THE LIGHT FANTASTIC – TERRY PRATCHETT
229 pages – June 1986
It is known as the Discworld. It is a flat planet, supported on the backs of four elephants, who in turn stand on the back of the great turtle A’Tuin as it swims majestically through space. And it is quite possibly the funniest place in all of creation . . .
As it moves towards a seemingly inevitable collision with a malevolent red star, the Discworld has only one possible saviour. Unfortunately, this happens to be the singularly inept and cowardly wizard called Rincewind, who was last seen falling off the edge of the world.
The adventures of Terry Pratchett’s Discworld resume with the second book in the series, The Light Fantastic.
The Light Fantastic picks up where The Colour of Magic left off. Rincewind, bumbling wizard, has just fallen off the world. Certain forces decide that this turn of events doesn’t work for them, and as things always seem to go on the Disc, it gets weird.
While The Colour of Magic was a fun read, this book felt not only better written, but smarter. The enthusiastic world-building and excessive detail was pulled back, and the plot made more sense. The character development was better, and since The Light Fantastic felt more like a cohesive story, the characters we met were far more memorable. I especially enjoyed the appearance of Death, one of Pratchett’s more iconic characters, but by the time the book ended, I was feeling pretty attached to Rincewind and Twoflower, too.
And The Luggage, obviously.
Pratchett’s humour also comes through in a better way. He’s snarky and clever, and he acknowledges exactly what tropes people expect of fantasy and then throws them back in your face. I caught glimpses of the social commentary that runs rampant in his later books, often written in an extremely pointed manner. Also, his puns are spectacularly awful.
Overall, I enjoyed this book much more than the first one. While still not my favourite, I liked it enough to immediately want to read more, and the further through the series I get, the sadder I am to know that it eventually comes to an end.
“You haven’t really been anywhere until you’ve got back home.”
You can also find this review on Goodreads.