Yet another installment in my ongoing complete Discworld re-read project.
Well, I can see what he was aiming for.
The Discworld series began with the adventures of Rincewind the Wizard. This may not have been a good idea. Don’t get me wrong – The Colour of Magic was a good book, better than I had remembered it being and better than many fans of later Discworld give it credit for – in its singular way it was just as impressive as some of the later installments. And the character of Rincewind perfectly suited that book. But it was indeed a very singular book, and it clearly wasn’t immediately apparent to its author how (or perhaps even whether) a series of books could be wrung out of that setting (none of Pratchett’s novels to that point had had a sequel). The Light Fantastic, Equal Rites, Mort, Sourcery, and arguably Witches Abroad were all attempts to break away from the initial premise, while retaining some of its spark. You could even argue that the whole arc of Discworld has been a gradual dilution of that original zany, wild, unpredictable and magical world with increasingly large helpings of realism. A big part of that, unfortunately, was ditching the appealing but limited character of Rincewind. After 1988’s entertaining but inessential Sourcery, the character was ditched (apart from 1990’s short illustrated novella, Eric, later retrospectively shoehorned into the sequence) – virtually killed off – and Discworld rose to greater and greater heights in his absence.