This is a review of “Mort” by Terry Pratchett. It is the 4th novel in The Discworld Series and the first novel in the Death Story Arc.
Mort is an odd young man. He is gangly and awkward and thinks too much. His father takes him to the local job fair, where boys are taken on by masters of many different trades to become apprentices.
Mort waits with the other boys in the marketplace. One by one they all leave, until Mort is the only one left. He refuses to lose hope, and insists on waiting until midnight before leaving. Miraculously, a tall and mysterious stranger turns up looking for a likely apprentice.
It is Death.
Yes. Death. Skeletal fellow with cowl and scythe; harvester of mankind. Mort becomes Death’s apprentice. He leaves the marketplace to go and dwell in Death’s own Kingdom, where time does not exist, but two other humans do. Albert and Ysabell.
Albert is Death’s manservant, an old man who loves cooking greasy food and hates people prying into his past. Ysabell is Death’s daughter. Adopted of course.
Mort listens to his master and does his duties. He goes out on business with Death. This he finds hard. Some people don’t really deserve to die in his opinion (which doesn’t come into it at all). And he impulsively “saves “a rather attractive princess whose life was meant to end.
But Mort has disturbed reality and caused ripples that will take a very long time to heal. And history wants to proceed as planned.
What is Mort to do?
Meanwhile, Death finds that it’s rather nice to have an apprentice. It means he can take a day or two off here and there…
A humorous and entertaining novel.