The Light Fantastic dives head first into a whole set of new hilarious adventures.
The Light Fantastic is the second book of the Discworld series and a direct sequel to the first book The Colour of Magic. We pick up the story where we left Rincewind and Twoflower hanging on the edge of the world.
It’s another book full of crazy hilarious adventures with colorful creatures, beings and people in an evenly colorful world where anything can and does happen. We know more about the Discworld but also about our don’t-wanna-be heroes, and therefore the story takes off with more focus to enjoy the witty style and atmosphere. So, let’s see where Twoflower and Rincewind get themselves into this time and more importantly how do they get out of it.
Rincewind and Twoflower are still hanging on the edge of the world. But while Rincewind has only one big spell from the book Octavo inside his head, and an important one to boot, the spell doesn’t let him die, before it is spoken out loud. So the spell just changes the world to save Rincewind and Twoflower from a certain, probable, definite death.
Now they both are hanging, again, but this time upside down from a tree. Back to the spell, for it is very important for the whole world that it has to be said out loud with the other seven spells from the Octavo at a certain time. And that time is nigh. A red star is glowing above the Discworld and it’s coming ever closer, heading for a collision course. The wizards from the Unseen University are convinced that this will mean the end of the world and are desperately looking for Rincewind.
Rincewind himself has had enough of all the excitement and almost deadly adventures and just wants to go home to Ankh-Morpork. On the way home they encounter Druids, they find the Luggage, or he/she finds them. They meet Trolls, Cohen the Barbarian and Bethan. But the big question is: where is Great A’Tuin heading at such a high speed?
Why you should read it
This time, it’s one ongoing adventure that leads them from one problem into another, but isn’t divided into four different parts. Now there’s a big story arc that is of great importance for the Discworld and everybody on it. So, it’s more absurd hilarious chaos, but organized.
This second book is building and expanding the universe of the Discworld even more but slowly and with little manageable steps, so the focus stays on the fun adventures while exploring a whole new different world.
Twoflower is still the naive tourist who is ever optimistic and Rincewind is still the failed wizard and a bit grumpy. They make a great team, and they even are starting to like each other. With a bigger story arc serving as an anchor to the storylines and bizarre events, their characters come more fully to their right. Especially Rincewind grows and his development is more important than that of Twoflower. Twoflower is going home after this adventure, but Rincewind has much more adventures in store for him, in several other books.
The writing style is witty, smart, with an indirect style. It creates a wonderful, fantastical atmosphere full with puns and playfulness to be found in every corner, story-wise but also within the writing style itself. The dialogues are even funnier and wittier and are cause for the absurd deadpan humor.
It’s a writing style and comical style that has an acquired taste and not everyone will like it. But if you do, and if you liked the first book, then you’re in for a treat and then some. You will immediately order all the other 39 books left and read/devour them all.
My favorite part
The Light Fantastic is peppered with smart observations turned into the most comical scenes and dialogues that made me laugh out loud. I’ve read the book with a big smile on my face the whole time. It’s such a great read if you need some lighthearted fun, without it being offensive or rude. It’s just pure entertainment with wonderful colorful characters who make you laugh.
The wizards are quite a bunch of old grumpy and thick men with no clue at all, with all their so-called knowledge locked up, without putting it to use in a helpful way. It’s a great metaphor and if you do read between the lines there’s a whole other world of social commentary to be found if you pay a little attention, but hidden enough if you just want to read a comical book.
A favorite quote
‘Tumbling past, totally out of control, is the bronze shell of the Potent Voyager, a sort of neolithic spaceship built and pushed over the edge by the astronomer-priests of Krull, which is conveniently situated on the very rim of the world and proves, whatever people say, that there is such a thing as a free launch.’
Fun factor: ★★★★★
Epic factor: ★★★★☆
Originality factor: ★★★★★
Entertainment factor: ★★★★★
The Light Fantastic is written by Terry Pratchett and first published by Colin Smythe in 1986. It consist of 285 pages.