Three years after the original publication of The Colour of Magic came the sequel, which forms the second entry in my Great Terry Pratchett Re-read-athon. This picks up the story and takes it off in some interesting directions. There’s a lot of fun with internal politics at Unseen University, and some recurring characters are just beginning to develop into the forms we’ve grown to know and love. The University Librarian, having been turned into an Orang Utan by a burst of magic from the Octavo, is still a quite mild-mannered creature, Ooook. And Death (tall thin chap, big grin, scythe, etc) is beginning to show signs of being more than the Grim Reaper who briefly appeared in the previous book. And this time, there’s a more or less single story to deal with.
Having dropped off the edge of the world at the end of The Colour of Magic, Rincewind finds himself unexpectedly dropping right back into it, after the spell in his head performed a slight adjustment of reality.
And in the sky, there’s a mysterious red star, which Great A’Tuin (that’s the giant turtle, elephants on his back, Discworld on the elephants) appears to be heading towards. This causes great consternation, with people all over the Disc losing the plot a bit, and causes the Wizards of Unseen University to employ all possible (and quite possibly impossible) means to locate Rincewind so that the spell trapped in his head can be reunited with the others in the Octavo, the Creator’s grimoire.
More fun and games follow, with creatures from the Dungeon Dimensions trying to get in, the world about to end, and only Rincewind can save it, which is a little worrying, given his known competence deficit.
But somehow (look, I’m not telling you, you’re supposed to go and read it yourself, OK?) it works out, and the Discworld is safe to provide the base for more stories…