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Sourcery Mass Market Paperback – February 6, 2001

4.4 out of 5 stars 182 customer reviews
Book 5 of 40 in the Discworld Series

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Editorial Reviews

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.


"Superb popular entertainment. -- -- Washington Post Book World

"Think J.R.R. Tolkien with a sharper, more satiric edge." -- -- Houston Chronicle

Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: HarTorch; Reissue edition (February 6, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061020672
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061020674
  • Product Dimensions: 6.8 x 4.3 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (182 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #517,951 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Terry Pratchett sold his first story when he was fifteen, which earned him enough money to buy a second-hand typewriter. His first novel, a humorous fantasy entitled The Carpet People, appeared in 1971 from the publisher Colin Smythe. Terry worked for many years as a journalist and press officer, writing in his spare time and publishing a number of novels, including his first Discworld novel, The Color of Magic, in 1983. In 1987 he turned to writing full time, and has not looked back since. To date there are a total of 36 books in the Discworld series, of which four (so far) are written for children. The first of these children's books, The Amazing Maurice and His Educated Rodents, won the Carnegie Medal. A non-Discworld book, Good Omens, his 1990 collaboration with Neil Gaiman, has been a longtime bestseller, and was reissued in hardcover by William Morrow in early 2006 (it is also available as a mass market paperback (Harper Torch, 2006) and trade paperback (Harper Paperbacks, 2006). Terry's latest book, Nation, a non-Discworld standalone YA novel was published in October of 2008 and was an instant New York Times and London Times bestseller. Regarded as one of the most significant contemporary English-language satirists, Pratchett has won numerous literary awards, was named an Officer of the British Empire "for services to literature" in 1998, and has received four honorary doctorates from the Universities of Warwick, Portsmouth, Bath, and Bristol. His acclaimed novels have sold more than 55 million copies (give or take a few million) and have been translated into 36 languages. Terry Pratchett lives in England with his family, and spends too much time at his word processor.  Some of Terry's accolades include: The Carnegie Medal, Locus Awards, the Mythopoetic Award, ALA Notable Books for Children, ALA Best Books for Young Adults, Book Sense 76 Pick, Prometheus Award and the British Fantasy Award.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Mass Market Paperback
As a big Rincewind fan, I count Sourcery as one of my favorite Pratchett novels. This fifth novel of Discworld is the first to have a real epic quality to it. Seeing as how the plot is hinged around the "Apocralypse" (even though an inebriated Pestilence, War, and Famine cannot remember the proper term for it), it pretty much has to be an epic. Ipslore was a natural-born wizard, the eight son of an eighth son, who did the unthinkable (not to mention unwizardly) act of marrying and having an eighth son of his own--a sourcerer. By tricking Death, he enters his own wizard staff and later guides the ten-year-old boy Coin in assuming the Archchancellorship of Unseen University and trying to take over the world. A sourcerer has free rein over the use of magic, unlike modern-day wizards who talk about magic but rarely perform it. Sourcerers almost destroyed the Discworld in ancient times in the Mage Wars, and young Coin sets in motion a modern-day Mage War that can only end in disaster. Only one man can stop the sourcerer and save the world--most unfortunately, that one man is the inept wizard Rincewind. His only allies are the wise and good Librarian (who happens to be an orangutan), the beautiful yet deadly thief Conina (daughter of Cohen the Barbarian), and Nigel, the skinniest hero on the Discworld whose only heroic wisdom comes from a ghost-written book by Cohen the aforementioned Barbarian. The Luggage also plays a part, but he/she/it is not there at Rincewind's side.Read more ›
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
When the eighth son of an eighth son has an eighth son named Coin, that child is a wizard squared - a mighty sorcerer. Sorcery makes wizardry look like child's play, and ten-year-old Coin, guided by his staff imbued with the spirit of his wizard father, wants his magical power to reign supreme over all Discworld. Starting off by usurping the position of Archchancellor of Unseen University, he proceeds to overpower anyone and anything that stands in his way. The Patrician Vetinari, and even the gods themselves, are no match for Coin. The entire future of Discworld is at stake as it teeters on the brink of the Apocralypse. No, I didn't misspell it - the Aprocralypse is an apocryphal apocalypse in which magic will destroy Discworld and the Ice Age will return.

Rincewind, the bumbling and cowardly wizard of previous Discworld books, is back to face his most daunting challenge yet as he is commanded by the Archchancellor's magic hat to vanquish sorcery and save Discworld. He reluctantly joins forces with the beautiful but fierce Conina and an adolescent barbarian-wannabe named Nijel, and together they travel from Ankh Morpork to Klatch and back using some very unusual modes of transportation. Rincewind's many-legged luggage makes an appearance as well, but it keeps wandering off and it doesn't do much to advance the story line.

Pratchett delivers another madcap adventure full of satire and spoofery. He does a wonderful job of portraying a parade of funny characters. Among them are a filthy rich Klatchian ruler who spouts bad poetry, the One Horseman and Three Pedestrians of the Aprocralypse, the orangutan librarian of Unseen University, and a genie who doesn't obey commands very well. Pratchett can anthropomorphize objects like no one else.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Have you ever found yourself wondering why wizards don't go forth and multiply? Perhaps it's because they're usually too old to remember how the multiplying part works, or maybe it's because they didn't have access to spam mail with all the special "performance" tablets on offer, but most likely it's just to prevent the birth of an eighth son of an eighth son of an eighth son.

According to Pratchett, the little son of a gun that emerges from this equation is a super-mega-wizard called a sourcerer, someone who happens to be a source of magic and the cause of many a mage war with the accompanying wanton destruction and so on and so forth.

As you can probably tell by glancing at the title of this fifth book in the Discworld series, somewhere along the line a double eight wizard broke the rules, fell in love and had a bunch of kids, the eighth boy (this one with the unlikely name of Coin, although it DOES have a ring to it) obviously becoming a sourcerer. Soon Coin begins to cash in on his legacy, and before you know it, he's running a "Wizards Rule!!!" campaign, albeit with a little help from Dad who's sticking beside him for dear life.

Of course there's always a pesky fly or two to get into the ointment, and this time it's a mangy maggot named Rincewind (the world's most useless wizard) with his unlikely companions, Nijel the destroyer and Conina the Hairdresser (daughter of Cohen the Barbarian).

Pratchett fills this one with tons of wonderful characters, including the luggage with a mind of its own, Death with his Horseman and Three Pedestrians of the Apocralypse, a poetry-spouting royal, and a librarian who has no problems with a little monkey-business.

Insanely clever and hysterically funny.

Amanda Richards, December 9, 2006
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