SantaThing sign up ends in 6:49 hours (5:00 PM EST) » Find out more about our bookish Secret Santa!
Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

Equal Rites (Discworld Novel) by Terry…

Equal Rites (Discworld Novel) (original 1987; edition 1987)

by Terry Pratchett

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
10,146156282 (3.77)287
Title:Equal Rites (Discworld Novel)
Authors:Terry Pratchett
Info:Corgi Adult (1987), Edition: New Ed, Paperback, 282 pages
Collections:Your library

Work details

Equal Rites by Terry Pratchett (1987)

  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)

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 287 mentions

English (146)  Spanish (3)  French (2)  Danish (1)  Polish (1)  Dutch (1)  Italian (1)  Swedish (1)  English (156)
Showing 1-5 of 146 (next | show all)
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. ( )
  Luxx | Nov 18, 2016 |
After Colour of Magic, I was a little worried about reading another early Discworld book. But this was great. So great. It had a lot of the stuff I loved from the Tiffany Aching books, but had more Granny Weatherwax. It also told the origin story of Eskarina, who was one of the more intriguing charters from the Tiffany books. Telling this story means taking a look at the gender roles ingrained in the magical jobs of the Disc. Wizards are male, witches are female. Anything else is ridiculous. Unless a wizard makes a mistake and gives his powers to a baby girl. Oh no. Now there are going to be problems. Good thing Granny Weatherwax and Esk are up to the challenge. Even if it does mean traveling to forn parts and telling some fortunes along the way. I loved the questioning of gender roles, I wish we could have seen more of Unseen University and how the wizards are trained, but I guess that's a trade secret. ( )
  jlharmon | Nov 3, 2016 |
I keep trying to read this book, and never get very far. I've finally decided to skip it and move on. ( )
  librariabillie | Oct 30, 2016 |
I've been rereading Discworld, intending to do so in no particular order. Order, however, has imposed itself. After rereading the "Industrial Revolution" thread, and the later books in the "Watch" thread, I've returned to the "Witches." I reread Equal Rites last night. Granny Weatherwax, in this first appearance, is already a strong and well developed character. Unfortunately, we never see Eskarina again or any other female wizards at Unseen University as far as I can recall.

So why am I rereading Discworld? Because, despite the large number of new books available, I have yet to find a fictional world I enjoy visiting more than the Disc.
( )
  DLMorrese | Oct 14, 2016 |
My second ever Discworld novel, this one started out strongly with a lot great humour and some great one-liners, but it sort of petered out for me about mid-way.

The wizard Drum Billet knows that he will soon die and travels to a place where the eighth son of an eighth son is about to be born, but the newborn child is actually a girl, Esk. Billet notices his mistake too late, and the staff passes on to her. But a female wizard is something completely unheard of on the Discworld...

It's a good thing Esk is only 9 years old because if she were any older she'd be too stupid to live, but as a 9 year old, she's just precocious. Granny Weatherwax is... ok, I have to admit I didn't love Granny Weatherwax as much as I expected I would. I think her disdain for basic literary skills turns me off a little bit; I know that makes me sound like a sourpuss, but there it is. I loved her gumption and her pragmatism and I admired her refusal to take crap from anyone. Not to mention her ability to level someone with just her Look.

As I mentioned, the book lost steam for me mid-way; if it had been shorter by about a third I think I'd have enjoyed it more. The whole journey to the Unseen University felt endless to me, although things picked up once Granny and Esk arrive.

Still, Pratchett's weakest book is still a better book than just about most anyone else's best and I'm definitely interested in reading the "better" Discworld books. ( )
  murderbydeath | Oct 11, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 146 (next | show all)
no reviews | add a review

» 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
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
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.
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.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Publisher series
Original language

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English


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…
Haiku summary

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)

(summary from another edition)

» see all 8 descriptions

Quick Links

Swap Ebooks Audio
27 avail.
184 wanted
6 pay8 pay

Popular covers


Average: (3.77)
1 16
1.5 12
2 110
2.5 48
3 711
3.5 194
4 1001
4.5 72
5 532


3 editions of this book were published by Audible.com.

See editions

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.


You are using the new servers! | About | Privacy/Terms | Help/FAQs | Blog | Store | APIs | TinyCat | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | Common Knowledge | 110,644,517 books! | Top bar: Always visible