1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Discworld Decoded
Having introduced the Discworld to Roundworld readers with "The Colour of Magic", Terry Pratchett enhances our knowledge of it through this volume. New characters, previously unexplored regions of the Disc and deep questions about The Great A'Tuin almost garner answers. Rincewind, the failed wizard, is still acting as a guide to Discworld's first tourist, Twoflower. It's...
Published on Jan 30 2007 by Stephen A. Haines
3.0 out of 5 stars Its okay if you give it a miss...
Picks up where 'Colour of Magic' left off. Rincewind and Twoflower is thrown from one problem to another with a quick solution always close at hand to help them.
Actually, you should only read 'Colour of Magic' and 'Light Fantastic' if you are a completist. Otherwise, I recommend readers new to the Discworld to start with the 3rd book featuring the Witches or better yet...
Published on Sep 7 2001 by K. H. ZAINAL
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Discworld Decoded,
This review is from: Light Fantastic (Paperback)Having introduced the Discworld to Roundworld readers with "The Colour of Magic", Terry Pratchett enhances our knowledge of it through this volume. New characters, previously unexplored regions of the Disc and deep questions about The Great A'Tuin almost garner answers. Rincewind, the failed wizard, is still acting as a guide to Discworld's first tourist, Twoflower. It's not always clear however, who's doing the leading and who the following. Twoflower, who is thrilled by everything and refuses to feel threatened by anything, absorbs all the novelty introduced to the reader. Through it all, Pratchett's delightful wit and innovative abilities keeps the reader's full attention. Only your laughter will interrupt the flow of narrative.
There's magic to this book, and no little magic in the story. Rincewind, having been catapulted over the Rim marking the edge of the Disc, inexplicably finds himself lodged in a pine tree. The entire universe has been rearranged to let him survive. Why should one timid outcast be so favoured? Twoflower, in a side gesture of cosmological justice, isn't far off. Rejoined, the pair struggle to find a way home to Ankh-Morpork. A sense of urgency over that return has appeared in the sky - and the Disc is likely to be destroyed soon.
Rincewind's role in changing the universe and coping with a "new star" that's appeared soon become apparent. As a student wizard, one of The Eight Great Spells entered his mind. Those spells are the glue holding the cosmos together. To survive, the Spell must keep Rincewind alive - not out of danger, but a survivor of many dire threats. Even Twoflower has noticed Rincewind's special role in life. The tourist has actually counted the number of Rincewind's near-death experiences. Those threats keep the wizard in a state of tense expectation. Rightly so, since there are yet more to come. Including the end of the world.
In their attempt to return, Rincewind and Twoflower encounter some fascinating characters. Perhaps the most engaging is the aging hero, Cohen the Barbarian, the Disc's Greatest Warrior. He, too, is a survivor, having long ago shed the notion of a "fair" fight. Fast with sword and knife, he knows the value of treasure, the delight in rescuing virgins, and the comforts of "soft lavatory paper". Trolls are encountered - those night creatures who live backward in time and who "suffer from philosophy". Yet, the Discworld isn't lodged in some parallel of the Roundworld's Middle Ages. There are computers and hardware consultants serving them. The Ring of Stones on the Vortex Plains "has gone down again" - a phrase every computer user will recognise. Who but Terry Pratchett could so successfully broker a liaison between such disparate concepts? And adapt from a hotly contested work about the meaning of the Stonehenge monoliths? **
There are other elements Pratchett considers in this tale. Death, who can be seen by wizards, joins the party to observe people's reaction to the new star. Death's perplexity is manifest at encountering humans who fear him, yet will subject themselves to a "death of the mind" almost without hesitation or reflection. Pratchett will keep you pondering many paths as you wend your way through this book. It's a delight to read Pratchett at any time, but taking up this book again after a long hiatus proved even more enlightening. [stephen a. haines - Ottawa, Canada]
** Note: for young folks who find this meaningless today, Gerald Hawkins published "Stonehenge Decoded" in 1965, explaining that chalk- and charcoal-filled pits at Stonehenge provided a "computer" to forecast eclipses.
4.0 out of 5 stars Red Star at Night....,
This review is from: Light Fantastic (Paperback)"The Light Fantastic" is the second book in Terry Pratchett's hugely popular Discworld Series. He has gone on to win the Carnegie Medal for "The Amazing Maurice and his Educated Rodents" and was awarded the OBE in 1998.
"The Light Fantastic" follows on directly from "The Color of Magic", and focuses on the same two characters : Rincewind and Twoflower. Twoflower, from the Counterweight Continent, is the Discworld's first tourist and had employed Rincewind (a single-spell wizard, a native of Ankh-Morpork and a coward of some renown) as his guide. As "The Color of Magic" closed, both characters were close to Krull - Twoflower was boldly going where no tourist had gone before, while Rincewind was in a rather precarious position. (You could say "The Color of Magic" finished with a cliff-hanger). A standard wizard may have been able to save himself, but the only spell Rincewind knows came from the Octavo - the Creator's spell book, which had been carelessly left behind after the universe's completion. He doesn't know what it does, but it's so powerful that no other spell is brave enough to stay in his head. Fortunately, as the book begins, the spell realises that any harm to Rincewind may be fatal to itself - so, it contributes to Rincewind and Twoflower finding a way out of their current situations.
While "The Color of Magic" saw the two characters generally running away in random directions, there seems to be more of a point to their actions in this book. Rincewind has started suffering from homesickness and wants to return to Ankh-Morpork. His spell is also rather keen on this idea. This, Rincewind suspects, is connected to the strange new red star that has appeared in the sky - he fears it may also involve saving the world. The pair's journey back to Ankh-Morpork involves sacrificial virgins gingerbread cottages, trolls, druids and the Discworld's greatest hero - Cohen the Barbarian.
While I enjoyed this instalment more than the previous one, I'd still recommend reading "The Color of Magic" before "The Light Fantastic". This book continues the story began there, while the pair form a prelude to the seventeenth Discworld book, "Interesting Times". Pratchett's books are always very funny, while Rincewind and the Luggage are strong selling points. Definitely recommended !
4.0 out of 5 stars Good but not his best,
This review is from: The Light Fantastic (School & Library Binding)This second novel in the Discworld saga is a continuation of the story begun in the first book, The Colour of Magic. Actually, it begins about five minutes after the end of that book, with Rincewind, the incapable wizard falling through space after having tumbled over the edge of the world. But the spell lodged in his head saves him (as well as Twoflower the tourist) in order to save itself, and Rinceworld is launched unwillingly in an effort to save the world. Great A'Tuin, the celestial turtle on the back of which the Discworld glides slowly through the universe, is headed toward a distant, very red star which will probably bring all Disc life to an end. But it has its reasons. As always, Pratchett introduces a number of new and quite delightful characters, especially Cohen the Barbarian, the greatest hero in history -- as evidenced by his very advanced age. With all that, though, I just couldn't get as caught up in this one as in MORT or SMALL GODS. But even a B-minus novel from Pratchett is better than the best many humorists ever produce!
5.0 out of 5 stars Brings the Discworld into sharp focus,
This review is from: Light Fantastic (Paperback)The Light Fantastic is the second book in Terry Pratchett's brilliantly funny Discworld series, continuing the tale related in the first book The Colour of Magic. The last we knew, Rincewind and Discworld's first tourist Twoflower had fallen off the rim of the world, which is an especially dangerous happenstance on a world that is totally flat and carried on the backs of four elephants who in turn stand atop the great cosmic turtle Great A'Tuin. While Rincewind is Discworld's most incompetent wizard and all-around unlucky fellow, he manages to evade the clutches of Death (although he does bump into him fairly often) time and again (27 times by Twoflower's count at the midpoint of this novel). Why this is so is, we discover, is because Rincewind carries one of the eight most powerful spells from the magical Octavo. Reality keeps having to reshape itself in order to keep rescuing the wizard. Although Rincewind, the eternally optimistic Twoflower, and the magical Luggage of sapient pearwood are once again on the disc, they face a number of obstacles in getting home to Ankh-Morpork. They are fortunate enough to join forces with Disworld's greatest hero Cohen the Barbarian; Cohen is an old man now, but he doesn't let that stop him from rescuing maidens, stealing treasures, and doing other heroic things. At this particular time, the Discworld itself is in danger, threatened with an imminent collision with a giant red star heading its way. The wizards of Unseen University believe that all eight powerful spells from the Octavo must be read in order to save the Discworld, so the missing Rincewind must be found in order to release the necessary eighth spell locked inside his brain. A series of adventures and misadventures ensue for our motley crew of characters, including a stopover at a vacated witch's house made of candy, a wild ride on a broomstick, a collision with a druid-steered cloud, and a trip to the home of Death himself before Rincewind manages to return home. Whether he can actually make use of the eighth spell and somehow manage to avert the Discworld's total destruction by the onrushing red star is, as is typical for this inept failed wizard, questionable at best.
The Light Fantastic builds upon the story of The Colour of Magic and breathes more life into the unique Discworld of Terry Pratchett's imaginative construction. More areas of the world are revealed to the reader, and we for the first time get a decent look at what goes on in the school of wizardry. Not only do we meet Cohen the Barbarian, we are also introduced to the ape librarian of Unseen University, who will become a significant character in later novels. You should certainly read the previous novel before this one because the two are closely connected in terms of plot, characterization, etc. It will also help you to recognize just how much more vibrant and real Pratchett's Discworld seems by the end of The Light Fantastic. The comedy quotient of both novels is about equal, but the storyline seems much stronger and flows much more naturally in this one. Pratchett was honing his already sharp scythe of quick wit and nascent satire in these first two Discworld novels, building a compellingly unique little world and populating it with unforgettable characters. This is high-brow comedy of the highest order, and we readers are privileged to be able to say we were there from the start with Rincewind, Twoflower, and the Luggage.
5.0 out of 5 stars Another great Discworld book!,
It was on great books like this that Mr. Pratchett built his reputation! Terry's strength is the ability to run several stories simultaneously without losing the reader. Couple that with a hilarious storyline, and you've got a winner. This is a great book, one that I recommend to everyone!
4.0 out of 5 stars Hilarious,
5.0 out of 5 stars The Light Fantastic really is fantastic!,
Still as intriguing as The Colour of Magic, this book is even funnier, but still (luckily) not as ravishingly mad as The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, to which many draw unfair and impossible paralells. This story is very different and holds more suspence wrapped in good fun than any other book I've ever read. Will Rincewind and co. stop the malevolent red star from destroying the Disc? An ingenious ending awaits you, so what are you waiting for! This book is so cheap, you can't afford to miss it.<
4.0 out of 5 stars STARTASTIC,
It is the funniest book I've ever read.Great for people who are getting into the disc world series.
5.0 out of 5 stars Another masterpiece by Terry Pratchett!,
In The Light Fantastic, we once again team up with our old buddies Rincewind (or is it Dr. Rjinswand?!) and Twoflower, who were last thought to have fallen off of the edge of the world, but are now running from a high council of wizards, who want all eight spells from the Octavo to be recited to save the world, but alas, one of the spells left the book and jumped into Rincewind's head, kicking out any other spells Rincewind tries or tried to learn. We have here the first appearance of Cohen the Barbarian, one of the greatest thought out characters of all time, who, in my favorite part, teaches a deadly soldier how to hold a sword by telling him to, "Put your one hand here... yes, thats it, then put your other hand here, yes... and now gently thrust the sword into your leg!" Utterly hilarous. I laughed harder at this Discworld book than any other, and you will too.
If you loved the Colour of Magic and want to keep reading Discworld, this should be the next one. However, it may be a bit confusing reading this one without having read The Colour of Magic. In that case, read that one first. Either way, though, Pratchett does a good job at helping new readers understand the Discworld, no matter what book you read, he always starts out explaining everything you need to know so you don't get too confused.
5.0 out of 5 stars Much better than "The Color of Magic",
I am currently working on "Equal Rites", the third in the series.
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Light Fantastic by Terry Pratchett (Paperback - Sep 2 1997)
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