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Dragonflight (Pern (Publication Order) #1)

4.09  ·  Rating Details  ·  87,817 Ratings  ·  1,992 Reviews
The men who rode the dragons were a breed apart. Chosen when the dragons were first hatched, they became soul mates for life with the huge, magnificent beasts they controlled - the green, blue, brown and bronzes - beautiful - terrible - the only creatures who could defend the planet Pern from the blood-red star. But without the Queen, the dragons would become extinct. Only ...more
Paperback, Alternate cover for ISBN:9780552084536, 347 pages
Published by Corgi Books (first published 1968)
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Oni No. The book is not only difficult to read for those under 14-years-old, but there are also multiple sex scenes and frequent sexual references,…moreNo. The book is not only difficult to read for those under 14-years-old, but there are also multiple sex scenes and frequent sexual references, including several promiscuous characters. I advise 14+. However, the 'Harper Hall Trilogy', including 'Dragonsong', 'Dragonsinger' and 'Dragondrums' is much cleaner and appeals to young adults. (less)
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Community Reviews

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Khanh (the Grinch)
I understand that this book (and series) has a lot of haters. Their complaints are valid, but I still regard this as one of the best sci-fi fantasies I've ever read.

I started reading this series really young, and got so caught up in the whole "OMG DRAGONS" part of it that I didn't even realize until later that this book had sci-fi elements, namely, that we are on a different freaking planet here. It's a mishmash of several genres that worked surprisingly well.

From the other reviews of the book
Feb 09, 2008 Mike rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Nobody
What a disappointment. It started out just fine with Lessa, sole survivor of her family wreaking revenge on the evil dude who conquered "Ruatha Hold". The whole dragon/human mind meld thing was okay too. The part that really disgusted me was the whole raping/physical abuse shtick by the supposed hero. My thoughts were, if this was my daughter as the heroine, then the only thing to be done would "bag and tag" that F'lar a**hole cause I would have invented the .45 cal and then blown his head off w ...more
This whole review is a "Spoiler" so don't read it. On the other hand, nothing interesting happens in the book anyway, so might as well save yourself the trouble of reading the actual book.

People of Pern: What's that in the sky! Is it a bird? Is it a Plane? Is it SUPERMAN? Ugh, no.. It's those goddamned Dragonmen, trying to filch our resources.

Dragon People We are Dragonmen! We will protect you from the evil threads!

Evil Threads:

People of Pern: Sod off, there's no such thing.

Lessa: Aha! The dr
May 16, 2007 Jessica rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: re-reads
It should be stated that I squandered most of junior high reading Anne McCaffrey's sci-fi/fantasy novels near-exclusively, but this was my first time revisiting her since then. I was surprised to find that the first book in the Dragonriders of Pern series actually does have a good story, with interesting characters and an excellent invented world. However, the writing is just abominable, and in spite of being a woman, McCaffrey is frustratingly chauvanistic. The (lack of) copyediting makes me cr ...more
Jun 25, 2009 Brad rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi, sci-fantasy
Lately I have been noticing a recurring observation about the quality of first books in various series. There seems to be a growing consensus in reviews that the first book of a series, particularly if it is the first book published by an author, is inherently weak because the author is "learning their craft."

It seems to be both an excuse for what is perceived as poor quality and an excuse for going on in the series despite being underwhelmed by the opener.

I had this in mind as I began reading
I truly enjoyed this book and am looking forward to continuing with the series. This work is a well-written, creative adventure novel with the perfect amount of romance. It’s storytelling at its best.

The book is a nice mix of Science Fiction and Fantasy. The setting is the world of Pern. We are told in the Prologue that Pern is a planet settled by Earthlings but now long forgotten. It has apparently reverted back to a feudal type society where most of the citizens live in “holds” which are hist
David Sven
Apr 03, 2013 David Sven rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
A quick and easy read. The world building is light with a lot of unanswered questions, but I'm assured that the series as a whole "fills out" in that regard. I enjoyed it.

The prologue had me doing a double take because it was pure scifi, with Pern being one of many colonised planets which eventually became isolated and forgotten by Earth. The technology then regressed to the more fantasy feel medieval style setting. There are dragons, but even these are indigenous animals that have been bred to
Oct 26, 2007 Steph rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I read this book back in sixth grade and thought it was exciting in the "wow, dragons are so cool; I wish I had one!" sense. I read it again on a whim and found it unintentionally disturbing. It's not just that the writing seemed dry and the characterization wooden. I realize the book was written in the late 60's, but the male-female dynamics still seem uncomfortably dated. The text seems to condone F'lar's treatment of Lessa; he patronizes her, yells at her, shakes her when he's angry, and prac ...more
Mar 18, 2008 Sean rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
The Dragonriders of Pern series really caught my imagination back in my preteen/early-teen years, when I picked up a library copy of The Renegades of Pern that my mom had put down. I next read All the Weyrs of Pern (thrilling at the brilliant cover art by Michael Whelan) and then started from the beginning, whipping through Dragonflight, Dragonquest, The White Dragon, Moreta, Nerilka's Story and the Harper Hall Trilogy.

I recently had the urge to revisit those carefree years of meaningless scienc
Dec 26, 2015 Alexa rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
Around 2.5 stars.

This book's prologue is terrible.

It's an opening narration supposed to serve (as they usually do) as an introduction to the story. However, it feels like an unnecessary info dump, placed there because apparently readers are too stupid to figure stuff out on their own and need to be spoon fed all the important facts.

From then on things weren't that bad. The story is easy to read and I found the mix of Sci Fi/Fantasy really interesting. But the plot has holes and coincidences an
Oct 08, 2014 Vivian rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
10/2014 Buddy Reread: Reliving my preteen years with Don

Once relieved of imminent danger, Pern settled into a more comfortable way of life. The descendants of heroes fell into disfavor, as the legends fell into disrepute.

Hooray! This book was as good as I remembered. The Pern books had a huge influence on my preadolescent self and I was a little nervous about rereading it and finding out that it wasn't as good. Afraid that it would destroy the related memories I made while reading these storie
Alex Ristea
Dragonflight is a "classic" (take that definition as you will) that merits a read, even if that's just to understand the history of the genre a bit better.

The best part of the book was undoubtedly McCaffrey's dragon imagery—anything that had to do with the their relationship with their riders, the feeling of them taking flight, or their general mannerisms. I wish I had picked this up in my younger days, as I'm sure the dragons alone would have captivated my fledgling mind, and I would have soake
Dec 06, 2011 Apatt rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read a few Pern books in my teen, I thought they were readable but at the time I was not all that taken with them. At that age I was not too discerning, I cared nothing for characterization, dialogue or prose. I read only for fun and escapism, not for the artistry of the works. Well, I am way out of my teen now, and I have cultivated an appreciation finesse to compensate for my own deficiency in that department.

Since her recent passing tributes have been pouring in for Anne McCaffrey from nume
Jul 11, 2011 Sandra rated it it was amazing
As this book was written in 1968, I'm sure everything that could be said, has been said. I'm just amazed at Anne McCaffrey's skill in crafting such a wonderful book. It feels as fresh as the day it was written.

This is the story of the planet Pern, dragons, dragonryders, and Threads that come from the Red Star every couple of hundred years.

No heavy world building here, just the world as is. As of course, it really must be!

I want a dragon of my own, right now!

Love this book and I'll be reading m
Mike (the Paladin)
This isn't the edition i read back in the dark ages. These were enjoyable books back then, they still should be. New idea at the time a cross between science fiction and fantasy.
3.0 to 3.5 stars. Really like the premise of the story and the descriptions of the dragons and their relationship with the riders. The plot was not quite as good as I would have hoped but it is still a good read.
When something mentions fantasy/sci-fi and dragons the first thing that comes to most peoples minds is Pern. Even if they haven't read it. I've been hearing about the Pern books for as long as I've been reading those genres. I can remember looking at the books in the library as a kid and picking them up from shelves in bookstores but for some reason I never read a single one.

With this year being about challenging my reading habits and having to choose something for fantasy I thought it high time
Jenny (Reading Envy)
Mar 31, 2013 Jenny (Reading Envy) rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Jenny (Reading Envy) by: Veronica Belmont
This is the April pick for the Sword and Laser book club. I found it as an ebook through my local library's holdings and zipped through it this weekend.

This is clearly a book I probably would have connected with more if I'd first read it as a youngling, before I was old and jaded about dragons and romance. I can see how this book set many things for the dragon-and-rider subgenre, alongside dragonrider-dragonrider romance. The story is interesting, especially the somewhat complicated social code
Dragonflight takes you through Lessa's journey into the world of dragon riding in Pern. The book lacked character development and I barely connected with the main characters, let along the dozens of bizarre names that would fly by. I read this as an e-book and at the end there was probably 15 pages just explaining terms and who is who (would have been helpful to know earlier...). While those things can be great, as a reader I shouldn't NEED those, the protagonists journey should suffice in intro ...more
Aug 11, 2011 Kogiopsis rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I'm going to drop a quick note here because I've been thinking about it, but I haven't read this book recently enough to write a real review.

This book is the most out of whack with the rest of its series. Here, there is no pretense of science fiction, whereas as the series progresses it is clear that McCaffrey made a decision to change genres. Fencing appears nowhere else in the books, and the implication that Lessa was somehow protected by a magical connection with her Hold is never brought up
Veronica Belmont
I took this review from a 5-star to a 4-star in my rereading. It's Dragonflight still an excellent book? Yes. But perhaps I read now with more of a critical eye than I did almost 20 years ago.

The Chronicles of Pern contain some of the most believable and relatable dragons in fantasy, and they're truly the mold from which other dragons in the genre are cut. However, I find my issues now revolve around the human characters in the story.

Lessa and F'lar, specifically, seem pulled from a YA novel of
Ricky Ganci
Jan 01, 2012 Ricky Ganci rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Well, it was better than Eragon. This is a very cool book—a welcome literary repast. Upon reading the introduction, I thought it was going to be hard fantasy-laced science fiction, but then it settled nicely into being a very traditional fantasy setting. Other newer series that I’ve read seem to draw much from the set up of McCaffrey’s Pern, and the Hold system, complete with Craftmasters, seems to indicate more than a little inspiration to Ranger’s Apprentice. The traditional medieval setting s ...more
Jul 30, 2013 Ellis marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Ellis by: Khanh (the Grinch)

So yes, uhm ... intrigued.
Dec 14, 2009 Cassy rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Stephenie Meyer
This book was good. Adequate might be an even better adjective.

In fact, my husband asked if I wanted to go to the bookstore to buy the next book. (He is a very good husband who has continually witnessed me get sucked into fantasy series.) My answer was "huh, it never even crossed my mind to continue the series." One book was enough. I'm glad I read it for a bit of enjoyment and to sample McCaffrey's writing, but I am done.

I liked the use of dragons, but the author didn't offer anything new to
As I did not particularly care for this book, I'm forgoing the usual format and just writing a quick review. I read this book as the April pick for Sword & Laser. I was vaguely aware of it being considered one of the "classics" of fantasy. It hadn't really been on my radar as something I wanted to read.

In fact I had this feeling (based partially on discussing it with a friend who just read it for the first time recently) that I wasn't going to like it, so I borrowed it from the library rathe
I first read this when it was serialized in Analog Science Fiction/Science Fact magazine way back in 1967; I still have all three issues. Its a story of "revenge served cold" in which the heroine Lessa of Ruatha uses her latent psychic powers to bring about the doom of the man who murdered her entire family when she was just a girl. At a later point in the story we learn how Lessa was warned in time to save herself from also being slaughtered by the renegade Fax.

We also learn that Lessa's world
Inspired Kathy
Jan 17, 2009 Inspired Kathy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2009
I really enjoyed this book. The first 20 pages were completely confusing and I couldn't figure out what anything meant: weyr, between, watch-wher, hold? And the names in the book were so weird: F'lar, Mnementh, F'nor... But I'm glad I kept reading. After about 20 pages I started to love this book. Despite having little time to devote to reading I finished it in less than 3 days.
J. Lawrence
Apr 07, 2015 J. Lawrence rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I liked the first book in the series a lot. Well crafted characters, customs, and world. It is also refreshingly clean. There is no smut or crap to wade through to find a delightful story line. A must for the well read fantasy aficionado. This story that kept coming back to me, taunting me. I mean really... what fantasy nut doesn't want to ride a dragon?
Feb 09, 2016 Laura rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I am in my second read of the Pern series. I wisely shelved my books for over 10 years so that when I come to reread them, I enjoy them the same as the first time round.
Anne McCaffreys World of Pern is truly and epic exploration of a different civilization that you get to piece together book by book until you unravel the history of Pern. If only my history teacher at school could have taught us our own history the way she portrays is. You can basically pick up any book our of sequence, get to l
Good fun! I never realised there was a time-travel element to these as well - I love a good intricate time travel plot, and this was very nicely done. And the world-building, history and sci-fi background was really well-crafted - I particularly enjoyed spotting things that later fantasy authors clearly stole heavily borrowed paid loving homage to ;) It felt a bit like reading an origin myth for many of my favourite fantasy universes.

Character-wise, it was a great relief to have a female main c
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Sci-fi and Heroic...: Dragonriders of Pern movie? 52 100 Dec 16, 2014 07:28PM  
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  • The Dragonlover's Guide to Pern
  • Anne McCaffrey's Dragonflight #1
  • The Atlas of Pern
  • The People of Pern
  • Arrows of the Queen (Heralds of Valdemar, #1)
  • Elvenblood (Halfblood Chronicles, #2)
  • Hawkmistress! (Darkover, #6)
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 25 books)
  • 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)
  • The Girl Who Heard Dragons (Pern (Publication Order), #8.5)
  • Dragonsdawn (Pern, #9)
  • The Renegades of Pern (Pern, #10)

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“Dragon kind was no less cruel than mankind. The Dragon, at least, acted from bestial need rather than bestial greed.”
~ A thought by Lessa ~”
“My eyes are green, my hair is silver and I freckly; the rest is subject to change without notice.” 18 likes
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