Terry Tuesday: Sourcery (#5)

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Welcome back to Terry Tuesday!

Everyone knows that the eighth son of an eighth son becomes a wizard… but what happens when a wizard has an eighth son as well, a “wizard squared” if you will? The answer: Sourcerer. A dying wizard and his infant son are greeted by Death, and in a very rare turn of events, Death was temporarily outwitted when the wizard Ipslore infuses himself inside his staff, a staff that was bonded to his infant son in a way that if the staff is destroyed then the son is destroyed as well  – so, Death can’t get to him, yet. His plan is to stay by his son’s side and “guide” him in the “right direction” … this coming from a man who had driven his first seven sons away when they refused to obey his every wish. His wish for his eighth son is to rule over the rest of the Wizards in Unseen University.

The eighth son of an eighth son of an eighth son, Coin, grows up with his father whispering to him from the staff, telling him of his greatness, his destiny, and his place as the supreme leader of this world. Coin buys it hook line and sinker, and heads off to Unseen University to claim his place as ruler.

Now, the wizards don’t know what to do with themselves, wizards are ranked from level 1 to level 8, with 8’s being the most powerful and worthy of the most respect. They are usually the ones vying for the Archchancellor position, the top wizard who gets to wear the fancy hat on top of enjoying big dinners. It’s kind of a big deal. However, the lifespans of the Archchancellor are significantly shortened upon taking on the hat, people who have read through a lot of this series probably think of Mustrum Ridcully when they think of the Archchancellor – but there were at least 4 that came before him within the series, including a relative of Granny Weatherwax.

When Coin shows up and demands to have the hat and the Archchancellor’s position, the wizards try at first and show him what real wizards are capable of – and quickly figure out that Coins capabilities surpass their own, embarrassingly so. They reluctantly acquiesce, and fall step behind Coin and his dominating magical powers.

What Coin doesn’t know is that Rincewind has the real hat, and is trying to keep it as far away from the Sorcerer as possible. It’s not just any hat, it holds the wisdom and personalities of all the Archchancellors who have worn it, and it’s also a sarcastic git when it wants to be.

The wizards and magical world are starting to be afraid, the world simply can’t handle another sorcerer you see. Many people forget that wizards aren’t abstinent solely because they’re locked away with all guys in a tower of magic, it’s also an ancient rule to help prevent exactly this from happening, a sorcerer is bad news bears for everyone involved. The university itself is starting to change with Coins arrival, the old, slow, comfortable magic is being replaced with high energy magic that’s just too much, it makes the wizards uncomfortable. Not only that, every magical being that can ambulate in some fashion is leaving the castle, the rats, the cats, the ants, and even the mattresses are throwing themselves out of the window and getting as far away from Coin and the university as possible.

When Coin shows up he’s deeply disappointed his magical brethren, despite being weaker than Coin, they are more powerful than the general population and they aren’t even trying to rule the world! They’re letting this chump named the Patrician run the city, and that simply won’t do at all. Not. At. All. So, Coin decides to have a conversation with the Patrician about the change in power, asserting himself as ruler over everyone. Honestly, watching the Patrician deal with anyone is a joy of mine, and I’m always happy to see him show up in any book. Watching him try to navigate his way around Coin though was something else lol.

I found myself liking Rincewind more in this one than I did in the first two, I felt like he was slightly more fleshed out and a bit more likable than he was in the first couple books. It could be that I’m just adjusting to him again, Rincewind novels for whatever reason have always been the least re-read books for me, it’s probably been a few years since I last read the first 5 books of Discworld. I typically start with Guards Guards and go on from there. So, it was almost like coming back with fresh eyes which was nice for the purposes of reviewing. I was also more invested in this plot than I was in Colour of Magic/Light Fantastic, I felt like it was a little more tightly plotted with a clear antagonist and goal.


  • comic fantasy
  • old school wizards and sorcerers
  • quick/short books
  • multi pov
  • sentient magical hats/staffs/inanimate objects


  • Plot: 11/15
  • Characters: 11/15
  • World Building: 13/15
  • Writing: 13/15
  • Pacing: 13/15
  • Originality: 13/15
  • Personal Enjoyment: 8/10

Final Score: 82/100





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