Joey Woolfardis's Reviews > Equal Rites

Equal Rites by Terry Pratchett
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really liked it
bookshelves: own, pterry, 2013, humour, myths-magic-and-mordor, ahreet, masculine, ce20, sterling, bookshelf, 2018, champion
Read 2 times. Last read August 17, 2018 to September 7, 2018.

[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 firmly believe that Equal Rites is the best book to start with if you've never read Terry Pratchett or Discworld.

Reading this after I've just finished the Tiffany Aching Discworld books makes me draw a lot of parallels. The Tiffany books is probably where Terry was going with this, but couldn't quite manage it. This is only the third Discworld novel, and that is apparent, and it's quite a short read. There are quite too many our-world mentions and weak gags and occasionally the plot stutters, but altogether it is impossibly wonderful.

It's a heart-warming book focusing on the Man Jobs and Women Jobs of the Discworld-and indeed our own. I hate the word "relatable" and think anyone who uses it in book reviews should be shot, but it is, especially with the New Wave Feminism and all the stuff about Equality being bandied about. And hey, it was written in the 80s. By a man! I know.

We are also introduced to my favourite-my MOST FAVOURITE-character of the Discworld: Granny. Here she is as cantankerous and stubborn and wonderful and ridiculous as ever, and showing power that she rarely shows in other books. We also see her wonderful flaws even this early on: not wanting to admit she's wrong so she just headbutts ignorance right full on in the face. We also get her all alone without Nanny or any other witch, so it's quite an important role she's got here as the introduction to Discworld Witches. Pratchett introduces her very well and keeps her grounded with her stubborn nature and inability to accept she doesn't know things.

Eskarina Smith-the Disc's first ever Female Wizard-is similar to Tiffany Aching in many ways. She knows her own head but has a childlike mentality about a lot of things and it seems that she shares a smattering of stubborness with Granny that makes their stand-offs great to read. However, Esk isn't as well-developed as Tiffany was (though Tiffany did get five whole books to herself) and I often felt like Esk was pushed out of the story a little to accommodate the other larger-than-life characters (Simon and the Arch chancellor of Unseen University to name just a couple).

It's a wonderful read with a journey across a good stretch of the Disc and many minor characters who colour the place and let you know what you're getting yourself in to. The bad points can be forgiven in retrospect: it was his third and the books that follow just get better and better. Re-reading is 1000% better than simply reading Discworld books.
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Reading Progress

December 9, 2010 – Shelved
February 12, 2013 – Started Reading
February 15, 2013 – Finished Reading
August 17, 2018 – Started Reading
September 7, 2018 – Finished Reading

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