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Dragonsinger (Pern: Harper Hall, #2)
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Dragonsinger (Pern: Harper Hall #2)

4.23 of 5 stars 4.23  ·  rating details  ·  28,355 ratings  ·  416 reviews
Pursuing her dream to be a Harper of Pern, Menolly studies under the Masterharper learning that more is required than a facility with music and a clever way with words.
Paperback, 277 pages
Published April 2003 by Simon Pulse (first published January 1st 1977)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Dragonsinger is very much one of those books that, while on the surface about music--Menolly, the protagonist, is a young musician who's just gotten the chance to train professionally, essentially, after earlier being told she had no right to play at all--is really about pursuing any art.

Dragonsinger falls a bit more strongly toward believing that artists are somehow a little different than others, something I'm not convinced of. But mostly it gets things right, and there's one thing I noticed t
Nov 22, 2009 Doreen rated it 1 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Misogynists.
Gross. I would strongly discourage my daughters from reading this because it encourages a certain kind of female I can't stand: the girl who doesn't get along with other girls (to whom I always want to say "The other girls don't hate you because you're 'special', they hate you because you're insufferable.") The tolerable, even interesting Menolly from the first book (which I gave 4 stars, by the way) disappears into a freaking Mary-Sue, oh so talented, yet so modest, championed by the "good" guy ...more
Harold Ogle
I think it’s hard for modern readers to imagine the cultural landscape back before fantasy became commonplace and widely accepted. Back when McCaffrey wrote this, before Star Wars, there was very little presence of fantasy in pop culture. Sure, there was plenty of good fantasy to read if you knew where to look, but for most of the general populace, awareness of fantasy was limited to The Lord of the Rings, which had been published twenty years earlier. So when McCaffrey published her Pern novels ...more
Nov 15, 2008 Shellie rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: all who love fantasy
Loved this series! Read it as a teenager and was sad to see the author was gaining in years. Eagerly awaited each of her books and read them in one sitting as often as I could. I have read these books countless times and own all except one that I can't find anymore (will check on line). Anne McCaffrey is amazing and a gift to readers. What a drag she is done writing!!!!
Meg Cabot
This book rocked my world in 8th grade. Plus, dragons!
Haha, this is so very much a feel good book. Menolly never really struggles with anything, and her troubles are rather shallow compared to all of her advantages, but I can't help but like the book anyway.

Menolly is finally in Harper Hall and she is training to be a Harper. It turns out (well, we knew this already to a degree) that she's a prodigy and can play instruments to a high degree, make them, and compose songs. Of course this gains her a lot of jealousy, though only really on behalf of a
Simon Mcleish
Originally published on my blog here in September 2000.

Although, one of the lightest novels in the Pern series, Dragonsinger is one of my favourites. I find it very evocative of what it feels like to take pleasure in making music. McCaffery is of course musical (she was an opera producer before taking up writing), and music plays an important part in a fair number of her novels (the Crystal Singer series and The Ship Who Sang as well as several of the Pern series).

Dragonsinger follows on immedia
An Odd1
** "Dragonsinger" is quiet and leisurely, the second Pern fantasy by Ireland-based Anne McCaffrey, with sometimes Celtic terminology for the dragon rider world. A theme, that parents are cruel and wrong to force artistic children into more practical seeming occupations, is reinforced. The plot seems to be leisurely establishing relationships, separating friend from foe permanently. A paragraph condenses the first book, wherein kind Master minstrel finds musically talented fishing hold outcast te ...more
A surprisingly peculiar book, of which I am very fond, and which I will re-read many times in the future - but probably not a very GOOD book, if we're honest.

Peculiar because it is heroically uninterested in conventional plot and structure. It's a girl, in a school, going to lessons, in a fantasy world. That's pretty much it. The school is a music school, which is a big part of why I love it. Unfortunately, nothing happens, which sort of limits the excitement. And the characters are... poor, to
In Dragonsigner Book two of the Harper Hall trilogy, Menolly finally comes to the Harper Hall and here begins her new life, but not without serious growing pains. Her possession of nine fire lizards doesn't make her popular with some in the hall and like most novels of this type, Menolly finds herself dealing with the "mean girl" contingent of Pern. She makes friends with the irrepressible Piemur and begins a lifelong platonic love with Masterharper Robinton. As she slowly grows into her craft, ...more
Adi Greif
(See review for Dragonsong). Again, I loved this series and this book as a child. But upon rereading, I find it slow and unclear in its moral message. The main character is an unrealistic mix of traits -- she was essentially emotionally abused as a child and thus is generally overly apologetic and scared of not being liked. Most of the adults constantly praise her humbleness and meek attitude while simultaneously telling her to stop apologizing and believe in herself. Despite her meekness, she o ...more
It was lovely to get back to Menolly and finish off her first story, since Dragonsong is in a way only half a book. That's the story of how Menolly gets to the Harper Hall, while this is the story of how she finds her place there and sets herself up for the future we will see, if as a side character, in later books.

On this reread, I find myself thinking that Dragonsong is a stronger book. The emotion is more powerful and it's a much more personal, perhaps because I felt I was deeper inside Menol
Despite accidentally reading this for a second time, and being only a mild fan of Pern, I still enjoyed this the second time around.

I think these first two Harper Hall books are *almost* more enjoyable than the Dragonriders trilogy, if you appreciate the musical aspects and enjoy a coming of age story.

But I think you would miss the deeper understanding of the world of Pern, so perhaps these are best enjoyed as a light, sweet refreshment on the side.
Just picked these up off of a shelf; forgot how good they are and had a great time reliving how much I loved them in the sixth grade. These are the kinds of books around which I have deeply specific material and emotional memories--I remember the exact shelf in our tiny little school library where I found them, and the tremendous relief and escape they afforded me during those years. This isn't so much a review as special sharing, but that's how special these books were to me: I can't really be ...more
This was better then Dragonsong like adding salt to bad soup makes it a bit more edible.

I put it down that, like other works, you really need to read this stuff at the right age. Because reading this for the first time now, it's bad, it has terribly generic prose with the best I can say about it being it's fairly direct. There's nothing in the content to even draw the mind from the simplistic plot, spoiler, which pretty much looks like it did at the end as it did at the beginning.

(view spoiler)
Michael Emond
With Dragonsong I think I can safely say these two books are the ones I have reread the most throughout my lifetime (along with a few Heinlein books). Part of the Harper Hall trilogy they are easier reads than the Dragonriders of Pern trilogy and geared towards a teenage audience (i.e. no sex or killing). This book effectively completes Menolly’s story and her rise from a gifted musical talent who was an embarrassment to her conservative family to finding her place in the Harper Hall. I do love ...more
Brian Schiebout
Dragonsinger by Anne McCaffrey is the second book of the Harper Hall trilogy set in the Dragonriders of Pern universe. The book continues off where the previous book left off with Menolly's arrival at the harper hall. She first has difficulty knowing her place as she comes from a very isolated place. However soon her musical skills and training make her realize that this place is a place for her. The whole book only takes one week but over the week Menolly is constantly having to prove herself a ...more
I read the first book in the Harper Hall Trilogy last year on the advice of a friend. To be honest, it wasn’t my favorite. I found the characters hard to connect with and the world pretty difficult to jump into as this is a small part of the larger Dragonriders of Pern series.

What brought me back to continue with the series was the fire lizards. When reading Dragonsong I would think about them even when I wasn’t reading and I became a little heart-sick over the fact that they were fictional. The

Dragonsong was a simple story, and one with plenty of cliches. However, the predictability was balanced with engaging storytelling, likeable characters, and an interesting world to explore, which made it a good read.

Not so much here. Melony is a blatant Mary Sue. In DRAGONSONG this was less bothersome because she goes on an adventure and her Amazing Abilities had less time to surface, but now that she's in the Harper Hall and allowed to play music, her Mary Sueness is glaring. Mean catty rich gi
Apr 28, 2011 Cass rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: All my friends
This is my favourite book in the trilogy centered around Menolly and Harper Hall on Anne McCaffrey's beloved Pern. For some reason I always feel inspired after reading it, perhaps because this book is set in a college of sorts full of students learning their craft.

I reread this book series every couple of years and it will always remain a favourite, thus making it impossible for me to ever review objectively.
One of my favorite books of all time. Terrific story and characters, creative world, and a bunch of music geeks- what's not to like? Also, the bad people get what's coming to them, and I always like that.
I was not as enthralled with this second installment of Menolly's tale, as I was hoping to be. Part of me was thrilled to learn more about her, but another part was a bit dismayed that she knew EVERYTHING there was to know about being a harper, aside from the social skills. Upon further rational thought, I convinced myself it was because she had her entire childhood to have developed these skills. (Even though she produced a fantastic drum, after admitting she had only had the procedure and tech ...more
Ghost Ryter
The problem with Dragonsinger: It is the sort of book you really enjoy reading while you are reading, but then when you have to set it down to do other things, you don't feel a pull to start reading again.

So, Menolly's getting her lessons with Master Shonager now, is she? Marvelous. Fine. Splendid.

But so what? I didn't need to know what happened.

I mean, I found this interesting and and all that, and as I read my fingers twitched to be playing my ukelele, but...I don't know? I hate to say this,
The original Pern trilogy focused on "Big things" like saving the world. The Harper Hall trilogy is much smaller in focus. It's about a young girls quest to fulfill her dreams of being a musician. Now there is nothing wrong with a story about saving the world, but sometimes the little things just work out better. Without such grave things at stake, it allows this series to be a little more fun. So it may be aimed more at young people than adults, but I think in some ways I enjoy it more. Also it ...more
Becky Welch
Menolly has been recruited to join the Harper Hall by Master Robinton himself. Despite the fact that she's in a man's school, Menolly is well received by a young singer named Piemur. Together they struggle through lessons and persecutions by their fellow classmates as they try to get from Apprentice level to Journeyman level.
Again, I love Anne McCaffrey. She's focused on Menolly's coming of age story rather than the complexities of Pernese politics. I reccomend this book to all ages because it h
Michael Galarneau
I love the Harper Hall Trilogy. This second book in the series is excellent. Some readers may find Menolly's troubles a bit frivolous, but you have to remember that this series was written with a young audience in mind. The only issue I encountered was in the eBook edition that I was reading. It had many misspellings that mad it hard to read at times. Thankfully, I have read the hardcopy edition multiple times, so I was able to figure out most of the errors without any problem. Unless a better e ...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Douglas Milewski
Dragonsinger is arguable the best book that Anne McCaffrey wrote. It's long enough to full of good stuff, but no so long that you lose interest in it before you are done. It is also, arguably, the second half of Dragonsong. Taken together, they form one good book.

This Dragonsinger, Menolly goes to Harper Hall in order to become a harper. Her main problem is that she's a female, and young women don't become harpers, so even though she's where she always wanted to be, the hall doesn't know how to
Lady Lioness
"Don't leave me alone
The cry in the night
Of anguish heart-striking
And soul killing fright"

That's an 'excerpt' of "Brekke's Song" that Menolly writes during Dragonsinger.

In 1997, when this edition was released, I would have been 15-16 years old (the same age as Menolly) and in March of 1997, I had the jaw surgery that is the root of my PTSD. It's entirely possible, in fact, that this book was purchased to keep me occupied during my recovery. I remember very little from 1997, thanks to the massiv
Each Pern novel can be read as a stand alone, but Dragonsinger is the second book in the Harper Hall trilogy so if you want to read the books in the order, check out my review of the first book of the trilogy, Dragonsong.

Dragonsinger starts where Dragonsong ends with Menolly finally accepted in Harper Hall, the school for harpers, with her nine fire lizards. After spending a lifetime in the remote Sea Hold with her family, she has, in a couple of weeks, Impressed nine fire lizards, met the incre
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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: Harper Hall (3 books)
  • Dragonsong (Harper Hall, #1)
  • Dragondrums (Harper Hall, #3)
Dragonflight (Pern, #1) Dragonsong (Harper Hall, #1) The White Dragon (Pern, #3) Dragonquest (Pern, #2) Dragondrums (Harper Hall, #3)

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“The tears I feel today
I'll wait to shed tomorrow.
Though I'll not sleep this night
Nor find surcease from sorrow.
My eyes must keep their sight:
I dare not be tear-blinded.
I must be free to talk
Not choked with grief, clear-minded.
My mouth cannot betray
The anguish that I know.
Yes, I'll keep my tears til later:
But my grief will never go.”
“Don't leave me alone!
A cry in the night,
OF anguish heart-stiking,
Of soul-killing fright.

Live for my living
Or else I must die
Don't leave me alone.
A world heard that cry.”
More quotes…