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The librarian

The Light Fantastic

I really am having a lovely time with the Terry Pratchett challenge I'm doing. Having previously avoided the half dozen or so that concentrate on the wizard, Rincewind, I've now discovered them it seems and almost have a new fantasy series to read! Anyway, this is book two in the Discworld series, The Light Fantastic, and is the continuing adventures of Rincewind, Twoflower, the world's first tourist, and The Luggage.




In the previous book the last we see of our heroes is them falling off the edge of the world. But Rincewind can't die because the spell from the Octavo is lodged inside his head and won't allow him to die. So the next thing Rincewind and Twoflower know they are in a forest of talking trees. They come across The Gingerbread house but unbeknownst to them they are being hunted by wizards from the Unknown University who ambush them inside. They escape and meet Cohen the Barbarian, aged eighty and with no teeth, but still up to rescuing maidens in distress, which is lucky because the druids are about to sacrifice one and she needs rescuing.

After a while it becomes apparent that there is other trouble afoot in the shape of a red star which is on a collision course with the discworld. It also becomes apparent that the one with the key to saving the planet is Rincewind. The spell in his head is linked to the other spells in the Octavo and Rincewind needs to be in Ankh-Morpok if disaster is to be averted. But how is he to get there and once there how will he find the courage to confront the new head wizard of the Unknown University whose idea it was to kill Rincewind...

It's so easy to see what Terry Pratchett's discworld books will become from these first two books. The humour is already very well developed:

In fact Rincewind never spoke to this particular tree again, but from that brief conversation it spun the basis of the first tree religion which, in time, swept the forests of the world. Its tenet of faith was this: a tree that was a good tree, and led a clean, decent and upstanding life, could be assured of a future life after death. If it was very good indeed it would eventually be reincarnated as five thousand rolls of lavatory paper.

And:

'Yeah,' said the most junior wizard, 'but who keeps talking to us? They say this is a magic wood, it's full of goblins and wolves and--'

'Trees', said a voice out of the darkness, high above. It possessed what can only be described as timbre.


It's also in this book that we meet for the first time The Librarian - an Orang-utan who can only say, 'Oook' - Cohen the Barbarian who I believe is a regular character in other books, and Death's daughter, Ysabell - I assume the mother of Susan in Hogwatch but I haven't quite figured that out yet because it might not be the case...

Anyway, great fun and very enjoyable and I've now made a list of all the Rincewind books I haven't read and plan to work my way through them, starting with Sourcery and then Eric. I can see I'll be reading far more than the six to eight books I'm supposed to read for this challenge!

Comments

Oh, lol! I simply loved reading this book, and that quote about the voice with timbre is one I especially liked.

I've got to search the house and find The Colour of Magic, The Light Fantastic, Equal Rites, Mort, and a few others I've put away (where I'd be able to find them, only of course I now have no idea where that IS, actually...). I want to read them again.

I'm so glad you're having the fun of reading these. I adore them for their sheer breezy brashness. The later books are still full of humor, wit and wonder, but they are more thoughtful and philosophical, and while I love them all, the earliest books are just so darn much unadulterated fun to read.
That timbre line struck me as one of the cleverest I've ever read. And it also struck me how wonderful the English language is when you can manipulate it in that manner. My icon says it all I think. And on Stephen Fry's QI show last night he was saying that tptb think *the* Earth language of the future will be English but probably in a format that we won't quite recognise. Bit like we would have slight difficulty with Elizabethan English. Fascinating stuff.

I am having a great deal of fun thanks. Overdosing on Pratchett a bit but there are worse things to overdose on...
I love Luggage - I want him *g*

I really do think the two Rincewind books are better appreciated once one has read more TP.

I'm glad you enjoyed it.
I love luggage too! And am looking ofrward to reading a lot more about him/her/it. ;-)

I think on balance I agree with you, although I also understand the other pov. But, to be honest, knowing the Discworld as well as I do now I can fully appreciate its beginnings more than I might have otherwise.

I did enjoy it and my next TP will probably be Sourcery... if I have my order of Rincewind books correct.
'It' is a lot of fun.

That's how I feel about them, I have to say.

Eek. Off hand I'm not sure, to be honest :-(

Discworld

Ah, another favourite series. I haven't collected them all but what little dabbling I have done in that particular group of characters is so very appealing and amusing.
Karen-Leigh

Re: Discworld

I don't know how much dabbling you've done but can I recommend Pratchett's Sam Vimes books (still set in the discworld) starting with Guards! Guards! And his series for slightly younger teens, Tiffany Aching. I think the first of those is The Wee Free Men. But really, anything is good, especially any of the books with Granny Weatherwax or Death.