Book Review: Equal Rites by Terry Pratchett

  • Review: Equal Rites
  • Series: Discworld #3, Witches #1
  • Author: Terry Pratchett
  • No of Pages: 228
  • Release Date: September 13, 2005

Goodreads Synopsis:

On Discworld, a dying wizard tries to pass on his powers to an eighth son of an eighth son, who is just at that moment being born. The fact that the son is actually a daughter is discovered just a little too late. The town witch insists on turning the baby into a perfectly normal witch, thus mending the magical damage of the wizard’s mistake. But now the young girl will be forced to penetrate the inner sanctum of the Unseen University–and attempt to save the world with one well-placed kick in some enchanted shins! Reissue. — Goodreads

What’s happening:

As a child is being born the father hands down his staff. An eighth son of an eighth son but after giving the child his staff he realizes a wee bit late that the eighth son is actually a daughter. They take this little bundle of girlishness to Granny Weatherwax hoping that she will be able to do something. At first she seems to think that destroying the staff will work but the staff has a mind of its own and will not let Granny with all of her witchy powers do a thing to it. Granny soon realizes however that the staff is bound to Escarina and if it dies, so does she.

What’s the next best thing for a girl wizard? To become a witch of course. Granny tries to overlook a lot of the goings on but there is no mistaking it, wizard power is different than witch power and there is nothing they can do about it but send the girl to Unseen University.

On the trip there Escarina finds out that people will lie, cheat and steal their way through life but she can see right through them and she lets everyone know exactly what is going on, making her an instant outcast.  She finally starts her journey to Ankh Morpork and it’s the perils and the lessons that will help her save herself and the world.

My thoughts:

Although this is where we meet Granny Weatherwax for some reason I didn’t enjoy this story quite as much as some of the other Discworld novels. The witch novels are definitely one of my favorites, behind those of the Watch but this particular story just doesn’t seem up to par. I did still enjoy the satire immensely! And of course we get to learn even more about Unseen University and Ankh Morpork. Granny Weatherwax is definitely my favorite character in this one though. She stubbornly forges on in the face of adversity and will plow through anyone trying to hold her back!

Escarina is a ton of fun! The adversaries she faces have no idea what they are up against and she doesn’t know either but not all that take her under their wing are doing it for their own good. Escarina meets some kindly people along the way as well. But soon realizes that she is too different to stay near anyone that is not a wizard. The adventures she finds are a little much for a girl her age, but a girl her age with wizarding powers, they are just right. She is another very strong female character of Terry Pratchett’s. And one that I absolutely adore.

So, all in all, not my favorite but certainly still Terry Pratchett, funny, easy to read, will put a smile on your face no matter what kind of day you’ve had!

Want more Terry Pratchett reviews?

A guide to reading Discworld

  1. The Colour of Magic
  2. The Light Fantastic
  3. Sourcery
  4. Pyramids
  5. Guards! Guards!
  6. Moving Pictures


  1. […] Equal Rites by Terry Pratchett […]

  2. […] Equal Rites by Terry Pratchett (Review) […]

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