Genre: Fantasy, Satire, Discworld
Equal Rites is one of my favorite Discworld novels, and it was a pleasure to rediscover it as part of my Discworld challenge. The story concerns Eskarina Smith, or Esk, as she is more commonly known. Esk was supposed to be the eighth son of an eighth son, but as anyone who has children knows, the sex isn't necessarily a given until the delivery is officially over. Unfortunately, a dying wizard who wished to bequeath his knowledge to a successor didn't take the take to verify Esk's identity before making the transfer. This of course results in all kinds of trouble as everyone knows that women aren't supposed to be wizards; or at least that is what everyone who is a wizard knows.
Esk is a delightful character. I keep hoping that she will make an appearance in another Discworld novel, but as of yet her story remains unfinished. The writing in Equal Rites is more polished than it's predecessors. It seems as though Pratchett hit his stride in this, the third Discworld novel. If you haven't read any Discworld novels, or even if you have read some of Terry's later stuff, you can't go wrong with this one.