Title: The Light Fantastic
Author: Terry Pratchett
Series: Discworld #2, Rincewind #2
Rating Out of 5: 4.5 (Amazing, but not quite perfect)
My Bookshelves: Comedy, Easy reading, Fantasy
5th sentence, 74th page: Rincewind hurried forward to help, there was a fair amount of smoke, ash and confusion, and the shared triumph of actually rescuing a few pieces of rather charred bacon did more good than a whole book on diplomacy.
‘What shall we do?’ said Twoflower.
‘Panic?’ said Rincewind hopefully. He always held that panic was the best means of survival.
As it moves towards a seemingly inevitable collision with a malevolent red star, the Discworld could do with a hero. What it doesn’t need is a singularly inept and cowardly wizard, still recovering from the trauma of falling off the edge of the world, or a well-meaning tourist and his luggage which has a mind (and legs) of its own. Which is a shame because that’s all there is…
The Colour of Magic ended with Rincewind falling off the edge of the earth. Which, with all of the flat earthers I keep hearing about lately just seems even more fitting and ironic… but anyway, it is one way in which to finish a novel. So, I really wasn’t sure what to expect from the next book in the series. After all, where do you go after someone falls off the edge of the world? It turns out to The Light Fantastic.
This story is every bit as entertaining and funny as the first one, and it finishes this small story arc off perfectly. Personally, my favourite line is “Rincewind said, grinning like a necrophiliac in a morgue”. (I may not have got the grammar in this quote perfect though). It kind of sums up the entire story perfectly. Wrong, funny and with great descriptives that I have never thought of using in my own writing… sometimes because it is just this side of wrong. I also love the long, rambling sentences. As someone who has read many science papers with these kinds of convoluted bits of wording, I normally find them frustrating. But, somehow Pratchett is able to make them fun, engaging and poetic in a way that no other author or writer I have come across is able to do.
I really enjoyed Rincewind as the chief protagonist. He is completely inept, a total coward, and not quite capable of even being a real wizard. Yet, at the end of this tale, he is kind of able to find his own power and space. It reminds us that everyone has their own strength, and ignoring someone because they don’t fit your own idea of this is foolish, wrong, and kind of cruel. But that’s okay, because Rincewind proves them all wrong and ultimately saves the Disc…