Buy this book at
To Past Reviews Index
Back to Last Page

The Last Hero

Terry Pratchett

Average Review Rating Average Rating 8/10 (3 Reviews)
Book Details

Publisher : Victor Gollancz

Published : 2001

Copyright : Terry & Lyn Pratchett 2001

ISBN-10 : HB 0-575-06885-X
ISBN-13 : HB 978-0-575-06885-8

Publisher's Write-Up

He's been a legend in his own lifetime.

He can remember the great days of high adventure.

He can remember when a hero didn't have to worry about fences and lawyers and civilisation.

He can remember when people didn't tell you off for killing dragons.

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

He's really not happy about that bit.

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. It has been a good life. He's going to climb the highest mountain in the Discworld and meet his gods. He doesn't like the way they let men grow old and die.

It's time, in fact, to give something back.

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.

Someone is going to try. So who knows who the last hero really is?

Column Ends


Reader Reviews

Why not Submit a Review your own Review for this book?

Review by Chrissi (010102) Rating (7/10)
Review by Nigel (010102) Rating (8/10)
Review by Ray (011201) Rating (8/10)

Review by Chrissi
Rating 8/10
This is the end of my odyssey, to finish reading (re-reading in many cases,) the whole of TP's series of Discworld books. And, I am sorry to say, I have come up to date with a bit of a dud. The idea is interesting, Cohen and the silver horde have decided to return fire to the gods, because fire was stolen by the first hero, then it is only fitting that it should be returned by the last.

This in itself represents a problem, because they have chosen a bomb, which would destroy the magic on the disc, and life would therefore end. The wizards and Lord Vetinari have a kind of conference to decide what to do, and to cut a long story short, they decide to build a spaceship which will travel beneath the Disc, and will come around the other side with enough acceleration and height to fly over the top of Cori Celeste, and should therefore beat the Horde to their goal. Beating them there, however, may only be the beginning, as being there is no guarantee that they will a) not kill you or b) listen to what you have to say before killing you.

Of course, any adventure with such long odds against success is going to involve Rincewind, but the surprise volunteer is Carrot, along with Leonard who are going to travel as well. Leonard is kind of obvious, given that he has designed the ship, and Rincewind is volunteered because he seems to have a knack of surviving, but Carrot actually volunteers, as in was not asked to go, I am sure that Rincewind had some choice words on that subject…

The characters are many, and the assortments of heroes (with villains and requisite evil henchmen) are lovely, the Librarian is there as well. It is nice to see that Ponder Stibbons now has a grand title, and strangely enough, so does Rincewind. The Luggage is there, but does not participate in the adventure, and I even saw Death in there somewhere, as well as the Gods, a picture of Offler the Crocodile headed God does not look how I imagined it to at all, but that is a problem inherent in a picture novel, that your vision of things about which you have read is never going to be the same as anyone else's.

Carrot was particularly distressing to me, I suppose that the only other view that I have had of him is on Josh Kirby's artwork, and therein lies the rub. I prefer Kirby to Kidby. Sorry, but that is the main sticking point for me with this book.

I know that apart from this, it all seems like a jolly good starting point for a story, but that is really all it is. Because it is a picture book, the story is a bit short. I like my Discworld stories a bit lengthier; this one seems to lack the asides and the rambling nature that happens when TP wants to explore a point just a little further.

Can you believe that there are only four footnotes in the book? I suppose that this is because the images provided by Paul Kidby contain what would, in a text only book, have little notes attached. The one with the Rincewind in the swirling rings is brilliant, and if I can find that as a poster, then I think I would like it framing.
Chrissi (1st May 2002)

Review by Nigel
Rating 8/10
I went to buy this book on the day of release knowing nothing about it other than it was the latest Terry Pratchett Discworld instalment. I was surprised to find not the usual hardback format but a rather large (245mm x 290mm) book with graphics in full colour.

It tells the story of Cohan the Barbarian and his horde taking fire, in the form of some very high explosive, back to the Gods to set the record straight for their fickle handling of his friends, namely horrible deaths, which he thinks was a bit unfair.

The Patrician soon learns of the quest and realising that if Cohan succeeds he will also destroy the world sends a sort of rescue mission to stop him. The brave 'volunteers' are Leonard de Quirm, Captain Carrot and Rincewind, but alas, not the luggage.

The story is short but the artwork more than makes up for this with some stunning scenes, such as the Rimfall seen from the very edge. A lot of the diagrams are of Leonard de Quirm sketch's for his inventions, along with explanatory notes. I suspect a lot of readers will skip these as they just go through the story… my advice is don't. There are some real gems in these jottings that will have you laughing out loud… watch out for 'Testing the Handiwork of the Gods' where Rincewind is placed in a device with three rotating rings.

A short but thoroughly entertaining Discworld outing and a must for any Discworld fan... even if it won't fit on the shelf :)
Nigel (1st January 2002)

Review by Ray
Rating 7/10
Cohen the Barbarian and his silver horde are out to teach the Gods a lesson. They feel hard done by and having conquered everything they have nothing to lose. This time the Gods are going to get a visit with a vengeance. If they succeed, then the Discworld will no longer exist.

Vetinari, the Patrician of Ankh Morpork, is aware of the situation and sets up a strange mix of well-known characters to save the day. Will they make it in time?

The story includes the Discworld's first expedition into space, helped by burping dragons and has some classic Apollo 13 references. Pratchett's amusing style of rewording space travel into Discworld science will make the reader snigger most of the way through. It's a short but enjoyable story that any Pratchett fan should have in their collection.

The illustrations throughout the book by Paul Kidby enhance the story immensely and may also add some substance to what has been in peoples' imaginations from the previous Discworld series.

Buy it...
Ray (1st December 2001)

Back to Top of Page
Column Ends