Around the Discworld: The Light Fantastic by Terry Pratchett (Discworld #2)


TheLightToday is my review for the second book in the Discworld series and the first step on a journey that Louise over at Lou’s Book Stuff and I agreed to undertake together whereby we read the entire Discworld series in order. You can check out Lou’s review here.

The Light Fantastic is book No.2 and pretty much continues where book 1 left off (my review here).  Okay, I will preface this review by stating that at the moment I’m not totally blown away by the Discworld, but, at the same time, I had been warned that this could take two or three books before it really took hold so I’m still very hopeful. I will also clarify that last remark by saying I’m not disliking what I’ve read so far, so much as it hasn’t quite knocked my socks off in the way I’d hoped, or more to the point, whilst there have been quite a number of moments that have made me smile I haven’t had a proper laugh out loud moment just yet.  I do have expectations though and I suspect that as I continue with Lou on this journey we will become attached to the characters and familiar with the world in a way that immerses us much more and provides a greater sense of connectivity.

What I will say about The Light Fantastic is that it felt like it had more of a plot than The Colour of Magic.  There is of course a lot of travelling around but this didn’t so much feel like a series of strange or unfortunate events that was the overall flavour of book No.1.  In a nutshell, an object is hurtling towards Discworld on a collision course.  Everyone is doomed.  Things are desperate, the naysayers are out in force and Rincewind, the failed wizard we met in Book No.1, seems to be the saviour of the piece  Really, it doesn’t bode well.

So, in terms of characters Rincewind and Twoflower are central to the plot, together with the delightful and sentient piece of luggage that scuttles around on multiple legs and swallows threats like a huge hound of hell.  Seriously, I want this luggage.  We do, of course, make the acquaintance of other characters in this instalment, the most noticeable of which, for me, was Cohen the Barbarian.  An elderly gentleman who has lived through many an adventure and intends to live through many more.  There are of course other characters, not least of which the entirety of the wizarding world trying to find Rincewind for the spell that he holds in his head – a very important spell that is needed, without doubt, to save the planet.

I really enjoyed certain aspects of this one.  The forest – which has a decidedly fairytale feel and the whole visit to the home of Death.  I loved both those scenes.  Of course, everything Pratchett does is tongue in cheek and softly fun poking at the fantasy tropes but those two particular scenarios particularly stood out for me.

To be honest, although I’ve not been totally knocked out by the two first books in this series, I can see myself already becoming attached.  I like the humour, it reminds me very much of Monty Python and obviously Douglas Adams.  To be honest, I know already, that I will love elements of these books because I’ve read the Tiffany Aching series which were excellent.

I have my fingers crossed (and my toes) for book No.3.  Will it be the one to blow me away?  Time will tell.

For now. I’m enjoying this, but, I think all my buddies who cautioned me that the first few books were not necessarily the best, gave me some excellent advice and helped me to temper my expectations.

My rating 3.5 of 5 stars

I bought a copy for kindle.


New Endeavour: Around the Discworld (in 41 months)


For some time I’ve wanted to read all the Discworld books in order. I’ve read a few already from the Tiffany Aching series but never quite gathered the momentum to start the series from the beginning and work my way through the lot (in spite of lots of blogger friends recommending their personal favourites).  Then I got talking to a fellow blogger, Louise over at Lou’s Book Stuff (be sure to check out her lovely blog) and, likewise, she also wants to work her way around the Discworld.  So, we came up with a plan to nudge ourselves in the right direction and also to encourage each other to go adventuring and so ‘Around the Discworld in 41 Months’ was born.  As titles go, it’s a little bit of a mouthful but at the same time it feels oddly ‘Pratchett-appropriate’.

Unlike Phileas Fogg we’re not attempting to travel the Discworld at breakneck speed, instead, like the turtle above, this is going to be a very chilled, none-challenge like endeavour.  I find over ambitious plans usually take the route of failure on my part, and sometimes life has other plans for us, so we’re only intending to read one book a month and yes that does mean it’s going to be a rather long trip.  So, we’ve packed our trunks and worked out a travel plan.

Starting on the 1st April we’re going to pick up one book a month until the series is complete.  The aim is to review each book towards the end of the month and compare our thoughts.  Very simple, no stress.  We’re planning on reading the series in chronological order rather than by theme because we want to discover the world in the same way Pratchett wrote it.  If, like us, this is a journey you’ve always fancied making but kept putting off, and you want to join in, then all are most welcome.

The first book in the series is The Colour of Magic and here’s the description  together with one of the many available covers:

Colour3Somewhere on the frontier between thought and reality exists the Discworld, a parallel time and place which might sound and smell like our own, but which looks completely different. Particularly as it’s carried through space on the back of a giant turtle (sex unknown).

If you’re new to the Discworld don’t worry, you’re not alone . . . Twoflower is the Discworld’s first tourist, he’s exceptionally naive and about to get himself into an array of dangerous and fantastical situations on his travels.

And if that didn’t sound fateful enough, it’s the spectacularly inept wizard, Rincewind who is charged with safely chaperoning Twoflower and his Luggage (a walking suitcase that has half a mind of its own and a homicidal attitude to anything threatening) during his visit.

Safe to say chaos ensues…

The Discworld novels can be read in any order but The Colour of Magic is the first Discworld book. It is also the starting point in the Wizards collection, followed by The Light Fantastic.