Ah, Discworld. Time for some good fun and clever jokes! What wacky antics and magical adventures do you have in store for us this time?
Wait… why am I crying?
Picking up right where ‘The Colour of Magic’ ended, ‘The Light Fantastic’ begins with Rincewind and Twoflower magically being placed upon the Discworld once again. Great A’Tuin is headed towards a red star, threatening the safety of the disc. Their only hope for survival is the Octavo, the magic book from which Rincewind got one of the eight spells. Now, whether he wants it or not, it’s up to Rincewind, the most incompetent wizard of all, to save the world.
Whereas the first book was a series of short stories, this one tells one single cohesive narrative. Yet it manages to maintain the same variety of that first one. One moment, Rincewind and Twoflower are in a candy house. The next, they’re flying into space on a broom. Then they’re on a flying rock, interrupt a ritual sacrifice, gain some new friends, Twoflower teaches the Four Horsemen a card game, they meet some trolls, fight some mercenaries, on and on it goes!
I love this. It’s a proper adventure through and through. And of course, it maintains the same dry and sarcastic humor that made the first Discworld entry so damn fun to read!
What really surprised me was how well this entry grounded the relationship between Rincewind and Twoflower. Both characters have fairly solid arcs in this book, and their partnership evolves from a simple comedic dynamic to a genuine friendship. This leads up to the ending, wherein both characters’ stories come to a surprisingly powerful and satisfying conclusion. Hell, even the Luggage gets a good ending!
That sentence must sound really bizarre if you’ve never read these books before.
There are also a ton of fun new characters to spice things up. Trymon makes for a solid antagonist, essentially being everything that Rincewind wanted to be. Cohen is a fun subversion of the legendary hero trope, being an old man out of his prime that can still be badass. Bethan is a fun straight-woman, being the only one to call out everyone’s bullshit and push the plot forward. Everyone has a fun shared dynamic, especially when you factor in the excellent dialogue.
It’s no surprise to say that this book was incredible. It was a fun read from beginning to end. It’s a perfect conclusion to the stories of Rincewind and Twoflower, as well as Discworld as a whole.
Wait, what? We’ve only just started? What do you mean there are over 30 books?!