Review: Equal Rites

Equal Rites, Terry PratchettIn a small village tucked away in a quiet corner of the Discworld, a dying wizard passes his powers on to the newborn eighth son of an eighth son. There’s just one snag: the newborn is actually a girl.

The village’s witch, Granny Weatherwax, is aghast. There’s never been a female wizard, so why start now? Wizardry is a man’s magic, sneaky and overly complicated. She’s determined to turn the girl, Eskarina, into a perfectly normal witch.

Unfortunately, that’s not how magic works.

The wizards at the Unseen University are the only ones who can help Esk control her powers — but they’re not willing to teach a girl. Can Esk and Granny Weatherwax find a way into the university before it’s too late?


I love Terry Pratchett’s Discworld series, especially the books featuring witches. Granny Weatherwax is a particular favorite, and it was fun to see her introduced (Equal Rites is the third book in the Discworld series, and the first to feature a witch).

Pratchett’s world building is amazing. I love the way magic works — how in many ways it’s more about knowledge than actual magic.

The characters are great, too. Esk is smart and stubborn, and clearly incredibly powerful. But Granny Weatherwax totally steals the show. She’s sharp-tongued, very clever, and in no way interested in being out-gunned by man or beast. She’s who I want to be when I grow up.

Equal Rites is a slow burn kind of novel. There’s plenty of action, but a lot of it is in the characters’ heads. There’s no explosions or shocking twists. It’s cerebral, and I think it’s fantastic. I’ll be dipping back into the Discworld series again as soon as I can.

(I read this book as part of the Monthly Motif Challenge. December’s challenge was to read the next in a series you’ve been working through — or even finish it up!)

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