Review of Terry Pratchett’s book Mort

Review of Terry Pratchetts book Mort

Jaiden Heaton, Book Reviewer

Terry Pratchett is my favorite author, and Discworld is my favorite series, so I’ve got a bias with this review. Mort, by Terry Pratchett, is the fourth Discworld novel and the first book in the Death series. The Discworld series is a collection of forty-one books written by Terry Pratchett. They follow many different characters and stories that take place in the same world, so you don’t need to read them all; they can be read in any order. However some books work as better starting points than others. The best are Going Postal and Wyrd Sisters. The Death series is a good starting point because it introduces the world almost perfectly, and Death is one of the best characters. Still, he’s usually a minor character, and seeing him in that capacity is slightly better to start with. The Discworld is a fantasyland shaped like a disc on the back of four great elephants standing with a giant turtle swimming through space.

Mort, by Terry Pratchett, follows Mort and Death as Mort becomes Death’s apprentice, and Death seeks to understand and experience human pleasures. As Death’s apprentice, Mort has many benefits like free lodging and board, walk-through walls, food, and access to the company horse- Binky. However, he soon discovers a big downside to working for Death, for it’s a killer on one’s love life. Due to an accident, Mort learns why one mustn’t fail to reap a soul. As a result, death gets a much-needed vacation.

On to things I liked or felt were positives. As I mentioned, the characters are great and probably the best part of the story. They all have significant interactions and chemistry. Mort and Ysabell’s relationship progression was a fun read. The world is explained in detail without feeling out of place or too much. It’s hilarious, even on rereads. It’s a short book with great pacing. His writing style is excellent and distinctive. I love how Terry Pratchett included footnotes because they made the world seem fuller, more thought-out, and fun. There were still things I picked up on and noticed after rereading it, for instance, Rincewind’s appearance.

Now on to things I didn’t like, could have been improved, and others might want to be aware of. First, Terry Pratchett didn’t like writing chapters, so there weren’t any. This threw me off the first time I read a Discworld book, but it’s not an issue; just a heads-up. This isn’t for you if you dislike satire, dry wit, puns, or absurdist fantasy. Like many of the first published Discworld books, this is slightly more lighthearted than the later ones. I wish there were more of Death and Ysabell’s interactions. Ysabell and Death barely interact. She’s supposed to be his daughter, and I was expecting a little more than what was given.

I give this a 5-star rating, this was hilarious, and Death was a massive story highlight. This is the first book in the Death series; four other books are titled; Reaper Man, Soul Music, Hogfather, and Thief of Time. You can find Mort and Hogfather at the CIHS library. In addition, Mort has several adaptations, including a fan adaptation by Orange Cow Productions, a graphic novel, BBC Radio Four by Robin Brooks, and several stage musicals.