***Dave Hill's Reviews > Dragonsong

Dragonsong by Anne McCaffrey
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's review
Oct 12, 11

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Read in October, 2011

The first of the Pern "Harper Hall" trilogy -- and chronologically the third book of the overall Pern saga (taking place around the same time as Dragonquest), this book is much more of a YA saga. That makes it much lighter (and shorter) reading, and it relies far too heavily on the unfair woes of Menolly being a musically inclined (and immensely talented) girl in an isolated Hold where neither music nor female creativity (let alone a combination thereof) are appreciated, if even allowed.

There are also Fire Lizards, which manage to be both more and less irksome than in Dragonquest (less because they are handled a bit more practically, more because they so Teh Cutez!).

Menolly is an irksome character here because she is So Incredibly Talented (and thus her treatment by her kinfolk is So Incredibly Unfair), not to mention rather too lucky for words in multiple cases. She exhibits little agency, aside from a spur-of-the-moment decision to run away and her somewhat coerced and inadvertent saving of, then Impressing upon, the Fire Lizards. The rest of the time, she's just swept along by events, tragic or terrific.

The book is best were it adds more texture to the Dragonriders trilogy, and as a setup to learn more about the Harpers (in the succeeding books). On its own, it's not nearly as engaging as it ought to be.

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