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Equal Rites (Discworld, #3)
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Equal Rites (Discworld #3)

3.92 of 5 stars 3.92  ·  rating details  ·  63,049 ratings  ·  1,315 reviews
On Discworld, 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. The town witch insists on turning the baby into a perfectly normal witch, thus mending the magical damage of the wizard's mistake. But now the young girl will be...more
Paperback, 228 pages
Published September 13th 2005 by Harper Perennial (first published 1987)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Manny
The problem with Terry Pratchett is that you keep wanting to read the good bits out loud.

In this particular case, I'd just reached the line "Her dress would have been both clinging and revealing, if it had had anything to cling to or reveal." Too late, I realized that not all the people around me were going to find this equally funny. I'm still embarrassed. Damn.

Gary
Fun reading

This is book one of the Witches segment of Discworld. The characters are lively and likable. The magic system is comedic with a dark bite. Mixed into the slapstick silliness is a grain of philosophy and social commentary that is often highly quotable and thought provoking.
The story reads like Wicca meets Harry Potter meets the theory of relativity meets The Dark Crystal. I found myself slowing down and rereading sections of the story to make sure I followed it correctly. A lot happens...more
Melki
Similar in spirit to the first two books in the Discworld series, once again we have a delightful duo on a journey, encountering many a merry mishap on the way. This book is not as funny as its predecessors, though the plot seems more cohesive and a little less meandering.

Despite the distinct lack of trolls, this is probably my favorite so far. I really enjoyed the "Girl Power" theme to the book. At least I think I did. It could just be those darned witches using their "headology" on me.
Olga Godim
A mediocre novel, at least for this writer. He’s still stretching his wings, and it shows: this earlier tale contains too much verbal clutter but almost no humor, which is abundant in his later novels. I like the idea of this one – a female should be allowed to be a wizard. Oh, yeah, I’m all for equal rights. I dislike the execution though.
Why did the author make Esk, the protagonist, an 8-year-old girl? She is too young to behave the way she does and to know everything she is supposed to know....more
Tfitoby
A brave move from Terry Pratchett as he moves away from his established characters and takes a shot at world building.

I've been listening to the audiobook for the reread of this one as part of my exercise regime and it was quite the good distraction from the pain.

The third in the now long running Discworld series moves away from Rincewind, The Luggage, Twoflower and the parodies of generic sword and magic fantasy epics. After the success of the first two I imagine this must have been a brave mov...more
Tadiana
I've had the first Discworld book patiently waiting on my iPad for months and haven't gotten to it, but per Deborah's strong recommendation (see her review and Emma Sea's comment #1 at https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...) I skipped past the first two books and went straight to the third, Equal Rites, to begin my Discworld experience.

A dying wizard passes his wizardly powers and magical staff to the newborn 8th son of an 8th son (why not 7th? I guess Discworld just has to be different). He d...more
Stephen
2.5 stars. A disappointment after really enjoying The Color of Magic and The Light Fantastic. I love the Discworld setting and will certainly read more in the series, but I did not love this installment.
Darlene
May 05, 2009 Darlene rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Discworld lovers, witch lovers, women's libbers
Recommended to Darlene by: Cherylllr, Yvensong, Kay kuns
Shelves: i-ve-read, pratchett
I am having a lot more fun with this one than the other two. I can't seem to put this one down! Too bad real life gets in the way of reading! :)
Leslie
Wyrd Sisters was my first Pratchett, and such a bliss-out that I am forever partial to any Discworld narrative that involves witches. Especially if the witch in question is Esmerelda "Granny" Weatherwax. And Granny is front and center in Equal Rites.

I won't go into details of the plot except to say that the punny title alludes to the (in this case) magical battle between the sexes which provides much of the story's conflict. See, women can be witches and men can be wizards, but you absolutely ca...more
Nathan
Part 3 of the Complete Discworld Reread

Men are wizards and women are witches, and that is the way it is. But when a dying wizard tries to pass his magical staff on to a newborn boy, someone should have checked with the midwife on the baby's gender. Now Granny Weatherwax has a problem. She can teach young Esk all about witchcraft, but the raw magic flowing from her is going to need training in wizardry. Sure the rules say only a man can be a wizard, but for Granny, rules are for everyone else to...more
Robyn
This is where we really start to see the real meat of the Discworld series, and the wonders to come.

It's easy to read the first two books of the series as an exercise in pure iconoclasm. Pratchett came onto the scene, a gleeful jester in the genre, poking fun at the tropes, breaking them down and reassembling them minus a few screws, so that they did something a bit unexpected. With this book however, he lets us know that he's not just doing it for the sake of tinkering with the status quo, he'...more
Qt
Another fun Discworld book :-)
As with the other two Discworlds I read, this one was funny, but also rather thoughtful. I liked how the author even incorporated some physics into the action :-) It took me a bit to get into it, but I did enjoy it very much and found it a great deal of fun!

Graham
Pratchett’s third Discworld novel dispels with Rincewind and the various other assorted characters we met in the first two books, instead introducing one of the series’ most memorable characters: Granny Weatherwax, the sharp-tongued witch. Unfortunately, Granny is embroiled in a rather slow-moving tale that doesn’t really go anywhere for a hundred pages, before finishing with a rip-roaring conclusion that’s full of amusement, excitement and excellent writing. It’s just a shame that Pratchett did...more
Erin Stuhlsatz
"Esk gazed down defiantly. Granny glared up sternly...But Granny had spent a lifetime bending recalcitrant creatures to her bidding and, while Esk was a surprisingly strong opponent, it was obvious that she would give in before the end of the paragraph."

"'So', said Granny, 'how goes the life?'
"The other witch shrugged...'Like the hurried lover, it comes and goe--' she began...'Not bad, not bad.'"

"Goats did have names for themselves, she well knew: there was 'goat who is my kid,' 'goat who is my...more
Pam
This book is much, much better than the 2 Discworld novels before it (The Color of Magic and The Light Fantastic). That is not to say that those 2 books were bad, just that Equal Rites is really good.

First off, the main characters, Eskarina and Esmeralda Weatherwax, were very lovable. Young Esk is a bit naive and a lot stubborn the way that smart little kids are. Old Granny Weatherwax is wise but unbendable in her ways, just like most old people. But unlike other stubborn characters in other sto...more
Ksenia Anske
Can a girl be a wizard? Can a boy be a witch? Can the universe turn itself inside out and outside in and fold into a single viewpoint that explains what magic is and what it isn't? And, more importantly, can one understand that the monsters we see are reflections of us, and if they are scary, that means that we are scary, and that by simply waving a magic staff at them won't do any good, and one has to step away and peer deep inside oneself, although not too deep, because then maybe one can sudd...more
Mortalform
She understood babies. You put milk in one end and kept the other end as clean as possible. Adults were even easier, because they did the feeding and cleaning themselves. But in between was a world of experience she had never really inquired about. p 21

but a hint was to Esk what a mosquito bite was to the average rhino because 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. p 70

The problem is people intereste...more
A.E. Marling
Dec 23, 2012 A.E. Marling added it
Shelves: fantasy
If you love your eighth son of the eighth son to be endowed with supreme magical talent, then Equal Rites may be the book for you. Except, oops! That eighth son was actually a daughter. There's no tradition on Disc World of women being wizards, but that doesn't stop her from riding a flood of pluck and reality-fizzing magic down from the mountains to Ankh-Morpork to teach those stuffy wizards the meaning of the word “flabbergasted.”

Much of the book is told from the perspective of the tough-as-en...more
Kaethe
The thing I really noticed this time is the way Pratchett makes up for his earlier omission of women at Unseen University by acknowledging how many it takes to keep the university running. And I continue to love how Granny Weatherwax supports herself in Anhk-Morpork and how she gets around the wizards. That Esk is nine doesn't surprise me: she's definitely a predecessor of Tiffany in the competence department. I'd really love to see Esk again, more grown-up, more used to being a first and only.
Kat
Basic Plot: in a world where only men can be wizards, the power of a wizard is accidentally given to a baby girl. Somehow, she has to get into the Unseen University for training.

This book was amusing, but not as giggle-out-loud funny as the first two. that said, I love the character Granny Weatherwax. She amuses me greatly, almost as much as the bumbling Rincewind did. There's a definite relation to feminism in this novel (the cover even says so!). I am always leery when a man decides to write a...more
Sesana
Going back to read Equal Rites again after having read every other witch book is kind of an interesting experience. Granny's certainly grown as a character since then. Here, the real star is Eskarina. I loved her determination to be herself, whatever other people tell her she should be. Pratchett uses the fantasy setting to play with gender roles. Wizards are men. Because... Well, they just are. That isn't good enough for Esk. I know that the witch books, and Discworld in general, will get bette...more
Matthew Hunter
The Discworld series keeps getting stronger. Equal Rites is my by-a-mile favorite thus far. Pratchett's humor remains silly at times, but there's a subtlety to his delivery now. I can't remember rolling my eyes a single time.

Best of all for me, Pratchett's not just a funny guy. He uses his Discworld universe to comment on our own crazy world. Why are there so few women wizards in high fantasy? Why do old boy networks exist, exclude, and often belittle the contributions of women? Why do we burn w...more
Gulen
Granny Weatherwax ile ilk tanıştığımız kitap, genelde Terry'nin tüm kitaplarını sevsem de Granny'nin olduğu kitapların yeri ayrıdır ve bence onlar Terry'nin en güzel kitaplarıdır,
Simcha Wood
Equal Rites, the third book in Terry Pratchett's Discworld series, is a considerable improvement over the previous two entries. Pratchett hasn't quite yet fully developed as a humorist and a satirist, and his plot, while more substantial than in the previous Discworld books, still manages to fizzle out a bit at the end. On the other hand, the main characters, the witch Granny Weatherwax and the young Esk are considerably more interesting and more readily evoke the reader's empathy than did the e...more
Jamie
liked Terry Pratchett's first two Diskworld books so much that I drove forward into the awaiting pile of his subsequent writings with great relish. Unfortunately Equal Rites didn't impress me nearly as much, mainly for its lack of the funny for the first half of the book.

For those of you in need of a refresher, Pratchett's shtick is that he lampoons the high fantasy genre (wizards, barbarians, dragons, all that) without having his books drown in their own mockery. He's also very funny, even apar...more
Josh
After reading The Colour of Magic and The Light Fantastic back to back, I had high hopes that Pratchett's books would keep getting better and better. Well, I don't want to say that Equal Rites is a bad book, but it's definitely an inconsistent one (although even the first two were a smidge inconsistent in spots.) And while it may not be his best work, it's still Terry Pratchett, which means it's still funny.

As you may have read, Equal Rites is about a wizard whom upon his dying breath, bestows...more
Lighthearted
On Discworld, everyone knows that only men can be wizards just as only women can be witches. Everyone also knows that the eighth son of an eighth son is always a wizard. Imagine then, the trouble that begins when a dying wizard neglects to verify an 8th baby’s gender before passing on his magical staff . . . .

Midwife Granny Weatherwax is quite annoyed with this turn of events but what is done cannot be undone. She determines to raise the 8th child, a girl named Esk, as a witch. When Esk turns 9...more
Jeff
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Emma Deplores Goodreads Censorship
Not sure how to rate this, so we'll say 3.5 for now, subject to possible rounding up later. I liked it, but if everything I like gets 4 stars then 4 doesn't mean much.

This book basically accomplishes what it sets out to do: it's funny and there's also thought put into the issues it examines. But I feel like it didn't try to do all that much with plot or character or worldbuilding, and if it had I would've liked it more.

At any rate, this is my first Discworld book (heresy in some quarters, that I...more
Scott Holstad
I really enjoyed this semi-serious, semi-satirical take on gender equality (or lack thereof). Pratchett handles a tough subject rather nicely, in my opinion, and does so with his usual humor intact.

A dying wizard attempts to pass on his powers to a baby being born -- an eighth son of an eighth son. Only, turns out it's a girl. And there are no female wizards on Discworld. Witches, yes; wizards, no. However, the child, Esk, now eight or nine, has a supporter in none other than the amazing Lancre...more
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Sir Terry Pratchett sold his first story when he was thirteen, which earned him enough money to buy a second-hand typewriter. His first novel, a humorous fantasy entitled The Carpet People, appeared in 1971 from the publisher Colin Smythe. Terry worked for many years as a journalist and press officer, writing in his spare time and publishing a number of novels, including his first Discworld novel,...more
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“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.” 787 likes
“She was also, by the standards of other people, lost. She would not see it like that. She knew where she was, it was just that everywhere else didn't.” 203 likes
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