Equal Rites (Discworld series #3) by Terry Pratchett

Buddy Read with Kelly.

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 forced to penetrate the inner sanctum of the Unseen University–and attempt to save the world with one well-placed kick in some enchanted shins!

This is the first part of our review of Equal Rites by Terry Pratchett. You can read the second part of it onon Kelly’s blog, The Written World

Heather – I’m finally finished! So, what did you think of Equal Rites?

Kelly – I liked it, but there was a major problem for me. I felt like I was reading the Tiffany Aching books. I think I was hoping for a bit more originality. And, obviously there were some differences, but I was disappointed that the book read more like a young adult book than an adult book. It’s not to say I did not like it. What did you think?

Well…now that you SAY that…it did feel sort of like the Tiffany Aching books…. With a few more sex references. And with more Granny and I love me Granny Weatherwax. I can’t tell you how much I loved that the dying wizard (Drum Billet. Great name.) bestowed his staff on a girl. That completely cracked me up. One of my favorite things about Pratchett is how he takes these things and turns it completely around and makes it so funny and yet so pertinent. Everyone (except the staff! And Esk!) was so completely against Eskarina being a wizard! But there is no fighting destiny in Discworld. What did you think of Eskarina? And Granny?

Just because it was like the other series, though, doesn’t mean that I didn’t like it. I just was hoping for a different feel, I think. Overall, it was a great Terry Pratchett novel and makes me excited to read on in the series. I have read random books later in the series, but I think it is time to read them in order. I loved that the staff was given to a girl in a world where women cannot be wizards. I haven’t read a lot of Pratchett compared to how much he has written, but it seems that he does not have any problems writing empowering women characters.

Eskarina was actually pretty funny. She has lived a rather sheltered life, and then here she finds out that she has a staff and can do magic like she always wanted to do. Sometimes, though, she has no idea what she is doing, so it leads to some rather comical results. Then, Granny, was just a wonderful character. Even when she wasn’t trying, you couldn’t help laughing at some of her antics. I think her broom flying experiences were some of the funniest in the book. She is an endearing character that you always want to see more from.

What was your favourite scene in the book?

The wizard’s duel, hands down. I thought that was hilarious. I also found it interesting that a witch, who for most of the book stressed that witches and wizards were very different things, that their magic was so much different, yet she… well… pretty much bested the guy. I haven’t read a lot of Pratchett either, like you say “compared to how much he has written,” but I get the feeling he has a LOT of respect for women. That’s one of the reasons I adore him so much!

Her broom flying antics were hilarious. And the time she rode the staff? Priceless!

What was your favourite scene in the book?

Oh, yeah, the staff riding was a great scene! And the wizard’s duel. That was very entertaining!

I am not sure what my favourite scene over all even was. I enjoyed many scenes. I enjoyed this book from the very beginning when the wizard arrives to pass on his staff and finds out that after he is all ready dead that he has passed it on to a girl. I enjoyed many of the scenes with Granny and Eskarina. It usually meant that hilarity was going to occur. For that matter, I enjoyed many of the scenes where Granny and the wizards interacted. That usually meant some humour, too. If I had to choose, though, it would probably be the first time Granny rides a broom. That scene stuck with me better than any other because I enjoyed reading it so much.

Was there anything that you didn’t care for about this book?

That it wasn’t long enough? lol

I really can’t think of anything. All my favorite Pratchett-isms were there.  How about you?

My problems were minor, I suppose. The book reminded me a lot of the Tiffany Aching books when I was hoping for something fresh and original, but that wasn’t necessarily a terrible thing. I also felt the book was more young adult than adult, and I am getting a bit sick of young adult books at the moment. That disappointed me. Those are more personal preferences than anything actually wrong with the book itself. I still really enjoyed it and look forward to reading on in the series!

On a sort of related note, of all the Pratchett books you have read so far, what has been your favourite? If it is not this one, how does this one relate to your overall experience of reading Pratchett?

2 thoughts on “Equal Rites (Discworld series #3) by Terry Pratchett

  1. I actually find it kind of interesting that you found these similar to the Tiffany Aching books. I guess it is relevant that this book was actually published at least 15 years before the TA books, so it seems that he manages to keep track of the world pretty well which is pretty amazing given how complex it is.

  2. Yeah, Marg, apparently it was a connection that only I made. 🙂 It makes sense to me, though.

    Heather, I am so glad we read this together! Once we finish the Carrie Ryan review we should figure something else out to read together. 🙂

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