Equal Rites follows the story of what was assumed to be an automatic wizard– the eighth son of an eighth son–except… she’s a girl. And everyone knows that women can’t be witches… although no one can quite put a finger on why.
It’s quite an enjoyable book, both exploring some of the parts of Discworld that we haven’t seen as much yet (if you, like I, have only read the Rincewind books thus far) and gives a bit more heft to the ones we have seen. We see a lot more of the earlier wizards that we already saw in the first two Rincewind novels, but this time it’s from an outsider’s perspective, which is refreshing.
Speaking of outsiders, the characters in this book are hilarious. In particular, Granny Weatherwax, a witch, a master of Headology (yup), and an all around no nonsense sort of woman. Although she originally wants to ignore Eskarina’s (the aforementioned eighthborn) wizardly leanings, once she learns that it’s not possible, then that is that. If Esk is destined to become a wizard, than Granny is going to make sure it happens.
Overall, I’m greatly looking forward to reading this subseries next. I don’t know if it follows Granny, Esk, or both, but I think any which way is going to be an interesting read.
Aside the first: I’ve been listening to the Discworld books on audiobook this time around. This is the first that’s been narrated by a woman (Celia Imrie). It’s quite well done.
Aside the second: While listening to Discworld, I’ve also been reading by Orson Scott Card. Given that the latter is all about the seventh son of a seventh son, it’s amusing reading them concurrently. They’re very different books, however.