You absolutely must feast your eyeballs on this marvel, before the ravens get them! It is deliciously gross, delightfully horrific and utterly hilarious. Did I say I LOVED it?
As its name so aptly hammers home, the island of Brutalia is not a place for the meek and mild. Its succinct motto is: LIVE OR DIE. Unfortunately, the Queen is much keener on the DIE part of the motto! So keen in fact that she condemns a twelve-year-old-boy to death (mistaking him for thirteen and a half because, you know, that’s old enough for a brutal execution) for trapping a raven and, under duress, agreeing that it might make a rather tasty raven pie! Just as the Royal Executioner is about to announce Weed’s method of execution, he goes and lets everyone down – by dying! Not ideal timing! The line of succession to this prestigious and important position is passed down through relatives, so the honour goes to Mort. Perfect: power and position! Except it isn’t as Mort could not be less suited to his new role. Firstly, he is Weed’s friend and would rather not be responsible for executing him and secondly, he is the founding, and sole, member of The Pacifist Society of Brutalia. Mort is determined to save his friend without resorting to the brutality so encouraged on the island, and so begins a brilliantly inventive, hilarious and exciting adventure as Mort endeavours to outfox the cruel Queen with a little help from a new friend, Ono. Will Mort be able to prove that peaceful means win the day, or will he end up with his eyeballs plucked out by the hungry ravens?
Ravens! Oh my! The ravens of Brutalia rather enjoy conversing and introduce every chapter with their keen observations and food cravings which is pure comedy genius! The playful use of language and commentary is such a joy from the
interfering helpful narrator to use of homophones and palindromes.
Mort is an adorable vegetarian, family-loving, pacifist, and what’s not to love about that? He is a quick-thinking rule breaker who uses ingenuity and intelligence rather than fists to win a challenge. He is also an amazing friend, even if his friends might not always think the same.
The partial and whole page illustrations throughout are absolutely perfect, and complement the story-telling brilliantly. I especially loved the emotions expressed through the illustrations.
Mort the Meek and the Raven’s Revenge is a fantastically funny book which made me giggle at things I really shouldn’t be giggling at (sorry!). It is also a story about having the strength to stand up for what you believe in, being true to yourself and facing challenges with courage. Humour with heart – my favourite kind of funny, and this delivers both. It’s definitely a story that I know my class are going to adore, and I can’t wait to introduce Mort to them.
Thank you to Charlie Morris and Little Tiger for an early copy in exchange for my honest opinion.