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The Masterharper of Pern (Pern (Publication Order) #15)

4.19 of 5 stars 4.19  ·  rating details  ·  17,953 ratings  ·  211 reviews
In a time when the deadly scourge Thread has not fallen on Pern for centuries--and many dare to hope that Thread will never fall again--a boy is born to Harper Hall. A musical prodigy who has the ability to speak with the dragons, he is called Robinton, and he is destined to be one of the most famous and beloved leaders Pern has ever known.

It is a perilous time for the har
ebook, 432 pages
Published February 26th 2002 by Del Rey (first published January 1998)
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A book I wanted to love -- it's about Robinton! -- but found incredibly frustrating instead. Between the historical inconsistencies with books that came out both before and after (how can he be teaching students about a document that was lost and forgotten for over 1500 years?) and the attempt to make things fit entirely too neatly, the parts I liked (his childhood and relationship with his parents, which was very well done, and his marriage, which was as well) were overshadowed by the parts tha ...more
I've realized that Ms McCaffrey's books offend me in exactly the same way the Sex and the City movies offend me: that the main characters and their dysfunctional relationships are supposed to be somehow sympathetic, if not outright aspirational. In this book, Robinton himself is less obnoxious than her usual main character (even if I thought the one scene where he compared holding his mom to holding his wife really Freudian and gross,) but Merelan is excessively odious: trying to hide his talent ...more
I like the Harpers of Pern and their role in keeping tradition alive and their role as educators. It's hard to swallow Petiron as a character and the way everyone puts up with his annoying traits, but is too afraid to tell him how obnoxious he is. How is he ever supposed to learn if he stays a cosseted prima donna? I thought that was how a character like Halanna learned to become a better person, by being exposed to her own faults? Weird. Finally, the second half of the book was torture. Suddenl ...more
I've figured out why Anne McCaffrey frequently stated that the Pern novels should be read in publication order rather than by their internal chronology. It's because she couldn't be arsed to keep accurate notes about the series and didn't want her readers to catch on to that fact by noticing the errors.

My favorite example of this is how the rapid progress of Piemur and Jancis' relationship. At the end of The Renegades of Pern they finally slept together for the first time. Then the workers at L
The Masterharper of Pern by science fiction queen Anne McCaffrey is one of her best works. She tells the life story of the great Masterharper Robinton, from his troubled childhood to his musical genius. He is a favourite character in the Pern series.

Would it be wrong of me to hijack my own review and compare the way Anne writes about Robinton with the way her son writes about his own favourite character Kindan. Anne has passed the storywriting baton to her son Todd McCaffrey who has (imo) mutila
McCaffrey offers a prelude to her original Dragonrider novels by revisiting a main character of those stories, Masterharper Robinton. However this might be more interesting if he was more of a protagonist and less of an observer to events happening about Pern. This sort of treatment cumulates at the end of the book when Robinton finds himself present to one of the most important scenes of the entire series, a Forest Gump like insertion into the storyline. An ok story, but could have been so much ...more
A basic premise of the Dragonsinger Trilogy is that women were not trained as harpers--so Menolly is breaking down all kinds of gender barriers on Pern when she goes to Harper Hall. Now in this book we're supposed to accept that Robinton's mother was a renowned harper? I had a hard time getting over that MAJOR continuity issue...and the rest of the book wasn't very interesting either.
Utter tripe, mangles a previously interesting character by making him a perfect author insert.
I normally like the Pern books, but this one fell sort of flat for me. The core drama revolves around the harpers and a particularly greedy man named Fax, who starts gobbling up Holds. There's very little to do with the dragonriders, although they do appear occasionally, and much time is spent on the main character's poor relationship with his father. Love interests also die surprisingly quickly, making it hard to care about them as characters or feel any involvement in the relationships.

It's a
I've read all the Pern books and think they're basically okay, though they do tend to have a YA feel about them. Her characters are all interesting but don't have any depth to them. What she's good at is world-building. The only books in this series that I've ever re-read are the two featuring Menolly, whose story is more interesting than most. Robinton is, of course, a beloved character by that time, so it was interesting to read of his early life, but if you've read the other books, you alread ...more
Vicki Jaeger
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
Alastair McDermott
Interesting to see the Masterharper background in depth. I felt it was very slow moving, and concentrated too much on the early childhood years, and not half enough on the more interesting later years as Masterharper. Still, it's an essential read for anyone interested in McCaffrey's Pern world.
Allynn Riggs
So good to re-enter the world of Pern. It's been awhile. Rediscovered this while going through boxes to decide which books to offer up at a garage sale. Could not get rid of this one. Read it for the first time many years ago. Delightful side story about Robinton, the Masterharper of Pern. So many familiar characters and story lines visited and reminded of and seeing all of them from Robinton's P.O.V. makes this a wonderful book! I love how McCaffrey was able to do that without it being just a r ...more
I'm rereading the Pern books because I was nostalgic. This book remained in my collection, but I still can't give it a great review. As much as I love Robinton, this book is the ultimate retconn.

As I've been rereading Pern, the inconsistencies (and typos and name issues!) really began to bother me. I had to wonder who the heck was editing, because there was no cross-checking, and things just don't fit together right.

I liked this book, but I have to consider it a fanfic of Pern rather than direct
Kim Callahan
I LOVE this book. I LOVE Robinton! He is my favorite character of any story I have ever read. This book, the MasterHarper of Pern details his life in a way no other book does. It covers his childhood and brings him up to the first book of Pern, Dragonflight. Anne McCaffrey did a beautiful job describing Robinton and making me fall in love with him. I cannot imagine a more perfect father figure. Something about Robinton pulls me to him in ever book his is in. This is my favorite book ever, becaus ...more
Simon Mcleish
Originally published on my blog here in April 1998.

This is the biography of the character Robinton, who appears in many of the Pern novels and appears to be one of McCafferey's favourite characters. It takes the story of his life up to the events of the first half of Dragonflight, the earliest written Pern novel. Even though she's now spent some time writing novels in the pre-history of the original Pern series, I've felt that its still best to read McCafferey's novel's in publication order.

I al
• While I liked much of this book there were a few things that made it a little difficult for me. First, I know that the character Robinton is a major character in the original Dragonrider trilogy. I respect that he must have had an interesting life, and I see why A.M. went back and wrote a book about it. My problem is that his life was unrealistically tragic. Look, all of the tragedies that happened in his life are real and possible things that can happen in someone’s life, it’s just unreal tha ...more
Tiyrna Nightschild
For those that knows the MasterHarper from Mellony's point of view, you can see what a great man this is. So strong, so sad, in both family and love. He know loneliness, but he never lets it defeat him, choosing instead to give others happiness as much as he's able. This character was so strong, and real. Just seeing him from the other books, one would never guess how much pain he holds inside, but he can shoulder the burden, and keep smiling. A great man. The character itself made it a worthy r ...more
Gere Lewis
This is the story of Robinton from his birth until the day that Jaxom, Lord Holder of Ruatha is born. I loved this book and I hated this book. I loved this book because Robinton is one of my favorite characters in all of Pern. I hated this book because I realized that Robinton is a father and he's not a very good one. He is a better father than his was, but that is not saying much.

Robinton's father, Petiron, is an abysmal father and not even that great of a person. He is an incredibly talented c
McCaffrey's beloved Dragonrider's of Pern series has been blessed with yet another novel. For as many of these novels that she has written, one might suspect that there would be at least one dud among them, yet every time I get my hands on one, I am pleasantly surprised - and find I don't really want to put it down.

Chronologically, this novel perfectly segues into Dragonflight, one of the primary Dragonrider novels. The last chapter introduces us to Lessa and the events at the beginning of that
Aurian Booklover
Warning: I am in love with the books by Anne McCaffrey, and have been for over 20 years. I do re-read my favourites often, a few at a time, so there will be more reviews in the next few days. Master Harper Robinton plays a big part in most of the books in this series, so his own history is always a good one to start with.

Almost from the day Robinton was born, his father Petiron has been jealous of the time his wife Merelan spend with him. Petiron was madly in love with her, and he wanted her at
From Kirkus Reviews

McCaffrey's latest rummage through the archives of planet Pern (Dragonseye, 1997, etc.) has unearthed Robinton, the Masterharper of Pern, and the circumstances surrounding the advent of weyrleader F'lar and Lessa, the first woman Dragonrider. It's a time when no Thread has fallen for centuries (it's due in 50 years or so), and five of the six weyrs stand inexplicably empty of Dragons and Riders. Young Rob, rejected by his father, is a musical prodigy and has the ability to s

I have been reading Anne McCaffrey's Pern books for many years. I discovered them when I was twelve, and over the course of that summer I devoured all that had been written. I adored them. I adore Masterharper Robinton. I have a print of the portrait of Robinton that Robin Wood did for her People of Pern book. I always thought a book about Robinton would be great, and I wanted to like The Masterharper of Pern when it came out. I expected a lot from The Masterharper of Pern, and I was greatly dis ...more
I've read much of McCaffrey's Pern series and enjoyed it, but The MasterHarper of Pern is one of the least engaging stories I've read of hers to date. The accounting of Robinton's life up to the first events of Dragonflight proves only that Robinton did absolutely nothing notable before Lessa's story and begs the question of why the book was written at all if there was nothing interesting to tell.

In some ways I understand that this was inevitable. If Robinton had done anything truly notable bef
Jan 13, 2008 Linda rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone who likes dragons
It's hard to know the best order to read the books of Pern as many of the stories overlap. However, I have put them in a somewhat chronological order that gives the reader a logical sequence to follow. I recommend starting with this one.

For those of you who are new to Pern, it is an earth-like planet inhabited by human beings who live in a medieval-styled society. There is no magic on Pern, but there are fire-breathing, telepathic dragons who bond at their hatching with the human who will become
Ana Gabriela
I was introduced to Anne McCaffrey's world of Pern through the Harper Hall Trilogy, and as such this book evokes a feeling of nostalgia. It is very interesting to note parallelisms between Robinton's academic life and that of his future protege, Menolly (the protagonist of Dragonsong and Dragonsinger). To read about the younger lives of various figures in the Harper Hall is also an added bonus to those who first encountered them in the Harper Hall Trilogy.

However, I'll have to say that this book
Anne McCaffrey loved this character and it shows here. Robinton is a bright, musical child born in to a family of Harpers who is destined for greatness from the beginning.

As with any good story, Robinton has his share of tragedy, from the estrangement of his father, the death of his young wife and best friend, he feels pain like any other person. He takes his pain and makes music of it.

McCaffrey does her usual solid job of tying various threads from other stories in to the tale. Most notably at
Ian Banks
Anne McCaffrey's Pern novels are either epic or domestic. The original trilogy (Dragonflight, Dragonquest and The White Dragon) are epics. The Harperhall novels are domestic. This one is a mix of the two. It starts out domestic with the retelling of Robinton's life and becomes epic when Ms McCaffrey starts rewriting what we know about Pern's history to ensure that Robinton plays a larger part in it to become even more awesome than he already is. Which really - in my not terribly humble opinion - ...more
Angie ~aka Reading Machine~
MasterHarper Robinton is beloved all over Pern yet how did this come to be. Robinton's childhood is plagued with a jealous father and needs to be protected from him by others. Robinton is born to a famous composer Petiron and singer Merelan, who at age three turns, is already making song variations and writing tunes. Robinton is a musical genius that fostered by all Masterharpers except Petiron. We see Robinton or Rob by his friends at key points in Pern's history. As a child, Robinton learns th ...more
I really really liked this book. It followed Robinton from his birth (or actually before it) up through finding Lessa at Ruatha hold. It was so great to see how all the character's came together, and how the characters you'd seen as adults in the other Pern books were when they were children. I thought it was really neat to watch some of the main characters from the other books grow up and develop into the characters we knew and loved. It was a really neat book written from a really neat perspec ...more
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Thank you 2 27 Jul 07, 2014 04:43AM  
  • The People of Pern
  • Dragongirl (Pern, #22)
  • The Atlas of Pern
  • The Dragonlover's Guide to Pern
  • Anne McCaffrey's Dragonflight #3
  • Magic's Price (Valdemar: Last Herald-Mage #3)
  • A Dragon-Lover's Treasury of the Fantastic
  • The Ship Avenged
  • Traitor's Sun (Darkover, #26)
Anne McCaffrey was born on April 1st, 1926, in Cambridge, Massachusetts, at 1:30 p.m., in the hour of the Sheep, year of the Fire Tiger, sun sign Aries with Taurus rising and Leo mid-heaven (which seems to suggest an early interest in the stars).

Her parents were George Herbert McCaffrey, BA, MA PhD (Harvard), Colonel USA Army (retired), and Anne Dorothy McElroy McCaffrey, estate agent. She had two
More about Anne McCaffrey...

Other Books in the Series

Pern (Publication Order) (1 - 10 of 24 books)
  • Dragonflight (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)
Dragonflight (Pern, #1) Dragonsong (Harper Hall, #1) The White Dragon (Pern, #3) Dragonsinger (Harper Hall, #2) Dragonquest (Pern, #2)

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