Help finding passage / location (Sourcery? / Equal Rites?)

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New Member
Mar 13, 2009
I believe it was in Sourcery:

There was some mention about the relation between the effort required for a magician to cast a spell and the effect it has (in terms of the effort for the spell being somewhere around the same as actually doing whatever spell you want to cast). I think it was in the context of, explaining why sourcerers aren't a good thing because their spells require too little effort...?

(hope I haven't confabulated too much - it's been a looooong time since I read it...)

Does anyone remember the passage and whereabouts in the book it is?



Super Moderator
City Watch
Jul 25, 2008
Cardiff, Wales
Welcome to the site torinarg. Hopefully someone will have answer. It's too early for me to look just yet - I need coffee! :laugh:


Feb 17, 2009
East Anglia
Crikey! With few clues this wasn't easy to find. However, I like a challenge, so ...

Rincewind agreed moodily. He tried to explain that magic has indeed once been wild and lawless, but had been tamed back in the mists of time by the Olden Ones, who had bound it to obey among other things the Law of Conservation of Reality; this demanded that the effort needed to achieve a goal should be the same regardless of the means used. In practical terms this meant that, say, creating the illusion of a glass of wine was relatively easy, since it involved merely the subtle shifting of light patterns. On the other hand, lifting a genuine wineglass a few feet in the air by sheer mental energy required several hours of systematic preparation if the wizard wished to prevent the simple principle of leverage flicking his brain out through his ears.

Colour of Magic. Page 79.

I really hope that this is the passage that is wanted. CoM was the 3rd book I trawled through to find it!

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