2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on November 19, 2001
The Light Fantastic is the second Discworld book, and fits quite well with the first one, The Colour of Magic. It almost seems like Terry Pratchett was just planning on writing a two part series, but if you look at the many Discworld books out there, that surely isn't true.
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.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on January 26, 2007
"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 !
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on March 27, 2002
This is the second book in Terry Pratchett's series on the Discworld--a flat world, supported on the back of four massive elephants riding on the back of a planet-sized turtle; anything hilarious can happen here, and eventually does. Rincewind, failed wizard and reluctant bearer of one of the eight great spells of the Octavo, finds himself the center of attention at the end of the world. With a party of misfits converging on him, he must keep himself and Twoflower (the Disc's first tourist) alive--and save the world, if he finds the time.
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!
on October 26, 2001
I read this book before I read The Color of Magic, which actually came before this one and serves as an introduction to some of the main characters in this book. However, that doesn't take anything away from The Light Fantastic.
Pratchett's made his Discworld books in a way that they're somehow related either by sharing the same protagonists or by happening in the same locations.
The Light Fantastic deals with the adventures of Rincewind the Wizard and Twoflower the tourist, who are being chased by the high counsil of wizards (from the Unseen University) so that the eight original spells can be said and the world can be saved. However, one of the spells is lodged in Rincewind's brain -- it got there itself, and has been trying to get said against Rincewind's wishes ever since.
Throughout the book, Rincewind and Twoflower cross their path with a large array of weird and utterly funny characters, that either help them escape or try to harm or catch them. You'll laugh your heart out with the comments of Cohen the Barbarian, or with DEATH (WHO ALWAYS SPEAKS IN UPPER CASE)...and of course, with the luggage, who still follows them everywhere they go.
I found The Light Fantastic to be a better story that The Color of Magic, but nonetheless recommend that you read both of them back-to-back.
Pratchett is the real thing...the Discworld books rock!
on January 9, 2001
The Light Fantastic is the sequel to Pratchett's first Discworld book (The Color of Magic), and I definitely think it's better. The plot is (unlike in The Color of Magic) concentrated on one thing, and the thing is a bright red star that's approaching the disc. The two main characters are Rincewind and Twoflower, the two fellas that fell off the Disc in the previous book, and Twoflower's luggage, a box with weird temper. They experience many things that can only happen on the Disc, and some regular things, like meeting the Disc's greatest hero, the 70 year-old, Cohen the Barbarian, but the main idea of the book is them saving the Discworld from the red star.
Rincewind, an UU (Unseen University) dropout, has one of the 8 great spells the Creator left. The only problem with the spell is, it seems to have a mind of its own, and it tries to talk to him. And whenever Rincewind is in trouble, or a near-death situation (believe me, there's lots of them) the spell tries to say itself. He spends most of his time to save Twoflower from himself and the other part of the time running from people who want to get their hands on the eighth spell.
Twoflower is the Disc's first, and probably last tourist. He used to be an insurance (in-sewer-ants) agent back in his continent. He has quite a lot of money with him, and he keeps them in a box called the luggage. The one thing Rincewind hates about him the most is the fact that Twoflower believes that he can buy anything from anybody, even Death's living room clock.
Another thing pretty much everybody asks is "Should I read The Color of Magic first?" Well, I myself read The Light Fantastic first and still understood everything and got all the jokes. Pratchett does a great job explaining what happened in CoM. But no matter whether you read it first or even last, you're gonna have a great time reading THE LIGHT FANTASTIC, by Terry Pratchett.
on January 6, 2001
"The Light Fantastic"---actually a continuation of the saga begun in "The Color of Magic"---improves upon the original, abandoning the wandering storylines of the first book and hitting the stride that is to become familiar to fans of Pratchett's later work. And while this book, in terms of its focus and writing, in many ways stands apart from its predecessor, as another reviewer has stated, it is impossible to read the one without the other, the setup for "The Light Fantastic" being established in the first book, and picking up where that work left off.
Mike Stone has done an admirable job of encapsulating the action below, so I will not trod where others have gone before, except to add that we here discover the natural history of trolls, how new solar systems are born, and observe while Twoflowers instructs Death, Pestilence, Famine and War in the finer points of "a thing you put across a river," where time allows for the play of "Another Fondle," also known as a "Rubber." In addition, a perverse---and dangerously intriguing---variation of a pogrom is carried out, and we learn all about neck romance.
As with Pratchett's best work, the author once again here shows why he remains one of the most original voices in fantasy fiction. If you don't enjoy this book you'd best look over your shoulder: a black-robed figure is likely waiting to lighten you of your misery.
on December 25, 2000
Like "Godfather II" before it, "The Light Fantastic" is that rare sequel that improves upon the original. Not a difficult task here, as "The Colour of Magic" was, while being intensely imaginative, sprawling and largely unfocused. Here, Pratchett concocts a story with as much linear thrust as the strange red star that threatens to ram into the Discworld. Needless to say, the only person who can save the world is Rincewind, that scaredy-cat wizard who doesn't know any spells (well, he knows one spell... or at least he knows where to find that spell). He is cynical as ever, and funny too. Once again he is joined by the world's first tourist, Twoflower, who is an even more hyped-up innocent here than in "The Colour of Magic". I still love the relationship between these two great characters. Rincewind is in constant sarcasm mode, while Twoflower takes everything he hears at face value. There are some wonderfully comic misunderstandings between these two. Throw in Twoflower's ever-loyal Luggage, and we've got a threesome for the ages.
Once again Pratchett populates his world with ridiculous characters (Cohen the Barbarian, an 80-year old hero whose legend is in his own lifetime) and marvelous groan-worthy puns (What do you call an angry mob robbing a music store? Luters...) that make this an entertaining fantasy parody from page one. And on top of that, he throws in some neat meta-fiction too. When introducing Herrena the Henna-Haired Harridan, a warrior heroine, he implores whomever is to draw the cover of the book to resist the urge to dress her up in "something off the cover of the more advanced kind of lingerie catalogue for the specialized buyer". It just wouldn't be practical in her line of work. And the swarthy men she rides with? Well, they're going to die sooner or later, so let's not bother getting to know them. It's a wonderful moment of self-awareness.
Is it necessary to read "The Colour of Magic" before "The Light Fantastic"? I think so. If only to get a better idea of the characters, and their predispositions. And that's really what these stories are about: character. How can a pack of seemingly ordinary innocents save the world? Read on and find out...
on July 25, 2000
Please accept my title in the Pickwickian sense: I love Pratchett and consider him to be the replacement in my life for the loss of Monty Python, Fawlty Towers, and Douglas Adams. Why aren't Americans ever that funny?
Please forgive me, however, for being just a little heretical. I liked the characters of Rincewind and Twoflowers, was intrigued by The Luggage (I want one!), and loved Cohen the Barbarian. I DID miss the richness of the characters in the later Ankh-Morpork Pratchetts: characters such as Corporal Carrot, DEATH (I'm really not shouting), Angua, Susan Sto Helit, Commander Vimes, and The Patrician. Rincewind and Twoflower were both -- dare I say it? -- schmoes at the beginning of the book and and at the end.
I think that Pratchett has a real affinity for Ankh-Morpork, and the farther he strays from it, the less vital his stories appear. (I except SMALL GODS, which is a real tour de force.) So, bring on the Pratchetts, and let's have more of the Night Watch and Cut-Me-Own-Throat Dibbler, more trolls and golems, and lots more of that beauty spot on (or, actually, near) the Circle Sea -- Ankh-Morpork.
on April 23, 2000
I must admit, I read Equal Rites first, and it was so, so , literal, almost serious, that I had plain given up on the Discworld books! But when this caught my eye..... Here is featured Rincewind, the inept wizard, who, because he stole a look at the most powerful magic book of the multiverse, has a spell stuck in his head that does not only have unbeleivable power, but is also sentient! The only problem is, that not only does he not dare to say this Spell, (Though at every opertunity it tries to take him over so it can get said) it is so poverful that no other ordinary spell dares to stay in his mind for an instant! For involentaraly memorizing a Spell from the Octavo (The book that held the Spell) Rincewind was expelled from the wizard's university, (Unseen University) but now he is a guide to the naive insurance salesman Twoflower and his amazind sapient-pearwood Luggage, which follows it's ower on hundreds of tiny little legs. But now, in the skies of the Disc, a new star has appeared, that looks like a red rabid eye, and the Eight Spells are needed to be said to stop the Disc from crashing into it, but the Octavo has only seven Spells left, and everyone is chasing Rincewind to try to get that Spell! (Which they have a lot of troble with, because to get the spell most try to kill him, and Rincewind's main and prize talent is the ability to run away from any kind of danger that threatens him.) Meanwhile, at the University, a sinister young Wizard, name of Tymon, is seeking to become commander-in-cheif of all wizards, and rule the Disc! After Rincewind (after strange adventures which include talking with trolls, crashing into a flying rock, and having his sprit suffer an out-of body experiance, where for a breif time he lands in the house of Death to claim his simalarily out-of-body experiencing friend, Twoflower, and also for a breif time winds up in the Octavo) gets back to Ankh-Morpork (home of the university) this most inept of wizards must stop the Dungen Dimensions from eptying into our multiverse (whose inhabitants would not only kill people, but innore them, give them the order of the whip, the thubscrews, and who are far worse then evil), deal with an insane wizard, and stop the Red Star from crashing into the Disc!
on April 6, 2000
If you were smart enough to read Colour of Magic (A riot) then you will be looking for more Rincewind, Luggage, and laughs. Light Fantastic is here to the Rescue answering all questions and concluding the story that started it all.
Once again Terry has collected an off-the-wall collection of humorous encounters for our heroes. Rincewind and friends must once again save the world. One of the world's eight most powerful spells is hiding in his head, and the wrong people want it. So he must call upon all his finely tuned abilities... of running away! Twoflower and the Luggage are there to help along with Diskworld's greatest warrior... who is now a ridiculously old man.
-Many people consider this one to be better than CoM... They are both awesome. End of story. However, they are both too short and should have come in one normal sized book.
-F.Y.I- The next book is Sourcery. Equal Rights was written next, but has no Rincewind and is generally not considered one of Pratchett's better works.