Mort: A Brief Introduction

Mort is a fascinating novel written by renowned author Terry Pratchett. Released in 1987, it is the fourth book in the popular Discworld series, which is a collection of fantasy novels set on a flat world balanced on the backs of four elephants, who in turn stand on the back of a giant turtle. In Mort, Pratchett takes us on an exhilarating journey through the magical world of Death.

Plot Summary

The book follows the story of Mortimer "Mort" Sto Helit, a young and socially awkward teenager who becomes Death’s apprentice. When the personification of Death decides to take some time off, Mort is left in charge of gathering the souls of the departed. However, trouble ensues when Mort falls in love with a princess named Keli and tampering with history becomes irresistible for him.

Mort embarks on an adventure filled with wit, humor, and moral dilemmas. As he tries to navigate the complexities of life and death, Mort learns valuable life lessons about love, responsibility, and the consequences of tampering with fate. The novel presents an engaging blend of dark fantasy and comedic elements that has become a trademark of Terry Pratchett’s writing.

Awards, Criticisms, and Acclaim

Since its release, Mort has garnered widespread acclaim from both readers and critics alike. The novel received the prestigious British Fantasy Award in 1988 and was also nominated for the Nebula Award for Best Novel in the same year. The clever wordplay, intricate world-building, and memorable characters have been praised by literary enthusiasts and solidified Mort’s status as a beloved entry in the Discworld series.

Terry Pratchett’s unique writing style and his ability to blend humor with profound insights into human nature have been consistently commended by reviewers. Mort, in particular, showcases Pratchett’s talent for whimsical storytelling and sharp social commentary, making it a must-read for fans of the fantasy genre.

Key Characters

Mortimer “Mort” Sto Helit: The protagonist of the story, Mort is a socially awkward teenager who becomes Death’s apprentice and finds himself in various tricky situations throughout the novel.

Death: A central character in the book and personification of death itself, Death takes Mort under his wing and imparts important life lessons to him.

Princess Keli: A charming princess who captures Mort’s heart and becomes a catalyst for his adventures.

Ysabell: Death’s adopted daughter, Ysabell adds a touch of familial warmth to the story.

Albert: Death’s mysterious butler, who provides a wealth of knowledge and guidance to Mort.


Mort stands as an exceptional piece of literature within the Discworld series, showcasing Terry Pratchett’s impeccable storytelling skills. With its engaging plot, memorable characters, and witty narrative, this book has enthralled readers for decades. Whether you are a fan of fantasy, dark humor, or thought-provoking narratives, Mort is a must-read that will leave you eagerly exploring the rest of Discworld’s whimsical universe.

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