The Last Hero: A Discworld Fable

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9780575068858: The Last Hero: A Discworld Fable
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He's been a legend in his own lifetime. He can remember when a hero didn't have to worry about fences and lawyers and civilisation, and when people didn't tell you off for killing dragons.But he can't always remember, these days, where he put his teeth . . . So now, with his ancient sword and his new walking stick and his old friends -- and they're very old friends -- Cohen the Barbarian is going on one final quest. He's going to climb the highest mountain in the Discworld and meet his gods.The last hero in the world is going to return what the first hero stole.With a vengeance. That'll mean the end of the world, if no one stops him in time.

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Review:

A new Discworld story is always an event. Terry Pratchett's The Last Hero is unusually short, a 40,000-word "Discworld Fable" rather than a full novel, but is illustrated throughout in sumptuous color by Paul Kidby.

The 160 pages cover the series' longest and most awesome (but still comic) journey yet, a mission to save all Discworld from a new threat. An old threat, actually. Aged warrior Cohen the Barbarian has decided to go out with a bang and take the gods with him. So, with the remnants of his geriatric Silver Horde, he's climbing to the divine retirement home Dunmanifestin with the Discworld equivalent of a nuke--a fifty-pound keg of Agatean Thunder Clay.

This will, for excellent magical reasons, destroy the world.

It's up to Leonard of Quirm, Discworld's da Vinci, to invent the technology that might just beat Cohen to his goal. His unlikely vessel is powered by dragons, crewed by himself and two popular regular characters, and secretly harbors a stowaway. Before long we hear the Discworld version of "Houston, we have a problem...."

Kidby rises splendidly to the challenge of painting both funny faces and cosmic vistas. As Pratchett puts it, The Last Hero "has an extra dimension: some parts of it are written in paint!" New characters include Evil Dark Lord Harry Dread, who started out with "just two lads and his Shed of Doom," and a god so tiresome that his worshippers are forbidden chocolate, ginger, mushrooms and garlic.

Pratchett's story alone is strong and effective, with several hair-raising frissons contrasting with high comedy; Kidby's paintings make it something very special. Not to be missed. --David Langford, Amazon.co.uk

About the Author:

Paul Kidby discovered Terry Pratchett's Discworld in 1993 and since then has devoted his working life to the place. He is the illustrator of THE PRATCHETT PORTFOLIO, the bestsellers THE LAST HERO and THE ART OF DISCWORLD, as well as the Discworld DIARIES, cards, T-shirts, maps, mugs and, of course, the covers. Terry Pratchett lives in Wiltshire. Paul Kidby, who also lives in Wiltshire, is now established as the most popular Discworld artist.

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