Preface: I love Pern and have read every single book in the series and plan to do so until I die or the McCaffrey clan stops writing them.
Overall: A g...morePreface: I love Pern and have read every single book in the series and plan to do so until I die or the McCaffrey clan stops writing them.
Overall: A great book, read it!
This one started a tiny bit rough for me in a few ways. One of the things I love most about this series is how vivid and real it's become for me (after reading what appears to be 22 books or stories). In reading this book it felt to me a bit like the author felt the same way, a little too much. Some common knowledge felt assumed to be there, and when it was regarding the several previous books set in the same time period and authored or co-authored by Todd McCaffrey, I just didn't have the same recall as with the books I've read multiple times. References were made to characters or events that I either could not remember or only remembered vaguely. And the pacing seemed a bit odd and rushed in the beginning. Both of these things could be explained by over-editing, of course. Neither was a deal-breaker at all. They were my only complaints or concerns with the book and did not bother me at all as the book hit it's stride.
This book takes place at the end of the 2nd Interval, beginning just before the 3rd Pass of the Red Star. It is the same time period used for the 3 books Todd McCaffrey co-authored with his mother, Anne McCaffrey, and the 1 other book Mr. McCaffrey solo authored. When they first began writing in this era I was hesitant, not sure that I would enjoy getting to know a whole new crew of characters and settings. But I was wrong. The stories were quite good and I enjoyed reading about aspects of the society that I had not seen before. The first several books dealt a lot with miners and watch whers in addition to the usual Holds and Weyrs. This book, while primarily about dragonriders, continues to explore these themes, and adds more by way of traders. The focus of the book is the experiences of a young woman named Fiona. Fiona is the daughter of Fort's Lord Holder who unexpectedly Impresses a queen dragon. When a dragon illness sweeps the land her big challenges begin.
What I liked best about the book is that it really compliments the others in this section of the series. The events take place at the same time as the other stories, but are told from a very different perspective. Old friends weave in and out as supporting characters, letting us know more about them and adding a sense of realism. Exploring events in this way really made the world feel even more real, adding a great deal of depth of my sense of understand this world and the events of this time. It is also very interesting to see how the line is walked between already established events both in the settling of the planet and early years and in the events of the future in relation to this time period. The consistency is excellent, allowing for a real sense that this planet was settled 500 years ago and it's people retain some memories and abilities from that time that were completely lost by the time we encounter the world in the books that introduced the series (DragonFlight, etc), which take place before and during the 9th Pass (around year 2500 After Landing or so I think). The changes in science, medicine, culture and even language are consistent with this placement in time. In fact, it bothered me at first when a few times when a character used a word that didn't feel "Pernese" to me (ex: awesome, great) until I thought that this actually reflected the more "modern" language of the earlier settlers and not the ways of speaking in the later books.
Readers should know that Fiona is a young girl, only 13 at the beginning of this book. While she is young, this is not a book written for teens, although I sure it would be enjoyed by them. Todd McCaffrey seems to enjoy writing stories of extraordinary young people who rise to the occasion during difficult times, as this theme is seen in all of his Pern books.
I didn't give you much here about the actual story, huh? Well, read the book and find out! It's enjoyable, although not as intense or dramatic as Dragonsblood. If you can, it would be best to read Dragon's Kin and Dragon Harper first, then Dragon's Fire if you wish (I didn't love it) and certainly Dragonsblood before reading this book. As a stand-alone it's a decent story but probably quite confusing and without the great sense of place and time that I found in reading it after the others.(less)
It was good. Not so great that I'm dying to read the next one, not as god as her Riley/Guardian series, but good I really liked her creation of totall...moreIt was good. Not so great that I'm dying to read the next one, not as god as her Riley/Guardian series, but good I really liked her creation of totally new supernatual creatures. As much as I enjoy my werewolves and vamps, this made a nice change. The story was ok, the characters are engaging. There was enough foreshadowing to make me curious about the next book, so I will check it out (literally, thanks library!) when the time comes. (less)