Posts Tagged With: Terry Pratchett

The Fifth Elephant by Terry Pratchett

the fifth elephant

Synopsis from


Now he has nothing but his native wit and the gloomy trousers of Uncle Vanya (don’t ask). It’s snowing. It’s freezing. And if he can’t make it through the forest to civilization there’s going to be a terrible war.

But there are monsters on his trail. They’re bright. They’re fast. They’re werewolves – and they’re catching up.

The Fifth Elephant is Terry Pratchett’s latest instalment in the Discworld cycle, this time starring dwarfs, diplomacy, intrigue and big lumps of fat.

This is number 24 in Terry Pratchett’s Discworld series. This book features The Watch, vampires, were wolves and dwarfs. Again, Sam Vimes finds himself leaving Ankh Morpork to go to foreign parts. There is a dwarf coronation set to take place, but things are not right. There are murders, stolen scones, and Vimes gets himself arrested.

This was another enjoyable Discworld novel. Again, not one of my favourites but still a good read. There were times I found myself laughing out loud – especially in regards to the dwarf who made contraception, but there were times when I was losing concentration. One thing I love about Pratchett however is he always pulls me back in to the story. I found myself enjoying the fight scenes, laughing at the vampires and being annoyed at the were wolves.

I loved Vimes’ wife Sybil. I think I laughed every time spoke – but I particularly liked her at the end when she got angry. I was sat cheering her on. I loved Captain Carrot too, and was really sad when he got hurt. And to have Colon in charge of the Watch was genius writing; but I did think Pratchett could have added in more Colon parts in the story.

I recommend all the Discworld books, and although this is not the best in my opinion I still enjoyed it and would recommend it. This is just an awesome series of books.


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The Last Continent by Terry Pratchett

the last continent

Waterstone’s Synopsis:

It’s the Discworld’s last continent and it’s going to die in a few days, except…Who is this hero striding across the red desert? Sheep shearer, beer drinker, bush ranger, and someone who’ll even eat a Meat Pie Floater when he’s sober. A man in a hat whose luggage follows him on little legs. Yes, it’s Rincewind, the inept wizard who can’t even spell wizard. He’s the only hero left. Still…no worries, eh?

This has become one of my favourite Discworld books. It is number 22 in the series and features the Wizards – the Wizards on holiday in fact! While trying to find someone who knows about geography they stumble through an open window onto a hot island. This window closes and they are stuck. Meanwhile, Rincewind is loose and trying to escape from whatever it is he is expected to do, as usual.

I loved this book. There were moments in it that I was crying with laughter – such as when the wizards trying to explain sex to a god. The wizards just lack common sense and magic, and it was so funny reading about them on a desert island and their attempt to get back to Unseen University. And there is the fact that they are stuck on the island with a woman….they are like hormonal teenage boys – very funny. And of course Rincewind always makes me laugh. He manages to save everyone in all his adventures, but essentially he does this by running away and being scared; and drinking beer.

I really enjoyed this book and got through it very quickly. We get a visit from Death in the book too which always makes me laugh – his wit is hilarious. The book is full of adventure and humour, as well as gripping storylines – I really wanted to know if they wizards would make it back in an edible boat – and amazing descriptions. Without fail Pratchett always transports me to the Discworld with no trouble and I love it. This is highly recommended.


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Jingo by Terry Pratchett


Waterstone’s Synopsis:

Discworld goes to war, with armies of sardines, warriors, fishermen, squid and at least one very camp follower. As two armies march, Commander Vimes of Ankh-Morpork City Watch faces unpleasant foes who are out to get him…and that’s just the people on his side. The enemy might be even worse. “Jingo”, the 21st in Terry Pratchett’s phenomenally successful “Discworld” series, makes the World Cup look like a friendly five-a-side.

This is book 21 in the Discworld series and features the Watch. After finding an unoccupied area of land, Ankh-Morpork finds itself at war to claim this land – even though it is deserted and not particularly impressive. Everyone seems to have their own agenda and different ways of conquering and taking the land as their own.

I much preferred this book to the previous Watch book, Feet of Clay. I found the storyline more gripping and the characters amused me a lot more. The Watch are an amusing group of individuals – not all human, and they have many different talents. Carrot, the human raised as a dwarf always cracks me up. He is so sensitive and literal, and Detritus the troll was hilarious. Listening to him going “I’m gunna be thick” just made me laugh. His approach to politics – intimidate to get results amused me a lot.

I found this book back to Pratchett’s high standard. His writing style whisked me off to the Discworld and took me on an adventure as the Watch fought for politics which I enjoyed. The book was funny, full of fantasy and adventure and an enjoyable read. I love this series and cannot get enough of it.


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The Folklore of Discworld by Terry Pratchett and Jacqueline Simpson

The Folklore of Discworld by Terry Pratchett and Jacqueline Simpson
Most of us grow up having always known to touch wood or cross our fingers, and what happens when a princess kisses a frog or a boy pulls a sword from a stone, yet sadly, some of these things are now beginning to be forgotten. Legends, myths, fairytales: our world is made up of the stories we told ourselves about where we came from and how we got there. It is the same on Discworld, except that beings that on Earth are creatures of the imagination, like vampires, trolls, witches and, possibly, gods, are real, alive and in some cases kicking on the Disc. In “The Folklore of Discworld”, Terry Pratchett teams up with leading British folklorist Jacqueline Simpson to give an irreverent yet illuminating look at the living myths and folklore that are reflected, celebrated and affectionately libelled in the uniquely imaginative universe of Discworld.

This book is such fun to read! The way it’s set out makes it easy to dip into every now and then; as there’s no plot to follow, you don’t lose the plot. However, it would also be just as easy to read straight through – and every bit as enjoyable as any of Pratchett’s novels.

The folklore of Discworld takes all the myths, legends and rituals of Pratchett’s now famous discoid world and links them all back to their “round world” counterparts and holds the reader’s interest from start to finish – personally, I could hardly wait to find out what little gem would come next as I perused the pages.

A must for all Pratchett fans and also a lovely addition to the collection of anyone who loves folklore in general.

Rating: 9/10

Reviewed by Kell Smurthwaite

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The Colour of Magic. – Terry Pratchett.

Synopsis from back of book.

Twoflower was a tourist, the first ever seen on Discworld.

Tourist, Rincewind decided, meant idiot.


Somewhere on the frontier between thought and reality exists the Discworld, a parallel time and place which might sound and smell very much like our own, but which looks completely different. Certainly, it refuses to succumb to the quaint notion that the universe are ruled by pure logic and the harmony of numbers.

But just because the Disc is very different doesn’t mean that some things don’t stay the same. It’s very existence is about to be threatened by a strange new blight: the arrival of the first tourist, upon whose survival rests the peace and prosperity of the land. But if the person charged with maintaining that survival in the face of robbers, mercenaries and, well, Death, is a spectacularly inept wizard, a little logic might turn out to be a very good idea…


My thoughts.

After never reading a Pratchett book, and while hearing so many things about how people have enjoyed his novels, I decided to give one a go. Because of the amount of novels in the Discworld series, it’s quite hard to know where to begin. So I thought I’d just go for the simple option, start at the begining; The Colour of Magic.


At first I found it tricky to get into; the writing style of Pratchett surprised me a lot, and I wasn’t expecting what I got, so I guess it pays to do your homework. After reading on though, I discovered something. Terry Pratchett is a comic genius. He engages his writers in a world of magic and adventure, and weaves a thread of octarine light through time. I’ve been told that this novel isn’t as good as his others in the Discworld series, and if that’s the case, then I’m pleasently surprised.


In this, the start of many adventures to come for the Discworld’s occupants, you are offered an exciting journey through space and magic alike. Rincewind is an inept and cowardly wizard who carries in his mind one of the eight spells from the Octavio, The Grimoire, left (accidently) by the Creator after finishing the Discworld. As a result, he is not a very good wizard, as none of the spells will stay in his mind. He has come to the conclusion that they are too scared to stick around for long. Rincewind has the gift of languages and meets Twoflower, the first tourist of the Discworld. Closely followed of course, by the “The Luggage”, a chest that has a mind of its own and follows Twoflower around on hundreds of little legs. Lets not forget about Death, lurking glumly away in the background, swirling his scythe expertly.


All sorts of strange events occur around Rincewind and Twoflower. My personal favourite is when they are swept of the edge of the Disc (rim) and rescued by a sea troll, Tethis. Lets just say the pair aren’t short of excitement, by any stretch of the imagination. As Pratchett leads us through a fantastical world filled with gods, dragons and trolls, everything is described so well you could imagine being there.


With a brilliant cliff-hanger, I was left wanting the next instalment. So dive in and and take a plunge into Pratchett’s world of magic and adventure. I would recommend it to all fantasy and magic lovers out there.


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Wyrd Sisters by Terry Pratchett



Witches are not by nature gregarious, and they certainly don’t have leaders.

Granny Weatherwax was the most highly-regarded of the leaders they didn’t have.

But even she found that meddling in royal politics was a lot more difficult than certain playwrights would have you believe…

Wyrd Sisters is the sixth novel in the Discworld sequence – the funniest fantasy series ever.

Another Discworld book that I really enjoyed. Pratchett is such a clever, engaging and funny writer. He is fast becoming my favourite author. This story sees the return of Granny Weatherwax as she works to restore the rightful king to the throne, using the eccentricities of a duke, a ghost and a traveling theatre company, and of course, the other two Wyrd Sisters, who were hilarious. I enjoyed the Macbeth references – including blood on the hands, very funny.

This book features Death and his usual humourous antics, including tap dancing, and Granny Weatherwax, a blunt and hilarious woman. I liked the Fool as well, great character.

I really enjoyed this book. My favourite is still Mort but this book was not a let down. I was gripped from the beginning, laughed a lot, and again was transported to the Discworld through Pratchett’s very descriptive and clever writing. I highly recommend this book, and the whole series.


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The Unseen University Challenge: Terry Pratchett’s Discworld Quizbook by David Langford

The Unseen University Challenge: Terry Pratchett’s Discworld Quizbook by David Langford
Questions about figgins, DEATH, mind-destroying footnotes, carnivorous Luggage, quantum butterflies,the magico-numerical significance of what we must always call twice-four or seven-plus-one, and even the precise sex of the Great A’Tuin, the enormous sea-turtle who swims eternally through space bearing (via four elephant middlemen) the Discworld . . . all these and many more will keep fans of fantasy and the Discworld occupied for many happy hours. Each of the faculties of the Discworld’s greatest college of magic, Unseen University, in the heart of that great metropolis Ankh-Morpork, have provided a number of questions – and the answers, in case you don’t know as much about the Discworld and fantasy as you thought you did. However, be assured there is no golden turtle buried somewhere on the Sto Plains for followers of the *hidden* clues to unearth . . . this is just a myth!

Calling all Discworld fans! Anyone who thinks they know their stuff when it comes to the Discworld should get their gleeful mitts on this dandy little updated quiz book. Containing questions across the scale of easy-peasy to devillishly difficult, it will challenge even the hardiest of Pratchetteers as they test their knowledge of the flatest of fantasy worlds. It’s fun, it’s funny and it’s a must-have addition to anyone who loves the work of Britain’s greatest living fantasy author!

Rating: 8/10

Reviewed by Kell Smurthwaite

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Nation by Terry Pratchett

I think an important thing to say before my review is that I’ve only read a few Pratchett books in the past.. two of which I really enjoyed, the others I wasn’t so keen on. This meant that I was able to approach this book without any preconceived ideas, hopes, or biases.

Nation isn’t a discworld book, nor is it part of a series. It’s a stand alone story, about a boy called Mau, and a girl called Daphne. It’s a children’s book, but I’m sure most adults will appreciate it too.

Mau has just spent some time on the Boy’s Island, and is on his way back to his Nation, where he will become a man. However, before this can happen, there is a large storm, and when Mau arrives home, everyone has been killed or washed away.

Daphne is on a ship caught up in the storm. The wave carries the ship onto the island, and she is the only survivor. As Mau and Daphne meet, they have to find ways to communicate, and work together, whilst Mau tries to figure out how to rebuild his Nation.

The rest of the story is best discovered as you read, so I’m not going to spoil it here. Nation is a book about growing up, and friendship. Most importantly, it’s about questioning everything you have ever known, coming to your own conclusions, and not being afraid of changes. The main characters are wonderful, I quickly warmed to them, and felt myself part of their journeys. The humour is beautifully subtle, and the messages strong.

I couldn’t wait to keep getting back to this book, and I was extremely disappointed when I finished. If I didn’t have so many others waiting, I would have been tempted to go back to the beginning, and start all over again!

Some reviewers have been disappointed, others have said that it’s different to his usual books. My experience is limited, so I can’t really judge. As a stand alone book, however, it completely captured me, and will definitely be re-read.

Nation is published by DoubleDay Sept 08 Hardback

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The Wit and Wisdom of the Discworld by Terry Pratchett (compiled by Stephen Briggs)

Synopsis (from Amazon):
‘A marriage is always made up of two people who are prepared to swear that only the other one snores.’ from The Fifth Elephant. ‘Inside every old person is a young person wondering what happened.’ from Moving Pictures. The Discworld is filled with a vast and diverse population – from witches to vampires and from the fiendish to the foolish, it is a world in which magical books can devour the unsuspecting, and Death can escape to the country for some time off. The Wit and Wisdom of Discworld is a collection of the wittiest, pithiest and wisest quotations from this extraordinary universe, dealing one-by-one with each book in the canon. Guaranteed to transport you back to your favourite or forgotten Discworld moments it is the perfect book for die-hard Pratchett fans, as well as anyone coming to the Discworld for the first time.

The brief introduction by Stephen Briggs instantly lets the reader know that this is not a “read straight through” kind of book, but more of a “dip into” book, and he’s right. This is not really a Discworld book, more a book specifically put together for the fans – a compilation of fantastic quips and quotes from the Discworld novels, including such gems as “Tourist, Rincewind had decided, meant ‘idiot’.” and “If women were as good as men, they’d be a lot better!”.

There are quotes from each of the Discworld novels, both one-liners and much longer segments, presented in order of publication, up to and including the most recent one, Making Money. Basically, it’s a trip down memory lane that reminds fans exactly why they love these novels so much and will perhaps prompt an outbreak of re-reading of the older novels!

It’s beautifully presented and will guarantee a gaggle of giggles from fans as they reminisce over their first exploration into the Discworld, but will mean next to nothing to those who haven’t experienced the joys of Pratchett’s most famous creation. If you’ve read even just two or three of them, however, it will most likely have you gagging to read more (if you’re not already, that is!).

Reviewed by Kell Smurthwaite

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