Well I decided to give Terry one more go (more about my “difficult” relationship with Terry Pratchett can be found here and here) and as this one came highly recommended by a very good friend and by my sister-in-law, I ordered Equal Rites from the library.
One of Pratchett’s many Discworld novels, Equal Rites begins with the death of a wizard who passes on his magic, as is customary, to the eighth son of a eighth son. Except, as is definitely not customary, the newbord wizard turns out to be a girl. Esk is taken under the wing of local witch Granny Weatherwax who teaches her all she can about herbs, goats and “headology” but it becomes apparent that Esk needs specialist wizard teaching and the Unseen University only admits male students. Slight spoiler alert… Esk does gain entry, though not in the way she wanted to but ends up getting involved in a battle in another dimension.
I am glad I gave Pratchett another chance as I did enjoy this book. Its fun and easy to read, I was able to get through it in just a few sittings. I liked Esk and Granny, and the wizards in the University, and I appreciate that Pratchett is trying to highlight the inequality and male domination of the fantasy genre. I admit that I rather skim read the magical fighting with shadow things even though it is the climax of the plot as that was all a bit gobbledegook for me (in fact, it reminded me of the similar part of The Bone Clocks which was the worst bit of that otherwise excellent book. Review here).
In short, I found Equal Rites a light and enjoyable read. I’m not going to go out of my way to read any more, my TBR list is long enough as it is, but if another crosses my path then I’d be happy to pick it up.
4 stars (probably more like 3.5 but I’ll be generous!)