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From Publishers Weekly
This fifth Discworld tale ( Mort ), about a barely averted apocalypse there, reasserts Pratchett's adroitness as a storyteller. Inventive, satirical of the contemporary scene, Pratchett does not merely play with words, he juggles shrewd observations with aplomb. His creations are gently allegorical: for instance, the Unseen University Library is the repository of magic, its librarian an orangutan and its archchancellorship reserved for the most powerful magician, a "sourcerer" named Coin. But the author never takes himself or his message too seriously, and maintains a feather-light touch throughout. Even Death, an important minor character here, receives a distinctive voice.
Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
• "Like Jonathan Swift, Pratchett uses his other world to hold up a distorting mirror to our own, and like Swift he is a satirist of enormous talent... incredibly funny... compulsively readable." --The Times
• "His spectacular inventiveness makes the Discworld series one of the perennial joys of modern fiction." --Mail on Sunday
• "May well be considered his masterpiece... Humour such as his is an endangered species." --The Times --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
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Top Customer Reviews
Wizardry is widely seen as the most appropriate profession for the eighth son of an eighth son - however, given that it's also a celibate profession, is isn't a job that is intended to run in the family. Unfortunately, accidents do occasionally happen and the eighth son of a wizard is known as a Soucerer - a wizard who is also a source of magic. They are hugely dangerous, and will increase the background levels of magic to such a degree that other wizards may just start building towers and launch another round of the Mage Wars...
Ipslore the Red is one of the exceptions : he fled the halls of the Unseen University, married and had a family. The inevitable eighth son, Coin, is only a baby when Death arrives for Ipslore and the ex-wizard decides to choose his son's destiny. The future he picks for Coin includes wearing the Archchancellor's Hat of the Unseen University and, in an attempt to cheat Death, Ipslore enters his staff when he leaves his body. His intention is to guide Coin to his destiny....
Coin is roughly ten years old when he makes it to the University, and isn't long in taking over. When he deals with two of the Wizards - including the incoming Archchancellor - in a swift and very final manner, the remaining members of staff are understandably reluctant to stand against him. However, two of the survivors - a rather devious pair called Spelter and Carding - smell an opportunity. In seeing themselves as Coin's most senior and trusted advisors, they don't realise that Ipslore already has that role to himself.Read more ›
Because, at the heart of this story of how a most magical being, one whose very existence could unravel the fabric of the universe, is a scared and cruelly tormented little boy. That Pratchett keeps this in mind, and indeed, makes his salvation just as important as saving the world, is a credit to his skills as a writer and heart as a person.
The eighth son of an eighth son is a wizard. And the eighth son of a normally celibate wizard is a sourcerer, a living font of magical energies. But it's slightly more complicated than that: a father with a grudge against the magical establishment, a magical establishment (the cast of Unseen University, alternately pathetic and for once frightening) that's hungry for power, and a chain of events that quickly gets out of control all hurtle this story towards disaster.
Along the way, we get introduced to the daughter of the greatest hero in Discworld's history, who just desperately wants to be a hairdresser but finds that some things are just in her blood. We also pick up a very unlikely barbarian hero and a literary minded monarch and his fabulous pleasuredome. And, of course, the magic-less wizard Rincewind and his animate Luggage make a triumphant (well, as triumphant as Rincewind gets) return.
"Sourcery" is Pratchett's most heartfelt novel to date, and he puts the characters ahead of plot or jokes -- although there are plenty, especially concerning Conina and Unseen University -- and it makes for one of the best Discworld novels to date.
Most recent customer reviews
As with magic science plays around the edges of reality, the edges of time, and the edges or borderlands of the less well known boundaries of human comprehension. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Jim Miles
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... Read morePublished 16 months ago by MrLeonard
As always Pratchett delivers entertaining story-telling with wit and style. In this Discworld tale we return to Rincewind and the legendary Luggage, in a Discworld upheaval caused... Read morePublished on March 17 2012 by Lorina Stephens
Another book that is just as incredible as all other Rincewind books... i am slowly finding that he is my favorite character. Read morePublished on Dec 24 2001 by Martin Hristoforov
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. Read morePublished on Dec 22 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... Read morePublished on Nov. 27 2001
I loved Mort. I REALLY loved it. Because, simply put, it would still be worth reading if you removed the jokes. Sadly, I can't say the same about Sourcery. Read morePublished on Sept. 10 2001 by CT
If you are looking for a helping of humor with your fantasy, then look no further. Terry seems to be where it's at. Read morePublished on Aug. 29 2001 by Dan Dean
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! Read morePublished on Aug. 27 2001 by M. Pak