lethal (and many with humorous side effects).
This is given the highest possible recommendation!
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on December 24, 2001
Another book that is just as incredible as all other Rincewind books... i am slowly finding that he is my favorite character. It has tons and tons of fun and the story is very enganging and interesting. And there is something happening all the time (unlike wyrd systers which i didn't like very much.) Anyway, the only thing I really didn't like is the harsh way some characters were acting agains Rincewind... I mean, we all know how everybody is making fun of him and all but in this book there are a few occasions that it was too harsh. But overall a stellar read.
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on November 27, 2001
This was the first book by terry Pratchett that I as a young man read. I love the way in which Mr Pratchett can move the imagination of a mind and create a place that you just find spellbinding. Sourcery is a story that seem to appear out of a magic spell gone wrong but ends up so right that you cant put the book down. When asking the question should I buy this book, you will in the future say, Why only now have I read this book. A must for all fans of the discworld. A masterpiece.
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on December 22, 2001
The world's favourite wizard is back. This book is funny, satirical and ingenious; as is now expected of the Discworld novels. It is not a let-down. Pratchetts's usual style is again the base of a work of art. The Luggage is extremely amuzing, as is DEATH. I would recommend this book to Discworld fans and newcommers alike. Pratchett is very forgiving to new commers starting in the middle of his series. You will not feel lost or left-out. Definately one to read.
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on August 27, 2001
Rincewind always seems to get drafted against his will, and this time is no exception. The catch with this recruition is that he's drafted to do something he's good at, run away! However, Rincewind overcomes everyone's expectations and truly comes into his own here. The characters in this book have more depth than the original Rincewind books (see colour of magic and the light fantastic). I really ended up liking Rincewind at the end.
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on April 4, 2015
Another brilliant addition to the fanciful tales of the Disc World. This is a novel full of comedy, thoughtful characters, an always active imagination, and a generous side of bananas. Loved it!
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on December 7, 1998
If you thought, wizards were powerful and wise men, think again. "Sourcery" is one of the funniest books I ever read.
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on March 14, 2000
simply loved it. i am a long-time Discworld fan and this book was no dissapointment
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