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|Rincewind and Carrot and Death, Oh My
The Last Hero
ill. Paul Kidby
A Diskworld Adventure
| Cohen the Barbarian
(lately Genghiz Cohen, Emperor of Agatea) and his Silver Horde (they
used to be a Golden Horde, but that was before what hair they have left
went grey) have set out on one last grand and pointless adventure;
Cohen plans to swarm the mountain of the gods and "the last thief will
return what the first thief stole".
For those who wonder just what that means, the first thief is currently
chained to a mountainside with an eagle tearing at his liver, and Cohen
has a large barrel of Agatean Fire Clay...
And, if he succeeds, it's the End Of The World.
And so the Patrician of Ankh-Morpork turns to the wizards of Unseen
University and to Leonard of Quirm to
figure out how to stop Cohen.
As usual, Leonard has An Idea.
And so Leonard, Captain Carrot of the Watch and Rincewind, the
reluctant wizard set out in the
Discworld's first spacecraft to orbit the Disc and get there in time to
stop Cohen and company.
Unlike the usual Discworld adventure, this is a large-format book with
illustrations by Paul Kidby, and the
illustrations (while not essential to the story) are hilarious and
complement Pratchett's inspired satirical insanity brilliantly.
As usual, though, one can count on Pratchett to hold up a twisted
mirror to our own world and to make a few Telling Points here and
And -- mirabile dictu! -- Archchancellor Ridcully seems to be beginning
to understand some of the implications of quantum theory as it applies
to magic and the (more or less) Real World.
| Not to mention a
minstrel to write the saga after it's all over. It is absolutely
required by The Rules that Heroic Deeds be recounted in sagas. Back
locked up in a
tower -- he's a Really Nice Fellow and brilliant painter who can't help
inventing things that people with the Wrong Sort Of Minds (most people,
actually) see all sorts of potentials for bigger and better mayhem in. Back
appointed Chair of
Cruel and Unusual Geography at Unseen University, on account of having
seen so much of
it in a lifetime devoted to hair-raising escapes, Adventures
and general Running Away. (Death regards Rincewind as a sort of
special hobby, since, every time his lifetimer is supposed to run out,
it develops a new lobe or sidepath and keeps going.)
is someone else, far away, having a truly terrible day.
Not to be
confused with the late
Josh *Kirby*, who painted the definitive Discworld covers, which we
don't get to see in the States. Back
This fact (and
Awful covers the books *have* had in the States) may be part of the
explanation of why the Discworld books don't sell better Over Here... Back
Probably the best
of all of the
illustrations is the one printed Very Faintly across a two page spread
that is almost invisible -- Kate missed it entirely until i showed it
to her -- of Cohen and Blind Offler in the poses of Adam and Jehovah
from the Sistine Chapel. Cohen, however, is not limply holding out his
hand for the Divine Spark. Back
Stebbins has been
promoted from the High Energy Magic department of UU to "Head of
Inadvisably Applied Magic." Back