Book Review: “Equal Rites” by Terry Pratchett

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Already in this third Discworld book, it becomes clear that you can read the series in any order you please. Well, mostly. It has very little to do with the first two books (The Color of MagicThe Light Fantastic), but it introduces another set of characters you will enjoy for many Discworld novels to come.

First you meet Granny Weatherwax, a village witch from the rustic Ramtop mountains, who understands as well as anyone that Witch Magic and Wizard Magic are totally different things, and only a woman can be a witch, and only a man can be a wizard. The problem is, a female wizard has sprouted up right under her nose.

For a dying wizard (amusingly named Drum Billet), magically drawn to the mountain village of Bad Ass (don’t ask!) to bestow his power on the eighth son of an eighth son (don’t ask!!), dies before realizing that the child in question is actually a daughter.

Little Esk learns Witch magic from Granny Weatherwax, who is actually not her granny. But her gift for Wizard magic also surfaces and cannot be controlled. So against all odds, the two of them set off for Ankh-Morpork to enroll Esk, if possible, in the all-male Unseen University. In spite of making friends with a gifted young novice named Simon (who has severe hay fever, pimples, and a stammer), things don’t work out as smoothly as Esk might wish…but when the Things from the Outer Darkness try to possess Simon, Esk is the only one who can save him!

It’s again, a very fun adventure, and it has puns in it that would make Piers Anthony blush. But, it also has good characters and presents an interesting theory of magic, to interest all you Potterheads.

Recommended Age: 14+