Eskarina Smith is the 8th child of an 8th son born in the little town called Bad Ass. She should have been the 8th son of an 8th son, but life has a way of mucking things up. What makes Eskarina, Esk for short, even more special is that she may just be the first female wizard in the history of Discworld. Esk grows up to nearly nine without incident until the local witch, Granny Weatherwax, tries to lead her away from wizardry to much more acceptable field of magic for a girl: witchcraft. And though she has been received some training as a witch from Granny Weatherwax, Esk yearns to be trained as a wizard, and the only place to do that is at the Unseen University.
So she and Granny Weatherwax head to Ankh-Morpork the city where the entrance to the Unseen University resides. What results from this venture is a break in tradition and in lore and the creation of a brand new type of magic. All thanks to a female wizard.
If you have never read a Terry Pratchett book or a book in the Discworld series, please fix that immediately. Pratchett has a way of writing humor and comedy with ease. Nothing seems forced; there are not huge set-ups. Pratchett writes humor into the everyday and into the mundane because life is inherently funny and absurd. Equal Rites illustrates Pratchett comic skill perfectly. Equal Rites is also a great place to start the Discworld novels even though it was not the first Discworld book written: you get a sense of Pratchett’s humor, you meet Granny Weatherwax, you venture to Ankh-Morpork, and are introduced to a handful of other details that are explored more fully in other books. For more information on how to read the Discworld novels, a quick Google search will bring up countless graphics and opinions on where to start. They are all wrong, of course, if they do not start with Equal Rites.
BINGO – GATEWAY