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Jane's Great Re-Read: Equal Rites – Review

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Another old friend to back and visit. My relationship with the Discworld novels is avid reader but not necessarily a re-reader They are novels to be inhaled and enjoyed and to laugh out loud and make others want to know just what has made you guffaw.
Most folks will not send you to Equal Rites as a first port of call. The Discworld novels have various streams you can follow based on various characters. Rincewind, Death and Susan, Sam Vimes, Granny WEatherwax, Moist Von Lipwig, Tiffany Aching and there are a few true stand alones.
Equal Rites is the first novel to contain Granny Weatherwax, but at this point she’s not fully formed, she isn’t quite the same witch that we find in Wyrd Sisters and beyond but it feels like the right place for me to start. I wanted to get back to the nexus of the character and remember.
To me Granny was always a triumphant character, so self possessed, she knows who she is and what she wants. I surprised myself by finding myself disagreeing with her a lot more than I ever remembered but then this is a first stab at the character. Headology is there, the knowledge the borrowing but I was disappointed because I was sure she was a bad ass in the feminist sense and at the beginning of the novel she seemed to be all about reinforcing the stereotypes.
That said the journey in this novel and there are a lot of journeys in Pratchett is one where she grows because she choses to enable Esk to do what she wants and that is pretty darned important.
Thematically the title should really tell you everything you need to know about this book.

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Jane Hanmer

Born in deepest darkest Shropshire. Currently living in London. A reader of books, a watcher of theatre and film, a player of board games. Intersectional Feminist Pronouns: She/her

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