->''As it moves towards a seemingly inevitable collision with a malevolent red star, the Discworld has only one possible saviour. Unfortunately, this happens to be the singularly inept and cowardly wizard called Rincewind, who was last seen falling off the edge of the world ....''

The second ''Literature/{{Discworld}}'' novel, from 1986 and a direct sequel to ''Discworld/TheColourOfMagic''. It opens with the [[TomeOfEldritchLore Octavo]] saving Rincewind and Twoflower from their NoOneCouldSurviveThat fate in the first book by changing the entire world around them to stop them from falling off the edge of the Discworld. They are dropped in a secluded forest where they befriend a gnome named Swires.

At the same time, power struggles rage at Unseen Universities when [[BigBad Ymper Trymon]] schemes to take the job of {{Deuteragonist}} Arch-Cancellor Galder Weatherwax. After summoning Death to question about the sudden changing of the world, the wizards set out on their own quest to find Rincewind.

And unbeknownst to the citizens of the Disc, Great A’Tuin continues to travel straight towards an inevitable collision with a malevolent red star.

Rincewind and Twoflower eventually meet and team up with Cohen the Barbarian, an elderly barbarian who was once a legendary hero known widely across the Disc, and a young woman named Bethan, whom Cohen rescues from being sacrificed by a group of druids, [[UnwantedRescue not that she’s grateful about it]].

''The Light Fantastic'' shows itself to be a much more developed ''Discworld'' story than its predecessor: the novel abandons the episodic of the first novel in favour of a single interconnected plot.

This book is also notable for introducing several characters and concepts that would later become pillars of the Discworld series, including Unseen University (mentioned in passing in ''Discworld/TheColourOfMagic'', but explored as a setting here) and the Librarian (who gets turned into an orangutan by the Octavo’s Change spell), the Weatherwax family (through Galder Weatherwax, believed to be a cousin of the much more well known character Granny Weatherwax of the later novels), pixies, trolls, dwarves (and Swires, who would go on to become a member of the City Guard in later novels), Cohen the Barbarian, and Death's Domain and family (through the character of Ysabell, Death’s daughter).

Preceded by ''Discworld/TheColourOfMagic'', followed by ''Discworld/EqualRites''. After a brief cameo role in ''Discworld/{{Mort}}'', Rincewind next went on to star in ''Discworld/{{Sourcery}}''.
!!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).
* ArbitrarySkepticism: Rincewind refuses to believe in talking trees, even though he's a wizard who lives on a disc carried by four elephants standing on the back of a gigantic space-turtle.
* {{Astrologer}}: Trymon orders an astrologer to make Rincewind's horoscope in order to find him. Unlike most examples the advice is pretty helpful and specific: "Beware of druids [...] We really mean it about the druids."
* 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: Ymper 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]].''
* BrickJoke: [[spoiler:Cohen paying Lackjaw to craft some dentures for him after Twoflower explained the concept to him.]]
* ButNowIMustGo: [[spoiler:At the end of the book, Twoflower decides once and for all to return home.]]
* CaveMouth: [[spoiler: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.
** 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}}''.
** Rincewind jumped straight into JerkWithAHeartOfGold territory in this book. He's much more sympathetic in both senses of the word, so much that all the greed from the previous book is very much gone.
*** It's acknowleged as CharacterDevelopment when [[spoiler:Twoflower gives Rincewind gold to deliver to Cohen and Bethan.]]
-->[[spoiler:"I'll hand it over the first chance I get," he said, and to his own surprise realized that he meant it.]]
* CharacterShilling: Twoflower ''still'' loves going on about how great a wizard Rincewind is. [[ParodiedTrope Rincewind can't even spell the word correctly.]]
* CommonalityConnection: Trymon and Rincewind are completely different people, but they both think the magic rules The Disc rely on are incredibly silly. At the climax the former tries to tempt the latter by offering a future with a more sensible set of physical laws but Rincewind recognizes Trymon is just ranting by this point.
* 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. (Partly, it would seem, because she'd [[VirginSacrifice maintained her chastity in anticipation of being a sacrifice]], and could have been dating instead.)
* 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.
* DecoyProtagonist: [[spoiler:Galder Weatherwax is the main protagonist for the Unseen University storyline for the first quarter of the book, until he is suddenly devoured by the Luggage.]]
* 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.
* {{Determinator}}: Rincewind Lampshades this quality of the Luggage to intimidate the hell out of Weems.
* DroppedABridgeOnHim[=/=]KilledOffscreen: [[spoiler:Galder Weatherwax is unceremoniously devoured by the Luggage about a quarter of the way through the book. It's a BlinkAndYouMissIt moment, he's there one second and the next, the Luggage is there instead.]]
* DidWeJustHaveTeaWithCthulhu: Twoflower teaching the HorsemenOfTheApocalypse TabletopGame/{{Bridge}}.
* DidYouJustPunchOutCthulhu What Rincewind does in the climax... as well as elbow him in the ribs, bite him, GroinAttack him...
* DisneyDeath: Twoflower, sort of. After being poisoned by a druid, he's sent to Death's house with his lifeline still attached and Rincewind has to get him back.
* EldritchAbomination: The Things from the Dungeon Dimensions.
* TheEndOfTheWorldAsWeKnowIt: What is believed will happen as the magic fails.
* EverythingsBetterWithMonkeys: 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.
* 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.
* {{Foreshadowing}}: [[spoiler:At one point close to the end of the book, the Octavo uses Rincewind to say "The star is life, not death." At the end of the book, it's revealed that the red star is producing baby Discworlds. This also explains why Great A'Tuin was so eager to reach the star.]]
** [[spoiler: More subtly, although he's aware of what will happen if things go wrong, Death is ''puzzled'' by the red star's wider significance, indicating that it's a harbinger of birth rather than of anything in his purview.]]
* 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 [[TabletopGame/{{Bridge}} Thing You Put Over A River]] in Death's house. Pestilence speaks in italics, at least until ''Discworld/ThiefOfTime''.
* InTheBack: [[spoiler:Twoflower runs Thing!Trymon through this way]].
* InTheLocalTongue: Discussed. For example, Mount Oolskunrahod ("Who is this fool who doesn't know what a mountain is?") in the Forest of Skund ("Your finger, you fool," after an explorer pointed and asked a native "What's this?").
* LeastIsFirst: It's Twoflower who sets out to save the day at the end, with only a sword he can't really use, while wizards dither.
* LiterallyShatteredLives: [[spoiler:Unfortunately for one of the petrified wizards, his stone form was accidentally dropped all the way down to the cobbles at street level when they were moving him.]]
* 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]].
* {{Metaphorgotten}}: PlayedWith. It is mentioned a few times that past Patriarch Olaf Quimby II passed measures that required authors to be literal, so Pratchett must either further explain his metaphors or take them back.
** As the ultimate example, he describes light, which moves slowly on the Disc due to magical fields, as "pour[ing] like molten gold," but then has to clarify.
-->Not precisely, of course. Trees didn't burst into flame, people didn't suddenly become very rich and extremely dead, and the sea didn't flash into steam. A better simile, in fact, would be "not like molten gold."
*** He later replaces it as "like syrup" instead.
* 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 Grandad]] is one such troll, and Herrena's band make the mistake of setting up camp inside his CaveMouth.]]
* MortalityPhobia: Greyhald Spold, the world's oldest wizard, begins worrying about the encroachment of death, and devises an elaborate hiding place, magically and physically impermeable, in the hope of keeping the Grim Reaper at bay. Unfortunately, he neglected to take into account the problem of obtaining fresh air in an impermeable chamber...
* MultipurposeMonoculturedCrop: The Horse Nomads evidently eat very little ''besides'' horse, although one warrior is mentioned to have spiced up his mare's milk with snowcat blood.
* NoodleImplements: It's unrevealed what Chancellor Weatherwax planned to do with silver tweezers, cat blood, a whip and a small chair. Or what would've happened to the volunteer, had any been available as an alternative.
* 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.
* PortalCut: Implied to have befallen one of the pursuing UU wizards, who activated his SevenLeagueBoots without the proper safety precautions.
* 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. [[spoiler: [[PlayingWithATrope Although most of them last about as long as Herrena does]]. They don't die, however, but are written out of the story when Rincewind and Twoflower escape,]] and Herrena is later mentioned in passing as being in Ankh-Morpork in ''Eric''.
* ShoutOut: Mostly to the film ''Film/ConanTheBarbarian1982'', from which direct quotes are satirized and some plot elements, lifted wholesale.
* 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:How Rincewind is able to beat Trymon in the end. While Rincewind is a wizard at heart, he's 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:
** This happens to [[spoiler: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.]]
** Inverted, then played straight, with the trolls, who are temporarily paralyzed by daylight and revive again at dusk.
* WatchTheWorldDie: One of the evacuees claims that's why he's heading for the mountains: the Red Star will kill everyone there too, but at least the view will be better when it happens.
* 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.
* YourSizeMayVary: A rare literary example. When [[spoiler:Old Grandad]] wakes up, his fingers are the size of ships... and a few paragraphs later, his hand is the size of a house.