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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It's a man's world
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...
Published on July 21 2005 by 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
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...
Published on Dec 29 2002 by Daniel Jolley


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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It's a man's world, July 21 2005
By 
wiredweird "wiredweird" (Earth, or somewhere nearby) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Equal Rites (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 "darkgenius" (Shelby, North Carolina USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Equal Rites (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. Esk's frustration and anger at being rejected as a girl are understandable, but some of her reactions seemed a little too childish to me. Toward the end, I sometimes got the impression that I was reading a piece of juvenile fiction--there's nothing wrong with that, and Pratchett has written some excellent novels for a younger audience, but it left me feeling a little empty and let-down. Even Granny Weatherwax, one of my favorite Discworld characters, seemed only a shadow of the Granny I have come to know in later novels. This novel also has some sexual innuendo material in the background, which is something I found a little disconcerting and atypical of Pratchett. It does add to some of the humor, though, especially in the scenes featuring Granny and ArchChancellor Cutangle. Weirdest of all was a direct reference to Steven Spielberg--when I read Pratchett, I am in his world, and I felt as if he kicked me out of his universe momentarily for no good reason.

The humor is the real strength of this novel. Pratchett's ever-present comical metaphors are particularly strong in places, and he is able to exploit cliches in ways no other author can. The descriptions of Granny having to get long running starts in order to get her broom off the ground and of the head wizards getting all excited about increasing their knowledge by increasing their ignorance of brand new concepts are especially hilarious. Comedy saves this particular novel. I would have liked to see much more character development; as it is, Esk and Simon are pretty forgettable characters, and the charm of Granny Weatherwax is really not realized here. I did enjoy getting a closer view inside Unseen University, but the wizards in the book seemed shallow and sort of stereotypical. I saw a lot, but I didn't learn a lot. In the end, though, this is a Discworld novel, so it is definitely better than most anything else you can find on the shelves, but I think it is one of Pratchett's weakest efforts.
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5.0 out of 5 stars BEST, Feb. 5 2014
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This review is from: Equal Rites (Paperback)
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
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
By 
Benjamin Miraski "fxdirect" (Chicago, IL United States) - See all my reviews
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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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2.0 out of 5 stars Not one of Pratchett's best, April 5 2002
By 
M. Smitherman (Salt Lake City) - See all my reviews
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I've been reading the Discworld series in order, so naturally I read Equal Rites third. (I think. It's third, right?) I think it was a good book in general, but compared to Pratchett's other wonderful books, it fell very short of its mark. There was very little humor in the book, and I didn't feel that any of the characters were realistic or appealing in any way. Granny Weatherwax is possibly the most unappealing character I've come across in Discworld so far. But for hardcore Pratchett fans, read this book anyway, because frankly, you have to. You've got to read them all. :) But if you're new to Pratchett, stear clear of Equal Rites. It's rather boring.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Granny = great, April 5 2002
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 all terry pratchett's characters. The witches books are simply the best.
This one has a great premise...a girl who is destined to be a wizard. Will she become one, or will the chauvinistic "lore" stand in her way? It's not quite as funny as some of the other discworld books, but when it is, it's hilarious.
This is quite a dark book, really, and pterry is often at his best when he is dark. In this case, it is perhaps not so. However, this is still a great, with an inventive and amusing premise, which more than satisfactorily carries the tale to it's conclusion. Lovely. The only thing i dont like about the first few Pratchett books is that they're so short!
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2.0 out of 5 stars Thank GOD that's over..., Feb. 11 2002
By 
Michael Askounes (Frederick, MD) - See all my reviews
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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. I thought "Colour of Magic" was decent and absolutely LOVED "Light Fantastic," so I was very much looking forward to diving in to "Equal Rites". Unfortunately, the book includes none of the characters from the first two books - instead focusing on a "coming-of-age" tale of an 8-year-old female wizard. I've read a bunch of humor/fantasy novels, and this one is right at the bottom of the barrel. Skip it.
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3.0 out of 5 stars An OK Book, Dec 26 2001
By 
David A. Lessnau (USA) - See all my reviews
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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. There are many situations and dialogs that are funny, and the book does introduce Granny Weatherwax. But, the supposed main character, Eskarina, has no further role in the Discworld. Essentially, you won't miss anything of the entire Discworld saga if you pass this book by.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Not as good as the Rincewind sub-series books, Nov. 29 2001
By 
boston403 "boston403" (rockville, md United States) - See all my reviews
I read "Equal Rites" after enjoying both "The Color of Magic" and "The Light Fantastic". I especially liked Granny Weatherwax, who I had heard about as being a great character. I also liked Cutangle the Archchancellor, and mildly found Hilta Goatfounder and Mrs.Whitlow to be quite funny. I really hated Ksandra. Really, really hated her. Not because of her accent. Because she does absolutely nothing! There were also many similarities to Harry Potter, although that came later. First, Drum Billet giving Gordo Smith his staff and Granny trying to burn it remind me of the first chapter of "HP and the Sorcerer's Stone". Cern and Gulta were like two Dudleys. Especially since Gulta gets turned into a pig. Gander was a little like Hagrid, as was Granny. The Skillers, although they were a brief presence, reminded me of the Dursleys. Hilta was reminiscent of Doris Crockford. Mrs. Whitlow was a version of Professor McGonagall. These are just a few. If you don't know Discworld, you'll like Equal Rites. If you love Discworld, Equal Rites is a great book for you.
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Equal Rites
Equal Rites by Terry Pratchett (Library Binding - May 9 2008)
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