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A Gift of Dragons: Illustrated Stories (Pern (Publication Order) #16.5 + 4.5, 8.5 & 15.5)

4.15  ·  Rating Details ·  4,736 Ratings  ·  145 Reviews
For more than thirty years, Pern has conjured visions of brave men and women mounted upon the backs of dragons. As anyone knows who has been touched by the storytelling magic of Anne McCaffrey, to read of the exotic world of Pern is to inhabit it—and to experience its extraordinary dragons is to soar aloft with them and share their dazzling adventures.

Now, A Gift of Dragon
Hardcover, First Edition, 291 pages
Published November 2002 by Ballantine Del Rey (first published January 1st 2002)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Khanh (the meanie)
Apr 13, 2017 Khanh (the meanie) rated it did not like it
I loved McCaffrey's Pern series, but this little collection of middle-grade short stories are nothing short of terrible. There are four stories in all, first two were a'ight. The third is where it gets truly awful. It's about a pretty Runner girl. A runner being a delivery messenger who runs from one location to the next, and let me recount to you most of the times the word pretty is used in this story. Not all, just most.

“Running with a pretty girl’s not hard to do,” he told her when they took
Mar 04, 2011 Sarah rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed this book. I love McCaffrey's world of dragons, holds, halls and guilds, and this book had a little of everything I loved.

I'd read two of the stories before (The Girl Who Heard Dragons and The Smallest Dragonboy), but the other two (Runner of Pern and Ever The Twain) were new to me.

The Girl Who Heard Dragons tells of Aramina, who has the rare gift of being able to 'hear' all dragons, and finds herself in danger because of her talent...
The Smallest Dragonboy introduces Keevan, w
Dec 22, 2008 Kerri rated it liked it
Don't feel like wading through Anne McCaffrey's short story collections just to find an episode from your favorite dragon-infused world? Well have no fear, A Gift of Dragons is here! In this lovely little book you'll find four short stories set on Pern, all of which, with the possible exception of the incredibly sappy "Ever the Twain", are really fun and generally good reading for long-time Pern fans. One of the great things about the included stories is that they examine aspects of Pernese life ...more
Douglas Milewski
Dec 04, 2016 Douglas Milewski rated it really liked it
A Gift of Dragons (2002) collects together four Anne McCaffrey Pern short stories in a book aimed at the YA audience. The little hardback is well printed and bound nicely, making for a nice kit. One of the stories is new for the collection.

The stories pretty much unfold as you'd expect from a McCaffrey story. Bullies and egotists abound. So do dragons. The stories are all what they are, flowing well enough, twisting YA anxieties for all they are worth.

The new story in this volume centers around
Lois Johnson
Jan 24, 2008 Lois Johnson rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Snail in Danger (Sid) Nicolaides
Nothing out of the ordinary here. I was looking for something else and snagged this too; it happened to be nearby.

I was reminded that some of the sexual dynamics in the author's Pern setting are, well, weird.
Aug 25, 2012 Kirsa rated it it was ok
Maybe I've been reading too many Pern books all in a row, but I found these short stories fairly boring.
May 04, 2017 Casey rated it liked it
I love the style Ann McCaffrey writes with in her Pern novels. I love her dragon stories. I am fascinated for the most part by the majority of her characters.

But her sexism kills me! She started off the series with a beautifully feminist character in Lessa, whose passion and refusal to take "no"s based on her sex for an answer, creating changes where she saw they needed to be made without disrespecting the aspects of tradition that had purpose. I loved Lessa, I loved the emphasis McCaffrey made
May 12, 2017 Jacquie rated it it was amazing
Shelves: hardback
“The Smallest Dragonboy,” -Pern (Publication Order) #4.5
“The Girl Who Heard Dragons,” -Pern (Publication Order) #8.5
“Runner of Pern” -Pern (Publication Order) #15.5
“Ever the Twain” -Pern (Publication Order) #16.5-
Raving Redcoat
Jan 19, 2017 Raving Redcoat rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy, dragons
A nice little collection of McCaffrey's stories. While it assumes that one is somewhat familiar with Pern, it is still accessible to those for whom this is their introduction to McCaffrey's world.
Mar 14, 2017 Lorraine rated it it was amazing
It's been years since I've read a Pern novel and I wasn't disappointed. Here are 4 short stories that are loosely related. McCaffrey brings you into the busy lives of runners, candidates, and of course dragons and their riders. These stories are a nice quick read and fit well in between other books you might be reading.
Apr 10, 2016 TheAromaofBooks rated it liked it
This small, illustrated book is a departure from the norm for the Pern series. It includes three short stories that were previously published elsewhere, and one that appeared in this book for the story’s first time in print. Three of the stories are set during the latest (chronologically) books (which were among the earliest published…), while “Ever the Twain” was set during the second pass (after the events of Red Star Rising).

Overall, while the collection was enjoyable, it did not add as much
Amy Bradley
Dec 31, 2016 Amy Bradley rated it it was amazing
Four short stories of Pern: The smallest Dragonboy (previously read as it is in Get off the Unicorn), the Girl Who Heard Dragons, Runner of Pern, and Ever the Twain.

Runner of Pern was the most interesting for me, as dragons and weyrs are in the far background to the on-foot runners who carry messages from hold to hold, set in the days before Thread returned to Pern.

The Girl Who Heard Dragons concerns Aramina, of Renegades of Pern, but shows from her (and her family's) perspective their departure
Aug 06, 2008 Carolyn rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Gere Lewis
Dec 18, 2012 Gere Lewis rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Feb 07, 2013 Al rated it really liked it

For more than thirty years, Pern has conjured visions of brave men and women mounted upon the backs of dragons. As anyone knows who has been touched by the storytelling magic of Anne McCaffrey, to read of the exotic world of Pern is to inhabit it—and to experience its extraordinary dragons is to soar aloft with them and share their dazzling adventures.

Now, A Gift of Dragons brings together four beloved stories and a thrilling new tale of Pern in a single volume illustrated with beautiful artwo

Mar 02, 2015 Laura rated it liked it
I mostly read this because I just wanted a little more of Pern. It's a very quick read but doesn't add a ton to our understanding of the world. I recommend reading after the Dragonriders of Pern and Harper Hall trilogies, but before "All the Skies of Pern" because you learn about some characters that show up there.

(Some spoilers below).

"The Smallest Dragonboy" is about a boy who really, really wants to Impress a Dragon, and is bullied by other kids. We see him later in other books when he is a m
C.J. Milbrandt
Jan 08, 2016 C.J. Milbrandt rated it really liked it
Anne McCaffrey's stories of Pern are much-loved for good reason. The author quickly draws readers into a world populated by dragons, dragon-riders, weyrs, holds, and craft halls. I've always enjoyed the overlapping of McCaffrey's storylines, which deepen my appreciation for every corner of a world apart. Her ability to craft characters that live and breathe is readily apparent in this collection.

A Gift of Dragons offers four short stories set in various times/places within the overall canon of
Aug 19, 2015 Teri-k rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: scifi-fant
This is a collection of short stories about Pern.

"The Smallest Dragon Boy" is a sweet, very short story of young Keevan, barely old enough to qualify to impress a dragon. Shorty after his story ends we meet him again in "The Girl who Heard Dragons", which introduces the reader to a holdless family living on the run because of their daughter's special talent. Unfortunately the next two stories aren't related to these, leaving this to feel unfinished.

"Runner of Pern" was not as good as the first t
Perry Morris
Sep 10, 2016 Perry Morris rated it liked it
If you are a big Pern fan you will love this collection of short stories. I liked it, but it was more of an interesting read rather than an exciting adventure. You get to see Pern through the eyes of some new characters and that's interesting...but not super exciting unless you are can't get enough of Pern.

This book is actually a collection of stories that were written at various times by Anne McCaffrey, and probably never really intended to be published together. But they work nice as a group b
Jan 10, 2012 Kerith rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction
This pretty little book of short stories is worth a read for those Anne McCaffrey and Pern fans who feel they can't get enough of the dragons. "The Smallest Dragonboy" is the best of the bunch, in my opinion, as it is about little Keevan who fears he's just not good enough for a dragon to want him. I remember reading this one when I was in the 7th grade - it has been reprinted in many of McCaffrey's collections. The other three feel a bit like filler. "The Girl who Heard Dragons" is fleshed out ...more
Sep 29, 2011 Marcus rated it it was ok
Shelves: sci-fi-fantasy
The book is light and entertaining, but "The Smallest Dragonboy" and, "Ever the Twain" are far too similar in execution and characterization, to the point of being inane.

Further, the author missed a real opportunity with "The Runner of Pern." In the first half of the story, Tenna wonders why everyone calls her pretty and sort of seems annoyed by it. Rather than pursue this interesting set of emotions, however, McCaffrey instead chooses to put out a ho-hum, formulaic, and expected romance. This
Oct 15, 2015 Jean rated it really liked it
This book is a short collection of four short stories. I enjoyed each of them.

The Smallest Dragonboy I had read before. I enjoyed reading about the boy who wouldn't give up.

The Girl Who Heard Dragons is fascinating as background for how the Holdless were adapting to threadfall on Pern. And of course the title character is interesting. This story also had a tie to the first one.

Runner of Pern also advanced my knowledge of one of Pern's communication systema. No Pony Express for Pern -- they have
Anne Marie
Aug 30, 2014 Anne Marie rated it did not like it
I'm a Pern fan, but I'm confused as to why this is so popular. It reads like short stories written as backstory by McCaffrey and never developed to become more than that. In the case of "Ever the Twain", there HUGE PERN UNIVERSE CONTINUITY ERRORS; honestly, she probably did not even keep that one as backstory . Besides that, there are numerous grammatical errors significant enough to interfere with reading in all the stories. Most of them actually deserve 2 stars, but between "Ever the Twain" wh ...more
Dorothy Brandes
Jan 15, 2017 Dorothy Brandes rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A Charming Collection of Short Stories

As in all Ann McCaffrey's works, this collection adds to her Pern world of charming characters, telepathic dragons, and other creatures, in her easy story-telling manner that makes it hard to put down. My only disappointment was that there were only three stories, starting with very short to one respectable novella size story, which introduced us to the running craft, specially bred people with long legs and bodies streamlined for running and delivering both
Stuart Aken
Mar 02, 2011 Stuart Aken rated it liked it
This collection of children's stories, illustrated in a style in keeping with the tales, will be a delight for children and early teens. It deals with the sort of issues that trouble and concern children from around 8 to 13 and provides a positive and optimistic outlook for those reading. The language is simple without being condescending and there is enough tension in the plots to make the stories compelling.
I've had this book for a while; it was a free gift from a book club I belonged to year
Feb 02, 2016 Kathy rated it it was amazing
I truly miss the early days of Anne McCaffrey's writing. The first book I picked up was the story of Ruth a white dragon. From there on I was hooked. Towards the end of her life she started writing with her son Todd. Who in turn wrote 1 or 2 novels by himself after her passing. But hasn't written anything since. So the world of Pern is now silent. I picked up this book because there were two stories I wasn't familiar with and knew I hadn't red. The Littlest Dragon Rider and In the Twain. Both ea ...more
Apr 07, 2013 Sonja rated it it was amazing
"A Gift of Dragons"..... what a perfect birthday gift....
This was given to me by three of my dearest friends...
Our 'girls night out' group tries to meet at least once a month, for drinks, dinner, and an all 'round good time!

Knowing my love of all things dragon, and the fact that I usually have my head in a book on breaks and at lunch at work, they picked out the perfect gift for me... This is a collection of four short stories (including one brand new one) and best of all it's beautifully illus
May 09, 2014 Kerri rated it liked it
I had Anne McCaffrey's Pern books recommended to me when I was still in middle school, or somewhere thereabout, but this was the first one I have picked up to read. I'm sure it would be more enjoyable if I had more knowledge of the Pern world and had read the series. I did like the first two stories, but by the third my interest was waning. It was completely predictable and a little annoying. And by the fourth I was done; everything is just so cloyingly nice and everyone so very understanding, v ...more
Oct 19, 2015 Lynn rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Same material

I have loved the Dragons of Perm since the publication of the very first book in the series. With two stories that we're previously published , I had great hopes for the new story. As much as I totally love the dragons, I was so disappointed by the reworking of of a hatching and impressing on the sands. I believe there is so much untapped potential with the dragons of Pern. At least it gave me a break from all the damage the floods have wreaked here in South Carolina.
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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)

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