Mort is a young lad who, as is custom on the Discworld, is sold into a master’s service to become an apprentice. His new boss turns out to be Death himself who thinks that he deserves a break after being on duty since the beginning of time. Mort learns how to deliver spirits to the next realm and discovers that he’s now capable to walk through walls.
On his first unsupervised day, Mort accidentally saves the life of Princess Keli by riding down her assassin with Death’s horse Binky.
While Death, well, not really enjoys, but suffers through his vacation since he can’t figure out why humans take pleasure in fishing or binge-drinking, Mort tries to rectify the situation with the help of Death’s adopted daughter Ysabell (who might or might not have a thing for him) and Death’s servant Albert who turns out to be a famous wizard who attempted to cheat his way out of dying by striking a deal with Death.
Meanwhile, the universe itself has already decided to make sure that Princess Keli’s soul reaches the beyond no matter what the cost, even if the price is the collapse of literally everything.
I’ll admit that Terry Pratchett’s forth Discworld novel was published a few years ago, to be precise, in 1987. But Death is and will always be my favourite Discworld character because on the first glance the Grimm Reaper couldn’t be more unlike any human being, but then on the second glance he occassionally reveals his joie de vivre and his kind, unbeating heart. His detachment from the world of the living is good for a few scenes that could be described best as cultural misunderstandings, which I find a very charming way to show the reader how narrow-minded people can sometimes be. Pratchett’s Discworld is full of parabels about cultural differences and prejudices, but no other character is more charming than Death himself when it comes to pointing a skeletal finger at our human shortcomings.