“Do you know how wizards like to be buried?”
Granny Weatherwax paused at the bottom of the stairs.
Equal Rites (Discworld Book #3)
By Terry Pratchett
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.
Equal Rites is the third published of the Discworld books, and the first of the “Witches” set. While the world is the same as the previous two titles – The Color of Magic and The Light Fantastic– the characters are all new, along with many of the concepts. Because amazingly, despite having a Wizard protagonist for two books, he was a terrible wizard, and you don’t really learn a whole lot about the nature of magic.
While this book opened the world up some more, and actually had a lot to say about gender norms and expectations, it wasn’t my favorite of the few I’ve read in the series. Granny Weatherwax has some fun one liners, but she is generally a grump, and her counterpart is an eight year old girl. The play between the two just wasn’t as entertaining.
I did enjoy the descriptions of headology, the theories behind magic in the world, and the overprotective staff (though it still pales to the Luggage) but overall it just didn’t hit the expectations that I had. It was good; I read nearly all of it in a single afternoon. However, I’ve been told my many that the series gets better with each book, and this was just sort of stagnant. Man, I miss the Luggage.
Should You Read This?
Not having read the entirety of Discworld, I’m not 100% sure how valuable this title is to read in the grander scheme. From some preliminary digging it looks like Granny shows up multiple times in future books, so if you’re planning on reading more in the series I would bet that this book is a necessary primer to her and her philosophies.
As I always say with these titles, if you’re a fan of silly fantasy with a heaping side of sarcasm, check out the Discworld books. Though this one wasn’t my favorite, I will be continuing on for sure! Next up – Mort.
Summary from Goodreads