Welcome back to my holiday on the Disc! This is my latest post in my Discworld Project. If you aren’t aware of this project you can click here . I recently got back on track with the publication continuity of the series and Mort is my most recent read. Now, its my favourite.
In this book we meet Mort (short for Mortimer), a young, awkward lad from the Ramtops. Mort is looking for work and when his father gains him an apprenticeship he is finally employed. Does it matter that his employer is Death himself? The actual Grim Reaper? Not at all, its quite a noble position. Prospects, uniform and a company horse. Soon enough Mort discovers there is more to Death than life, where to keep a Scythe when indoors and why working for Death can affect his love life.
I was really looking forward to reading this and I was not disappointed. This is the shining star of the Discworld series so far and I enjoyed it even more than the last one I read. This is the beginning of the Death novels, a character we have already been introduced to in the previous books but we do get his perspective in this.
This is obviously set on the Disc and we do see previous locations such as Ankh Morpork and the Unseen University but a good chunk of the novel takes place within Deaths Domain. We get to see the realm through the eye of Mort, a human like (the majority at least) of us readers who is understandably scared yet fascinated. The descriptions of the rooms, particularly Death’s study, is wonderfully gothic and has traits one would assume from Death (skull and crossed scythe motifs along with black grass included). It also thrills me that Death puts his scythe in an umbrella stand when not in use.
Mort is a very entertaining character to read. Although his is young he very much knows his own mind and isn’t afraid to speak up, correcting people who call him ‘boy’ instead of using his name for example. Death is as intimidating to Mort as he is as a figure to us and most of the questions anyone would living would ask Death do get brought up by Mort frequently. Mort isn’t afraid to challenge Death and Death begins to allow himself to learn more about humanity. Their dynamic is one that is rewarding while also being entertaining. The humor is a strong motif as ever especially between characters but this one is definitely more emotional than previous books. I definitely had feels while reading this but then again, I am emotional with many books. Also big plus that Death loves cats.
The story flows so well, switching mostly between Mort and Death’s perspectives as they both travel around the Disc and learn more about life. Mort mostly about taking it away and Death just basically having some to himself. The climax of the narrative is very satisfying while also doing a brilliant job of pulling all the different smaller strands of plot together. This is where I really love Pratchett outside of characters and dialogue. There is never any room to be bored and every single novel wraps up really well without all having similar plot beats to the last book in the series.
This is another ideal starting point for those who want to start their own journey to the Disc. Death is my new favourite character. He loves cats, trying different drinks and loves a good curry. His library is filled with stories that write themselves and if its one trope I never get tired of is the Death learns to be human trope. Please try this if you have never read Terry Pratchett, you won’t be disappointed.