Review: Sourcery (Discworld Book 5 of 53ish)

Sourcery - Terry Pratchett

In publication order, this is the 5th book in the Discworld series and the 3rd book in the Rincewind subseries.

The general premise is that sourcery comes to the Discworld for the first time in many, many years.  Sourcery is more powerful magic than the kind your typical wizard or witch can do, and in the past it led to wars that made sections of the disc uninhabitable.  Rincewind flees the university to avoid the trouble and naturally ends up in even more trouble.  

I had fun seeing Rincewind again.  I expect, once more time has passed, Rincewind will be the character from Discworld that I look back on the most nostalgically, even if there are other characters I enjoy more.  He was my first introduction to the series, and he has such a memorable personality.  The luggage is always fun too; I liked that it was given a little more personality in this book and we even got to read from its perspective for a little while.

As with the earlier two Rincewind books, the story kind of zig-zags all over the place.  Even though I could guess where it would end up, there was really no predicting where it would go throughout the middle.  The book is funny of course, with the higher level of ridiculousness found in the earlier Rincewind books.  One benefit of such a zany story is that continuity errors just kind of blend in with the madness.  I tried to be vague in describing the continuity error, but decided to put it in spoiler tags anyway to be safe:

When Rincewind went back to the university, he seemed to immediately know who the salamander was even though those events had happened while he was away and he hadn’t yet had any apparent opportunity to learn what had happened.  But I guess, if you can converse with a monkey without confusion, surely you can handle such minor tasks as recognizing the original identity of a newly-converted salamander without being introduced.  I guess the dog might have been a hint for him if he'd met the "salamander's" dog in the past.

(show spoiler)

The ending was a bit open-ended, but I wasn’t too bothered by it because there were plenty of hints.  I look forward to hopefully getting more definite answers in the next Rincewind book, though.  One thing that bothered me more was that Rincewind said something that contradicted events from Equal Rites, without any mention of Esk or anything that had happened in that book..

I’m moving on to Wyrd Sisters next, the second book in the Witches subseries.  After that, I’ll probably take another Discworld break.