In the fourth part of The Last Hero, the Silver Horde approaches their destiny. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to read Discworld.
Here’s what I expected: we would get at least one whole part of this book where we’d follow the Horde as they faced off with the various obstacles mentioned before. Pratchett could crack a ton of jokes, and it would build tension because it would bring us ever closer to the top of Cori Celesti and closer to the big confrontation with the gods.
And instead, Pratchett has them pass through nearly every obstacle in a few paragraphs.
It’s an interesting writing choice, and it’s making me think that the structure of this story has a grander scope that merely the journey to Cori Celesti. That’s part of it, of course, but I’m thinking maybe that the confrontation I’m expecting is going to happen a lot earlier than anticipated. Seriously, the Impassable Caves of Dread are mentioned on page 66, and then after Evil Harry does some praying (he is, you know, evil, so he’s got to work against the Horde to live up to his role), we discover that the Impassable Caves were… passed. EIGHT PAGES LATER. And some of those pages were nothing but illustrations!
But I’m not saying this to say I’m disappointed. I loved the patch that Carrot was sewing for morale, and I love Death’s complete inability to understand how Schrödinger’s Cat worked. (It really is one of those things that’s hard to wrap your mind around if you’re not like… I don’t know. One of those people who understands shit like this? IT STILL HURTS MY BRAIN.) And I actually felt really bad for the minstrel, who was KIDNAPPED and then taken along on the nightmarish trip imaginable for him. Seriously, all these heroes are used to the challenges in places like an Impassable Cave, but to him? HE IS THE LEAST PREPARED CHARACTER IN POSSIBLY ALL OF DISCWORLD HISTORY! The poor man! He’s not gonna write a good saga; he needs therapy. (And then he might write a pretty compelling song, but it would have to be about himself, not the others.)
Speaking of writing things down: my personal theory is that the gods themselves are responsible for the scrolls that Harry, Cohen, and Vena have. It kinda makes a bit of circular sense, right? The gods are outright playing the game that might lead to their own demise, so why wouldn’t they add another little piece to the game? They’re clearly getting a kick out of this; Offler declines the offer for the minstrel’s god to smite him just because it will “add to the fun.” So, I think they purposely gave these people a means of getting to Cori Celesti.
So… do they think these heroes will succeed? Do they even care?
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