Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Dragon Harper” as Want to Read:
Dragon Harper
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Dragon Harper (Pern (Publication Order) #20)

4.04  ·  Rating Details ·  8,562 Ratings  ·  204 Reviews
Kindan is an apprentice harper at the Harper Hall but he is finding the lessons very difficult and although he has his friends, Nonala, Kelsa and Verilan, he also has enemies, such as the bully Vaxoram.

Things begin to improve for Kindan when he beats Vaxoram in a duel and Vaxoram becomes first his servant and then gradually his trusted friend. Then Kindan impresses a fire-
Published January 1st 2008 by Bantam Press (first published January 1st 2007)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Dragon Harper, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Dragon Harper

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Edward McKeown
Mar 18, 2009 Edward McKeown rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Dragon Harper Todd McCaffery
Stale characters running through a cardboard plot. Sadly this sums up the latest return to the Pern, the world of dragons. We have been here before but in better company. In a strange choice for this book, the thing that Pern is most known for is notably missing, dragons, the telepathic and empathic companions of this forgotten colony of humans deposited on Pern. The dragons and their lesser cousins, watch-weyrs and firelizards were genetically engineered so long ago
Sep 11, 2007 rivka rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: die-hard Pern fans
Shelves: mccaffrey-pern
It's always nice to re-visit Pern, and the idea behind this book is a good one. Unfortunately, the characters are so poorly drawn that I just don't care very much about any of them. Kindan has appeared before, and I still don't feel like we know him at all.

Disappointing, especially when compared to the earlier Pern books dealing with another medical crisis -- Moretta and Nerilka's Story, which were far superior.
Nov 03, 2009 Doris rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This book didn't really give me a reference to tell how to relate it back to the originals (was it before or after the Oldtimers came forward?). The overall theme was already used - old time disease decimates the world and is saved through clever reuse of ancient history. Where was it used before? Moreta's Ride.

Unfortunately it appears that Todd will be doing more of the writing in the future, but the books I have read with him as author/co-author tend towards the stale side, with reuse of plots
Keiji Miashin
Much like its characters, which have to deal with a plague, this book too suffers from something debilitating and deadly.


From the very beginning the book is striking in its emptiness. There is nothing here for a long time reader to grind their teeth on. Every aspect of the writing is either minimal, bare bones, or has been covered better in prior books.

The first chapter is liable to confuse readers as it focuses, in a limited third person perspective, on one boy and provides no h
Jun 06, 2009 Hallie rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
What I learned (yet again) from this book: Anne McCaffrey should never have let her son get involved in the Pern books. Not that she's a top-quality writer herself, but she does know how to create a world that is interesting enough you want to keep coming back to it despite the flaws in her prose. Her son clearly doesn't live in that world the same way she does. This book is completely shallow, the characters are one-dimensional (the one attempt at an evolution of personality happens in an impla ...more
Jun 18, 2010 Cass rated it liked it
Another book in which Todd McCaffrey attempts to have thirteen year old children behave as adults, complete with smoldering love scenes which conflict with the "we don't peek" bath scenes.

Kindan from Dragon's Kin returns and it is in this book that he really starts to get annoying. For such a young person his resume is ridiculously unbelievable. Harper apprentice and later Watch Wher handler. He discovers better firestone and attends an impression as a candidate. Friends with a great many drago
I was so careful to read the four newest Pern books in publication order! But I think I would have enjoyed Dragon Harper MUCH more if I had read it BEFORE Dragonsblood. I guess it wasn't as much of an issue for me in reading Dragon's Fire because that storyline focused a lot on Pellar and Halla. While reading Dragon Harper, I had to keep reminding myself where these events fit into the storyline - mostly after Dragon's Kin and Dragon's Fire, but before Dragonsblood. Or at least before the Kindan ...more
Kathy Martin
Feb 19, 2016 Kathy Martin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
DRAGON HARPER stars apprentice harper Kindan. It begins with him standing up for the girl apprentices from bullying by an older apprentice Vaxoram. They fight a duel with the loser becoming a servant to the winner. Kindan wins and is determined to redeem Vaxoram. But events intervene....

A new virulent plague is infesting all of Pern and threatens to kill everyone. The Dragonriders need to stay away from the infected Holds because Pern won't survive the next Threadfall without the Dragonriders. A
Vicki Jaeger
May 19, 2014 Vicki Jaeger rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I can't tell you how many times I've read this series. Just read this title again, and it still doesn't disappoint. Telepathic dragons, strong female characters, great relationships, and the Harpers' guild and music as a strong guiding force. What could be better?
In hindsight, I still enjoy reading the series in order written (versus actual chronological order of events). I especially like how McCaffrey shifts her point of view in different books, retelling the same events from someone else's p
Feb 18, 2011 Maree rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a bit of a depressing book, but again, so realistic in what could happen to a growing society. Plague. It was a solid story for the most part, but a bit obvious in the end when it should have been the most soulful.
May 14, 2016 TheAromaofBooks rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
[reviews of the first 19 Pern books available on my book blog]

Well, friends, this is a momentous post, as I believe it will be my final post about Pern! Yes, there are still four books after Dragon Harper, but I have been unable to work up the enthusiasm to get past the first 150 or so pages of Dragonheart, and so I believe that this may be the end of the series for me...

I already complained a bit about the direction this series went in my review of the last book, Dragon's Fire. I'm not even sur
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Kathy Davie
Aug 04, 2011 Kathy Davie rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: funny, young-adult
It's 495.4 AL, 4 months and 495 years after landing in the Dragonriders of Pern fantasy series taking place on a planet cleared as habitable for humans. Only for the one-way-only colonists to discover shortly after arriving that the original survey team had just missed the regular incursion of a deadly enemy from space. Desperate to survive, their experts developed a radical solution using the planet's indigenous life form.

This is the book three involving Kindan and this time we actually get to
Mar 13, 2017 Kit rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The writing is pretty description-less and emotionless in this book, like a list of things that happened.
Apr 29, 2009 Marina rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I love Pern.It is a great world. Great imagery and attention to detail. Great characterization. I cried because... well when you'll read it you will get why. I adore Harper's!

Hans van der Boom Anne's Master Archivist created a list of Pern books in chronological order. It is a 2010 book list so it is not currently up to date but is close.Check it out.=0)
Feb 19, 2017 Leora rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Todd MacCaffrey's Pern stories are a bit of a letdown. All those child protagonists seem to draw him into writing child-like narrative, as in "his good feelings faded. " Can anyone imagine Anne MacCaffrey using such elementary vocabulary? There is also a laxity toward the fine details that make you realize this is an entirely different world and society (for example, having kids say "wow," mentioning tomatoes, and the kicker; a bear hug . . .on a planet with no bears?And just what is with all th ...more
Jan 09, 2009 Kristen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, 2009
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mar 16, 2009 Sabrina rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Rena Sherwood
This book is not to be confused with The Masterharper of Pern which, title wise, is easy enough to do. Both have quite different plots, though. This book seems more geared for young adult readers than for long-time readers (ie -- old gits, like me.)

Well, if Thread isn't falling on Pern, rely on the old standby to create dramatic conflict -- plague! After recently re-reading Moreta et al. I couldn't help but sigh in disappointment when the Killer Flu popped up again in the Pern series.


That being
Dec 30, 2015 Libby rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
There are many books written by Anne McCaffrey and Todd Johnson (his real name, I think?) which go into disease and epidemics on Pern. It all started as simply a mention about a disease as the topic for a song-The Ballad of Moreta's Ride-in the Harper Hall Trilogy, if memory serves. Then a plague was explored in Moreta's Ride and the touching short novel Nerilka's Story.

I wish they'd stopped there, I truly do. Since then, we've had three more epidemics/pandemics written about with exhaustive de
Jul 07, 2010 Rebecca rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
I will admit up front that I couldn't finish this. I adore the Pern books and had not yet given the Todd McCaffrey books a try, so decided to give this one a shot. And I thought it was pretty terrible, at least as much of it (maybe a third) as I read. One of the wonderful things about the real Pern books is that McCaffrey creates such a sense of the world; you know where things are, what they look like, etc. This one has nothing of that at all. The only places I can picture in my head are the on ...more
Cary Spratt
Feb 24, 2013 Cary Spratt rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned
This was a weird story. Once it got to the epidemic, I found it to be an entertaining read with vibrant descriptions. However, this doesn't happen until halfway through. The first half of the book had a lot of things that left me puzzled.

The biggest was the interaction between Kindan and Vaxoram. They have a conflict and decide to settle it by a duel (this culture allows CHILDREN to fight to-the-death duels?!?!?!). Then Kindan goes off for a week to train to be a Jedi Knight (I'm almost not even
Book Vamp Jade Williams
I did not or could not love this book as I have her others. This story written with her son is not an easy read for the first few chapters. It was a bit confusing and only by the fourth or fifth chapters can you make sense of what is happening.

The characters are not well defined and developed and often you forget who you are reading about as the characters seem to run together.

The story focuses on Kindan who is the male protaginist, although it takes a while for you to realise this, and his rel
Feb 07, 2013 Al rated it it was amazing
Product Description

Kindan is an apprentice harper at the Harper Hall but he is finding the lessons very difficult and although he has his friends, Nonala, Kelsa and Verilan, he also has enemies, such as the bully Vaxoram. Things begin to improve for Kindan when he beats Vaxoram in a duel and Vaxoram becomes first his servant and then gradually his trusted friend. Then Kindan impresses a fire-lizard and becomes the proud owner of the magnicent Valla. At the hatching, he meets Koriana, daughter

Angie ~aka Reading Machine~
Kindan has wanted nothing more than to be a harper at Benden Weyr since M'tal mentioned it in passing. Kindan fights to protect his friends from bullying older apprentice. Kindan challenges the older apprentice to a duel that if Kindan wins older apprentice will be his servant until Kindan releases him. Kindan vows to wins the duel but needs more training to do so. News from Benden Weyr is there have been sighting that show no holders are around but no one is sure why. They fear it's a plague. I ...more
May 27, 2012 Arati rated it it was amazing
Writing with her youngest son, Todd, this is another of Anne McCaffrey's Pern titles... Kindan, an apprentice at the Harper Hall, is finding lessons difficult. He has a few friends, but he also has enemies, mainly in the form of a bully - Vaxoram. Life looks up for Kindan after he beats Vaxoram in a duel. Vaxoram must therefore serve him for a set period of time, but gradually becomes a friend. Kindan is then lucky enough to impresses a fire-lizard, Valla, at whose hatching he meets Koriana. Her ...more
Niki Beecher
I read the Pern books long ago. Decided to re-read in "chronological order". Then I got to the ones Todd McCaffrey wrote, both in conjunction with his mother and on his own. I made it through the first, Dragon's Kin, which wasn't TOO bad, and the second, Dragon Harper, which was okay, then got through about half of Dragon's Fire, and now a quarter of the way into Dragon Heart, I just can't go on. When I look at the ratings, I'm astonished to see his books rated as high as it just loyal ...more
Altivo Overo
Although this books is well-written and quite consistent with the Pern that McCaffrey's readers know and love, the difference in tone and narrative introduced by Anne McCaffrey's son Todd J. McCaffrey is distinctly noticeable. Admittedly, this particular story is told from the point of view of an apprentice harper who is thrown into much more advanced work and responsibilities earlier than anyone could have expected, but even so, I felt a lack of sensitivity to the telepathic creatures that popu ...more
This installment of PERN history has two major problems... First... old hat plot and Second... old hat characters. You see, I've read this before when it was called Dragonsong/Dragonsinger/Dragondrums/Moreta's Ride. Those were great books, but now, the grumpy old people treating the kiddos bad, and the stuck up Lords treating the commoners bad, and the bully put in his place plot are all just...well...old hat. And come on, how many times can you forget you have a whole other continent on your pl ...more
Jan 13, 2008 Kristen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Pern fans (people who aren't Pern fans yet should read the old stuff first!)
I love Pern, so it's hard not to like this book. But it isn't my favorite. However, like all Pern books, I found it hard to put down, at least through the second half. It feels like a Pern book, even though it was coauthored by Anne's son Todd McCaffrey, so that's good. But it's another Pern book about a plague and about how they can't find what they need in the historical records. Not so good. And also at one point I felt like they were really trying to make up bad stuff to happen to the main ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • The People of Pern
  • The Atlas of Pern
  • The Dragonlover's Guide to Pern
  • Dragonholder: The Life and Dreams (So Far) of Anne McCaffrey
  • Anne McCaffrey's Dragonflight #2
  • A Dragon-Lover's Treasury of the Fantastic
  • The Ship Avenged
  • Anne McCaffrey: A Life with Dragons
  • Moving Targets and Other Tales of Valdemar (Tales of Valdemar #4)
Anne McCaffrey was born on April 1st, 1926, in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Her parents were George Herbert McCaffrey, BA, MA PhD (Harvard), Colonel USA Army (retired), and Anne Dorothy McElroy McCaffrey, estate agent. She had two brothers: Hugh McCaffrey (deceased 1988), Major US Army, and Kevin Richard McCaffrey, still living.

Anne was educated at Stuart Hall in Staunton Virginia, Montclair High Scho
More about Anne McCaffrey...

Other Books in the Series

Pern (Publication Order) (1 - 10 of 24 books)
  • Dragonflight (Dragonriders of Pern, #1)
  • Dragonquest (Pern, #2)
  • Dragonsong (Harper Hall, #1)
  • Dragonsinger (Harper Hall, #2)
  • The White Dragon (Pern, #3)
  • Dragondrums (Harper Hall, #3)
  • Moreta: Dragonlady of Pern (Pern, #7)
  • Nerilka's Story (Pern, #8)
  • Dragonsdawn (Pern, #9)
  • The Renegades of Pern (Pern, #10)

Share This Book

No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »

“Step by step
Moment by moment
We live through
Another day”
“Fight only in direst need
Not for lust or petty greed
Honor those that do give birth
Respect them well for their full worth”
More quotes…