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Equal Rites

Equal Rites is a comic fantasy novel by Terry Pratchett. Published in 1987, it is the third novel in the Discworld series and the first where the main character is not Rincewind. It introduces the character of Granny Weatherwax who reappears in several later Discworld novels.


Warning! Spoilers follow

The wizard Drum Billet knows that he will soon die and travels to a place where an eighth son of an eighth son is about to be born. Since such a boy is destined to become a wizard (on Discworld, the number eight has many of the magical properties that are ascribed to seven in the real world), Billet wants to pass his staff on to him as his successor.

However, the child born is actually a girl, Eskarina. Since Billet notices his mistake too late, the staff is passed on to her.

As she grows up, it becomes apparent that she has uncontrollable powers, and the local witch Granny Weatherwax decides to travel with her to the Unseen University in Ankh-Morpork - but a female wizard is something completely unheard of on Discworld.

Esk is unsuccessful in her first, direct, attempt to gain entry to the University, but Granny Weatherwax finds another way in; as a servant. While there she follows the progress of an apprentice wizard named Simon, who she had met earlier, on her way to Ankh-Morpork. Simon is a sourceror; a wizard capable of devising new spells. His magic, however, causes a hole to be opened to the dark regions.

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