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Equal Rites [Paperback]

Terry Pratchett
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)
List Price: CDN$ 12.99
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Book Description

Oct. 1 1989 Discworld (Book 3)
The last thing the wizard Drum Billet did before Death laid a bony hand on his shoulder, was to pass on his staff of power to the eighth son of an eighth son.  Unfortunately for his colleagues in the chauvinistic (not to say misogynistic) world of magic, he failed to check on the new-born baby's sex...

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Review

 • The first seven Discworld titles are being reissued with stunning new covers, publication coincides with 21 years of Discworld anniversary and the hardback publication of The Celebrated Discworld Almanak and Going Postal.

 • "If you are unfamiliar with Pratchett's unique blend of philosophical badinage, you are on the threshold of a mind-expanding opportunity." --Financial Times

 • "Persistently amusing, good-hearted and shrewd." --The Sunday Times

 • "Pratchett keeps getting better and better... It's hard to think of any humorist writing in Britain today who can match him." --Time Out --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

From the Publisher

"A sequence of unalloyed delight" - Guardian

"Truly funny books are very few and far between. Equal Rites is not only fizzy and hilarious, but is also a wonderful story well told ... This is his best book. Highly recommended" - The Good Book Guide

"A delightful. yarn, logically illogical as only Terry Pratchett can write. He's delightful, an utter nutter and funster-punster" - Anne McCaffrey

"You won't stop grinning except to chuckle or sometimes roar with laughter. The most hilarious fantasy since - come to think of it, since Pratchett"s previous outing" - Kirkus Reviews


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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It's a man's world July 21 2005
Format:Paperback
Everyone at the Unseen University knows that. They're all men, naturally, so they can't imagine any other way for it to be.
Just don't say it out loud around Granny Weatherwax, since she's prob'ly the midwife who delivered that man when he was very young, and the mother wasn't male either. We all get along just fine as long as the women have things their way, and the men have things their way too - the women's way, that is.
No one has the bad taste to comment on this arrangement until Eskarina is born, and a wizard makes a silly mistake. Could happen to anyone really - his dying moments unwittingly infuse the baby girl with wizardly, male magic.
In time, this brings the wrath Mistress Esmeralda Weatherwax down on the fortress of male magic, which is invaded and defeated never even knowing it was engaged. Saves a lot of work and running aroung that way, y'know. But Esme's real problem is that little girl, and her real problem is a little boy, and his real problem is -- unreal.
Neither the womanly witches nor the male mages are quite ready for this little girl with tomboy magic. Nor is she quite ready for herself.
As in Pratchett's other tales, the fun is in the telling. This battle of the sexes, like so many others, is fought to a draw - there will be cultural exchanges, visiting rights and such, and jittery kind of peace. All end up happy enough, but it's still one world with two peoples in it, male and female.
Except maybe for that girl and that boy. Male and female yes, in a child's way, but they have much too much in common.
//wiredweird
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars One of my less enjoyable trips to the Discworld Dec 29 2002
By Daniel Jolley TOP 50 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback
Equal Rites is the third Discworld novel, and in it Pratchett begins to reveal just how diverse a place it is. The inept wizard Rincewind is not to be found in these pages, nor are Twoflower the Tourist and his Luggage. Discworld is home to an incredible number of fascinating characters, and in this novel we are introduced to one of the most remarkable and unforgettable ones--the witch Granny Weatherwax. We also get a closer look at Unseen University and the wizards who call it home. The eighth son of an eighth son is always a wizard, as everyone knows. Unfortunately, the novel's eighth son of an eighth son turns out to be a girl, which is a fact Granny Weatherwax points out immediately. Granny is a traditional witch; she doesn't hold with living in towns and selling love potions and other sundry matters. She teaches young Esk witchcraft, but it eventually becomes apparent that the child is a born wizard. Getting the child to Ankh-Morpork and Unseen University is not easy, but the hardest part of the mission is getting her accepted as a female. There's also a small matter of the terrible beings from Beyond trying to break through to this side.

I enjoyed this novel, but it didn't seem to have the magical aura of most Pratchett books. Young Esk was too willful and erratic, and I never understood why she kept wandering away from Granny Weatherwax on the journey to Ankh-Morpork since Granny was trying to fulfill her dream of becoming a wizard. I also thought the character of Simon, a stuttering but brilliant young wizard, should have been developed more fully; he formed an important part of the story, but I never knew him well enough to strongly like him or dislike him.
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5.0 out of 5 stars BEST Feb. 5 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Seriously one of my All Time fave books. Love Pratchett! Great condition and perfect reading buddy for any given night.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Surreal genius April 20 2002
By Phome
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Increasingly, I respect Terry Pratchett's genius. "Equal Rites", as his other work, reads effortlessly. The plot moves swiftly, with interesting angles (if not twists), and the bizarreness of Discworld is completely logical to fickle human beings.
Dying wizard Drum Billet eagerly passes his magic staff on to a newborn wizard - the eighth son of an eighth son. Unfortunately, in his rush, he failed to notice the child was a girl. Unwittingly, Billet is responsible for the first ever female Wizard in Discworld.
All, including Granny Weatherwax (a witch) try to ignore the event, but neither the magic staff nor little girl Esk will let them.
Esk grows up amidst her brothers, but when she's nearly nine, a frightening incident involving Granny opens the flood gates to her magic abilities. Granny decides it is time to teach Esk to become a witch, in the hope that her wizardness can be squashed.
Of course, this proves impossible, and soon Granny and Esk need to embark on a journey to the Unseen University of Wizards. Esk finds that the chauvinistic wizards are unwilling to entertain the notion of a female wizard. But a nine-year old little girl and a cranky granny can be more than a determined handful ...
The character of Granny reappears in later Discworld books and she is an absolute delight: a stubborn witch with more that the average share of common sense - well, mostly anyway.
The genius of Pratchett is that you don't even notice how quickly you are willing to accept Discworld and its characters. Before you know it, this little cocoon of enchanting surreality is over.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Rite On April 17 2002
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This is the first Discworld book that I happened to read even though I own about 12 of them. I didn't realize it was out of order until the last page but even then I didn't really care. The story of Esk and her struggle to be a wizard is filled with great subtle humor and puns throughout. Pratchett has given life to a world filled with magic and witches and wizards that compares with those of Terry Brooks. I would agree with other reviews which claim the ending came a little quickly. The story is without a solid ending but being the first book in the series that I have read, that may come later. The journey through the book is well worth the trip.
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Most recent customer reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars The first two were better - a lot of it is the reader
The first two books did a great job of holding the attention and Nigel Planer was a *perfect* reader. Read more
Published on Aug. 24 2002
2.0 out of 5 stars Not one of Pratchett's best
I've been reading the Discworld series in order, so naturally I read Equal Rites third. (I think. It's third, right? Read more
Published on April 5 2002 by M. Smitherman
4.0 out of 5 stars Granny = great
This book is a very worthy book in the Discworld series, not least because it is the first appearance of Granny Weatherwax, who along with Nanny Ogg and Magrat, are my favourite of... Read more
Published on April 5 2002 by RachelWalker
2.0 out of 5 stars Thank GOD that's over...
What do you get when you mix a almost non-existent plot with boring characters and mind-numbing dialog? You get "Equal Rites" - the third Discworld novel. Read more
Published on Feb. 11 2002 by Michael Askounes
3.0 out of 5 stars An OK Book
There's nothing special about this book. That's not to say it isn't worth reading. It's just that nothing stands out about it. Read more
Published on Dec 26 2001 by David A. Lessnau
5.0 out of 5 stars Not as good as the Rincewind sub-series books
I read "Equal Rites" after enjoying both "The Color of Magic" and "The Light Fantastic". Read more
Published on Nov. 29 2001 by boston403
5.0 out of 5 stars Not as good as the Rincewind sub-series books
I read "Equal Rites" after enjoying both "The Color of Magic" and "The Light Fantastic". Read more
Published on Nov. 29 2001 by boston403
5.0 out of 5 stars Not as good as the Rincewind sub-series books
I read "Equal Rites" after enjoying both "The Color of Magic" and "The Light Fantastic". Read more
Published on Nov. 29 2001 by boston403
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