Cover image for Equal rites : a Discworld novel
Title:
Equal rites : a Discworld novel
Author:
Pratchett, Terry.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York, N.Y. : Harper Paperbacks, 2000.

©1987
Physical Description:
213 pages ; 18 cm
Language:
English
Reading Level:
880 Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR UG 6.1 11.0 43806.

Reading Counts RC High School 6.3 17 Quiz: 25627 Guided reading level: NR.
ISBN:
9780061020698
Format :
Book

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Summary

Summary

A wizard predicts his own death and readies himself for the traditional transfer of power to the eighth son of an eighth son. The snag is that the eighth son is a daughter and women can't be wizards.


Author Notes

Terry Pratchett was on born April 28, 1948 in Beaconsfield, United Kingdom. He left school at the age of 17 to work on his local paper, the Bucks Free Press. While with the Press, he took the National Council for the Training of Journalists proficiency class. He also worked for the Western Daily Press and the Bath Chronicle. He produced a series of cartoons for the monthly journal, Psychic Researcher, describing the goings-on at the government's fictional paranormal research establishment, Warlock Hall. In 1980, he was appointed publicity officer for the Central Electricity Generating Board with responsibility for three nuclear power stations.

His first novel, The Carpet People, was published in 1971. His first Discworld novel, The Colour of Magic, was published in 1983. He became a full-time author in 1987. He wrote more than 70 books during his lifetime including The Dark Side of the Sun, Strata, The Light Fantastic, Equal Rites, Mort, Sourcery, Truckers, Diggers, Wings, Dodger, Raising Steam, Dragons at Crumbling Castle: And Other Tales, and The Shephard's Crown. He was diagnosis with early onset Alzheimer's disease in 2007. He was knighted for services to literature in 2009 and received the World Fantasy award for life achievement in 2010. He died on March 12, 2015 at the age of 66.

(Bowker Author Biography)


Reviews 1

Booklist Review

Pratchett's approach to fantasy strongly recalls Douglas Adams' approach to sf-- create a zany premise and introduce a series of still zanier events and characters. Here we have Discworld, a flat world riding on the backs of four elephants standing on an even bigger turtle. The characters and incidents are too numerous to mention; in fact, it would be stretching a point to say that this book has a plot. It does, however, have a great deal of what a growing number of readers regard as entertainment value. This volume will probably entice readers wherever Adams' books have a fol- lowing. RG.


Excerpts

Excerpts

Equal Rites Chapter One This is a story about magic and where it goes and perhaps more importantly where it comes from and why, although it doesh't pretend to answer all or any of these questions. It may, however, help to explain why Gandalf never got married and why Merlin was a man. Because this is also a story about sex, although probably not in the athletic, tumbling, count-the-legs-and-divide-by-two sense unless the characters get totally beyond the author's control. They might. However, it is primarily a story about a world. Here it comes now. Watch closely, the special effects are quite expensive. A bass note sounds. It is a deep, vibrating chord that hints that the brass section may break in at any moment with a fanfare for the cosmos, because the scene is the blackness of deep space with a few stars glittering like the dandruff on the shoulders of God. Then it comes into view overhead, bigger than the biggest, most unpleasantly armed starcruiser in the imagination of a three-ring filmmaker: a turtle, ten thousand miles long. It is Great A'Tuin, one of the rare astrochelonians from a universe where things are less as they are and more like people imagine them to be, and it carries on its meteorpocked shell four giant elephants who bear on their enormous shoulders the great round wheel of the Discworld. As the viewpoint swings around, the whole of the world can be seen by the light of its tiny orbiting sun. There are continents, archipelagos, seas, deserts, mountain ranges and even a tiny central ice cap. The inhabitants of this place, it is obvious, won't have any truck with global theories. Their world, bounded by an encircling ocean that falls forever into space in one long waterfall, is as round and flat as a geological pizza, although without the anchovies. A world like that, which exists only because the gods enjoy a joke, must be a place where magic can survive. And sex too, of course. He came walking through the thunderstorm and you could tell he was a wizard, partly because of the long cloak and carven staff but mainly because the raindrops were stopping several feet from his head, and steaming. It was good thunderstorm country, up here in the Ramtop Mountains, a country of jagged peaks, dense forests and little river valleys so deep the daylight had no sooner reached the bottom than it was time to leave again. Ragged wisps of cloud clung to the lesser peaks below the mountain trail along which the wizard slithered and slid. A few slot-eyed goats watched him with mild interest. It doesn't take a lot to Interest goats. Sometimes he would stop and throw his heavy staff into the air. It always came down pointing the same way and the wizard would sigh, pick it up, and continue his squelchy progress. The storm walked around the hills on legs of lightning, shouting and grumbling. The wizard disappeared around the bend in the track and the goats went back to their damp grazing. Until something else caused them to look up. They stiffened, their eyes widening, their nostrils flaring. This was strange, because there was nothing on the path. But the goats still watched it pass by until it was out of sight. There was a village tucked in a narrow valley between steep woods. It wasn't a large village, and wouldn't have shown up on a map of the mountains. It barely showed up on a map of the village. It was, in fact, one of those places that exist merely so that people can have come from them. The universe is littered with them: hidden villages, windswept little towns under wide sides, isolated cabins on chilly mountains, whose only mark on history is to be the incredibly ordinary place where something extraordinary started to happen. Often there is no more than a little plaque to reveal that, against all gynecological probability someone very famous was born halfway up a wall. Mist curled between the houses as the wizard crossed a narrow bridge over the swollen stream and made his way to the village smithy, although the two facts had nothing to do with one another. The mist would have curled anyway: it was experienced mist and had got curling down to a fine art. The smithy was fairly crowded, of course. A smithy is one place where you can depend on finding a good fire and someone to talk to. Several villagers were lounging in the warm shadows but, as the wizard approached, they sat up expectantly and tried to look intelligent, generally with indifferent success. The smith didn't feel the need to be quite so subservient. He nodded at the wizard, but it was a greeting between equals, or at least between equals as far as the smith was concerned. After all, any halfway competent blacksmith has more than a nodding acquaintance with magic, or at least likes to think he has. The wizard bowed. A white cat that had been sleeping by the furnace woke up and watched him carefully. "What is the name of this place, sir?" said the wizard. The blacksmith shrugged. "Bad Ass," he said. "Bad -- ?" "Ass," repeated the blacksmith, his tone defying anyone to make something of it. The wizard considered this. "A name with a story behind it," he said at last, "which were circumstances otherwise I would be pleased to hear. But I would like to speak to you, smith, about your son." "Which one?" said the smith, and the hangers-on sniggered. The wizard smiled. "You have seven sons, do you not? And you yourself were an eighth son?" The smith's face stiffened. He turned to the other villagers. "All right, the rain's stopping," he said. "Piss off, the lot of you. Me and -- " he looked at the wizard with raised eyebrows. "Drum Billet," said the wizard. "Me and Mr. Billet have things to talk about." He waved his hammer vaguely and, one after another, craning over their shoulders in case the wizard did anything interesting, the audience departed. Equal Rites . Copyright © by Terry Pratchett. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold. Excerpted from Equal Rites by Terry Pratchett All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.