Reading Backwards

Book reviews by your favorite Git.

Equal Rites (Discworld)

with 2 comments

By Terry Pratchett

Hope on the great A’Tuin and head for
Rating: Merfle
Read: Feb 2006

I was a bit disappointed with this one, actually. I’ve read a handful or more Discworld books but this one wasn’t quite as jubilant as some of the others. Yes, there was snark, but it was sort of downplayed. Maybe that’s because the main character is an eight year old girl.

For those who don’t know, Discworld is a disc-shaped planet that rides through space on the backs of four elephants who in turn stand on the back of a giant turtle, aka, the Great A’Tuin. No one knows where A’Tuin thinks s/he’s going, but we also don’t know it’s gender, so. The Disc is pervaded by magic, social commentary, and a myriad of snarky creatures. (Terry Pratchett collaborated with Neil Gaiman on Good Omens–another book you MUST read–so it’s like that, but less serious.)

*ahem* On the Disc, there are two major groups of magic users. Witches, ie women, and wizards, ie men. A lot of emphasis is placed on birth order around here, so as a dying wizard stumbles upon the cottage of an eighth son whose wife is giving birth to their eighth son, she decides it’s a lovely way to pass on his magical know-how and staff and promptly keels over.

Unfortunately, that’s not an eighth son of an eighth son. It’s a daughter. And as everyone knows, girls can’t wizards. Of course not.

Try telling that to Esk, the little girl in question. She and Granny Weatherwax, the local witch (who believes in using Headology and teaches through metterfores) head off into forn parts to see if they can get her into Unseen University, the Wizard’s school. Esk is a plucky little thing and a described rather aptly. Granny is Teh Granny of DOOMXX0RS, yo. She’s very, very fun.

If this review doesn’t sound enthused, it’s because I’m not. Buggeration. Pratchett, man, I look to you for good larfs! Here’s hoping the next I pick up is better.

FYI, my fave Discworld is The Fifth Elephant. But don’t start there.


Written by Shen

February 23, 2006 at 4:21 pm

Posted in blah, Discworld, fantasy, magic

2 Responses

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  1. Actually, Equal Rites is not one of the best, it’s true. Guards!Guards!; The Light Fantastic; Mort; Small Gods etc. are all far better.

    I recommend newbies start with those.

    I have my favorites (and other stuff) listed on my Discworld blog:

    Ronen V

    July 30, 2006 at 2:21 am

  2. Yeah… Equal Rites is actually one of the earliest Discworld books.

    So less Nanny Og and Granny Weatherwax interaction, fewer characters for him to work with, and less crazy. And therefore, less entertaining.

    Light Fantastic is great as all of the ones that focus on Rincewind seem to be in fact. Masquerade is fun–Phantom of the opera goodness, and lots of Nanny Og’s cat. Carpe Jugulum is fun, the one about the movies (can’t remember the title at the moment), The Truth… all some of my favorites.

    Or, for a non-Discworld hit, try Good Omens. Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman.
    Very very worth reading. One of my favorite books ever


    August 3, 2006 at 1:38 pm

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