Second paragraph of third section ("The Lure of the Wyrm"):
At its base it was a mere score of yards across. Then it rose through clinging cloud, curving gracefully outward like an upturned trumpet until it was truncated by a plateau fully a quarter of a mile across. There was a tiny forest up there, its greenery cascading over the lip. There were buildings. There was even a small river, tumbling over the edge in a waterfall so wind-whipped that it reached the ground as rain.
Many many years since I read this, and I had forgotten a lot about it. I remembered of course the Lankhmar / Lovecraft / Pern structure in a divine D&D framework, and most of the Ankh-Morpork scenes. I’d forgotten about Hrun the Barbarian, who of course adds Conanity to the middle two sections. The last section, “Close to the Edge”, is largely Pratchett’s own imagination and shows him already into the politics of technology, but still developing the comfort with his own creations that later books displayed.
There are various schools of thought about where to start reading the Discworld books. Back in the day, of course, we had no choice as this was the only one out there. I think that genre fans who for some reason have not previously read Pratchett will still find this a good place to start. I can see that it might have less appeal for those readers less familiar with the fantasy genre. It was good to return to it.
This was the most popular book on my shelves (as measured by LibraryThing) that I had not yet reviewed online. Next in that sequence is Robinson Crusoe, by Daniel Defoe.