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Dragon Harper (Pern (Publication Order) #20)

4.06  ·  Rating details ·  9,111 Ratings  ·  225 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
Hardcover, 304 pages
Published December 26th 2007 by Del Rey Books (first published January 1st 2007)
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Eragon by Christopher PaoliniThe Hobbit by J.R.R. TolkienEldest by Christopher PaoliniBrisingr by Christopher PaoliniDragonflight by Anne McCaffrey
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The Hobbit by J.R.R. TolkienEragon by Christopher PaoliniHarry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K. RowlingHis Majesty's Dragon by Naomi NovikDragonflight by Anne McCaffrey
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Edward McKeown
Mar 18, 2009 rated it did not like it
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
Sep 11, 2007 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.
Susan Kennedy
Jun 09, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
Dragon harper was another book that was not out when I read this series the first couple of times. This was during the same time period as Dragon Kin and Dragon Fire. All of these have been exceptional reads.

There are some of the same characters in each of these books. Some of these characters are very likable. This one focuses on a plague that hits Pern. This a terrible plague and it takes the lives of so many. Kindan is an amazing character and he has been through all of these books. This one
Nov 03, 2009 rated it it was ok
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
Jul 23, 2010 rated it it was ok
Shelves: dragons, sci-fi
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 rated it did not like it
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
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
Dec 02, 2007 rated it liked it
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
Kathy Martin
Feb 19, 2016 rated it really liked it
DRAGON HARPER stars apprentice harper Kindan. It begins with him standing up for the girl apprentices from bullying by an older apprentice Vaxoram. They fight a duel with the loser becoming a servant to the winner. Kindan wins and is determined to redeem Vaxoram. But events intervene....

A new virulent plague is infesting all of Pern and threatens to kill everyone. The Dragonriders need to stay away from the infected Holds because Pern won't survive the next Threadfall without the Dragonriders. A
Vicki Jaeger
May 19, 2014 rated it it was amazing
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
Feb 18, 2011 rated it liked it
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.
Sarah TheAromaofBooks
May 14, 2016 rated it did not like it
[reviews of the first 19 Pern books available on my book blog]

Well, friends, this is a momentous post, as I believe it will be my final post about Pern! Yes, there are still four books after Dragon Harper, but I have been unable to work up the enthusiasm to get past the first 150 or so pages of Dragonheart, and so I believe that this may be the end of the series for me...

I already complained a bit about the direction this series went in my review of the last book, Dragon's Fire. I'm not even sur
Aug 10, 2014 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Joey V.
Nov 08, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2017, trogdor
One thing I hate is a lack of continuity. I don't mean that you have to keep to a strict script, but follow the rules that you set up for your world. Case in point: In the previous book, Dragon's Fire (spoilers coming, if you haven't read it yet...) the plot revolves around firestone, which explodes on contact with ANY moisture, cause dragons pain when they eat it, and cannot be eaten by fire-lizards. This is either never mentioned, or outright contradicts other books in the series. But the auth ...more
Kristen Coffin
Aug 02, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: author-mccaffrey
"What is honor without love?"

Every time I see there's a Pern novel about a plague (and there have been many - at least a half dozen), I get worried, because a lot of them read the same. Or they're overlapping and covering the same time frame and are repetitive and confusing.

But I really like this one. I've always liked Kindan, and this plague straight from the Harper Hall is like watching doctors in a third world country. Like Florence Nightingale. Like seeing the original Red Cross start. It's
Jane Irish Nelson
Aug 14, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
Very hard to put down. This book once again focuses on Kinden, who is pursuing his studies at the Harper Hall. He makes friends there, along with one enemy — a bully, who he must learn how to deal with. Then the story changes and becomes much darker as an illness sweeps across the planet. Since Thread will return in just a few years, the dragonriders shut themselves up in their weyr to avoid infection, otherwise there might not be enough of them to defend the planet. Kinden works tirelessly to f ...more
Aug 31, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Third Rainy Day read while the kids are in school. This is the one Pern book that has always made me cry. To me a story becomes amazing when it feels as if you the reader are there in the world you are reading. Every time I reread this book I can see the sick and dying, I can feel the horror of the mass graves and it reminds me of narratives from Europe during the plague years. This book makes me cry and grieve and to me the fact that any author can make a description of fiction feel so real is ...more
Dec 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Love this series of books. It's one of my all time favourites. I decided to re-read the entire Dragonriders of Pern series and over the past couple of months, I have been working my way through them all. Anne McCaffrey has such a wonderful, boundless imagination and such a vivid and descriptive style, her stories transport the reader into the fantastic world that she created and sweeps you up on the breathtaking adventures. Spellbinding!
Apr 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The plot of this book had a lot of turns I didn't expect. All the twists turned it to a very emotional book because every early easy out for the suffering of the characters is passed up in favor of a much deeper and more meaningful plot. It's easily one of the better books in the entire Pern series.
Nov 08, 2017 rated it really liked it
I quite enjoyed this book, although it made me misty eyed. It was also sad but triumphant. I could sort of tell what parts of the plot were Todd's and which part's were Anne's. I like the characters but there was some confusing moments.
Ed Mortensen
Dec 25, 2017 rated it it was ok

This was a bit of a disappointment.  It is the story of a Harper Apprentice and a flu epidemic, the super-flu that took many lives.

I was hoping for more about the harper but it spent a lot of time on the epidemic which isn't bad, but it didn't give much in the way of story.
Apr 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
That's better!
Marion Granigan
Jun 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: a-great-read, sci-fi
I've been a fan of the Pern books for last 45 years. 'Nuff said!!!
Dec 14, 2017 rated it it was ok
Giving up on these. He’s just recycling plagues and time travel
Oct 04, 2017 rated it liked it
A light read. I've always enjoyed this series.
Tracy Scott-gle
Sep 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

Couldn't quit reading. Such a flurry of action and events. Kinda was a n able protagonist and carried the story well.
Yvonne Day
Good book but the title does not seem to fit.
2018 PopSugar Challenge: A book by two authors
Kathy Davie
Aug 04, 2011 rated it did not like it
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
Mar 13, 2017 rated it really liked it
The writing is pretty description-less and emotionless in this book, like a list of things that happened.
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  • The People of Pern
  • The Atlas of Pern
  • The Dragonlover's Guide to Pern
  • Dragonholder: The Life and Dreams (So Far) of Anne McCaffrey
  • Anne McCaffrey's Dragonflight #2
  • A Dragon-Lover's Treasury of the Fantastic
  • The Ship Avenged
  • Anne McCaffrey: A Life with Dragons
  • Moving Targets and Other Tales of Valdemar (Tales of Valdemar #4)
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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“Step by step
Moment by moment
We live through
Another day”
“Fight only in direst need
Not for lust or petty greed
Honor those that do give birth
Respect them well for their full worth”
More quotes…