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Equal Rites (Discworld) Mass Market Paperback – January 29, 2013
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"Truly original....Discworld is more complicated and satisfactory than Oz.... Has the energy of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy and the inventiveness of Alice in Wonderland....Brilliant!"
-- A. S. Byatt
- The first seven Discworld titles are being reissued with stunning new covers, publication coincides with 21 years of Discworld anniversary and the hardback publication of "The Celebrated Discworld Almanak" and "Going Postal".
- "If you are unfamiliar with Pratchett's unique blend of philosophical badinage, you are on the threshold of a mind-expanding opportunity." --"Financial Times"
- "Persistently amusing, good-hearted and shrewd." --"The Sunday Times"
- "Pratchett keeps getting better and better... It's hard to think of any humorist writing in Britain today who can match him." --"Time Out"
From the Back Cover
Every world has its rules—even a flat onecarried by four elephants riding on a giant turtle. That's why a dying wizard is searching for an eighth son of an eighth son to bestow his wizardly powers upon before meeting Deathin six minutes. Unfortunately it is quicklydiscovered—though not quite quickly enough—that the newborn babe the wizard anoints just before bidding the Discworld adieu is, in reality,a girl! What's done cannot be undone—despiteold Granny Weatherwax's attempts to bringthe child into the witchy fold—and little Eskis now a wizard, through and through. And she's destined to bring chaos and confusion to the all-male faculty of Ankh-Morpork'sUnseen University . . . who are alreadyfairly addled to begin with.
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A year and a half after Tiffany Aching took on the Fairie Queen with only an iron skillet; she’s finally going to learn proper witchcraft as an apprentice to Mistress Level, who apparently has two bodies. However that is the only thing extraordinary about Tiffany’s experience with Miss Level because instead of magic, she’s just doing chores and learning practical knowledge. Yet unknowingly Tiffany is doing magic as she has immense power in “borrowing” just like Granny Weatherwax, but unlike the area’s most renowned witch Tiffany doesn’t know how to defend herself from those wanting to borrow her. While Tiffany doesn’t realize the danger she’s in, the Chalk Clan of the Nac Mac Feegles keep an eye on their “wee big hag” and know what’s stalking her and go racing to the rescue with hilarious results. But in the end it’ll have to be Tiffany who gets her body back from this immortal foe.
The second book of featuring Tiffany and Feegles goes right into the story quickly while also giving information about both early on without taking away from the narrative or unnecessary exposition. One doesn’t need to have read The Wee Free Men to learn information about the Feegle’s culture as Pratchett also included a nice little “article” about them before the story begins, mainly to allay fears from parents that the Feegles are cussing in a children’s book. Frankly the only negative from the point of view of an adult is that one could see the major plot points coming, it was just how Pratchett would make them entertaining—which he certainly did.
While A Hat Full of Sky is a young adult book, Terry Pratchett’s satirical and narrative writing makes it a great addition to the overall Discworld series. Both new readers and longtime fans will have a good time reading Tiffany learning about being a witch.
I heartily endorse this product.
(Parenthetically I should add here that I read this book in the kindle version. Some other reviews mentioned a gap in the kindle transcription- I did not have a gap) .
This group of novels is a little smaller in geographic scope than some of the other Discworld character series, and focuses heavily on witches. It is also written as a Young Adults Appropriate novel, and as such there is very little sex or violence in any of the Tiffany Aching books. It's still pretty good though, and if you get a chance to read it aloud to small children you are likely to find out how bad that Scottish accent you thought you could do is.
Maybe don't read it to SMALL small children, but you know, under 30's are probably OK.
While I suspect this would stand alone just fine, I would recommend starting at the beginning, with The Wee Free Men.
While it turns out that I do remember them, often remembering some of the best ideas and turns of phrase, I certainly don't remember how good they were, right from the start. Although it's popular to say Pratchett grew to be a truly great writer, I don't think many people remember how confident he was, right from the start.
On the other hand, while the witch and Unseen University novels are my favorites among the Discworld books, it's striking how much of this novel vanishes without a ripple. Granny Weatherwax reappears, of course, but she's tougher than she is here, part of a community of wishes and, important for the end of Equal Rites, doesn't have any particular contact with Unseen University. And other than the Librarian, the university characters prominent over the next 30 years are nowhere to be seen here.
Still, this is an unrelentingly clever and, honestly, sweet novel, and a great deal of fun, both for Discworld veterans and newbies.