Equal Rites

Equal Rites
Cover to Equal Rites

Well, it’s been a while since I reviewed a Discworld book. Since I’m having to take time to find and gather all the books in a series, there will be a few weeks where I’ll be reviewing something other than Discworld. Anyway, on to Discworld #3 titled Equal Rites.


In Equal Rites, 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.

About a World Rather Than Characters

By the end of the first chapter, I realized that this book was going to be about a different set of characters. I can understand how the series is broken up into subseries. It’s all within the same world just from different perspectives. I guess that’s why it’s called the Discworld Series instead of bearing the main character’s name, i.e. Harry Potter, Dresden Files, etc.

More of Terry Pratchett’s Humor

This is the third time that I’ve reviewed one of Terry Pratchett’s works, and each time I’ve mentioned the man’s charming wit. However, I’ve never really pointed out what I mean. So, let me show this quote with you:

“It was, in fact, one of those places that exist merely so that people can have come from them. The universe is littered with them: hidden villages, windswept little towns under wide skies, isolated cabins on chilly mountains, whose only mark on history is to be the incredibly ordinary place where something extraordinary started to happen. Often there is no more than a plaque to reveal that, against all gynecological probability, someone very famous was born halfway up the wall.”

This is what I mean by Terry Pratchett’s humor. He delivers a joke that makes the reader chuckle, and before the end of the sentence he’s caused a few more. This doesn’t even mention the times that he causes outright hysterical laughter. The man rarely lets up, and if he does then it’s for an extremely serious moment.

Sociopathic Protagonist?

While I was talking to someone about this book, they mentioned that Esk, the main character, came off as sort of selfish and sociopathic. I disagree; she came off like she was eight. Yes, she’s more concerned about herself than other people and doesn’t really think about other people’s feelings, but that’s kind of typical of an eight-year-old. Around that age, children are still learning the idea that other people have feelings too. Furthermore, the few times when her magic does cause damage it’s mostly accidental, a byproduct of her still learning to control her magic. In order to redeem her, I’ll also point out that the one time that a friend of her gets hurt, Esk is devastated. Her reaction shows that she’s finally learning what consequences are.

Final Thoughts

There’s not really a lot that I can say. In know I’m only into the third book, but I’m starting to realize that Terry Pratchett is one of those people that carries a certain level of quality into everything he creates or is a part of. Everything he touches immediately goes up a few letter grades in quality like some sort of literary Midas. The only thing that I can add is that because Equal Rites begins a new subseries then it’s not required to read any of the other books to understand what’s going on.


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