The second ''Literature/{{Discworld}}'' novel, from 1986. A direct sequel to ''Discworld/TheColourOfMagic'', it opens with the [[TomeOfEldritchLore Octavo]] changing the whole world to save Rincewind and Twoflower from falling off the Disc at the end of that book. From then on, they struggle to get back to Ankh-Morpork as there are power struggles in Unseen University and the world turtle heads inexorably towards a great red star that threatens to strip away the Discworld's magical field.

Already ''The Light Fantastic'' shows itself to be a much more developed version of the Disc than its predecessor: the novel abandons the largely unrelated vignettes of the first novel in favour of a single plot.

The book is notable for introducing many characters and concepts that would later become pillars of the Discworld series, including Unseen University (mentioned in passing in ''Discworld/TheColourOfMagic'', but first visited here), magic as physics, the Weatherwax family (Galder Weatherwax, believed to be a cousin of the more commonly known witch Granny Weatherwax), witches (indirectly), pixies, trolls as something other than non-speaking monsters, dwarfs, Death's home and family, Cohen the Barbarian and the Librarian.

Followed by ''Discworld/EqualRites''. After a brief cameo role in ''Discworld/{{Mort}}'', Rincewind next went on to star in ''Discworld/{{Sourcery}}''.
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!!Contains examples of:
* AddedAlliterativeAppeal: "Herrena the Henna-Haired Harridan".
* AllTrollsAreDifferent: The first Discworld book to introduce the idea of trolls being silicon-based life forms made of stone that simply stop being able to function in the heat of day.
* TheAnticipator: Galder manages this by being CrazyPrepared: "A floorboard creaked. Galder had spent many hours tuning them, always a wise precaution with an ambitious assistant who walked like a cat. D-flat." That meant he was just to the right of the door. However, his Anticipator status kicks in when he automatically recognizes who it is. "'Ah, Trymon,' he said, without turning, and noted with some satisfaction the faint in drawing of breath behind him. 'Good of you to come. Shut the door, will you?'"
* ApothecaryAlligator:
-->Like all wizards' workshops, the place looked as though a taxidermist had dropped his stock in a foundry and then had a fight with a maddened glassblower, braining a passing crocodile in the process (it hung from the rafters and smelt strongly of camphor).
* {{Astrologer}}
* AxCrazy: Ysabell.
* BadassGrandpa: Cohen the Barbarian. Except when his old back is betraying him.
* BarbarianHero: Deconstructed/parodied with Cohen the Barbarian, an octogenarian hero who's still at it because he's had a lot of experience at not dying.
* BattleInTheCenterOfTheMind: Eventually, Rincewind [[spoiler: hauls the Eighth Spell out of hiding within his psyche, despite its attempts to conceal itself among dusty old memories and anxieties]].
* BetterThanSex: When Rincewind accidentally casts some real magic, he suddenly discovers why wizards don't care that much about being celibate.
* BigBad: Trymon - the first major antagonist of the series.
* BookBurning: The star people, a cult that blames magic for the star, starts to burn books of magic.
* BornInTheSaddle: Lampshaded;
-->''Cohen explained that the Horse Tribes of the Hubland steppes were born in the saddle, which [[LiteralMinded Rincewind considered was a gynaecological impossibility]].''
* ButNowIMustGo: [[spoiler: When Twoflower finally decides to return home.]]
* CaveMouth: Twoflower's kidnappers inadvertantly settle in the mouth of an enormous troll, mistaking it for a cave. They probably would have been fine if they hadn't lit a fire inside it, ironically to ward off trolls.
* ChainmailBikini and BreastPlate: [[AvertedTrope Averted]] and parodied, Herrena the barbarian heroine is introduced with a long aside mentioning how the cover artist is expected to start slavering over black leather and whips and chains and thighboots, before noting how impractical such things are and that she's in fact dressed quite sensibly. "All right - maybe the boots are leather. But not black!"
* CharacterisationMarchesOn:
** The Librarian here is a very passive and nonthreatening figure, and even gives up dangerous, world-ending information to Trymon in return for a banana.
*** May be justified: the Librarian became an orangutan ''very'' recently (as in, in the same book), [[CharacterDevelopment and hasn't quite gotten used to being an orangutan just yet]].
** Death is transitional here. Rincewind's still scared of him, but he's much closer to the character we all know and love than the psychotic version from ''Discworld/TheColourOfMagic''. Strangely enough, it's his daughter Ysabell who comes across as creepy and crazy this time, and her characterisation again changes when she next appears in ''Discworld/{{Mort}}''.
* CharacterShilling: Twoflower loves going on about how great a wizard Rincewind is. [[ParodiedTrope Rincewind can't even spell the word correctly.]]
* ComplainingAboutRescuesTheyDontLike: Bethan says that [[HumanSacrifice instead of drinking mead with the moon goddess]], she's got eight years of staying at home on Saturday evenings down the drain.
* ConditionedToAcceptHorror: Bethan is actually rather upset when she's saved from being a human sacrifice.
* CosmicEgg: One of the many origins of the Discworld universe given by the Great Spells
* {{Cult}}: The Star People, who also engage in book-burning sessions - as the books in question include Tomes of Eltrich Lore like the ''[[Creator/HPLovecraft Necrotelicomnicon]]'', this would be rather dangerous if the star wasn't reducing the strength of magic on the Disc.
* DarkActionGirl: Herenna, who would be a straight up ActionGirl if not for Trymon hiring her.
* DemonicPossession:
** Well, not exactly ''demonic'' as such- [[EldritchAbomination demons would be sweet and fluffy by comparison]].
** Rincewind himself is a variant, as one of the Eight Great Spells is hiding out in his mind.
* DidWeJustHaveTeaWithCthulhu: Twoflower teaching the HorsemenOfTheApocalypse {{Bridge}}.
* DidYouJustPunchOutCthulhu What Rincewind does in the climax... as well as elbow him in the ribs, bite him, GroinAttack him...
* EldritchAbomination: The Things from the Dungeon Dimensions.
* TheEndOfTheWorldAsWeKnowIt: What is believed will happen as the magic fails.
* [[EverythingsBetterWithMonkeys Everythings Better With Primates]]: This is the book where the Librarian of Unseen University is turned into an orangutan. Oddly - to those who have read the later books first - he's very upset at no longer being human.
** Can be justified in that, having just been changed, he hadn't yet stumbled on all the perks this form afforded him.
* EvilChancellor: Ymper Trymon to Galder Weatherwax.
* FantasticMeasurementSystem: This is the first book where thaums are mentioned (Rincewind talking about the gingerbread cottage) as a unit of magic, rather than Primes as in the previous book. This would be explained by the Discworld Companion as being two competing units of measurement, like Fahrenheit and Celsius.
* GenreSavvy {{Narrator}}: The narrator starts to describe the {{mooks}} following the female warrior Herrena, and goes ahead BreakingTheFourthWall by saying there's no point describing them in a story like this in which they're all going to get killed anyway.
* HeroesWantRedheads: Then they prefer brunettes, then blondes, then what they look for in a woman is... patience.
* HorsemenOfTheApocalypse: The remaining three make their first appearance, playing [[{{Bridge}} Thing You Put Over A River]] in Death's house. Pestilence speaks in italics, at least until ''Discworld/ThiefOfTime''.
* TheLittleShopThatWasntThereYesterday:
** Twoflower reveals that he bought the Luggage from such a shop.
** A shop the group stumbles into while on the run from some cultists. It turns out the owner pissed off a sorcerer who cursed his shop to wander around and in and out of existence, never able to stay in the same place for long. It becomes a very convenient way for the group to get back to Ankh-Morpork in a hurry, as the shop is able to just materialize on an empty wall there.
* MadMathematician: Ymper Trymon believes language should be replaced with an easily understood numerical system.
* MagicAIsMagicA: Galder Weatherwax magically lifts himself to the top of the Tower of Art by using stone falling from it as a counterweight.
* TheMagicGoesAway: Starts to happen as the Star's solar wind begins to strip the Discworld's magical field away.
* MayDecemberRomance: [[spoiler: The very old Cohen and the much younger Bethan decide to get married]].
* MonsterShapedMountain: Some mountains in Discworld are revealed to be very old trolls who simply sat down to think and never got up again. [[spoiler: [[ThatsNoMoon Old Grandpa]] is one such troll, and Herrena's band make the mistake of setting up camp inside his CaveMouth.]]
* OneWingedAngel: [[spoiler: An EldritchAbomination - possessed Trymon near the end. Subverted in that he's still a pretty frail and a lousy fighter even after transforming, given that Rincewind is able to punch him out anyways. Not quite a ClippedWingAngel though, since the sprouting claws and tentacles do give him a boost (he was very much a SquishyWizard before transformation).]]
* OurDwarvesAreAllTheSame: The first appearance of Discworld dwarfs; industrious and quiet, but very handy with an axe if you cross them.
* ProphecyTwist: [[spoiler:"The star is life, not death."]]
* RedShirt: After introducing Herrena, the narrator mentions she has a couple of mercenaries with her who will probably die soon, so there is no reason to introduce them. [[PlayingWithATrope Although most of them last about as long as Herrena does]].
** Herrena doesn't die, she's later mentioned in passing as being in Ankh-Morpork in ''Eric''.
* TheSoCalledCoward: Not for the last time, Rincewind saves the world by accident.
* SocietyOnEdgeEpisode: A large part of the plot is caused by a very bright, malevolently red star appearing in the sky, and this drives the inhabitants of the Disc to start doomsday cults (''Death himself'' finds them creepy).
* SquishyWizard: [[spoiler:Pretty much how Rincewind is able to beat the EldritchAbomination: It's possessed a wizard, and Rincewind, while a wizard at heart, is more physically fit than the average wizard (and a dirty fighter).]]
* TechnicolorScience: Invoked. Galder's workroom includes a complicated arrangement of colored liquid bubbling through pipes -- which is there entirely for effect.
* TitleDrop
* TomeOfEldritchLore: The Octavo.
* TurnedToStone: [[spoiler:What happens to the heads of the eight orders of wizardry after they go to 'congratulate' Trymon on making contact with the Dungeon Dimensions]].
** [[spoiler: And, in the movie adaptation alone, this is also what happens to Trymon by... himself.]]
* WhoWillBellTheCat: when one member of the Star People cult tries to intimidate Cohen by saying that that if he is killed, more will take his place. Cohen replies that it doesn't matter since he will be dead anyways. The cultist wisely backs off.
* WesternZodiac: The Discworld version of astrology is mentioned. It's much harder than on our world, because the constellations keep changing as Great A'tuin swims along. The wizards try to locate Rincewind by working out his exact horoscope; Rincewind's birth sign is "The Small Boring Group of Faint Stars", which later features in ''Discworld/TheLastContinent'', set thousands of years in the past, as a much larger nebula in the sky.
* YouCanSeeThatRight:
-->'''Shaman''': You didn't just see two men go through upside down on a broomstick, shouting and screaming at each other, did you?\\
'''Apprentice''': Certainly not.\\
'''Shaman''': Thank goodness for that. Neither did I.
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