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Equal Rites by Terry Pratchett
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Equal Rites (1987)

by Terry Pratchett

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Discworld (3), Discworld: Witches (1)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
10,256161281 (3.77)298
  1. 160
    I Shall Wear Midnight by Terry Pratchett (MyriadBooks, ijustgetbored)
    MyriadBooks: For the appearance of Eskarina Smith.
    ijustgetbored: To find out what becomes of Esk.
  2. 80
    Interesting Times by Terry Pratchett (bethielouwho)
  3. 20
    The Wee Free Men by Terry Pratchett (pwaites)
    pwaites: Tiffany Aching is similar in many ways to Esk.
  4. 00
    Arky Types (Methuen Modern Fiction) by Sara Maitland (BeckyJP)
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» See also 298 mentions

English (150)  Spanish (3)  French (2)  Danish (1)  Polish (1)  Dutch (1)  Italian (1)  Swedish (1)  All (160)
Showing 1-5 of 150 (next | show all)
A man who is an eighth son of an eighth son can become a powerful wizard if a wizard who is the eighth son of an eighth son passes his staff to the baby before the wizard dies. But what if the baby isn't a boy? Can a woman be a wizard? Would a woman even want to be a wizard?

This is the question Pratchett sets out to explore in this Discworld novel. Third book in the Discworld, Granny Weatherwax changes but little as the series develops. Which can be a bad thing, but in this instance it isn't. The wizards are not yet those which appear in later novels, and little Esk is rarely seen in the future, but as a way to meet Granny, this can't be beat.

If a person has to read a book about Feminism, this is the one to read, in my opinion. Granny Weatherwax doesn't ask for equality, she simply is equal (if not more so). There is never a question of her wanting to be "like" the wizards. She is comfortable with who she is and her place in the world is exactly where she wants to be.

However, she can see that Esk needs to be a part of the University because of her gifts and there is no reason she shouldn't be, and every reason she should be. So Granny sets out to make it so. A word to the wise wizard? Best get out of her way!
( )
  MrsLee | Feb 11, 2017 |
I read this within a few hours and laughed so much, despite being sick and miserable. There were so many phrases I wanted to copy into my commonplace book because they were so witty and hysterically funny. I love the way that Mr. Pratchett played with cliches and made them into something incredibly fresh and different from their original meaning. Esk was a great heroine and I look forward to my daughter reading this book when she is older. My only problem with it was that the end solution was a little vague, though intentionally so.
And in case you're curious, you can read this without having read any of the other books in the series and you will be just fine. ( )
  aurelas | Dec 23, 2016 |
Before the wizard Drum Billet dies, he needs to find a worthy apprentice to inherit his magical staff. Since an eighth son of an eighth son is usually born with magical abilities, he comes to the remote village of Bad Ass, where the blacksmith’s wife is currently in labour after providing him with seven sons so far. The newborn is duly brought downstairs and presented with the staff, and the wizard dies in the knowledge that his task is complete. There’s just one problem. No one thought to check inside the baby’s blanket first. Thus, Eskarina Smith, youngest child and only daughter of the Bad Ass blacksmith, finds herself saddled with a remarkable destiny...

For the rest of the review, please see my blog:
https://theidlewoman.net/2016/12/18/equal-rites-terry-pratchett/ ( )
  TheIdleWoman | Dec 20, 2016 |
a wizard, about to die, confers his powers on what he thinks is the 8th son of an 8th son. Only he" turns out to be a "she". Deals with Granny Weatherwax and Esk, the girl who wants to be a wizard. Only kind of funny." ( )
  BookstoogeLT | Dec 10, 2016 |
The Eighth Son of an Eighth Son is destined to become a wizard, and a dying wizard may choose, as he nears death, to pass on his magical lineage to another when such a one is born. Equal Rites opens with a wizard traveling with just such a behest in mind, approaching a blacksmith as the blacksmith's wife is busy bringing their eighth child into the world. Thinking that it wouldn't be such a bad thing to have a wizard in the family, the blacksmith doesn't hesitate to drag the midwife out with her bundle the moment the child is born, and neither man listens as she protests the rites of magical staff passage to the infant, followed by the wizard's immediate and expected demise. And thus the first female wizard is made, Granny Weatherwax is quick to retort, huffing at the mess these men have made.

At a time and place where witches are (women) useful members of society, curing ills, serving as midwives, and generally seeing to the natural order of things, and wizards are (men) magical intellectuals fretting about ceremonies and dinners and copious amounts of tobacco, a young girl starts to shake things up. Caring for her, Granny Weatherwax at first takes on the girl to train her as a witch, but as her powers grow Granny sees that Unseen University, the school of wizardry, is really the one place for her to learn to control her powers.

Equal Rites is the first book in the series to introduce Discworld Witches, Granny Weatherwax specifically, and the small communities of the Ramtops. It tackles gendered professionalism and education with wit and understanding, and establishes immediately and lastingly one of the biggest personalities of the series, who will continue to be a favorite throughout the sub-genre of Witch novels. With each novel the Discworld becomes more refined and just a tad sharper, and as the novels focus on characterization the charm of the canon is quickly developed. A great read. ( )
1 vote Luxx | Nov 18, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 150 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Terry Pratchettprimary authorall editionscalculated
Šebestík, Martinsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Brandhorst, AndreasAutorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Briggs, StephenIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Cholewa, Piotr W.secondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Couton, PatrickTraductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
DeNice, RobertoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Farkas, Veronikasecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hrivňák, Karelsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Imrie, CeliaNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ittekot, VenugopalanTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kaer, KristaToimetaja.secondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kantůrek, JanTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kidby, PaulCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kidd, ThomasCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kirby, JoshCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Macía, CristinaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Mets, HillarKujundaja.secondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Perrini, BenCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sahlin, OlleTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sinkkonen, Marja(KÄÄnt.)secondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sohár, Anikósecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Varik, Aetsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Zhouf, MartinEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Кирби, ДжошCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Петрова, ВеселаEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Иванова, ТаняDesignersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Зарков, ВладимирTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
[None]
Dedication
Thanks to Neil Gaiman, who loaned us the last surviving copy of the Liber Paginarium Fulvarum, and a big hallo to all the kids at the H.P. Lovecraft Holiday Fun Club.

I would like it to be clearly understood that this book is not wacky. Only dumb redheads in Fifties' sitcoms are wacky.

No, it's not zany either.
First words
This is a story about magic and where it goes and perhaps more importantly where it comes from and why, although it doesn't pretend to answer all or any of these questions.
Quotations
They both savoured the strange warm glow of being much more ignorant than ordinary people, who were only ignorant of ordinary things.
For animals, the entire universe has been neatly divided into things to (a) mate with, (b) eat, (c) run away from, and (d) rocks.
Esk, of course had not been trained, and it is well known that a vital ingredient of success is not knowing that what you are attempting can't be done. A person ignorant of the possibility of failure can be a half-brick in the path of the bicycle of history.
... she was already learning that if you ignore the rules people will, half the time, quietly rewrite them so that they don't apply to you.
It has already been revealed that light on the Discworld travels slowly, the result of its passage through the Disc’s vast and ancient magical field.
So dawn isn’t the sudden affair that it is on other worlds. The new day doesn’t erupt, it sort of sloshes gently across the sleeping landscape in the same way that the tide sneaks in across the beach, melting the sand castles of the night. It tends to flow around mountains. If the trees are close together it comes out of woods cut to ribbons and sliced with shadows.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Book description
The last thing the wizard Drum Billet did, before Death laid a bony hand on his shoulder, was to pass on his staff of power to the eighth son of an eighth son. Unfortunately for his colleagues in the chauvinistic (not to say misogynistic) world of magic, he failed to check on the new-born baby’s sex…
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0552131059, Paperback)

paperback, fine (as new)

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:18:52 -0400)

(see all 7 descriptions)

"The last thing the wizard Drum Billet did, before Death laid a bony hand on his shoulder, was to pass on his staff of power to the eighth son of an eighth son. Unfortunately for his colleagues in theI chauvinistic (not to say misogynistic) world of magic, he failed to check on the new-bom baby's sex..."--Back cover.… (more)

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