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Equal Rites

(Discworld #3)

4.02  ·  Rating details ·  143,781 ratings  ·  4,180 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 January 15th 1987)
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Average rating 4.02  · 
Rating details
 ·  143,781 ratings  ·  4,180 reviews


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Patrick
Jun 29, 2009 rated it it was amazing
I just recently re-visited this book after a couple years away from it. What's more, I've just recent re-read several of the more recent Witch novels from Pratchett, so they're fresh in my head.

Granny Weatherwax is one of my favorite characters of Pratchett's, and as an author, it does me good to see how she began as a character.

This book has some rough edges. There's nothing wrong with it, mind you, but it was still very early on in Pratchett's career, and it doesn't have the smoothness of hi
...more
Mario the lone bookwolf
Mar 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: pratchett-terry
Owning of both gender and fantasy stereotypes by the notorious badass and witty witches

„Men have to be wizards and women have to be witches, no debate about that, it´s the unwritten rule of doing it so since… What, stop asking stupid troublemaker questions about small girls being wizards, that´s impossible as women lack the…er… physiology to cast spells because one needs… sperm, yes, and body hair, muscles, you know, musk smell, the epic stink, to show the magic who is boss and dominance, yes, v
...more
Manny
Feb 06, 2009 rated it liked it
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.

Lyn
Jan 25, 2015 rated it really liked it
If I was not already a Terry Pratchet fan, I would be after reading this exceptional book as we are formally introduced to Granny Weatherwax, witch.

Equal Rites, Sir Terry’s third installment in the Discworld series is a peach of practical magic. Telling the story of a young girl’s conflicting talents for wizardry and / or witchery.

In the Discworld, men are wizards and women are witches – at least that is how it has been up to the point when young Eskarina Smith sort of becomes – both. Pratchett
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Adrian
This was just so incredibly funny, brilliantly written and truly a joy to read.

More tomorrow

Now I have in the past read probably a dozen or so Discworld novels and have come across some of the major players in this epic series, Granny Weathwax included, who was the star of this book. Whilst I don't remember ever actually reading this book it was wonderful to get reacquainted with Granny W.
I know that the books get even funnier, wittier and just more and more involved with the wonderful world th
...more
Trish
Jul 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was a blast!

Introducing:

Witch supreme (or that's what I'm calling her) - and that only because of her stare, to say nothing of her actual magical talents. And yes, I can totally see Maggie Smith playing her in a movie!

Esk, 8th "son" of an 8th son (on the Discworld, 8 is the most magical number), who inherits the staff of a pretty powerful wizard because - instead of listening to Granny - he is eager to pass on his wizard's staff before he dies and assumes that Esk is going to be a boy.


The
...more
Bradley
Mar 26, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy, 2017-shelf, humor
The Great Pratchett Re-Read Continues!

The third book begins the "real" development of the whole Discworld mythos, and rather than focusing on setting, it goes whole-hog (or Witch) into character and a rather deep social issue.

It is, at its core, a novel about breaking down the walls that the sexes tend to put up to keep the other side out. Witches can be wizards and vice-versa. :)

I didn't appreciate this as much the first time although I got the whole social bit perfectly... and mainly that was
...more
Phrynne
Jul 10, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was a reread for me but it is years since my first read and I did not remember much of it!
Loved that Death popped up right at the beginning and then Granny Weatherwax made her first appearance. Of course this book is vintage Discworld and these two, along with others, appear again and again later in the series and develop into much more rounded characters. Nevertheless Pratchett's humour is here in full force along with his wonderful descriptions and clever stories.
These early books are li
...more
Kai
Aug 02, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018, owned
“A little knowledge is a dangerous thing, but it's not one half so bad as a lot of ignorance.”

This was hilarious. I enjoyed every single page of it. If you saw me reading it, chances are high that you will have caught me cackling and giggling throughout most of the book. I never thought that I would pick up any Discworld novel but the more I read of them, the more I'm inclined to pick up another Pratchett book. They are light, fast-paced and highly entertaining.
I skipped The Light Fantastic beca
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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.
Ahmad Sharabiani
Equal Rites (Discworld, #3; Witches #1), Terry Pratchett
Equal Rites is a comic fantasy novel by Terry Pratchett. Published in 1987, it is the third novel in the Discworld series and the first in which the main character is not Rincewind. The title is wordplay on the phrase "Equal Rights".
The wizard Drum Billet knows that he will soon die and travels to a place where an eighth son of an eighth son is about to be born. This signifies that the child is destined to become a wizard; on the Discworld,
...more
Joey Woolfardis
[First read: 15th February, 2013. 3 stars.
Second read: 7th September, 2018. 4 stars.]

It was good thunderstorm country, up here in the Ramtop Mountains, a country of jagged peaks, dense forests and little river valleys so deep the daylight had no sooner reached the bottom than it was time to leave again.

Up in the Ramptops, the Eighth Son of an Eighth Son is about to be born, and a Wizard is ready to hand over his staff. But it seems they've all forgotten that babies can be girls as well...

I
...more
Paul Sánchez Keighley
This was lovely, very different from any other Discworld novel I've read - more charming and less hectic. It also works as a great standalone story, regardless of its place within the Discworld series.

Infused with the spirit of second-wave feminism (as told by a well-meaning white man), it tells the story of a young girl who is destined to become a wizard, much to the concern of both witches and wizards alike. But to me it also felt like a tale about the older generation coming to terms with and
...more
Rob
Executive Summary: Not as funny or as quotable as The Light Fantastic, but very enjoyable for other reasons.

Full Review
I had to double check the year this was written. This book still feels very relevant today.

Wizards can only be men. Witches can only be women. Their magic is different and shouldn't be mixed. A women has no place learning to be a wizard. Witches "have their place". Does any of this sound familiar?

As someone who works in a field that is far too lacking in women the idea that
...more
Lindsay
Apr 19, 2015 rated it really liked it
I'm fairly sure that this is only my second time reading this book since I first devoured the early books of the series back in the late 80s. Like The Light Fantastic it's forced a re-evaluation of my opinion of the early Discworld books and in a positive way.

A dying wizard passes his staff to a destined wizard, the eighth son of an eighth son. Only he was a little careless and the eighth son is actually a daughter. Eskarina Smith grows into her magic young under the watchful eye of the witch Gr
...more
Veronique
Aug 10, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4.5

“...it is well known that a vital ingredient of success is not knowing that what you're attempting can't be done.”

I started this book yesterday and found myself snatching any time I could to get back to it, even staying up late to finish it.

This was a surprise. I'm always a little reluctant when starting what is branded as a funny book, worried that it wouldn't work on me, which is why I usually go for the audiobook version - the performance and intonations of the voice artists being invalu
...more
Anusha Narasimhan
Jan 13, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I liked how the issue of gender roles is portrayed in this book. Starting from the title which is a play on “Equal Rights”, to the characters to society's expectations, Sir Terry Pratchett has captured the real-world issues of gender discrimination in his magical world of Discworld.

Like many young girls, Esk starts off questioning gender roles. She isn’t satisfied with being a witch when she has what it takes to be a wizard. But when a wizard subtly belittles witchcraft, she stands up for it. Sh
...more
seak
Oct 16, 2011 rated it really liked it
For some reason I thought I wouldn't like this book all that much. It's one of the first in the series, so for many people I talk to that's already a point against it, and I had it in my head that I will like other sets of characters better than the witches.

So far, of the 3 discworld books I've now read, this was easily my favorite. Granny Weatherwax is amazing and I had some great fun with this book. I'm glad to hear this series only gets better (as it has already) and this is why I'm glad I'm
...more
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
Suzanne
May 02, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
“Everything was a different color in those days.” “That’s true.” “It didn’t rain so much in the summer time.” “The sunsets were redder.” “There were more old people. The world was full of them,” said the wizard. “Yes, I know. And now it’s full of young people."

Boy ain't that the truth.

Terry Pratchett is so very quotable.

I enjoyed this introduction to Granny Weatherwax. I've "met" her in some of the later Discworld books, and she's a great character. This book looked at the issue of "women's job
...more
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
Zitong Ren
These Discworld novels just keep getting weirder and weirder. I haven’t loved any of them yet, though I understand the earlier books are considered some of the weakest. Overall though, I enjoyed myself!
BrokenTune
Aug 23, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed
"There are storms that are frankly theatrical, all sheet lightning and metallic thunder rolls. There are storms that are tropical and sultry, and incline to hot winds and fireballs. But this was a storm of the Circle Sea plains, and its main ambition was to hit the ground with as much rain as possible. It was the kind of storm that suggests that the whole sky has swallowed a diuretic. The thunder and lightning hung around in the background, supplying a sort of chorus, but the rain was the star o ...more
Kaitlin
May 12, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is book 3 (publication order) of the Discworld books and after having read and enjoyed both The Colour of Magic and The Light Fantastic last year I was quite looking forward to getting into some of the books which major fans of the series say are good. I can definitely say that this one is a lot better then The Colour of Magic in both writing style and ease of understanding. By this point it seems the Pratchett had really honed and perfected his tone of voice and writing style, just the rig ...more
Ivan
Jul 24, 2016 rated it really liked it
My first venture into Witches series and I don't know why it took me so long. Although this book isn't on par with my favourite Discworld books (Small gods, Jingo, Hogfather, Interesting times ) it has all the charm, humor and cynicism of a proper Discworld novel. Eskarina is great character but Granny Whetherwax wasn't nowhere nearly as interesting.

Anyway, I am eagerly continuing the series and I plan to do with Witches what I haven't done with any other Discworld series. Read it in order.

❀⊱RoryReads⊰❀
I loved this book! And I've read a lot of Magical-Person-Comes-Of-Age books. Funny, touching, original, this one has it all. If you haven't read it, get thee to the library!
Margaret
Sep 09, 2015 rated it really liked it
It has Granny Weatherwax, how could I not enjoy this book?

Lovely, albeit twisted, look at academia and equality.

Fun and thought provoking.

Highly recommended.
Paul
Nov 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I think this is my favourite Pratchett book yet. Had me giggling start to finish.
Audrey
Although the third Discworld book, it is fine to start the series here. The characters are all new. You only need to know that octarine, the eighth color of the rainbow, is the color of magic, and therefore the number 8 is also associated with magic.

This isn’t one of my favorite Discworld stories so far, though. There’s a full story arc and good characters, and it is humorous, just not as funny as the others in the series, and it started to feel long even though it isn’t.

I have a few favorite li
...more
David Sarkies
Aug 01, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anybody who likes a good laugh
Recommended to David by: Stewart
Shelves: comedy
Granny takes on the old boys club
4 August 2012

There are a few things that I have to say before commenting on this book as such. Firstly this is the second time that I read it, but I have listed it as a read book because when I read it the first time the friend who had lent it to me then proceeded to tell me all of the jokes. In fact, every Discworld novel that he ended up encouraging me to read generally came with a running commentary, and as such I ended up getting put off of them quite quickl
...more
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Born Terence David John Pratchett, 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, i
...more

Other books in the series

Discworld (1 - 10 of 41 books)
  • The Color of Magic (Discworld, #1; Rincewind, #1)
  • The Light Fantastic (Discworld, #2; Rincewind #2)
  • Mort (Discworld, #4; Death, #1)
  • Sourcery (Discworld, #5; Rincewind #3)
  • Wyrd Sisters (Discworld, #6; Witches #2)
  • Pyramids (Discworld, #7)
  • Guards! Guards! (Discworld, #8; City Watch #1)
  • Eric (Discworld, #9; Rincewind #4)
  • Moving Pictures (Discworld, #10; Industrial Revolution, #1)
  • Reaper Man (Discworld, #11; Death, #2)

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