The Colour of Magic

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The Colour of Magic
2012 paperback cover
2012 paperback cover; art by Josh Kirby
AuthorTerry Pratchett
Audio read byTony Robinson (Corgi)
Nigel Planer (Isis)
Colin Morgan (Penguin)
Cover artistJosh Kirby
Release number
PublisherColin Smythe, Gollancz/Corgi
Publication date
Followed byThe Light Fantastic 

The Colour of Magic is the first Discworld novel. Unusually for the series it is comprised of four shorter “books”, each telling one part of Rincewind and Twoflower's adventures travelling across the Disc. It is notably different in tone to later Discworld books, to the extent that Pratchett himself advised new readers not to start with it, though many do and enjoy it anyway. It also ends on the only cliffhanger in Pratchett’s works, leading directly into the sequel The Light Fantastic.


On a world supported on the back of a giant turtle (sex unknown), a gleeful, explosive, wickedly eccentric expedition sets out. There's an avaricious but inept wizard, a naive tourist whose luggage moves on hundreds of dear little legs, dragons who only exist if you believe in them, and of course THE EDGE of the planet...

Podcast episodes

Major appearances

These are episodes primarily devoted to discussing this book.

Date Show Episode External link
2003-05-29 World Book Club “Terry Pratchett - The Colour of Magic”[1]
2015-08-10 Radio Morpork “Pungeons and Dragons”
2016-09-21 Ankh-Morpork Public Radio “The Color of Magic”
2018-11-14 The Death of Podcasts “The Colo(u)r of Magic”
2018-12-08 Pratchat “City-State Lampoon's Disc-Wide Vacation”
2019-01-28 Wyrd Sisters “The Colour of Magic”
2019-11-04 The Truth Shall Make Ye Fret “Red Lorry, Yellow Lorry, Zlorf Flannelfoot” (1/3)
2019-11-11 The Truth Shall Make Ye Fret “Tentacles, Suddenly” (2/3)
2019-11-18 The Truth Shall Make Ye Fret “Purring Jellyfish” (3/3)
2020-01-14 The Compleat Discography “The Colour of Magic”
2020-04-05 Desert Island Discworld “Jo Graham and The Colour of Magic”
2020-06-02 Who Watches the Watch “Oppa Rincewind Style” (1/2)
2020-06-09 Who Watches the Watch “With or Without You Rinceflower AMV” (2/2)
2020-07-01 The Disc-Course “Hierarchy of Tourists” (1/4)
2020-07-15 The Disc-Course “Bel-Shamrockshake” (2/4)
2020-07-29 The Disc-Course “Imagine Dragons” (3/4)
2020-08-12 The Disc-Course “No One Will Ever Hear This” (4/4)
2020-10-20 Stuck on Arrakis “Discworld Book One”
2020-11-29 Disc Coverers “The Colour of Magic”
2021-04-11 Ook! “The Colour of Magic”
2021-10-28 Nanny Ogg's Book Club “The Colour of Magic”
2022-06-09 Hubward Bound “Colour of Magic: Episode One” (1/1)[2]
2022-09-18 I’ve Never Read Discworld “Book 1. The Colour of Magic”
2023-03-22 Northern Wind Fantasy Podcast “The Colour of Magic by Terry Pratchett - A Discworld Book Overview”
2023-05-25 Pseudopolis Yard “Not so much worshipped as blamed” (1/?)
2023-05-28 Letters from a Double Moon “Episode VII: To The Edge of the Disc... and Beyond?”
2023-11-24 Dining Table Discworld “The Colour of Magic”

Other appearances

Episodes in which there's significant discussion of the book, but it's not the focus of the episode.

Date Show Episode External link
2012-06-08 The Pratchett Podcast “The Pratchett Podcast episode 7”[3]
2019-05-16 Tales From the Drum “Big Pictures” N/A
2019-06-02 Tales From the Drum “This Mortal Coil” N/A
2021-02-17 Fiction Fans “Who Fears Death & The Color of Magic”
2021-07-26 You Don't Know Lit “Sir Terry Pratchett”[4]
2023-04-05 The Turtle Reads “Color of Magic Fart Lights”
2023-07-28 Aussie Nerds Talk Stuff “Aussie Nerds Talk... Indiana Jones 5, Star Wars, Discworld, and Talk To Me”[5]
2023-11-24 Pratchat “How Did Discworld Get to 40?”[6]


  • A comic book adaptation was published in four parts - each covering one of the “books” from the novel - in 1991. It was adapted by Scott Rockwell with art by Steven Ross, though according to Internet lore the first issue had to be redrawn after Pratchett was shown the artwork and disliked it. It was published as a collected volume by Corgi in 1992, and later in the hardcover The Discworld Graphic Novels along with the adaptation by the same team of The Light Fantastic.
  • Terry Pratchett's The Colour of Magic was the second of three two-part Discworld adaptations for Sky television made by The Mob. It combines the plots of The Colour of Magic and The Light Fantastic, with each part roughly covering the content of each book, with some elements of the sequel moved into the earlier part, and various sequences from both removed for time. It stars David Jason as Rincewind, Sean Astin as Twoflower, Tim Curry as Trymon and David Bradley as Cohen the Barbarian. Notably Jeremy Irons, Nigel Planer and Terry Pratchett also appear, with Christopher Lee as the voice of Death (having previously played the part in the Cosgrove Hall animated adaptations) and Brian Cox providing narration.

External links


  1. A BBC World Service programme, featuring Terry Pratchett discussing the book and taking questions about it from the studio audience and callers from around the world.
  2. To date this is the last episode posted by Hubward Bound.
  3. Post with info only; audio no longer available.
  4. This podcast's format involves a “fight” between two books, in this case The Colour of Magic and Good Omens.
  5. Discussion of The Colour of Magic is about 30 minutes into the episode.
  6. A special episode released for the fortieth anniversary of The Colour of Magic and thus the Discworld; mostly focuses on the Discworld as a whole, but the first section discusses the first book. Includes input from Marc Burrows, Aaron Olson of The Compleat Discography and Joana Hagan and Francine Carrel of The Truth Shall Make Ye Fret, amongst others.