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Dragon Harper (Pern (Publication Order) #20)

4.02  ·  Rating Details  ·  7,788 Ratings  ·  174 Reviews
For millions of readers the world over, the name Pern is magical, conjuring up grand vistas of a distant planet whose blue skies are patrolled by brave dragons and their noble riders, a paradise threatened by the periodic fall of deadly Thread. But not all dangers descend from the skies. Now, in their third collaboration, Anne McCaffrey and her son, Todd McCaffrey, spin a ...more
ebook, 320 pages
Published December 26th 2007 by Del Rey (first published January 1st 2007)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Edward McKeown
Mar 18, 2009 Edward McKeown rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Dragon Harper Todd McCaffery
Stale characters running through a cardboard plot. Sadly this sums up the latest return to the Pern, the world of dragons. We have been here before but in better company. In a strange choice for this book, the thing that Pern is most known for is notably missing, dragons, the telepathic and empathic companions of this forgotten colony of humans deposited on Pern. The dragons and their lesser cousins, watch-weyrs and firelizards were genetically engineered so long ago
Apr 26, 2015 rivka rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: die-hard Pern fans
Shelves: mccaffrey-pern
It's always nice to re-visit Pern, and the idea behind this book is a good one. Unfortunately, the characters are so poorly drawn that I just don't care very much about any of them. Kindan has appeared before, and I still don't feel like we know him at all.

Disappointing, especially when compared to the earlier Pern books dealing with another medical crisis -- Moretta and Nerilka's Story, which were far superior.
Nov 03, 2009 Doris rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This book didn't really give me a reference to tell how to relate it back to the originals (was it before or after the Oldtimers came forward?). The overall theme was already used - old time disease decimates the world and is saved through clever reuse of ancient history. Where was it used before? Moreta's Ride.

Unfortunately it appears that Todd will be doing more of the writing in the future, but the books I have read with him as author/co-author tend towards the stale side, with reuse of plots
Keiji Miashin
Much like its characters, which have to deal with a plague, this book too suffers from something debilitating and deadly.


From the very beginning the book is striking in its emptiness. There is nothing here for a long time reader to grind their teeth on. Every aspect of the writing is either minimal, bare bones, or has been covered better in prior books.

The first chapter is liable to confuse readers as it focuses, in a limited third person perspective, on one boy and provides no h
Jun 06, 2009 Hallie rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
What I learned (yet again) from this book: Anne McCaffrey should never have let her son get involved in the Pern books. Not that she's a top-quality writer herself, but she does know how to create a world that is interesting enough you want to keep coming back to it despite the flaws in her prose. Her son clearly doesn't live in that world the same way she does. This book is completely shallow, the characters are one-dimensional (the one attempt at an evolution of personality happens in an impla ...more
Vicki Jaeger
May 19, 2014 Vicki Jaeger rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Another book in which Todd McCaffrey attempts to have thirteen year old children behave as adults, complete with smoldering love scenes which conflict with the "we don't peek" bath scenes.

Kindan from Dragon's Kin returns and it is in this book that he really starts to get annoying. For such a young person his resume is ridiculously unbelievable. Harper apprentice and later Watch Wher handler. He discovers better firestone and attends an impression as a candidate. Friends with a great many drago
I was so careful to read the four newest Pern books in publication order! But I think I would have enjoyed Dragon Harper MUCH more if I had read it BEFORE Dragonsblood. I guess it wasn't as much of an issue for me in reading Dragon's Fire because that storyline focused a lot on Pellar and Halla. While reading Dragon Harper, I had to keep reminding myself where these events fit into the storyline - mostly after Dragon's Kin and Dragon's Fire, but before Dragonsblood. Or at least before the Kindan ...more
Dec 30, 2015 Libby rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
There are many books written by Anne McCaffrey and Todd Johnson (his real name, I think?) which go into disease and epidemics on Pern. It all started as simply a mention about a disease as the topic for a song-The Ballad of Moreta's Ride-in the Harper Hall Trilogy, if memory serves. Then a plague was explored in Moreta's Ride and the touching short novel Nerilka's Story.

I wish they'd stopped there, I truly do. Since then, we've had three more epidemics/pandemics written about with exhaustive de
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Altivo Overo
Although this books is well-written and quite consistent with the Pern that McCaffrey's readers know and love, the difference in tone and narrative introduced by Anne McCaffrey's son Todd J. McCaffrey is distinctly noticeable. Admittedly, this particular story is told from the point of view of an apprentice harper who is thrown into much more advanced work and responsibilities earlier than anyone could have expected, but even so, I felt a lack of sensitivity to the telepathic creatures that popu ...more
Dec 16, 2013 Maree rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a bit of a depressing book, but again, so realistic in what could happen to a growing society. Plague. It was a solid story for the most part, but a bit obvious in the end when it should have been the most soulful.
Apr 03, 2014 Maria rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A difficult book to read, since so many die of a disease they can't find a cure for, including many characters the reader has grown to like. Watching Kindan struggle with so many things at once was nearly heartbreaking, but McCaffrey does a great job of making the reader feel what the characters do - the fatigue, the sadness, the occasional triumph, the fear, and the despair. It makes you realize a bit better what it must have been like when the flu epidemic of 1918 that killed so many in this c ...more
Feb 04, 2016 Oni rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
This book became one of my favourites in the Pern series (right beside 'Dragonsong' and 'Dragonsinger'). Much better than Todd McCaffrey's lead-up books (Dragon's Kin and Dragon's Fire). A very tearful book, with three scenes that were heart-wrenching...
1. When ******* died
2. When ******* was given **** before he died
3. The ending
This novel is not just another typical 'black death' 'plague' story and though it was sad and much less often bittersweet, I would not call it the depressing kind of sa
Niki Beecher
I read the Pern books long ago. Decided to re-read in "chronological order". Then I got to the ones Todd McCaffrey wrote, both in conjunction with his mother and on his own. I made it through the first, Dragon's Kin, which wasn't TOO bad, and the second, Dragon Harper, which was okay, then got through about half of Dragon's Fire, and now a quarter of the way into Dragon Heart, I just can't go on. When I look at the ratings, I'm astonished to see his books rated as high as it just loyal ...more
This installment of PERN history has two major problems... First... old hat plot and Second... old hat characters. You see, I've read this before when it was called Dragonsong/Dragonsinger/Dragondrums/Moreta's Ride. Those were great books, but now, the grumpy old people treating the kiddos bad, and the stuck up Lords treating the commoners bad, and the bully put in his place plot are all just...well...old hat. And come on, how many times can you forget you have a whole other continent on your pl ...more
May 27, 2012 Arati rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Writing with her youngest son, Todd, this is another of Anne McCaffrey's Pern titles... Kindan, an apprentice at the Harper Hall, is finding lessons difficult. He has a few friends, but he also has enemies, mainly in the form of a bully - Vaxoram. Life looks up for Kindan after he beats Vaxoram in a duel. Vaxoram must therefore serve him for a set period of time, but gradually becomes a friend. Kindan is then lucky enough to impresses a fire-lizard, Valla, at whose hatching he meets Koriana. Her ...more
Oct 24, 2008 Anna rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2008
"There are a few references to characters and events from both Dragon's Kin and Dragon's Fire, and since I don't recall much of the latter, I'm beginning to suspect I may have missed reading that one, too. Regardless, once those connections are made and all the key characters are introduced, this book easily stands on its own with its own tale to tell. If you aren't already familiar with Pern, you might get a bit lost in the cultures, titles, and terms. This isn't a good book to start with, but ...more
Jul 07, 2010 Rebecca rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
I will admit up front that I couldn't finish this. I adore the Pern books and had not yet given the Todd McCaffrey books a try, so decided to give this one a shot. And I thought it was pretty terrible, at least as much of it (maybe a third) as I read. One of the wonderful things about the real Pern books is that McCaffrey creates such a sense of the world; you know where things are, what they look like, etc. This one has nothing of that at all. The only places I can picture in my head are the on ...more
Dec 15, 2013 Marina rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I love Pern.It is a great world. Great imagery and attention to detail. Great characterization. I cried because... well when you'll read it you will get why. I adore Harper's!

Hans van der Boom Anne's Master Archivist created a list of Pern books in chronological order. It is a 2010 book list so it is not currently up to date but is close.Check it out.=0)
Angie ~aka Reading Machine~
Kindan has wanted nothing more than to be a harper at Benden Weyr since M'tal mentioned it in passing. Kindan fights to protect his friends from bullying older apprentice. Kindan challenges the older apprentice to a duel that if Kindan wins older apprentice will be his servant until Kindan releases him. Kindan vows to wins the duel but needs more training to do so. News from Benden Weyr is there have been sighting that show no holders are around but no one is sure why. They fear it's a plague. I ...more
Kathy Davie
Aug 04, 2011 Kathy Davie rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: funny, young-adult
It's 495.4 AL, 4 months and 495 years after landing in the Dragonriders of Pern fantasy series taking place on a planet cleared as habitable for humans. Only for the one-way-only colonists to discover shortly after arriving that the original survey team had just missed the regular incursion of a deadly enemy from space. Desperate to survive, their experts developed a radical solution using the planet's indigenous life form.

This is the book three involving Kindan and this time we actually get to
Jan 15, 2008 Kristen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Pern fans (people who aren't Pern fans yet should read the old stuff first!)
I love Pern, so it's hard not to like this book. But it isn't my favorite. However, like all Pern books, I found it hard to put down, at least through the second half. It feels like a Pern book, even though it was coauthored by Anne's son Todd McCaffrey, so that's good. But it's another Pern book about a plague and about how they can't find what they need in the historical records. Not so good. And also at one point I felt like they were really trying to make up bad stuff to happen to the main ...more
Book Vamp Jade Williams
I did not or could not love this book as I have her others. This story written with her son is not an easy read for the first few chapters. It was a bit confusing and only by the fourth or fifth chapters can you make sense of what is happening.

The characters are not well defined and developed and often you forget who you are reading about as the characters seem to run together.

The story focuses on Kindan who is the male protaginist, although it takes a while for you to realise this, and his rel
Feb 07, 2013 Al rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Product Description

Kindan is an apprentice harper at the Harper Hall but he is finding the lessons very difficult and although he has his friends, Nonala, Kelsa and Verilan, he also has enemies, such as the bully Vaxoram. Things begin to improve for Kindan when he beats Vaxoram in a duel and Vaxoram becomes first his servant and then gradually his trusted friend. Then Kindan impresses a fire-lizard and becomes the proud owner of the magnicent Valla. At the hatching, he meets Koriana, daughter

Cary Spratt
Oct 02, 2013 Cary Spratt rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned
This was a weird story. Once it got to the epidemic, I found it to be an entertaining read with vibrant descriptions. However, this doesn't happen until halfway through. The first half of the book had a lot of things that left me puzzled.

The biggest was the interaction between Kindan and Vaxoram. They have a conflict and decide to settle it by a duel (this culture allows CHILDREN to fight to-the-death duels?!?!?!). Then Kindan goes off for a week to train to be a Jedi Knight (I'm almost not even
Mar 25, 2009 Sabrina rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jan 10, 2009 Kristen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, 2009
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mar 30, 2008 Smaileh rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have enjoyed the Dragons of Pern series since I first read Dragonflight way back when. I lost track of it after 1998's Masterharper of Pern and somehow missed the new books written with Todd McCaffrey. (On the plus side, I now have a new stack of books to look for and read.)

Since I have obviously missed a few titles, I had some trouble placing this book within the chronology of Pern. Obviously it takes place before the original stories but is it before or after Moreta's Ride and Nerilka's Stor
Some of the characters are sickly sweet in their earnestness to be good. Very unrealistic ! It was hard to understand the explanation for characters behaviour at times, their motivations did not seem plausible. Still I enjoyed the world that McCaffrey creates, and I am interested to have a read of some of their other books. They have written a few fantasy series. Perhaps I am being a bit harsh as coming from reading the Game of Thrones series by RR Martin, where the characters are bitingly reali ...more
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  • The People of Pern
  • The Dragonlover's Guide to Pern
  • The Atlas of Pern
  • Dragonholder: The Life and Dreams (So Far) of Anne McCaffrey
  • Anne McCaffrey's Dragonflight #2
  • The Ship Avenged
  • A Dragon-Lover's Treasury of the Fantastic
  • Anne McCaffrey: A Life with Dragons
  • Sword of Ice and Other Tales of Valdemar (Tales of Valdemar #1)
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)
  • 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)
  • The Girl Who Heard Dragons (Pern (Publication Order), #8.5)
  • Dragonsdawn (Pern, #9)

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