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Equal Rites by Terry Pratchett

Equal Rites (original 1987; edition 1988)

by Terry Pratchett

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9,588131301 (3.77)262
Title:Equal Rites
Authors:Terry Pratchett
Info:Signet / New American Library (1988), Mass Market Paperback, 254 pages
Collections:Fantasy/SciFi, Your library
Tags:Fiction, Fantasy, Discworld, Read, Reviewed, Own

Work details

Equal Rites by Terry Pratchett (1987)

  1. 150
    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. 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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» See also 262 mentions

English (121)  Spanish (3)  French (2)  Danish (1)  Polish (1)  Dutch (1)  Italian (1)  Swedish (1)  All languages (131)
Showing 1-5 of 121 (next | show all)
This a light hearted satire on 80's sexual politics - not much has changed today.

Granny Weatherwax and Eskarina are both great creations. I can't help seeing Granny as Maggie Smith. It's the eyes I think. And Esk, well, I know a certain cheeky monkey very much like her.

The best thing about this book are the amazing special effects. You can see that some of the magic at the end is CGI but that opening scene is as good as Gollum. ( )
  Lukerik | Oct 1, 2015 |
What more can be possibly said about the late and great Terry Pratchett? I've yet to open a book bearing his name that I do not like, that does not amuse and delight, and does not leave me thoughtful and wiser.

Well, wiser at least in my own estimation. I'm sure Pratchett would have something to say about the narcissism of the self-assessment.

To Equal Rites itself: Eskarina was supposed to be born the eighth son of an eighth son, an auspicious combination that a dying wizard seeks out in order to pass along his powers. Pass them he does, as Esk is born, but Esk is a girl, not a boy, and she enters the world without regard for the expectations of men and wizards. And indeed, she aims to grow into her power without regard for wizard and men. As her

In a day and age when social justice messages of equality and diversity seem to win awards and accolades, Pratchett is a breath of fresh air. Using fantasy, satire and deft wordsmithing, he conveys minute truths and observations that are far more persuasive than heavy-handed and stilted stories to those who have eyes to see, but doesn't bowl over the less interested reader with contrived sermons and meaning.

Equal Rites is rife this light-hearted but insightful satire. Esk determines that she must become a wizard, not realizing that the world of magic is divided along gender lines (wizards are men, witches are women). She thrusts herself forward with all the courage and naivete of a child unafraid to ask "why" to the assumptions adults take for granted. It provides an easy foil for the pretensions of stuffy old men and conventions, to question why things are done the way they are done.

Pratchett's characters can are fully formed, fully realized, and every subtle description fills in the depth of their character. This starts from his hook as the dying wizard stumbles along towards Esk's home and continues with Granny Weatherwax and her penchant for wearing her entire wardrobe at once. Some books rely on a single hook to pull you in, but Pratchett continues to hook in each chapter, page and paragraph with characters that fly from the page more colorful than real life.

While Equal Rites is the third published book from Discworld, it's also the first of the Witches. ( )
  publiusdb | Sep 23, 2015 |
What happens when a wizard doesn't do a background check on the person he's passing his magic to? A newborn girl becomes the worlds first wizard - something that just shouldn't happen! Too bad for Discworld, but Esk doesn't know what's impossible so she'll do it anyway.

This was a recommendation from a friend with a rather eclectic sense of humor and interests. I can understand why he loves the author. I'm not as enthused about it even with my preference for underdog stories and trope breaking. I like the idea that Esk, not knowing what is 'impossible', can do things simply because she believes that she can. The byplay between Granny Weatherwax and Cutangle is adorable. What I dislike about the book is the author's tendency to waver off-topic. It's one thing to reference other works but to actually break the 4th wall gets annoying when you're at the climax. Good humor, bad timing. ( )
  cat8864 | Aug 12, 2015 |
The reason this is one of my favorite Pratchett books is that even though it's one of his "grownup" novels, it's pretty much an all-ages read. The main character is very young and you're following her story. I'd say more about how awesome Pratchett is, but 1. it's already been said by better writers than I am and 2. I'm falling asleep at the end of a very long day and would just make a botch of the job. If you haven't read any Pratchett yet, I'd recommend this book. If you like the Tiffany Aching books, I strongly suggest you read "Equal Rites" before you read the most recent Tiffany book "I Shall Wear Midnight." Or, if it's too late for that, at least read it after. ( )
  Deborah_Markus | Aug 8, 2015 |
Description: A dying wizard tries to pass on his power to an eighth son of an eighth son, who is just at that moment being born. The fact that the son is actually a daughter is discovered just a little too late.

Thoughts: That is a terrible description but it's the only one I can find. Equal Rites is the third published Discworld book and the first to change the focus from Rincewind and Twoflower. Having rather enjoyed those books I was a bit nervous to see how this new series might differ, but I had nothing to be concerned about.

I had to look up a timeline to see exactly how these all related in time and found that Equal Rites takes place roughly two years after the events of The Colour of Magic and The Light Fantastic. It doesn't specifically reference any of the events of those books, but there are several similar locations and the tone of the book certainly builds upon those nicely. While the Rincewind stories focused on the nature of magic, Equal Rites looks at the ways magic is gendered. It manages a wonderful balance so that it isn't a stereotypical women's rights story but, instead, a playful look at how women have often subverted male power by cultivating their own and viewing (rather rightly) that the men are missing the point. The characters of Granny Weatherwax and Eskarina Smith are wonderful and I can't wait to spend more time with them in other Witches books.

My only complaint about this one is that the last section is too brisk. (What is up with my needing to use that descriptor so much lately?) The early sections are so nicely paced and given space to grow but the action in the last 1/3 seem to rush to the conclusion. It's all wonderful stuff it's just too quick and I felt cheated out of some experience.

Highly recommend!

Rating: 4.1

Liked: 4
Plot: 4
Characterization: 4.5
Writing: 4

http://www.librarything.com/topic/188600#5133005 ( )
1 vote leahbird | Jul 20, 2015 |
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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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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)

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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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