This is the first of the 40 books I got for my birthday that I have read. While I’m not committing to reviewing them all, I have set myself an internal target to read them all before my next birthday.

I’m a fan of both Terry Pratchett and folklore. I definitely learnt some things, but also knew quite a lot of it already, which perhaps reflects the four star rating rather than the five one might otherwise expect given my stated interests.

You don’t need to have read all the discworld novels to get this book, but you do need to be a discworld reader or a large chunk of it will be lost on you. This book is a reference list that explains how earth’s folklore (primarily British, but not exclusively so) has influenced the stories, and it comes with a really good index at the back. So you could have it on the side when reading through the various discworld books to look up the bits you weren’t sure of. However, it works best on the novels set outside Ankh-Morpork. From memory the most referenced are Pyramids, Sourcery, Hogfather, Lords and Ladies, Soul Music, Monstrous Regiment and the Tiffany Aching books.

Another word on spoilers. Although there are a good number of quoted sections and explanations of references I don’t think any of these directly related to the main plots of the stories. However, you might want to read the actual Discworld books before reading this one. You’ll enjoy it all the more for being familiar with the stories.

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