Mort by Terry Pratchett
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Mortimer (Mort) is one of those enthusiastic youngsters who while always curious, adventurous and active never seem to achieve much which is a problem for his father. However help is at hand in the form of an apprenticeship with the boys new master being responsible for him, now this makes Mort's family seem "bad" but it is really for the best. They travel to a hiring fare where alas as the hours go by Mort is the only boy not be taken into a new and exciting trade which is why at the stroke of midnight a black robed individual riding a large white horse offering to take Mort under his wing is most welcome even if undertaking was not the job Mort's father thought would be for him (Often the case when encountering Death a human's perception is changed to allow them to function).
So Mort is taken to the House of Death which offers it's own surprises and in the spirit of wax on wax off Mort is let into the secrets of the job of reaping souls and dealing with the seemingly unfair and unjust consequences of belief and what comes after death plus the need to muck out the stables of a well fed and cared for horse named Binky.
Mort is a fun read, the expansion of the Death character who really becomes a force to be reckoned with in the Discworld novels begins here, we've seen him toy with those he reaps and in many cases (Rincewind for example) interact indirectly but here he is a real "flesh and blood" being so to speak who realises that there is more to "life" than the job until Mort alters reality in a spectacular way and well the duty is the duty. Mort would be a good introduction to the Discworld series, it balances humour with a little drama and includes many well written characters most of which are unique to this novel but Death continues and that's the greatest thing to come from the novel.
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