Sunday, July 13, 2008

Equal Rites by Terry Pratchett

Title: Equal Rites
Authour: Terry Pratchett
ISBN: 9780060855901
Publisher: Harper/2000
Pages: 213

It starts with a dying wizard in a hurry to reach somewhere. He reaches Bad Ass village, into the family of a blacksmith. He is to pass on his powers to the just being born eighth son of this blacksmith, who himself is an eighth son. After he does so, it is discovered a little late that the eighth son daughter. Now it is said that a girl can't be a wizard. Nothing can be done about it. The wizard dies, leaving behind his staff to protect the girl and Esk grows up to be normal little girl amongst seven brothers until she is seven.

Although Granny Weatherwax, a witch herself, disapproves of a girl being a wizard but decides that the girl has to learn to be wizard in order not to misuse the magic passed on to her by the wizard. She persuades Esk's parents to make her learn to be a witch under her guidance. After a few years both venture out to Unseen University for her wizardry training. On the way, they encounter weird characters..

The novel has all the elements of fantasy, magic, humour, parody and satire. It keeps us hooked, makes us smile and at places the metaphors are beautiful poetry. Despite its magical element, it hits hard at contemporary society where we still have set notions that a girl is not supposed to do this or that.

I am looking out for more works by Terry Pratchett.