The Last Hero: A Discworld Fable (Discworld Series #27)

The Last Hero: A Discworld Fable (Discworld Series #27)

by Terry Pratchett, Paul Kidby


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Cohen the Barbarian.

He's been a legend in his own lifetime.

He can remember the good old days of high adventure, when being a Hero meant one didn't have to worry about aching backs and lawyers and civilization.

But these days, he can't always remember just where he put his teeth...

So now, with his ancient (yet still trusty) sword and new walking stick in hand, Cohen gathers a group of his old — very old — friends to embark on one final quest. He's going to climb the highest mountain of Discworld and meet the gods.

It's time the Last Hero in the world returns what the first hero stole. Trouble is, that'll mean the end of the world, if no one stops him in time.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780060507770
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 08/20/2002
Series: Discworld Series
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 176
Sales rank: 114,644
Product dimensions: 9.25(w) x 11.00(h) x (d)
Lexile: 710L (what's this?)
Age Range: 14 - 18 Years

About the Author

Sir Terry Pratchett was the internationally bestselling author of more than thirty books, including his phenomenally successful Discworld series. His young adult novel, The Amazing Maurice and His Educated Rodents, won the Carnegie Medal, and Where's My Cow?, his Discworld book for “readers of all ages,” was a New York Times bestseller. His novels have sold more than seventy five million (give or take a few million) copies worldwide. Named an Officer of the British Empire “for services to literature,” Pratchett lived in England. He died in 2015 at the age of sixty-six.

Paul Kidby became a freelance illustrator in 1986. Since then he has worked on projects ranging from computer game packaging to magazine covers. He began reading the Discworld novels in 1993 and was immediately inspired. He has produced, with Terry Pratchett and Stephen Briggs, numerous Discworld items, including Discworld Diaries, The Discworld Portfolio, cards, book covers, and calendars. He lives in England.


Salisbury, Wiltshire, England

Date of Birth:

April 28, 1948

Place of Birth:

Beaconsfield, Buckinghamshire, England


Four honorary degrees in literature from the universities of Portsmouth, Bristol, Bath and Warwick

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The Last Hero: A Discworld Fable 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 35 reviews.
Nanny150 More than 1 year ago
I originally purchased this volume because it was the only way to get Pratchett's story, but while dubious about the price at first, I'm glad, now. The artwork is just as enjoyable as the story - well executed and funny. One gets the impression Terry Pratchett was looking over Paul Kirby's shoulder while working, and that's a good thing. At 9 1/2 X 11 inches, you get to see every detail - it would lose a LOT at a reduced size. Just plan for it, and it will make a wonderful addition to your library - or coffee table.
Zommbie1 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Please excuse me while I go and sit in a corner and marvel over the pictures in this book for a while.Thank you!They are absolutely amazing. Pratchett is Pratchett and I have much love for him and the illustrations in this book just makes the book even better. Pratchett¿s writing is flawless as usual. All the normal characters appear with a cameo by Death pondering Schrodinger¿s cat but he ultimately dismisses it because ¿I DON¿T HOLD WITH CRUELTY TO CATS¿ (pg69). As usual Pratchett¿s book connects with something in our world (or several somethings), in this case the hero myth. In stories heroes never grow old and die. Yet a tenant of the hero myth seems to be that they are invincible. So what does a hero that has grown old do? Why he has to go down in a blaze of glory, that is what heroes do. This is the premise of this story. Throw in some Leonardo da Vinci, pardon me, Leonard da Quirm, the brilliant but slightly spaced inventor/painter and you have a story that is supremely recognizable yet very very fresh. This is a fairly short book (175 pages) and I read it in one day. For anyone who is looking for a quick Pratchett fix this is a great read. I am however not sure that this is a good first book. It skates over some things that the longer books explain in greater detail such as why the wizards are the way they are. I¿m glad I had a passing understanding of the world before I read it. And as always with Pratchett¿s work it helps to be well read in general as much of his wit and irony would be lost on those who do not know our world. Great book!
Caspettee on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The Last Hero: A Discworld Fable is a story with in a story. For those familiar with the Discworld universe this is the story of Cohen the Barbarian and the Silver Horde who has decided it is the time for his last hurrah and while he is at it he is going to stick it to the gods.This will naturally destroy the Discworld as we know it.Leanorad De Quirm, Captain Carrot and Rincewind are recruited to save Discworld from its doom with the assistance of the Librarian and set of on an equally fantastical journey of their own to the moon (you will just have to read the story to find out how that figures into saving the world).As always Pratchett has written a well rounded and humorous story. The writing style is similar to the Colour of Magic in that each "chapter" is short snippets, this might annoy some but I didnt mind this is not one of Pratchetts novels after all. Also Pratchett I think really enjoyed writing this as the whole book was just great fun.Paul Kidby did an amazing job illustrating the fable and his artwork through the book is to die for. The Discworld just leaps to life from the pages.This book had nearly all my favorite characters (the only ones not in here are more of the watch and the witches) and any book with Cohen & the Silver Horde is pretty much guaranteed a top place of my favorite Discworld books. I really enjoyed the Captain Carrot and Rincewind dynamic and hope TP joins the duo up again at some stage.I just enjoyed this book so much I could not review it properly with out rambling and giving the whole plot away.
pauliharman on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Even by Pratchett standards this is an absolutely superb book. The writing is Terry on top form, witty and insightful as ever, and the novella is beautifully illustrated by Paul Kidby. 6 stars.
ClicksClan on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Book 9 was the 27th in the series of Terry Pratchett's Discworld books: The Last Hero. I did get a copy of this signed when I met Terry Pratchett many years ago. The copy I read this time around actually has a few more pictures in it than the previous copy I'd seen.Although I'd flicked through it before to look at the pictures, I've never actually sat and read it before. I'd actually hoped to read it sooner in the month, but the one thing that goes against it is that it's hardly a portable book. I couldn't fit it in my bag, so I couldn't take it to work to read in my breaks.Then again, it wouldn't be anywhere near as beautiful in a small copy and it did make for a brilliantly quick read. I started reading it in the afternoon on a Saturday and finished it the following morning. I probably would have finished it sooner if it was just a straightforward short story/novella, but the pictures need to be looked at.I honestly wish that every Discworld book could be illustrated in this way. Paul Kidby does a fantastic job of capturing the images of Discworld. They are so detailed and almost realistic. There are a couple that I would love to get framed and pin up because they are just that good, I'd love to look at them all the time.I also love the little parodies of space travel. It's the classic Discworld sense of humour which I love. There were so many quotes that it made it really hard (once again) to pick just a handful of favourites. Thankfully it was shorter than most of the stories, so I didn't have quite as much choice.The main story is of course the story of the band of heroes (who are all rather elderly, but they don't see why that should be a problem) who are planning to 'return' the fire to the gods, but there's also the substory of Vetinari's plan to stop it happening which involves a foray into space travel. It's the perfect story for illustration, as much as I wish that all of the series could be illustrated (I know, it would cost a fortune to do them all) it needs to give the illustrator plenty of material to work with and a longer book would probably offer a bit too much.
love2laf on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Cute little read, and a fast read. I love Cohen the Barbarian and his Silver Horde, but there wasn't quite enough of this book. Not enough puns, not enough story, not enough depth. It was exactly as billed, a Discworld Fable.
mohi on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Featuring the gorgeous art of the extraordinary Paul Kidby. The book is an ensemble of some Discworld's most beloved characters that works both as a novel and as a work of visual art.
ravenwood0001 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Cohen the Barbarian, the last hero of the Disc has decided it is time for him to go and he wants to take the gods with him. With the tattered remnants of the Silver Horde, he's off to Dunmanifestin with a keg of Agatean Thunder Clay. It is expected that this will destroy the world. It's all up to Leonard de Quirm to invent the technology that might just beat Cohen to his goal.
MrsLee on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Some of my very favorite people from Discworld are in this book. Captain Carrot, Rincewind, Cohen the Barbarian, the Librarian, the Patrician. This is a wonderful, almost loving tribute to the Silver Horde. The book is large with lush and exciting illustrations from Paul Kidby. I laughed outloud reading this book more than any Discworld novel I've read recently.
MerryMay on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Part of the Rincewind series, but the graphic novel brings in other Discworld regulars such as Lord Vetinari, Leonard of Quirm and Captain Carrot. The illustrations are great for explaining Leonard of Quirms inventions and depicting the Silver Horde. The story: Cohen the Barabarian and his Silver Horde are tired and bored with ruling an empire and want to go out in style as heros. Of course this means the end of the world too. Enter Rincewind the must reluctant almost wizzard to help save it.
LeslitGS on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The Last Hero is, sort of, a Discworld novel. I use the phrase 'sort of' as it is also 'sort of' a graphic novel. Not in the sense of The Last Temptation or a graphic version of The Hobbit (which is crap, by the way), but rather it is a novel in which art plays a freaking-huge role, to use the technical term. If you look it up online somewhere, since you are here, you'll see that it is oversized and beautifully illustrated, almost like a children's book...but not. This story is that of the end of the world, or what would have been its end. The Last Heroes, apparently discontent with their lives as rulers of countries or taverns, have decided to return what the first had taken--fire. This has all the sensible people in an uproar because they think that it will end the world, so they have to stop them. What is the problem? The Heroes got the jump on the sensible folk and have already outdistanced any hope of catching up to them. So the sensible folk hire an artistic madman (in the good way) to build something that will catch up and basically save the world. I refuse to give away anymore of a perfectly good plot because it isn't long and anyone could sit and read it! Why, I am sure you may have wondered by now, did Leslie bother to go through that gobbledegook at the opening? Because. I felt like it and so freaking there! Aside from that petulant answer, I give a glowing and mildly irradiated thumbs up to this book. The art flows beautifully with the plot which, though wacky and fun, has some very interesting points about it, such as moral codes and social roles and the importance of literature (oral and written tradition) in society. You see, this last bit comes in because the Heroes kidnap a minstrel, basically commisioning him to be their memory keeper. He is to write the saga of their journey to return fire to the gods. It is interesting to watch him evolve from a mewling, sappy-love-song-with-flowers-and-puppies-writing minstrel into the kind who really understands and thinks about the fact that sagas are stories as well as legends as well as truths. Perhaps that is a problem in today's society. Perhaps our memory has become too short, our attention spans to microscopic to appreciate a good saga. We don't have journeys anymore, not in the good old sense, with danger and excitement and very often love and maybe a happy ending (read Princess Bride, people. It is wholly worth it.). People don't have to work hard and live hard to make it by in this world, not everyone at least. I freely admit that my life is built on a sick pyramid of liesure, my main issues being stressing out over (very often) idiotic things. We don't harken back to the ancient halls with shadowed corners from roaring fires and people singing songs of people from an even dustier age. We look around at the time we are in and complain and compare. Even those who work hard because they have to are very often excited to be working away from their roots. What are we doing? No longer are we grounded. We are free-floating. We are free-falling. But where are we going to land? Is it too late to call up the sagas and ballads of before, tales of people like Beowulf who seem too great to have ever been real enough to make a difference? Will we lose our souls and our memories to our era of creature comforts and instant communication? I don't know. I don't even know what I'm trying to say anymore, let alone why I'm writing this, why you're reading this... 'No one remembers the singer. The song remains.' -Terry Pratchett, The Last Hero- Read it.
NogDog on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Just finished re-reading this one, which is either a long short story or a novella in the "Discworld" series. It's a fun, quick read with the usual Pratchett humor and warmth, and perhaps a wee bit of poignancy. I would probably mainly recommend it for those who have gotten into the series as opposed to being an entry point, as a fair bit of the humor and characterizations build upon what has gone before, especially in the Rincewind story arc.
Moriquen on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I read the book that was illustrated by Paul Kidby. Yet another fabulous Pratchett book!
madamemeow on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This was the first Discworld book I'd read, and I loved it! It was funny, it was imaginative, and it was fun! The whole thing was a real pleasure and enjoyment to read! I would absolutely recommend it to anybody and everybody! It's fun, but definitely an adult book, with concepts too difficult for children to understand.
taylorh on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Clever, Silly, DelightfulI feel like I have grown up loving Pratchett's Discworld, but I know I haven't been reading him for that long. Not nearly long enough. His cleverness reminds me of Douglas Adams, and puniness of Spider Robinson. I spend so much of my time reading his work chuckling and shaking my head. Shaking in admiration and appreciation. Kidby and Pratchett made a wonderful pairing for this, each almost seeming to egg the other on the further ridiculosity. The things I love about Last Hero are too numerous to list.
gercmbyrne on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Terry Pratchett is a god who walks among men. The entire Discworld series is a joy and only a strange mad creature cursed by gods and man would refuse to read and love these books!This beautiful book, a one-off incuding Cohen the Brbarian and his ancietn creaky cohorts, and lots more mayham as they go lok for the gods in order to have a word with them...they're old and pissed off.
stuckathome More than 1 year ago
I'm glad to have some visuals for these great characters. Carrot and Leonard da Quirm are much as I had imagined them, Rincewind somewhat younger (I've seen the David Jason film). The home of the gods, Dunmanifestin (what a great name!) looks right, also. And then there's Cohen the Barbarian and his Silver Horde. That is a right bunch of skinny old men with sharp and shiny weapons! I don't care how old they are, I don't want to get in their way!
DocNVictorGirl More than 1 year ago
Terry Pratchett keeps up his usual good work with "The Last Hero," writing a story that is both funny and quite poignant at times. The plot concerns Cohen and his Silver Horde, who have decided to go on one last adventure to return fire to the gods -- in a rather interesting manner. Also featured are Lord Vetinari, Leonard of Quirm, Rincewind, and the rest of the Unseen University wizards, attempting to avert a disaster that threatens the whole of the Disc. The story remains as well-written as any other Discworld story, full of jokes, footnotes, and wry observations on human nature. Paul Kidby's beautiful illustrations enhance the text wonderfully. There's plenty of two-page spreads in here for your viewing pleasure -- if you've ever wanted to see a map of the Discworld, or a birds-eye view of Ankh-Morpork, you will definitely want to pick this one up. In fact, pick this one up anyway -- if you're at all a fan of the Disc, you will not be disappointed.
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