Around the Discworld: Equal Rites by Terry Pratchett (Discworld #3)


Today is my review for the third book in the Discworld series and the next step on a journey that Louise over at Lou’s Book Stuff and I agreed to undertake together whereby we read the entire Discworld series in order. You can check out Lou’s review here (I will be linking up asap).

EqualritesEqual Rites is book No.3 in the series and was a little bit of a turnaround for me.  I liked the first two books but I wouldn’t say I was bowled over, Equal Rites felt like it had a storyline I could get into a little more and of course Granny Weatherwax plays a role – and she is a character indeed.

My reviews for book 1 and 2 are here and here.

The main gist of the story for equal rites is that witches can’t be wizards.  This is a known fact.  Is isn’t possible.  So, when a dying wizard passes his powers and staff of power to the eighth son of an eighth son – imagine the dilemma when the newborn baby turns out to be a girl.  Of course, it’s too late to backtrack, the staff has been passed on and now belongs to Eskarina Smith – more than belongs in fact, the staff has a force of it’s own and it seems to protect its new owner with a passion.

Enter Granny Weatherwax.  She lives on her mountain and prefers goats to people.  She steps in to try and help train Esk in the witch ways, unfortunately Esk has too much untamed magic and finally it seems that the only thing would be to take her to the Unseen University – a very male  establishment where the only way for Esk to enter is to be part of the staff, invisible, in the background, but secretly learning.

As I mentioned already I enjoyed this one more than the first two in series.  In fairness, it’s probably unfair to say I didn’t enjoy them because I did.  They’re entertaining stories with a whacky madcap humour but Equal Rites is the earliest introduction to Granny Weatherwax and already she is a character not to be trifled with.  I’ve previously read the Tiffany Aching series and loved them so rediscovering this earlier version of Granny was delightful. She is such a force of nature. one of those people who is always right, even if she doesn’t have the first notion about what she’s talking she never admits it – hot damn I wish I’d had a little bit of that attitude at certain points in my life.

Esk is definitely an interesting character but Granny can’t help but steal the show.

Other things worth a mention.  A certain similarity to the first two books in the series where a journey of two people is embarked upon. This particular journey could be said to be a ‘finding yourself’ type tale not just for Esk but for Granny.  She has some very firm views herself, in some respects she feels akin to the wizards – which makes the conclusion of this particular story so interesting and actually a little heartwarming.  I think Pratchett has a way of giving unbelievable characteristics to everyday things.  I think he could probably make a chair look disapproving or a stove cook furiously.  Firstly – the luggage from books 1 and 2 which came across as playful at times and like a determined guard dog at others.  Here we have the staff, positively dripping with stubbornness.  I love these little things.

In terms of slight reservations.  Okay, I wouldn’t say that I’m really experiencing any seriously laugh out loud moments at this stage of my journey through the Discworld but I like to think it’s early days and the world and characters are still being established.  I certainly found this story easier to get along with although that could be the  familiarity with a certain character.  I would also say that my experience with Equal Rites was that I enjoyed the first two thirds of the book more than the concluding chapters where things seemed to slow down for me even though, conversely the pace increased.  That being said there were elements that were greatly enjoyable – I’m thinking of the dual between a certain witch and wizard which was very entertaining.

Witches, wizards, magic, tricks, broomstick riding, magic libraries and a determined witch and her protege ringing in the changes.

I always think the first 2 or 3 books in a series are the foundations and so with still (ahem) quite a few more books yet to come I will say I have high hopes.  I feel like I’m starting to find my feet.  Let’s see what No.4 has in store.

My rating 3.5 of 5 stars

I bought a copy for kindle.


21 Responses to “Around the Discworld: Equal Rites by Terry Pratchett (Discworld #3)”

  1. Ola G

    Glad to see you’re enjoying your trip over Dis world, Lynn!
    Can’t wait to see what your reaction to Mort will be 😀

    • @lynnsbooks

      Well, some people seem to be suggesting it’s not the best one but others love it – so a mixed bag and I’m going in with no expectations, just hoping to love it.
      Lynn 😀

  2. maddalena@spaceandsorcery

    Pratchett’s kind of humor, as far as I have seen from various comments, is a peculiar one, so it’s bound to affect people in a different way: your reviews are making even more curious to see for myself… 🙂

    • @lynnsbooks

      You should join us in our journey 😀 There’s not much to catch up with so far because they’re relatively slim books.
      Lynn 😀

  3. Tammy

    This sounds promising😁 Hopefully the series will continue to get better and better!

    • @lynnsbooks

      I hope so, and in truth it’s what I’m expecting.
      Lynn 😀

  4. Calmgrove

    Mort and Equal Rites were the first two Pratchett novels I ever read and finally converted me into a fan, having steered clear of him before (maybe the garish covers reminded me of the odd other comic fantasies I’d read and had put me off). I enjoyed this one more than Mort but the presence of the laconic DEATH in the latter was a real treat.

    Good to be reminded of Eskarina who, I thought, deserved more than a final brief appearance in one of the later Tiffany books.

  5. Mareli Thalwitzer

    Hi there Lynn! I should take a trip around Disc world again. Haven’t been there in ages!

    Glad to hear you are doing okay Lynn, we’ll catch up again soon.

    Elza Reads

    • @lynnsbooks

      We will – and I still haven’t caught up with Wondrous Reads but will do so soon.
      Lynn 😀

  6. Zezee

    ” I think Pratchett has a way of giving unbelievable characteristics to everyday things. I think he could probably make a chair look disapproving or a stove cook furiously.” << Totally agree with you there. The books didn't have me laughing out loud either, but they were fun reads.

    • @lynnsbooks

      Definitely fun and I do like his sense of humour, particularly as I feel like I’m starting to get more used to it.
      Lynn 😀

  7. pagesandtea

    I think I’ll have to get back to this series at some point. This is the book I’ll read next if I carry on with the series in order, although sometimes I get tempted to go for something like The Watch instead.
    Hope you enjoy your next book 😀

    • @lynnsbooks

      that is the beauty about this series – you can read in a different order.
      Lynn 😀

  8. Lexlingua

    I’ve tried reading a few Discworld books before, and each time those first few chapters killed my enthusiasm. Comic fantasy seems to be a very tricky genre, and context is king, but for that you have to reach at least midway… and I can’t say I have patience to stick on that long? I’ve heard Monstrous Regiment is very good, and I do mean to try that some day.

    • @lynnsbooks

      Yeah, I understand. It’s been a bit hit and miss so far – I enjoyed this one because of Granny Weatherwax and I was already familiar with her character through the Tiffany Aching series – which is good.
      I’m determined to press on though.
      Lynn 😀

  9. Booking Ahead/Weekly Wrap Up | Books and travelling with Lynn

    […] Equal Rites by Terry Pratchett […]

  10. || Book Review || Equal Rites by Terry Pratchett || Around the Discworld in 41 months ||

    […] order. If you want to check out Lynn’s thoughts on the latest book you can check out her post HERE! So this month see’s us reading Equal Rites and I think its safe to say that we both enjoyed […]

  11. jessicabookworm

    So pleased you enjoyed seeing a younger version of Granny Weatherwax, who is probably my favourite Discworld character of them all! However here she is only just warming up, she reaches her full excellence in Wyrd Sisters and Lords and Ladies. 🧙‍♀️

    I hope you will enjoy your next instalment Mort – Again not one of all-time favourites (it was my nan’s), but it does have my second favourite character of DEATH in! 💀

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