Equal Rites by Terry Pratchett

Hello Everyone and Welcome Back to the Boss Book Club!

Today we will be looking at Equal Rites, the first book of the witches collection that makes up the wonderful Discworld series.

For those that have been following along, I’m reading my way through all 41 books of the Discworld fantasy series. They can be read in chronological order, or you can read them in terms of their themed groupings, or “collections.” I’m reading them by collection, according to whatever interests me. I’ve just gotten through the death series, now onto witches!

Equal Rites was published in 1987. It is the third book of the overall Discworld series, and the first of the witches collection.

This book is tightly focused on two main characters, Esk, a young girl from modest beginnings who’s life’s ambition is to become a wizard, and her guardian and friend Granny Weatherwax, a traditional witch who tries to teach her the ways of witchery, but eventually, if not begrudgingly, ends up helping her travel to the Unseen University, to help her reach her wizarding destiny.

The book is filled with satire and humour about gender. In this world it is traditional for girls to be witches, and specialize in the magics that involve herbs, animals and curing potions, and for boys to be wizards, who do more ‘serious’ magic, geometry and star- gazing. Esk is a rebel by nature, upsetting the status quo by demanding to know exactly why a girl can’t be a wizard.

This book is different to those of the Death Collection; it focuses mostly on the relationship, friendship and adventure of the two main characters,. It is a more intimate story, and it is filled with rich descriptions of the towns and lands through which they travel, along with Pratchett’s wonderful humour. In the Death Collection there is more action and more characters, there are various stories intertwined and very few descriptions of landscapes. It’s a matter of personal taste as to which you will like better: this story has two very likeable, funny and inspirational lead characters and the story moves at a slower pace, which is a good thing as it gives you the time to get to know them, and enjoy their journey.

This is a wonderful book for all to enjoy, but is particularly inspiring for young ladies to pursue their dreams and not let anyone tell them what girls should and shouldn’t do!

 

Happy Reading, see you next time on The Boss Book Club!

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