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The Last Hero

(Discworld #27)

4.17  ·  Rating details ·  32,140 ratings  ·  898 reviews
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 gather
Paperback, 176 pages
Published August 20th 2002 by Harper Voyager (first published October 2001)
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Average rating 4.17  · 
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 ·  32,140 ratings  ·  898 reviews

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Start your review of The Last Hero (Discworld #27; Rincewind #7)
Apr 02, 2017 rated it liked it
Ankh-Morpork, we have an orangutan.

Only Terry Pratchett could parody “Houston, we have a problem” with that kind of brazen aplomb.

While The Last Hero, A Discworld Fable, is Pratchett’s 27th Discworld book, the real HERO here is his collaborator Paul Kidby who provides a book full of illustrations.

Is it me, or does Cohen look a little like Terry Pratchett?

Pratchett’s original Discworld illustrator Josh Kirby died in 2001, and Kidby has been drawing Rincewind and the Wizards ever since. I’m an au
Ahmad Sharabiani
The Last Hero (Discworld, #27; Rincewind #7), Terry Pratchett

A message, carried by pointless albatross, arrives for Lord Vetinari from the Agatean Empire. The message explains that the Silver Horde (a group of aged barbarians introduced in Interesting Times, wherein they conquered the Empire, and led by Cohen the Barbarian, now the Emperor) have set out on a quest.

The first hero of the Discworld, "Fingers" Mazda, stole fire from the gods and gave it to mankind (analogous to Prometheus), and was
May 09, 2014 rated it really liked it
'And the thing is...the big thing about Cohen is...he's contagious.'

'You mean he's a plague carrier?'

'It's like a mental illness, sir. Or magic. He's as crazy as a stoat, but...once they've been around him for a while, people start seeing the world the way he does. All big and simple and they want to be part of it.'

This must be how Cohen the Barbarian got his Silver Horde to follow him up the highest mountain in Discworld to return something that was stolen from the Gods. BUT - for reasons too c
Jan 26, 2010 rated it it was amazing
This was the the last book on Terry Pratchett re-read binge.

While not as substantial as some of the rest of his books (I'm pretty sure the wordcount is less than half of his usual) this book makes up for it by being beautifully illustrated by Paul Kidby. I've never seen an artist do such spot-on interpretations of an author's characters. Kidby's work is really amazing.
Aug 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Oh, my dear Sir Terry, how you always delight me.

In this rather short but very good 27th volume of the Discworld novels, we follow Conan the Barbarian and his friends heroes horde.
Conan and his troupe have been on the Disc for a VERY long time without dying. But age is a matter of perspective as anyone trying to kill them finds out very briefly before their very own meeting with Binky and his master.
They've plundered, ravished and done all sorts of other things, ending up quite wealthy and ... b
Mar 26, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2019-shelf, fantasy, humor
The Last Hero has rapidly become one of my favorites out of the whole Discworld series.

This is funny because I originally gave it a 4 star.

So, why the change of heart?

It's the stars, baby. It's the stars.

Heroism is underrated. And wildly misunderstood. Good thing we have a huge cast of great characters here to destroy the world for us. I mean save it.

Or do I?
Stephen Robert Collins
Sep 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I read my copy back in 2001 when first came out. This first H/B copy not horrible P/B one. This brilliant story by Sir T but real star of this book is illustrator Paul Kidby who's ills make the story.
Old Soldiers never die they just fade away. I learned that school in 1960s but this proves that this load of old bullshit!
Cohen the Barbarian a mean old git, balded wrinkly prune with sword & walking stick. Mad Hamish in his wooden spiked wheelchair,Granny Vena the Raven -Haired (very grey) Evil Ha
Stephen Robert Collins
The Late great Sir Terry's Conan tribute to Robert E Howard what happens to super men when they get old & there teeth fall out this old man Steptoe with muscles.
But the extra special illustrations that give this book that WOW!
Mar 09, 2017 rated it liked it
The Last Hero is the seventh book in the Rincewind subseries. It’s actually an illustrated novel, the first one I’ve read. It was only available as an illustrated version (unlike Eric which I read in a non-illustrated format), and I do think some of the illustrations were important to the story. If nothing else, the ending might not make much sense without the corresponding picture. The reader could probably guess what it showed if they’d been paying attention to the story, though.

The story itse
Apr 19, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: humor, fantasy
Part of the Pratchett reread with the SpecFic Buddy Reads group in 2019.

Cohen and the Silver Horde are on the way to the home of the Gods of the Discworld to return what was once stolen from them. A motley crew from Ankh-Morpork set out to stop them, including Captain Carrot, Rincewind and Leonard of Quirm in a vessel of his design launched around the Discworld.

This neatly skewers Apollo 13 and has a lot of fun with the Silver Horde, but with a core of profound commentary about growing old and l
Jul 10, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I found this slim book tucked away behind other books. I think I hid it like a last bottle of really excellent wine.

This time the sassy, wonderful, snide, silly, colorful, twisted thingamabobs associated with Sir Terry's wordsmithery are augmented by Paul Kidby's frantic illustrations. What a visual and verbal banquet. In my volume, page 130-131 is particularly enchanting.

It's hard to pick a favorite character in Sir Terry's pantheon, but damn, Lord Vetinari, the cultivated, calculating, well-m
Igor Ljubuncic
Mar 13, 2014 rated it really liked it

I was never too fond of Rincewind - among the different arch-heroes that Terry introduced in his books, the neurotic coward is not at the top of my list, but still, like watching trainwrecks in slow-mo, you can't shake the feeling a bag of buttered popcorn would do nicely right then.

I think the plot is a bit vague - as most Rincewind stuff is - but basically, this is a multi-pronged parody on Conan the Barbarian, plus a whole slew of cliches. Thoroughly entertaining, although not as memora
The main word that comes to mind for this book is “cute.” It’s an adorable idea about what happens to heroes if they aren’t killed in spectacular glory when they’re young. Apparently the answer is that they go looking for adventure and not the old people kind.

I didn’t like the format, because the lines were really long which made it hard to read. I started holding the book a foot away from my face and it sped up the reading considerably, but it was still uncomfortable.

The characters are delightf
Feb 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-read-2019
Cohen can remember many things, the time when heroes didn’t need to worry about offending people or be concerned by the ruminations of anyone in the legal industry and he wasn’t that concerned about civilisation. The thing that he was struggling to remember though, was where he’d left his teeth.

However, that is not the important thing, Cohen and his Silver Horde, ancient heroes from all over the Disc are on a final quest to visit the Gods. They are returning to the Gods what was stolen by the fi
May 16, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantastical
A small story, clearly germinated whilst working on the previous Disc instalment, covering the effects of time and ageing, the desire to live longer, see more, put a mark on the world you are about to leave behind. Perhaps a clear example of the authors knowledge that he was going to have his life cut short by Alzheimer's? And also using the story to kill off one of his earliest creations, leftover from the silly days when the Disc was basically a spoof of fantasy novels. Cohen the Barbarian is ...more
Feb 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2020

The pros: This was a highly enjoyable book. I've been reading the Discworld series for some years now; I'm not rushing, because there isn't going to be any more, and I'd like to go as long as possible while still having new ones to read. This one was especially charming, funny and exciting, and this book is also wonderfully illustrated.

The cons: This is another of those books where I don't have any specific reason for it not being the highest possible rating, it just doesn't give me that
Peter Tillman
Nov 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
A constant delight and remarkably silly. I don't know how I missed this one, but Sir Pterry was in top form, and the art (usually) adds a lot. I'm guessing the story itself is novella-length, so a couple of hours to read? All the usual suspects check in, and the dramatic flight UNDER DiscWorld is quite something! Lightweight, but it's not like he's gonna be writing more. Recommended, especially for fans. Oversize format: coffee-table size book. ...more
Jul 31, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Amazing story with beautiful illustrations that made the atmosphere even deeper. Brilliant :)
It's been a while since I've visited the Discworld. I usually try to read two or three a year, but I only managed to read one in 2019. Plus I had to track down a copy of this since my library didn't have it, and then I never got around to reading it over the summer like I was supposed to. As always, should have read it sooner. This book tickled me.

This is actually considered the 27th full book of the series, despite it being about half the size, really only novella length once you take the full
Oct 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, audio
I have to confess to being very disappointed that the only Audible version of THE LAST HERO available seems to be an abridged version (4 hours and 24 minutes worth), unless I'm older and blinder than I thought I was. Which is also part of the reason that I really love this book so much. Cohen the Barbarian is no youngster, and he's on a final quest 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, and they should be bloody wo ...more
An installment that it's very easy to overlook: it's only a very short illustrated novel, after all. More a lengthy short story than a novel, to be honest. And when you think about the plot, the characters and so on, it's all very simple, very small, nothing all that impressive.

But the flip side of that is that there's no room for most of Pratchett's vices. Combine that tight focus with an author at the peak of his powers, and the result is near-perfect execution. The comic bits are very funny,
May 07, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Pratchett's witty humor finds its perfect target - a group of aging heroes, a Dark Lord, and a group of misfit heroes trying to stop them from ending the world. A superb skewering of what heroing, villaining, wizarding and genius inventing is all about. Not to mention moon landings, proper attire for aging heroes, and the many varieties of swamp dragons, complete with chance of explosion under various circumstances.

Re-read February 2021:
I would like to add that the book is gorgeous. I
Oct 22, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, humour
"So many worlds. So little time."
In the course of the last 26 books, Pratchett gave us a brilliant cast of characters. We've watched them appear, grow, evolve, and become a part of the Discworld Universe; Cohen was the only one who was who he was, in the beginning and till the end. That's what defined him, and that's what also, I thought, made him increasingly irrelevant in a Discworld with high-speed communications, reformed and societally-assimilated monsters, the rule of law & order and, most
Jan 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: discworld
This might just be my favorite Discworld book yet; it is definitely the most fun. it had the right balance of plot points and didn't overdo the characters and storylines that frequently cause Discworld books to bog down.

It was full of excellent quotes and the story kept moving along. Besides, any book with this grouping of characters is one that I will likely love - and I didn't realize how much I missed (view spoiler).

Characters: 5*
Plot: 4.9*
Universe: 5*

And now, my favori
Jul 06, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I almost rounded down from 3.5 stars, but The Last Hero was a pretty entertaining entry to the series and it had a few things going for it. I’ve always said that Rincewind is my least favorite Discworld protagonist, and the lack of Rincewind actually works in this book’s favor. It focused a lot on the characters he was with, like Leonard of Quirm, Captain Carrot, and The Librarian. It also had a pretty entertaining subplot with Cohen the Barbarian trying to destroy the gods for letting him and h ...more
Feb 14, 2021 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-2021
When Conan the Barbarian decides it’s time to go out with a bang, he doesn’t go for half measures. What follows is a delightful mashup of mythology, Leonard’s inventions, Carrot, Rincewind, the Librarian, epic saga’s, and even some dragons all mixed up as only Pratchett could deliver.
May 13, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I NEED TO OWN THIS BOOK ASAP. It has pictures! Of old men! And dragons!
Even without the illustrations, I'd buy it anyway.

The Last Hero is technically a Rincewind book but it's mainly about Cohen & The Silver Horde and Leonard of Quirm, served with a side of Carrot. It also has a bunch of other people. It's glorious. I loved Vena/Mrs. McGarry - one of the reasons I love Pratchett is because he writes awesome women. I like that Vena doesn't do much in the realm of swashbuckling, even though we kn
Dec 25, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy, 2016-reads, humor
The Gods are on notice as the greatest heroes of the Disc are headed for their heavenly abode on a quest to return the fire stolen by the first hero, except there’s a catch. The illustrated Discworld novella The Last Hero is the twenty-seventh in the humorous fantasy series written by Terry Pratchett and assisted by artist Paul Kirby. And once again Pratchett follows his first protagonist Rincewind racing to save the world.

Cohen the Barbarian and his Silver Horde have left their imperial possess
Mar 02, 2009 rated it really liked it
I didn't really like my first couple of experiences with Terry Pratchett. The first book I tried from Discworld was "The Color of Magic." I figured I start with it because it was the first book, but I was really disappointed with it and found it unfunny. I still wanted to give Discworld another chance though because I really wanted to like Terry Pratchett. So, I read around and found out that most people found his funniest book was "Guards! Guards!" So, I decided to buy it. I found it slightly b ...more
Feb 03, 2011 rated it really liked it
This book is one of the two large format books from the Discworld - (the other being Eric), however it is far more lavishly illustrated - this time by Paul KIdby - as this was published at the time of John Kirbys death. The illustrations are of a totally different style and although Kirby's style will be forever connected to the early Pratchett works I think these are just as good and compliment the story perfectly.
As for the story its quiet short considering the number of illustrations through
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Born Terence David John Pratchett, Sir Terry Pratchett sold his first story when he was thirteen, which earned him enough money to buy a second-hand typewriter. His first novel, a humorous fantasy entitled The Carpet People, appeared in 1971 from the publisher Colin Smythe.

Terry worked for many years as a journalist and press officer, writing in his spare time and publishing a number of novels, i

Other books in the series

Discworld (1 - 10 of 41 books)
  • The Color of Magic (Discworld, #1; Rincewind, #1)
  • The Light Fantastic (Discworld, #2; Rincewind #2)
  • Equal Rites (Discworld, #3; Witches, #1)
  • Mort (Discworld, #4; Death, #1)
  • Sourcery (Discworld, #5; Rincewind #3)
  • Wyrd Sisters (Discworld, #6; Witches #2)
  • Pyramids (Discworld, #7)
  • Guards! Guards! (Discworld, #8; City Watch #1)
  • Eric (Discworld, #9; Rincewind #4)
  • Moving Pictures (Discworld, #10; Industrial Revolution, #1)

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