Sunday, January 6, 2013

Book Review: Equal Rites

Equal Rites by Terry Pratchett
HarperTorch, 2000 (originally published 1987); 213 pages

High in the Ramtop Mountains of Discworld, a dying wizard seeks out the eighth son of an eighth son upon whom he can bestow his power before he dies. Unfortunately, the son turns out to be a daughter, and women can't be wizards; the Lore of the Unseen University forbids it. So what's a girl with magical power to do? Travel across the Discworld and demand entry to the University, of course!

Plot-wise, Equal Rites is my favorite Discworld novel yet (mind you, I've read only three of them). I like Esk (the female wizard) well enough, but Granny Weatherwax steals the show. She's a witch (certain types of minor household magic are all that women are supposed to do) and she's hysterical, although she's certainly not trying to be, and she would probably be horribly offended if she knew I was laughing at her. I loved the story of Granny and Esk's travels to Ankh-Morpork and all the trouble they got into along the way.

However, the timing of the plot rather overshadows some of the events. There were multiple times where time jumped forward several months or years or the location of the story changed within the course of two paragraphs without any indication that this was the case. Since there are no chapters in the book, not even a chapter break gave any indication of changes in time or place. It did make the book a bit confusing and made it feel a bit rushed in certain sections.

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