Ah The Light Fantastic, another wonderful adventure with our good friends Twoflower and Rincewind as they move on from intergalactic turtle seeing and into the much more mundane realm of druidic computers, barbarian pensioners, and trans-dimensional shopping trips. This entry into the series is far from the best, relying more on trope based humour then original ideas like the first entry. That said, it did have a few bright sparks.
The standout character, despite his unabashed tropiness, is Cohen. While his connection to Conan the Barbarian is undeniable and unsubtle he does bring out a great point we never think of. In all the stories we have of epic heroes, how often do we see them grow old? What would a hero with the power to slay any foe do when confronted with prune juice and a Zimmer frame? Pratchett’s take on this hero was unique and expertly executed.
Sentient Rock trolls were a wonderful addition to the Discworld Bestiary, all of the rock based puns surrounding their scenes guaranteed to put a smile on your face. The scenes in this book set the scene for dozens more appearances through the greater Discworld universe, and from these humble beginnings came one of the most beloved facets of the series.
This book was also our first proper look at the Dungeon Dimensions. This plain beyond comprehension is home to our local breed of Lovecraftian leviathans, who in a strangely sympathetic twist want to reach the ‘normal’ plane of existence because it is warm and has light.
There’s not much more to say about this entry, which after the series strong start is disappointing but it does set up so many things for the later novels in just the small details that I can forgive that. It resolves Twoflower and Rincewind’s adventure, shows us the wider world, and features baby star turtles.
I mean really, who could be disappointed when there are baby star turtles.