Title: Equal Rites
Author: Terry Pratchett
Page Count/Review Word Count: 288
If you’re a fan of the witches in Pratchett’s Discworld series then you’re going to love this. In fact, this is just the third book in the Discworld series, and the first in which Rincewind isn’t the main character. It’s also the first book to feature Granny Weatherwax, who would go on to become one of Pratchett’s most popular characters.
And the interesting thing about this book is that it’s as relevant today as ever, because it tackles a big subject – feminism. Now, I’m no feminist, because I’m all for egalitarianism and it seems to me that feminist agendas don’t quite match up with that goal, and I see a lot of hypocrisy going on. But I digress. I think we can all, at least, agree that there’s no room for sexism when it comes to selecting the right person to do a job – may the best candidate win, whether they’re male, female, black, white or even dwarfish.
You see, the story here is that the magical tradition of the eighth son of an eighth son becoming a wizard has become somewhat corrupted. Due to some sort of cosmic fault, the eight son of an eight son in this case is, in fact, a little girl called Eskarina Smith. And we all know that women can’t be wizards, don’t we?
So you can kind of see how Pratchett has posed the perfect situation in which to take a look at our society’s attitudes towards women, whilst simultaneously giving us a bit of a laugh in the process. Despite this being an early book, the quality is extraordinarily high. Read it!