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Equal Rites (1987)

by Terry Pratchett

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
13,748241378 (3.83)382
A dying wizard tries to pass on his powers 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.
  1. 170
    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. 30
    The Wee Free Men by Terry Pratchett (pwaites)
    pwaites: Tiffany Aching is similar in many ways to Esk.
  3. 31
    The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams (SandraArdnas)
  4. 00
    Arky Types by Sara Maitland (BeckyJP)

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» See also 382 mentions

English (225)  Spanish (4)  French (2)  Norwegian (2)  Italian (2)  Polish (1)  Danish (1)  Swedish (1)  Dutch (1)  All languages (239)
Showing 1-5 of 225 (next | show all)
Another good pratchett, but kinda drifts off at the end ... ( )
  calenmarwen | May 29, 2023 |
Equal Rites - Pratchett
Audio performance by Indira Varma
3 stars

A new 2022 recording of an early (1987) Discworld book. It’s a very good production of a story that features the beloved Granny Weatherwax and the young, female Esk who appears to have inherited a wizard’s magic.
I’ve been reading and listening to the Discworld series somewhat backwards. I have more fun with the later books, but this one had its moments as Esk and Granny stormed the ramparts of the Unseen University. Pratchett begins to develop the feminist themes of later books, especially the Tiffany Aching books that he wrote towards the end of his life. I’m glad these books are having audio makeovers. The older books deserve it. ( )
  msjudy | May 28, 2023 |
I also read this one on holiday.. so sorry this is another 'Alice tries to review from a three week old memory of a book' review. So, this is the third published book in Discworld and the start of a different story. No more Rincewind and Twoflower, this time we focus more on witches and wizards. So far this is my favourite!

The eights son or an eight son is born and as tradition dictates a dying wizard passes on his staff and magic. Only they discover that the eight son is in fact a daughter, but it's too late to do anything about it. Therefore Esk becomes the worlds first female wizard. The town witch, Granny Weatherwax, doesn't quite now what to do with her but eventually comes to terms with the fact that Esk has wizard's magic and not witches. The only place to learn proper wizards magic is at the Unseen University so they begin a journey to try to persuade them to let in the first ever girl.

I found this a much more fun read than the previous two, and I loved Granny Weatherwax! I loved her attitude, out dated opinions, her stubborn assertion that she always right and always knows everything even thought that isn't always the case, and her slight hypocrisy. Again there were times that I had no clue what was going on and had to carefully reread passages but I think I'm starting to get used to that now! I really enjoyed reading more about the inner workings of the Unseen University, and more of the Head Librarian! ("Ook!"). The typical humour is still to be found, I laughed to myself several times out loud and there where a lot of very quotable lines that I should really start highlighting on my Kindle!

I'm all for equal rights and I love that Pratchett decided to try to tackle some of that in this book, but I can't help wishing that Esk had been older than eight years! She's just too young to really be able to understand what is going on around her, and while it is perhaps her ignorance or naivety that go her as far as she got (and made her able to put up with some of Granny's behaviours I suppose!), but I think more could have been done with an older character. She also acts much older than her eight years at times and seems able to understand things beyond her years.

I'm thinking that I might continue reading the Witches storyline of Discworld rather than keep going in publication order because I'm finding that aspect of the world the most interesting so far. Of course I've got a big pile of other books I want to read first so it might be a while before I dip in again! ( )
1 vote ImagineAlice | May 8, 2023 |
So fun, can’t wait to keep exploring this world. ( )
  Melman38 | Apr 12, 2023 |
It's been almost two decades since I last read this, I think it was my first Pratchett book ever and I don't think I appreciated it as much as I do now. I'm so glad I did a re-read, and the audio is awesome! ( )
  NannyOgg13 | Mar 10, 2023 |
Showing 1-5 of 225 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Pratchett, Terryprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
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, KristaTranslatorsecondary 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, HillarIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Perrini, BenCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sahlin, OlleTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sinkkonen, MarjaTranslatorsecondary 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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A dying wizard tries to pass on his powers 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.

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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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