Mort the Meek and the Perilous Prophecy
Rachel Delahaye, illustrated by George Ermos
Mindful of the introduction to this tale, lacking a rat disguise I worked on my scuttling and creeping skills, then donned my brown jacket and trousers before settling down to read Mort and Weed’s latest adventure, which like the previous two, begins in the rat-infested kingdom of Brutalia.
Happily for the two of them, or maybe not all that happily, some of the story takes place on a different island named Bonrock. Before that though, the friends meet two girls from Bonrock, Vita and Genia. It’s to this place that, not long after, the best friends are sent on a military mission, which will likely start ringing alarm bells for if you’ve read the first two books, you will know that Mort and Meek are staunch pacifists.
Bonrock seems pretty idyllic; surely the inhabitants won’t greet them with ‘fists of ferocity’ as happens on Brutalia? Are they friendly or as it appears to the two pacifists, intent on inflicting torture on their own people? It starts to look that way to the visitors as Genia and Vita show Weed and Mort around the classrooms and kitchens respectively. However misunderstandings are abundant in this story – I’ll say no more on that topic. I will say though that Weed develops a serious crush.
So much happens before the finale: there’s oodles of excitement, the possibility of a very painful punishment and Brutalia has a new Royal Soup Sayer; but throughout Mort is as determined as ever to promote peace and harmony over fury and fighting.
Rachel Delahaye is a superb linguist – her writing is cleverer and wittier with each new book. The wordplay is wonderful; even the characters get involved in explanations of such things as homophones and this works well. Whether the essence of the story is trusting strangers and fearing soup or fearing strangers and trusting soup, you can decide when you read it.
I’m off to change out of my brown attire and have a bowl of tomato soup. Oh yes and adding to the deliciousness of the book are George Ermos’ black and white illustrations.