Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Equal Rites by Terry Pratchett

Posted by Simcha 3:33 PM, under | 4 comments

The dying wizard, Drum Billet, travels to the town of Bad Ass in order to pass on his powers to a baby who is just being born; an eighth son of an eighth son. But, too late, it is discovered that the baby is actually a girl, and everyone knows that girls can't be wizards.

Esk is raised in ignorance of the wizarding powers that have been granted to her, in hopes that these powers will never actually manifest. When Esk begins expressing an interest in magic, Granny Weaterwax takes her in and begins training her as a witch. But Esk's powers have a decidedly wizard-like bent, which becomes apparent when she turns her brother into a pig. So it's decided that Esk must get admitted to the Unseen University, for wizards, where she can be properly trained, though this will be tricky since they don't accept female students.

The wizards at the university have no idea what they are up against, when Esk and Granny Weatherwax show up at the university gates. No mere refusal will turn this stubborn duo away and Esk manages to discover a way to get herself in undetected. But there are strange and frightening creatures lurking around the university, which only Esk seems able to see. And when these creatures manage to steal one of the university's brightest students, it will be up to Esk and Granny to save the day.

Equal Rites is a fun and enjoyable book, though it doesn't have quite the same humor and ingenuity as Pratchett's later books. Since the one-of-a-kind Granny Weatherwax is one of my favorite Pratchett characters, just her inclusion in the book was reason enough for me to read it. And the spirited Esk is a wonderful character as well. I've only read a few of Pratchett's Discworld books and I'm now curious to find out if Esk appears in any other books because I'd love to find out how she eventually turns out.

If you are new to Terry Pratchett's Discworld books, then this could be a good book to start with, even though it's the third in the series. Just be aware that the later books are even better. And if you are already a Pratchett fan, then you'll probably want to read it anyways, if you haven't already.


this sounds like a fun, quirky book! i've seen the name terry pratchett around but i haven't looked into any of his books. i didn't know he writes like this. when i'm in the mood for a fun fantasy, i'll definitely pick up one of his books.

p.s. you left a comment asking for a fun, lighthearted historal rec... i say eloisa james's duchess in love. lol, sorry, most the historicals i read are the sad and depressing types but i liked that book.

I have read the first book in this series. I really enjoyed it. I need to get back to reading these books. Oh man, do I have so many books I really, really want to get to and this series is one of them.

Thanks for the great review. It sounds like another great book!

chelleyreads: Thanks for the recommendation. I thought I would ask you since you seemed to have read some such books. I'll take a look at this one. And if you haven't read any Pratchett yet, I highly suggest you do so. There are a whole bunch of Discworld though most of them don't have to be read in any particular order. Mort was a good one and I particularly like the ones involving the witches.

Melissa: I know what you mean, I'm starting to feel overwhelmed by all of the books that I want to read. I haven't read too many of Pratchett's early books but I've heard they weren't as good as the later ones. My favorite is the one where the vampires conquer the castle, though I don't remember the title.

Must be an enjoyable read Equal Rites: A Discworld Novel by Terry Pratchett. loved the way you wrote it. I find your review very genuine and orignal, this book is going in by "to read" list.

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