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Equal Rites by Terry Pratchett

Equal Rites (original 1987; edition 2000)

by Terry Pratchett

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9,373126315 (3.76)249
Title:Equal Rites
Authors:Terry Pratchett
Info:HarperTorch (2000), Edition: Reissue, Mass Market Paperback, 213 pages

Work details

Equal Rites by Terry Pratchett (1987)

  1. 150
    I Shall Wear Midnight by Terry Pratchett (MyriadBooks, elvisettey)
    MyriadBooks: For the appearance of Eskarina Smith.
    elvisettey: To find out what becomes of Esk.
  2. 80
    Interesting Times by Terry Pratchett (bethielouwho)
  3. 10
    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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English (116)  Spanish (3)  French (2)  Danish (1)  Polish (1)  Dutch (1)  Italian (1)  Swedish (1)  All languages (126)
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Equal Rites is the third Discworld book and may actually be a good one to start the series on. While the previous two books were primarily satires of the fantasy genre, Equal Rites is the first Discworld book where Pratchett begins to satirize the real world. Other good books to start with are Guards! Guards!, Going Postal, or Small Gods.

In Equal Rites, a dying wizard passes along his powers to the eighth son of an eighth son, who is currently being born. Only, the son turns out to be a daughter, making Eskarina Smith a female wizard. Only, women who practice magic are supposed to be witches not wizards…

Essentially, Pratchett’s challenging and playing with the magic and gender dichotomy, where if women have magic at all, it is entirely separate from (and often viewed as inferior to) men’s magic. This is what annoyed me about the first Earthsea book so much. Esk is a young girl determined to be who she is, no matter what people tell her she should be, but she lives in a world where “she could sense doors being slammed before she had barely begun to open them.” Esk is a very sympathetic protagonist, a nine year old girl who’s just trying to find her own way.

“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.”

This is also the first book featuring Granny Weatherwax, a major character in the series. Here Granny is a mentor of sorts for Esk. Originally, Granny is bent on teaching Esk witch craft and keeping her from becoming a wizard. But then Granny realizes: is she doing this for Esk or for herself? From then on, Granny is going to help Esk get into the Unseen University, and woe to any wizard who tries to stop her.

What’s remarkable is that this still one of the weaker Discworld novels that people tend to forget about, which really tells you something about the series as a whole. I’d recommend this one to… well, pretty much everyone. Certainly for anyone looking for humorous fantasy or fantasy centering around female characters.

Originally posted on The Illustrated Page. ( )
  pwaites | Mar 16, 2015 |
The third instalment in the Discworld series. This is the first book that doesn't have Rincewind the fumbling wizard. I enjoyed this story even though it's quite simple and didn't particularly have anything special to note. I enjoyed the Granny Weatherwax character and hope to see her in other stories down the road. ( )
  briandarvell | Feb 24, 2015 |
Continuing my read-through of Pratchett's Discowrld novels....I'm so glad to see the world start to broaden beyond the first two books. It's clear that he took a big step back with this one, assessed what he would like to do with this series, and decided to just cast as broad a net as he could. I don't remember Granny Weatherwax from my sporadic readings in Discworld, but she's a classic Pratchett character. Sharp, unexpected, and full of slightly sideways moments presented matter-of-factly. She's a model for women everywhere. "I can see you are getting ideas below your station." Indeed, Granny. Indeed. ( )
  CherieDooryard | Jan 20, 2015 |
Fun read, not as funny as the previous two Discworld novels, but no less interesting. Hope someday Pratchett interweaves Esk and the Witch novels into Rincewind and Twoflower novels. Don't tell me if you've read the entire series. ( )
  utbw42 | Dec 8, 2014 |
Statt wie es der Tradition entspricht, sein Erbe dem achten Sohn eines achten Sohnes zu vermachen, fällt die Wahl des Zauberers Drum Billett auf die erste Tochter des Schmiedes nach sieben Söhnen. Kein leichtes Los für die kleine Eskaterina, denn Zauberinnen gibt es nicht und hat es auch noch nie gegeben. Doch mit Hilfe der Hexe Oma Wetterwachs, die, wenn auch nur widerstrebend, das Zauberinnenschicksal Esakterinas akzeptiert hat, machen sie sich auf den Weg in die Unsichtbare Universität, wo aber der Tradition gemäß nur Zauberer ausgebildet werden.
Im Gegensatz zu anderen Romanen von Pratchett läuft diese Geschichte hier eher ruhig ab. Nur wenige außergewöhnliche Figuren (die sonst immer die Scheibenwelt bevölkern) tauchen auf und die geschilderten Abenteuer bleiben bis auf das Ende eher verhalten. Auch der Wortwitz ist nicht in der Menge wie in anderen Scheibenwelt-Büchern vorhanden, aber trotzdem liest sich das Ganze ausgesprochen amüsant, unter anderem auch da die Parallelen zur 'echten' Welt unübersehbar sind. Eskaterinas und Oma Wetterwachs' Eindringen in diese jahrhundetealte Männerdomäne kommt einem ebenso wie die dazugehörigen Argumente sehr bekannt vor: Tradition steht über allem, es gibt keinen Präzedenzfall, es war schon immer so, so etwas ist noch nie geschehen.
Richtig schöne Unterhaltung! ( )
  Xirxe | Dec 2, 2014 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Terry Pratchettprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
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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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.
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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 Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:49:24 -0400)

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"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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