For many years, I had been hearing the name Terry Pratchett and about his fantasy novels. I had never bothered tasting any of his books since I am not really a fan of fantasy and I assumed his books were for folks who play Dungeons and Dragons and so on. You get the picture. An Economist obituary after his demise in 2015 piqued my interest so much that I picked up The Color of Magic, his first book in the Discworld series. Within the first few pages itself I was hitting myself for waiting this long and was well and truly hooked.
You see Pratchett has nailed a genre that I had never previously imagined: fantasy parody! Drawing from Hindu mythology, the world of the book rests on four elephants which are standing on an ancient turtle. Our so-called hero is a cowardly wizard who is paid to be a tour guide for a good-hearted rich guy who wants him to show the badlands of this world. Together they bumble along on some fantastic, ridiculous journeys meeting and escaping death at every turn.
Pratchett turned out to be the best new discovery for me this year. Like the first time I listened to Michael Jackson, it is an amazing experience to feel something entirely new. Color of Magic was incredibly funny, I was literally rolling on the bed laughing my heart out throughout this book. Do not be misled that this is one of those fantasy tomes with hundreds of characters and details you need to remember to be able to follow and enjoy. This is an extremely light and raucous read and a great way to perk up your mood!