Dragonsong (Pern: Harper Hall #1)
All her life, Menolly has longed to learn the ancient secrets of the Harpers, the master mus...more
The best friend of my childhood was different from me in many ways: middle-class to my trailer-trash, older, weak where I was strong (he suffered from a heart condition that would kill him while still a teenag...more
A bit heavy on the "Menolly is a girl, oh no!" and things don't really pick up until the fire lizards show up, but even so ... good stuff. And still the comfort read it was 20 years ago. :-)
I think that the magical creation and rhymes cannot be spoiled by revealing the plot bare bones, but do not read on too far if you disagree. I was disappointed by the reality that final app...more
Dragonsong serves both as an introduction for young adult readers to the Dragonrider series, an examination of gender roles and tradition in their society (and perhaps in ours), as well as a...more
I did almost give up on the book at the beginning because I just couldn't take all the crap that was happening...more
A brief forward to the review: “Dragonsong” is the first book in Anne McCaffrey’s Harper Hall trilogy. The series is generally catalogued as children’s (at least in the nypl catalog) but is really for any readers. Like many of McCaffrey’s novels, it’s set in the world of Pern. I haven’t read anything but this trilogy yet, but am pretty sure these novels (from the 1970s) operate as prequels to the other more adult oriented novels. Oh, and I absolutely loved the entire trilogy.
On to the review:
Menolly is the the main character, she is a girl only 15 years old, and she has an incredible talent. She is a gifted signer and musician, she would make for the perfect harper. Only one problem, Harpers cannot be girls. After embarrassing her father -The Sea Holder- with her talent she runs away to a cave full of fire lizards. She manages well on her own with the clutch of nine lizards, until one day she...more
My introduction to Anne McCaffrey. I was trying to start The Dragonriders of Pern trilogy, but was unsure about the title of the first book, and ended up with this one from the library.
A quick read, was listed as Juvenile Fantasy for the library. I really liked this book, and for having a very simple, not very complex or intricate storyline, it really held my interest.
Basically a coming of age story. Well written, and it gave me that happy feeling. I...more
Every two hundred years or so, shimmering Threads fall from space, raining death and black ruin on Pern. The great dragons of Pern hurl themselves through the beleagured skies, flaming tongues of fire to destroy deadly Thread and save the Planet. But it was not Threadfall that made young Menolly unhappy. It was her father who betrayed her ambition to be a Harper, who thwarted her love of music. Menolly had no choice but to run away. When, suddenly, she came upon a group of f
The story is a pretty simple and basic one, well-trod territory where a young person has special gifts which no one around them understands and...more
The reason I re-read it was I was talking SF/Fantasy novels with one of my pupils. He was being hugely enthusiastic, in the way only a 12 year old can, about Eragon. I on the other hand, in the way that only a grumpy old man can, was being... well old and grumpy, about Eragon! His killer argument was the great ideas in the novel, especially the telepathic link f...more
As soon as the new Harper arrives though, Menolly is forbidden to sing or play, and instead is...more
I first read this book back in the late 70's when it was relatively new. I admit, that if you had not read the previous three Pern books (which I hadn't) that you can feel lost and confused about many of the world's political background details that are mentioned only briefly in Dragonsong. However.... I think that's the point.
As an 8-9 year old girl, Anne McCaffrey's book helped me to sta...more
I've picked up a bit of a summer cold, and don't feel like any heavy reading, so as usual I went for an old favourite for some comfort reading. The Pern series is high on my list of books to read when sick.
To ice the cake, it's now come out on Kindle. I don't know about anyone else, but when it comes to re reads electronic format is much better because it disciplines you to read the whole book rather than just skip th...more
one thing that annoys me is how many writers of strong female protagonists take the easy way out: instead of showing a woman functioning powerfully and intelligently in an ordinary society, they put her in a patriarchal society where women are basically teh suck for no reason other than - wait for it - PLOT DEVICES!
it's very grating.
* She creates a world where people overcome hardships against a faceless, non-sentient enemy.
* The world is familiar to us even as it is new and interesting.
* Protagonists who are “misunderstood” have telepathic links to dragons, who are always completely empathetic with them and who have “chosen” them (a process called Impressing).
It’s the type of world a reader can easily throw himself or herself into. It’s the kind of world wh...more
The latest re-reading: a few weeks after Anne McCaffrey passed away, while getting over a bad cold, I listened to the...more
I enjoyed this story, although the pace and voice of the reader in the audiobook version was a little off-setting at first. With...more
Dragonsong starts with a very descriptive foreword explaining the creation of Pern, the dragons and the existence of Threads (deadly things falling from the Red Star) but as soon as the book starts, Anne McCaffrey's brilliant story-telling gets you ho...more
And I'm sad that it did. I enjoyed Dragonsong immensely, but I think I could have loved it more if I could have sympathized with Menolly more. I have to say, the way her parents treat her made me upset for her as well as wonder if any teenage feeli...more
My main complaints are these: some of the writing/grammar is awkward, and a few of the names are tricky/cumbersome to pronounce. However, these are the only reasons that could possibly dock a star f...more
I've not read this book in ten years, but reading it through for the second time ever it's just as wonderful and engaging as I remember it. I ate this book up like you devour your favorite treat in a bakery. It was so wonderful to read! The main character Menolly is strong, intelligent, creative, determined, humble, and has a beautiful personality. And the side characters are all appropriately monstrous, in ways that'll horrify and anger you, or infinitely entertaining, in the way that fills you...more
I've enjoyed the three other books I've read by McCaffrey, but they were so much more epic than this one. However, I really enjoyed revisiting this world and seeing the events that happend in the previous books through the eyes of other characters. What makes this book so good is that the readers get to see what was happening in the Pern world on a day to day basis, not just through the view of the rulers and incredibly powerful. The characters in Dragonsong are more of th...more
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