Review: The Light Fantastic

The Light Fantastic (Discworld, #2; Rincewind #2)The Light Fantastic by Terry Pratchett
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This is my second time reading this book

This second time around I dropped the rating from 4 stars to 3 stars. The book is definitely an improvement over The Color of Magic. I think, perhaps, Pratchett was starting to consider that Discworld might extend beyond a couple books. That said, from my memory, there’s about 1-2 more books that contain plot points that are effectively somewhat retconned later. A the very least, Equal Rites seems to never be spoken of again – and Discworld seems to revert to male wizards and female witches. And I can’t remember if Sourcery has last consequences or not.

That said, this book retains the random, mostly episodic quality of the first one where the heroes go from place to place and meet fun subversions of fantasy tropes. I used to strongly suggest that people should read the Discworld in order and just power through these first 2-3 books to set the stage for the better books later. Now, I’m kinda ok saying that perhaps the reader could skip this second book. Sure, they’d miss the introduction of Cohen the Barbarian, but it’s not like he’s a HUGE character later – nowhere near as big as Vimes, for instance. And, sure, they’d miss Rincewind taking posession of The Luggage, but I think that’s mostly a non-issue.

It’s a slight bummer not enjoying this as much on re-read. But I think the first few books were just getting by on pointing out the silliness of adhering to high fantasy (mostly Tolkienesque) tropes. Later on (in my memory – hopefully I’m right) the books tend to have more of a plot that allows them to stand on their own even if they continue with the British humor silliness. (Which I love. Those and dad jokes) So we’ll see. It’s on to my re-read of the third book.

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