Comeuppance (Mort Series Book 1)

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It does not work, and they plummet to the ground. Annith begins crawling toward Mortain under yet another shower of French arrows. Ice-cold fingers of dread trail down my back before wrapping themselves around my heart. As a lone hound brays in the distance, I shove away from the battlements and race down the stairway to the gate.

More hounds join the first, raising their voices in an unholy lamentation. For a moment, the world hangs suspended, like a drop of sap oozing from a tree, and in that moment I know. The god of Death—my father—is gone. He has passed from this world. By the time I reach the gate, the French have fallen back, as if even they sense the magnitude of this moment. Nuns from the convent of Saint Brigantia swarm toward the fallen Mortain as Annith throws herself on his body, weeping. As much as I am hurting, she will be even more so. Before I can reach them, a laugh rings out—an incongruous, joyful sound in the solemn stillness.

Puzzled, Death reaches for his chest, his hand coming away red with blood. He is alive. But even as far away as I am, I can see that he is no longer Death. A great chasm opens inside me, a dark yawning maw that threatens to swallow me whole. If Death no longer walks amongst us, then what purpose am I to serve? What use will there be for my dark talents and skills? I fear the answer was writ long ago, when I was born into the family that raised me. And that answer terrifies me far more than death ever has.

I was born in the upstairs room of an ancient roadside tavern, a group of common whores acting as midwives.

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My mother, too, was a whore, although perhaps not so very common. Would an ordinary woman invite Death to her bed on a dare? I did not cry or whimper or even draw breath. But old whores are as wise as old cats, and Solange did not give up. She bent down to place her wrinkled lips on mine, and blew. According to my mother, my chin quivered, a fist curled. Solange blew again, her determined breath somehow shoving away the cold hands of my father as He reached for me.

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I drew a deep breath of my own after that, followed by a lusty cry. The women thought me a miracle, moved that one had been visited upon them just as if they were the Magdalena herself. I follow the deep ba-bump through the narrow, twisting corridors of the dungeons, stopping when a gaping black hole appears at my feet. The darkness that oozes up through the metal grate is as thick and solid as a coiled snake. At first, I think it a hatch to the river that runs nearby. Until the next heartbeat reverberates through me, one long, deep ba-bump. I never feel the heartbeats of others unless they are close to dying.

That is when I finally understand the nature of this pit. It is an oubliette. A dungeon designed specifically for those who do not even warrant the mercy of a clean death. Nameless dread that cannot be explained by the presence of death thrums through me. My hand clenches. I should turn and walk away. Return to the sumptuous, brightly lit rooms of the castle proper. I am getting ready to do just that when the heartbeat stops. The pressure in my chest grows, stretching against my ribs, seeping into the very marrow of my bones.

Trepidation and despair sweep through me, as if the world itself has just been torn in two. And then the pressure stops. Is simply gone, like the passing of the wind. See All Customer Reviews. Shop Teen Books. Read an excerpt of this book! Add to Wishlist.

It's also one of the funniest. It's not very close to some of his other stuff.

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Many of his books take place in Discworld, but are very different from each other. I'd start with 'Color of Magic', then go with 'Guards! Then, just go from there.


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No specific order is required, though the night watch books would be better to read in order. I'm reading 'Small Gods' right now, and so far it's one of my favorites. You could start with The Bromeliad Trilogy, or the Johnny Maxwell books, both are nice short series, but maybe just a little slanted towards younger readers.

The Colour of Magic is the first book in the Discworld series, and gives a pretty good intro to the whole world. It's where I started. I went off on a tangent with the Night Watch novels at one point, but once you have your feet in the Discworld, moving from group to group isn't too hard. The Wikipedia page has a good chronological listing, with tags for which group the story mostly deals with.

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Good Omens is a collaboration with Neil Gaiman that I remember as being quite enjoyable. It's also a standalone novel, with no Discworld connections. I randomly read Night Watch first and it was a good start for me.

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But others say Guards! But definitly go for the night watch books first. I don't care for the first couple Discworld books - Rincewind is not my favorite character. YMMV of course. That being said, I'd probably just dive headlong into "Thud! Just to give you a general idea, the discworld books tend to be about the witches Weird Sisters, Equal Rites, etc the guards Thud! That's not a complete list at all but it's what I can remember without getting off the couch.

It would make sense to pick a thread and start from the earliest book in that thread, if continuity is important to you, but I read them all wildly out of order and it worked out ok for me.

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Most of them are very much standalone novels, although there is character development that spans several books. Here's a Discworld reading order guide. There are several series within Discworld, and you'd lose something by reading any of those out of sequence but largely can read any of them without the others without losing so much.

Good Omens was co-written with Neil Gaiman is standalone and great. The Bromeliad would be my next choice originally published as three slim books -- get an omnibus and pretend it's standalone. Good Omens is a collaboration with Neil Gaiman - fans of both can tell from the writing who wrote what. I love it, but I'm a fan of both. I think I started Discworld with "Lords and Ladies" which at the time was smack in the middle.

There are subsets within the series, and most people find that they've got favorites - there's Death, there are the witches, there is the Watch, there are the wizards. I prefer the books focused on Death, my husband prefers the Watch. The wikipedia page breaks it down by theme so that you can try at least one of each. I'd say that if you want to stick with Thud as a keystone for you, to go back and read all of the other books in the Watch series.

I mean, it's a 36 at least book series, and I don't want to be the one to tell you to go back to book three Equal Rites. After previewing - I'm going to second that I am no fan of the wizards - I don't like Rincewind either. And also, Small Gods is my favorite of the entire series, despite not being centered around Death. I would also suggest Small Gods. Pyramids and Moving Pictures are also equally kind of unrelated to other things.

I'm a fan of the books with Susan in the Death series, generally , and also tend to think that the wizards are among the weakest of the bunch but still good. It is where I started and I am fully addicted. I would also support the suggestion to start with Small Gods and Pyramids. Moving Pictures is also a good idea. They give you a good idea of what Discworld is like, but don't carry too much luggage no pun intended from previous novels. While the reading guide suggests starting the Witches series from Equal Rites , I think starting from Wyrd Sisters is a better idea, as the characterisation of the witches are better formed from Wyrd Sisters onwards.

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Also, look out for a new standalone novel not Discworld, and not even fantasy, I believe entitled Nation. Pratchett read some excerpts of it during the Discworld Convention a couple of weeks ago, and it sounds quite good. Of course, I am a biased listener, so take that with a pinch of salt posted by Alnedra at AM on September 4, I'd recommend color of magic- however, none of the 20 other books I've read have lived up to that one especially not small gods. It does a good job of introducing the world, but a lot of the concepts and jokes don't come up in later books.

The Thief of Time introduces the igors, which are my favorite running gag, and they play in later in going postal and making money going postal the best of these three I always found the Death Trilogy to be decent quick reads, but not my favorite. A lot of his books read the same in terms of plot progression. The problem is- there's just so much good stuff! If you have Thud, you'd do best to read color of magic, the night watch books, and invention of industry books The Truth, Going Postal, Making Money.

Reading these books in order is useful as most build off of ideas in previous books werewolves in the watch, igors, golems, etc. I honestly didn't like Small Gods that much. I recommend Going Postal. Another vote for Good Omens. I was a bit lost but it got me hooked. BoingBoing had a similar discussion about where to start Discworld posted by jrishel at AM on September 4, Wyrd Sisters is what I always recommend to friends who haven't read Pratchett before.

It'll get you hooked. I'd recommend that you start with one of the earlier books as I think the later books are more rewarding if you've got a grasp on the characters and how they've developed over the series.


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  6. So Mort or Guards! It all comes down to, I think, what you're initially looking to get out of the series. Colour of Magic: For completists. First book in the series. All-out parody of assorted fantasy tropes and novels, some largely forgotten these days. Has kind of a Simpsons Season 1 Syndrome thing going where it doesn't really resemble the rest of the series. Mort: For plot-lovers.

    Fourth book in the series. Death hires an apprentice. First book where Pratchett gets more serious about ongoing plotlines, start of the "Death" cycle. Moving Pictures: For those that like the nutty. Imprisoned eldritch horror attempts to escape by turning the Disc into Hollywood ca. A more mature "wacky" novel.

    Standalone, but introduces several characters Rudcully! The apogee of the goofy-fun aspect of Discworld. Small Gods: For those that like the thinky. Big-shot local diety gets his comeuppance, has to deal with the nature of belief.