The Discworld is in danger, heading towards a seemingly inevitable collision with a malevolent red star, its magic fading. It needs a hero, and fast.
What it doesn’t need is Rincewind, an inept and cowardly wizard who is still recovering from the trauma of falling off the edge of the world. Or Twoflower, the well-meaning tourist whose luggage has a mind (and legs) of its own.
Which is a shame, because that’s all there is….
Author: Terry Pratchett
Narrator: Colin Morgan, Peter Serafinowicz, Bill Nighy
Series: Discworld #2 (Wizards #2)
Audio Release Date: 7th July 2022
My Rating of ‘The Light Fantastic’: 5 out of 5
Having enjoyed book one, I picked this audio book up straight away after finishing it. I was curious if my issues with the first book (that it was just a bit all over the place and that it seemed like Pratchett was trying to showcase his entire world in one book) would simmer down and give a feeling that this book was a tad more grounded.
The Light Fantastic, in my opinion, outshone The Colour of Magic considerably.
Admittedly, Colour of Magic did all the heavy lifting as far as setting the scene/world went and establishing our main characters for this book. But it went about it in a very of a round about way. This book, however, felt like it stayed far more true to a coherent storyline and didn’t meander off at the author’s whim quite so much.
It had all of the good parts of book one but left the less than great bits behind and just felt like such a complete read/listen because of this. One thing that really helped was the maturation of the characters. Rincewind grew so much in this book and his character actually developed quite a lot of … well … character. Whereas before he was a bit of a Flashman/Ciaphas Cain style character that got himself into all sorts of dangerous trouble despite trying to avoid it, this time his growth as a person had him thinking of other people rather than just himself.
Which in no way helped him avoid danger, but certainly made him look all the better as a human being when he ended up in it. His relationship with Twoflower and the chest of luggage was expertly written and added a great deal of emotion/gravitas to the final chapter/s.
Pratchett explored a bit more of the Disc here and there, but never at the detriment of the storyline. This book gave me glimpses of what else lurked out there in Pratchett’s creation and had me keen to discover at a later date. So applause all round for the author on that.
One character I look forward to discovering more of is Death. I see there are books in his story arc a little later in the series. So I can’t wait to get stuck into those.
Colin Morgan as the narrator is a sublime choice. His vocal work was absolutely stunning. This man could read me a washing machine instruction manual and I’d listen with eagerness. I’ll also, when reading these books rather than listening, never be able to read Death’s voice without doing so in Peter Serafinowicz’s voice. Absolutely perfect fit.