Skip to Content


After being rather disappointed by The Secret of Life, I returned to the Discworld series, this time with book number 5, Sourcery. Mort had brought a refreshing change in tone to the series, as well as the usual incremental improvement in Pratchett's writing style, so I wasn't sure what to expect with the focus again moving back to Rincewind and the other wizards at Unseen University. The result was still better than many other books I have read, but definitely my least favourite in the series so far.

Part of the problem, I feel, is that I don't particularly like Rincewind (the star of the first two books) as a character. The initial amusement value of a wizard unable to cast spells becoming the extremely reluctant protagonist of a fantasy novel was played well at first, but there's only so many variations on the same underlying theme that can be made before it starts to feel a bit repetitive. For me, this was the key problem with Sourcery: it had some good ideas, and a few interesting characters, but it felt very familiar, as if Pratchett were recycling his favourite bits from the first two books without much thought for how they fit together.

I enjoyed it at first, but my interest soon began to wane as the pace slowed and the plot never developed much beyond a series of set pieces strung together purely for their comedic value. It did feel like it was written mostly on auto-pilot and the overall effect was a significant step down after Mort.