The second Discworld novel is remarkably different from the first. While The Colour of Magic was almost chaotic, the plot a collection of seemingly random episodes of a Discworld-wide journey mixed with some clever puns and references to modern culture, The Light Fantastic is characterized by an almost linear plot, a few running gags, and barely any references to our modern world. Instead Pratchett includes relatively more allusions to ‘standard’ Fantasy novels. By doing so he tries very hard to (re-)define a genre: Comedic Fantasy Fiction.
The Light Fantastic follows the Law of Sequels. It does not achieve the entertainment value, the originality, and the appeal of its predecessor. The attempt to introduce a running gag is too stilted, it fails miserably. If it was not for Pratchett’s skillful writing the Discworld series [c|sh|w]ould have ended here. Mercifully, there are still a few rather funny lines that made me laugh out loud and saved the day.