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Best Suggested Terry Pratchett Discworld Reading Order [Update 2022]

[Ecis2023]

  • MatthewDusQues

Sir Terry Pratchett’s Discworld series is one of the most beloved works of fantasy ever written. The series follows the adventures of characters like the wizard Rincewind, the City Watch, and the witches of Lancre as they navigate a flat world carried on the backs of four elephants who stand on the back of a giant turtle.

You are reading: Best Suggested Terry Pratchett Discworld Reading Order [Update 2022]

It’s been a while since we’ve had a Terry Pratchett Discworld reading order update, so here it is! This updated list considers all of the new books that have been published since the last update, as well as changes to the canon (such as the death of Granny Weatherwax).

So if you’re looking for the answer for “how to read Discworld?“, Pennbook will explore the most up-to-date Discworld reading guide in the below article, look no further!

Table of Contents

  • 1 About Terry Pratchett’s Discworld Series
  • 2 Terry Pratchett Discworld Reading Order
    • 2.1 Chronologically
    • 2.2 One Book Stand
    • 2.3 Thematically
    • 2.4 For Younger Readers
  • 3 Companion Books
  • 4 FAQs
    • 4.1 Are Terry Pratchett Books For Adults?
  • 5 Conclusion

About Terry Pratchett’s Discworld Series

Terry Pratchett’s most famous fantasy book series is set in the imaginary realm of Discworld. Even though this world seems to be so different from our own, the Discworld books examine a variety of very human concerns.

Over the course of 32 years, 41 Discworld books have been released. The volumes may be read in any sequence. Still, for your convenience, we’ve produced two downloadable lists that will let you thoroughly explore the Discworld storylines and characters.

Terry Pratchett Discworld Reading Order

terry pratchett reading guide

Any of the tales may be read on its own if you’re looking for a one-book stand, but if you want to get the most out of your trip to the Discworld, we’ve put up this handy little guide to help you plan your assault…

Chronologically

The most transparent approach is to read the books in chronological order. Readers will witness the story unfold as initially presented, a purist’s delight with the additional pleasure of seeing Terry’s structure, voice, and tone evolve throughout his career.

Readers who choose this road should be aware that, although some of Terry’s best work was produced early in his career, the tone of Discworld and its residents changes rapidly. You’d have to call him optimistic when he penned The Colour of Magic in 1983, expecting 40 successful sequels. He even referred to the first two volumes as ‘Essays in the Craft.’

The Colour of Magic - terry pratchett book order

  1. The Colour of Magic
  2. The Light Fantastic
  3. Equal Rites
  4. Mort
  5. Sourcery
  6. Wyrd Sisters
  7. Pyramids
  8. Guards! Guards!
  9. Faust Eric
  10. Moving Pictures
  11. Reaper Man
  12. Witches Abroad
  13. Small Gods
  14. Lords and Ladies
  15. Men at Arms
  16. Soul Music
  17. Interesting times
  18. Maskerade
  19. Feet of Clay
  20. Hogfather
  21. Jingo
  22. The Last Continent
  23. Carpe Jugulum
  24. The Fifth Elephant
  25. The Truth
  26. Thief of Time
  27. The Last Hero
  28. The Amazing Maurice And His Educated Rodents
  29. Night Watch
  30. The Wee Free Men
  31. Monstrous Regiment
  32. A Hat Full of Sky
  33. Going Postal
  34. Thud!
  35. Wintersmith
  36. Making Money
  37. Unseen Academicals
  38. I Shall Wear Midnight
  39. Snuff
  40. Raising Steam
  41. The Shepherd’s Crown

One Book Stand

Mort - terry pratchett books order

If you want to dip your toe into the world of Terry Pratchett without any ties attached, we have a few choices to help you get started.

Mort – One of Terry’s early writings, showcasing his trademark humor and lateral thinking and the first appearance of one of his most famous characters, DEATH himself. It exposes you to some of the main locales in the Discworld. If you like this, you can be certain that the rest of Terry’s work will.

Going Postal – A book from the middle of the series demonstrates some of Terry’s amazing narrative pacing, structure, and comedy. Who else but a barely rehabilitated conman could solve the unique issues of operating a mail service in a world of wizards, assassins, thieves, and Tiddles the cat could overcome the problems of running a postal service in a world of wizards, assassins, This is a standout episode in the series, and it lavishly introduces you to Discworld’s capital.

The Wyrd Sisters – Shakespearian events in the mountain kingdom of Lancre provide an excellent introduction to the Witches. Enjoy some of Terry’s most memorable characters in a fantastic narrative with a strong theatrical bent; it’s a story about stories. Readers will delight in Pratchett’s writing in this enthralling novel.

Small Gods – Religion on the Discworld is a competitive industry, with a whole realm of gods, and there’s only so much belief to go around. The Great God Om is trapped in the form of a tortoise and needs an acolyte as soon as possible, ideally one who doesn’t ask too many questions. Terry tackles some big topics with his trademark flair in Small Gods. This book has the advantage of being a stand-alone publication in the Discworld narrative, so you won’t lose out on too much material.

The following titles may pique your interest in certain areas:

For the musician in you, there’s Soul Music.

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For movie buffs, there are Moving Pictures.

Maskerade is a game for actors.

For reporters and newshounds, The Truth

Monstrous Regiment – For those interested in the military.

Guards! Guards! – for cops and dragon fans alike!

terry pratchett books in order

Thematically

Many of Terry’s characters grew so popular that they were given their own Discworld series. Here you can find a list of books organized by primary characters. Readers who choose this path will have a long and fulfilling connection with some of fantasy’s best characters.

The City Watch:

Terry Pratchett had not anticipated Sam Vimes rising to the challenge. Carrot Ironfoundersson, a human foundling, raised by dwarves, was supposed to enter the city, save the residents from the dragon, and then take over the plot. That did not occur.

Vimes chooses to assume over before Carrot gets into problems for arresting the Thieves Guild, and a dragon tries to depose Patrician Vetinari, the city’s ruler. They learn to work together as Carrot recalls Vimes why he became a cop in the first place, while Vimes helps Carrot acclimatize to the ethically ambiguous metropolis.

Of course, the Watch has more leaders than Vimes and Carrot. We have Angua, a werewolf lieutenant who avoids silver, Detritus, the troll who is still learning Mr. Crossbow, and Nobby Nobbs, who is, well, Nobby Nobbs. They’d follow Vimes to the very end of the Earth, and they occasionally do. While they are unable to maintain perfect order in the city, they make every effort.

  1. Guards! Guards!
  2. Men At Arms
  3. Feet of Clay
  4. Jingo
  5. The Fifth Elephant
  6. Night Watch
  7. Thud!
  8. Snuff

The Witches (see also Tiffany Aching):

Except for the one occasion that she doesn’t, Granny Weatherwax owns the Disc. She avoids discussing that period because witches never acknowledge defeat. Instead, she concentrates on how she must always be the good witch and correct.

Nanny Ogg, Magrat, and later Agnes/Perdita are among Lancre’s witches. They work hard to keep order on the Chalk so that people don’t have to make difficult decisions and dissuade females from learning magic since witchcraft is a lonely profession. Nanny Ogg also likes delivering raunchy jokes and can’t get enough of them.

This sub-series includes the following titles:

  1. Equal Rites
  2. Wyrd Sisters
  3. Witches Abroad
  4. Lords and Ladies
  5. Maskerade
  6. Carpe Jugulum

Death:

Death, surprisingly, stole the stage on many occasions. “There is no justice,” the Grim Reaper sneers, so he must pay everyone a visit. “It’s just me,” he says in each book, commenting on the state of each person’s harvested soul and death.

Death, on the other hand, wants to be expected. He wants to retire from his job, open a fish business, and have a family. His quest to find a successor fails, but he is given Susan, a clever granddaughter. Death tries to reclaim his original purpose when the Auditors replace him.

Susan couldn’t replace her grandpa, but she may bring him over for tea and cookies and offer to assist him in averting doomsday scenarios.

  1. Mort
  2. Reaper Man
  3. Soul Music
  4. Hogfather
  5. Thief of Time

Moist Von Lipwig:

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Von Lipwig, Moist, is a con artist. He does it all the time. At least until Vetinari appoints him to oversee different Ankh-Morpork organizations that have slipped behind the times. He begins with the abandoned post office. He then proceeds to the bank.

And it’s exhilarating every time, at least for him. He needs the challenge to keep him entertained. Meanwhile, he begins to atone for his misdeeds in a previous life of defrauding others of their money.

Vetinari is an excellent actor. The Patrician understands how to make the most of a valuable guy. Because he doesn’t want to die, Moist demonstrates he’s up to the challenge. But it quickly develops into something more.

The following are Moist’s books:

  1. Going Postal
  2. Making Money
  3. Raising Steam

Rincewind/The wizards:

To be honest, although Rincewind is a nice character, he isn’t my favorite. He’s an intriguing character as a reluctant hero who has no option but to bluff all the time. Rincewind is a fearsome opponent when trapped.

This constantly unhappy wizard is always the first character in the stories. In the following novels, Rincewind, who despises adventure yet is inevitably lured into it, appears:

  1. The Colour of Magic
  2. The Light Fantastic
  3. Sourcery
  4. Eric
  5. Interesting Times
  6. The Last Continent
  7. Unseen Academicals

Tiffany Aching & the Nac Mac Feegles:

Tiffany Aching is one of the most compelling characters a novel could have. She becomes a witch to defend her household rather than for the power or the fame. Protecting her brother from the fey, talking down a hive mind, and the actual manifestation of winter are all part of this.

Tiffany is one of my favorites since, unlike other witches, she is unflappable. She doesn’t need Granny Weatherwax’s strictness or Nanny Ogg’s intoxication. All she needs is grit, intelligence, and the support of her peers.

  1. The Wee Free Men
  2. A Hat Full of Sky
  3. Wintersmith
  4. I Shall Wear Midnight
  5. The Shepherd’s Crown

The Wee Free Men - reading order discworld

For Younger Readers

It has been noticed that certain persons are ‘young’ for no apparent reason. This collection has been crafted to represent that reality.

Companion books: Recommended for all readers, this collection of offshoots, companions, and maps will add to your Discworld experience.

Discworld Books:

  1. The Wee Free Men
  2. A Hat Full of Sky
  3. Wintersmith
  4. I Shall Wear Midnight
  5. The Shepherd’s Crown
  6. The Amazing Maurice and His Educated Rodents
  7. The World of Poo
  8. Where’s My Cow

Other Stories:

  1. The Carpet People
  2. The Bromeliad Trilogy (AKA the Nome Trilogy)
  3. Nation
  4. Dodger
  5. The Johnny Maxwell Trilogy
  6. Dragons at Crumbling Castle
  7. The Witch’s Vacuum Cleaner

Companion Books

  • The Streets of Ankh Morpork (with Stephen Briggs)
  • Death’s Domain (with Paul Kidby)
  • A Tourist Guide to Lancre (with Stephen Briggs)
  • The Discworld Mapp (with Stephen Briggs)
  • The Compleat Ankh Morpork (with The Discworld Emporium)
  • The Compleat Discworld Atlas (with The Discworld Emporium)
  • Terry Pratchett’s Discworld Colouring Book (with Paul Kidby)
  • Nanny Ogg’s Cook Book (with Stephen Briggs)
  • The World of Poo (with The Discworld Emporium)
  • Where’s My Cow? (with Melvyn Grant)
  • Mrs Bradshaw’s Handbook (with The Discworld Emporium)
  • The Art of The Discworld (with Paul Kidby)
  • The Pratchett Portfolio (with Paul Kidby)
  • The Josh Kirby Poster Book (with Josh Kirby)
  • The Josh Kirby Discworld Portfolio (with Josh Kirby)
  • The Unseen University Cut Out Book (with Bernard Pearson & Alan Batley)
  • The Folklore of Discworld (with Jacqueline Simpson)
  • The Science of The Discworld (With Ian Stewart and Jack Cohen)
  • The Science of the Discworld II; The Globe (With Ian and Jack)
  • The Science of the Discworld III; Darwin’s Watch (With Ian and Jack)
  • The Science of the Discworld IV; Judgement Day (With Ian and Jack)
  • Turtle Recall: The Discworld Companion …So Far (with Stephen Briggs)
  • The Wit And Wisdom of Discworld (with Stephen Briggs)
  • Seriously Funny: The Endlessly Quotable Terry Pratchett
  • The Discworld Graphic Novels: The Colour of Magic and The Light Fantastic
  • Mort A Discworld Big Comic (Graphic Novel)
  • Guards! Guards! (Graphic Novel)
  • Small Gods (Graphic Novel)

FAQs

Are Terry Pratchett Books For Adults?

The Discworld books aren’t (only) for kids. There’s nothing in there that kids shouldn’t read (Terry’s approach to cursing was particularly inventive). However, I sincerely doubt that half of the jokes would be understood by youngsters.

In Soul Music, for example, there’s a recurring humor regarding band names. A lot of bands, particularly one that keeps reinventing itself, go through a lot of allusions to bands from our world.

Even some adults wouldn’t recognize the Dwarf band We’re Really Dwarves as a parody of They Might Be Giants, but I seriously doubt the joke about someone buying a leopard (in lieu of leopardskin trousers most likely a reference to Rod Stewart’s outfit) and getting it cheap because it’s deaf (because most children these days weren’t even born when Def Leppard was on tour).

Conclusion

The Discworld series by Terry Pratchett may be read in various ways. Many individuals like to begin with The Color of Magic and work their way through the series in chronological order. Others want to concentrate on reading the collections, while others prefer to choose one at random. Whatever route you choose to your Discworld experience, you’ll be hooked on this enormous fantasy adventure series.

Related Terry Pratchett and Discworld posts:

  • Top 26 Best Discworld Books Of All Time [2022]
  • 50+ Best Terry Pratchett Quotes Of All Time To Remember [2022]
  • Top 29 Best Terry Pratchett Books of All Time Review 2022

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Debora Berti

Università degli Studi di Firenze, IT

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