Review: The Light Fantastic (Discworld Book 2 of 53ish)

The Light Fantastic - Terry Pratchett

This was the second book published in the Discworld series, and it concluded the story that began in The Color of Magic


I enjoyed this book a little more than the first one.  It’s hard for me to pinpoint why, because it wasn’t drastically different from the first book, but I laughed more at the humor and I usually cared a little bit more about what would happen next in the story.  I’m probably getting accustomed to the writing style and consequently doing a better job of just appreciating it for what it is.


The characters continued to grow on me.  Rincewind and Twoflower went from “amusing but somewhat annoying” to “amusing and somewhat likable”.  I thought Rincewind in particular had some nice character growth, which I’ll discuss a little more in spoiler tags below.  I look forward to meeting some of the characters again and seeing what they’re up to.


There are a few spoilers for both books 1 and 2 within the spoiler tags:


This is just a little more explanation about what I meant by my reference to Rincewind's character growth.  In the first book, his sole goal was to look out for himself.  He might occasionally have felt bad about leaving somebody in harm's way and saving himself, but he did it anyway.  He only helped other people when he was forced into it, such as when he was threatened by the luggage or the magic sword.  By the end of the second book, however, he was slowly starting to change.  He still thought about himself first, but sometimes he did the right thing in spite of himself, even when nobody was forcing him into it, almost as if it was becoming a habit.  I like seeing that kind of more subtle character growth.  But I was mad at him for kicking the luggage and saying he didn’t want it after Twoflower gave it to him!  That was just mean.


I look forward to seeing how/if he develops in future books.  I bet he'll get himself into all kinds of new trouble now that he doesn't have the spell from the Octavo preventing him from learning new spells anymore.

(show spoiler)


Other than that, I don’t have much to say about this book.  I’m looking forward to moving on to book 3 which is a different subseries, Witches, and seeing how it differs from these first two books from the Rincewind subseries.  Then book 4 is the start of yet another subseries, Death.  It’s always fun to see conversations about these books because everybody seems to prefer different subseries, and it makes me curious to find out what I'll think about them.  I’ll probably take a break to read a few different things after I finish book 3 or 4.  I might make it through 5, since that’s another Rincewind book and I’m curious to see what he’ll be up to, but I have the Sharp Ends anthology from the First Law universe calling my name so I may not be able to resist the call much longer!


Disclaimer: The "53ish" count in my subject heading is how many Discworld-related publications I have on my list, some of which are only short stories and/or aren't integral to the series.  I may or may not read all of them eventually.  I definitely won't read them all at once! :)