Mort tells the tale of a young man who becomes an apprentice to Death. He is there to learn Death’s trade, to sever the last ties between the soul and the body, and to guide the deceased to the afterlife. Everything goes wrong when Mort interferes with a persons death, stopping them from dying and messing with history.
Mort is the fourth book in Terry Pratchett’s Discworld series.
I have thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. It is funny and builds on the character of Death that appears in earlier Discworld stories. My favourite character in this book is Mort, the main character of the book. Mort starts off as a clumsy and awkward young man who is the son of a farmer. Mort’s father believes he is not suited to farm work so takes him to a local market where many young men are attempting to gain apprenticeships. Mort is there all day whilst all the other men are picked and taken away by their new employers. Until at midnight, Death himself offers him an apprenticeship. Mort quickly learns the trade and goes from the gangly, clumsy and awkward farmers son to a confident young man.
The Discworld has already been established in previous novels by Terry Pratchett and this story builds on those foundations. Death has created his own world, outside the realm of the Discworld, made for his daughter Ysabell and his servant Albert. In this world Death keeps the hourglasses, one for each person on the disc, that count down the time until the persons death. Death also has a great library, full of books that tell the history of every person that has ever lived. When each book is opened, if that person still lives, the reader can see the persons history being written. My favourite part of the book is when Mort and Ysabell visit this library to search for the history of someone they expect isn’t who they say they are.
I really enjoyed this book from start to finish. It is funny, entertaining and adds many interesting characters to the Discworld lore. I particularly liked how it doesn’t end how you’d expect the story to (no spoilers here though, you’ll have to read it to find out!). My only particular gripe about this novel is it is very short so the story often feels rushed.
I would recommend this book to anyone who loves fantasy style novels. It is best to start with the first Discworld novel, The Colour of Magic, as a lot of the stories will not make sense without it. Even if you are not a massive fan of fantasy novels, the Discworld series is a great introduction as each novel slowly introduces the lore of the world rather than having it all thrust upon you at once.