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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
10,853172259 (3.79)322
  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 by Sara Maitland (BeckyJP)
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» See also 322 mentions

English (161)  Spanish (3)  French (2)  Italian (2)  Danish (1)  Polish (1)  Dutch (1)  Swedish (1)  All (172)
Showing 1-5 of 161 (next | show all)
The earliest Discworld novel I've read so far. In the Discworld only boys are allowed to study at the Unseen University and become wizards, but a dying wizard, mistakenly assuming that the blacksmith’s newborn child is the eighth son of an eighth son, passes along his powers to girl.

This story is full of Pratchett’s unexpectedly amusing turns of phrase, observant commentary about society and satire of fantasy tropes. I liked eight year old Eskarina, and Granny Weatherwax, who I knew from the Tiffany Aching books, is just great -- practical, no-nonsense and able to think outside the box when it comes to Esk’s education. The audiobook narrator, Celia Imrie, is dynamic: when Esk whispers, she really whispers; when Granny talks with her mouth full of food, it’s very convincing. I was entertained!

I lost some interest in Equal Rites towards the end, as the focus shifted to a largely-magical problem, rather than being on Esk finding a place at the Unseen University. It’s the sort of climax I’d be unsurprised to find in a fantasy novel by a different author but wasn’t expecting here. Is it a less-polished ending because Pratchett wrote this earlier in his career? Or am I more interested in how he writes about people than how he writes about magic?

Or am I missing something because Pratchett’s parodying 1980s fantasy novels that I never encountered weren’t good enough to stand the tests of time? I’m not sure.

[...] a hint was to Esk what a mosquito bite was to the average rhino because 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. ( )
  Herenya | Jun 27, 2018 |
I truly love all things Terry Pratchett, but none more than Granny Weatherwax. I will treasure the Discworld series and read them until all my books fall apart. ( )
  Emmie217 | Jun 27, 2018 |
While the Discworld series technically begins with [book: The Colour of Magic] and [book: The Light Fantastic] it only truly gains its spirit in [book: Equal Rites]. The other two books do well to set the stage, but it is with the introduction of Granny Weatherwax that readers truly begin to see just what humor and horrors await, and that [author: Terry Pratchett] finds his voice. [book: Equal Rites], in short, has only gotten better with rereading and plunged me with full enthusiasm into the delightful universe where the world rests on the back of four elephants on the back of the turtle, te Great A'Tuin, whose sex for now remains uncertain.

Why was Gandalf never married and Merlin a man? Why are women witches, men warlocks, and no woman in her own right considered a wizard? [author: Terry Pratchett] thinks it has less to do with sex than sexism, and this book is a hilarious look at just what happens when a girl is given the powers of a wizard. The Unseen Academy, naturally, has quite a lot to say about that. Fittingly, this book has a lot of humor, an even more astute commentary about just how important appearances can be when going out into the world. Witches have hats, for instance, because it is expected of them. Who's to know you're a witch without he proper uniform, and don't you want to make an impression? Headology, indeed. The philosophy behind the importance of words to wizardry was equal enlightening and amusing. One things Sir Terry got more right than perhaps he realized.

[book: Equal Rites] is fantastic, and I highly recommend it to anyone and everyone. If you're already read it, perhaps it's time to give it another read. Never hurts to go back to Discworld now and then and see how it's all holding up, after all. ( )
1 vote Lepophagus | Jun 14, 2018 |
This was, by far, the best Discworld yet. I just loved Esk and Granny. It’s been a while since I highlighted so many quotes in a book that made me giggle! ( )
  ChelleBearss | Jun 2, 2018 |
In the third book of the series, and first of the witchy part of Disc World, we’re introduced to Granny Weatherwax, a witch who can hold her own with anyone, witch or wizard. Granny is in charge of Esk, a very young girl who seems destined to be a wizard. There’s one difficulty, though: Esk is female.
Nevertheless, through a series of deceptive acts, Esk goes to work at the Unseen University. She meets Simon, an apprentice wizard who has his own troubles.
The plot involves what can happen when magic runs amok. But Pratchett, as always, is much more concerned with character development and how to be a decent person in a most indecent world.
This book is quite controlled, even though it’s completely wacko. Pratchett was maturing with every book, and this one shows tremendous progress.
From the title to the last page there are puns and allusions. At times I had to close my eyes for a second just to enjoy them.
A most enjoyable book and highly recommended. ( )
  bohemima | May 28, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 161 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Terry Pratchettprimary authorall editionscalculated
Šebestík, Martinsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Brandhorst, AndreasTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Briggs, StephenIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Callori, NataliaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Cholewa, Piotr W.secondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Couton, PatrickTranslatorsecondary 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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