The Tales of Beedle the Bard by J.K. Rowling (2008)
A collection of five short fairy tales for wizarding children, Tales is a part of the Harry Potter world that includes commentary from Albus Dumbledore.
I bought Tales when it was published, a year after the last Harry Potter novel came out, but I never read it until now. It is super short (only about 100 pages, double-spaced with large margins). The stories are fine, but nothing special, and I didn’t really care for the Dumbledore commentary. That said, it was still a nice addition to the Harry Potter world and I thought it was pretty awesome that Rowling did the hand-drawn illustrations and that the profits went to charity.
You might like this book if you are interested in…
- Harry Potter (duh)
- Fairy tales
- Children’s books
- The Brothers Grimm
The Color of Magic is the first book in the Discworld series by Terry Pratchett.
Rincewind is a cynical wizard (although he failed as a student at the Unseen University) who unintentionally gets caught up in adventures. When an odd and naive tourist named Twoflower shows up in Ankh-Morpork, he hires Rincewind as his guide. The rest of the book tells of their adventures with sentient homicidal luggage, a great fire, tree nymphs, magical swords, dragons, sea trolls, and a city on the very edge of Discworld.
Discworld itself is a disc-shaped world that is carried on the backs of four elephants, who are all standing on the shell of an enormous turtle as it swims through space.
The Color of Magic felt shallow to me; the characters lacked depth and the book was more like four short stories than one cohesive novel. That being said, I liked the absurdist humor and I enjoyed the book well enough that I’m going to continue on with the series.
It helped that I knew going into it not to have my expectations too high. From what I’ve found, most people think the first few published books in the series are relatively weak and they generally recommend that people start with a later book like Guards! Guards! or Mort instead.