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The Dragonriders of Pern

(Dragonriders of Pern #1-3)

4.25  ·  Rating details ·  27,960 ratings  ·  579 reviews
Alternate cover edition can be found here.

Finally together in one volume, the first three books in the world's most beloved science fiction series, THE DRAGONRIDERS OF PERN, by Anne McCaffrey, one of the great science fiction writers of all time: DRAGONFLIGHT, DRAGONQUEST, THE WHITE DRAGON. Those who know these extraordinary tales will be able to re-visit with Lessa, F'lar
Hardcover, 864 pages
Published October 12th 1988 by Turtleback Books
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Shrimpy The rights to a movie have been purchased. I personally don't want them to make any film-related adaptations of this series. Let the books and the Lad…moreThe rights to a movie have been purchased. I personally don't want them to make any film-related adaptations of this series. Let the books and the Lady Anne rest in peace please! But as with other book-to-movie adaptions *cough cough* Eragon *cough*, Hollywood tends to ruin fantasy series movies, unless they're done very skillfully and they keep close to the books.(less)

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Average rating 4.25  · 
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 ·  27,960 ratings  ·  579 reviews

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Jul 04, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Why is this one of my favourite fantasy series of all time? Sentient dragons, talking telepathically to their riders. People fighting the good fight on dragonback. A really cool world. Entertaining story telling. This is really fun to read. Eat your heart out, Christoper Paolini!

The first 150 pages are a lot of set-up and world building. I can live with that in such a long running series. The romance is mostly non-existent. They meet, they become a pair due to external circumstances, they seem t
Tom Merritt
Mar 23, 2013 rated it really liked it
I must admit the first volume kept me interested because of the world and I had to turn a blind eye to a small amount of awkwardness and even some rather dates relationship dynamics. However by the third volume, The White Dragon all of it is worth it and I've fallen in love with Pern. It's clear that McCaffrey knew the world and its suffuses through everything that happens. I also like that its a world not a series. I don't feel pressure to keep going but instead know that whenever I ...more
Dec 27, 2008 rated it it was ok
Shelves: fantasy
The world Anne McCaffrey built is nice, but her view on women (the most positive example is of an indipendent resourceful woman who also happens to be very *manipulative* and revengeful), their subservient role to males, how men always know best, bug the hell out of me. I don't know if that's because she wrote those books in the late 60s and 70s or cos her POV is kind of old-fashioned regarless of the time she grew up in, but whatever the reason, I cringed quite a lot, especially while reading D ...more
Mar 27, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy
Wow, this takes me back. Loved this book when I read it. Bought it knowing nothing about it, as part of my membership bundle in The Science Fiction Book Club. Ahh, the Days of Yore. Looking back, at the beginning the characters seem stiff and cliche, but it loosens up as it goes along. The sensibilities of a different generation are seen in the attitudes and personalities of the characters, which seem a bit archaic by modern thinking. The start of a epic series of books well worth reading.

OK, st
Desirae Renta
Oct 16, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This book took me from earth to 3000 years in the future where some humans escaped earth's planetary warfare to a planet called Pern. Pern is a planet scientifically much like our own except for the erratic red planet that passes by every few hundred years which thrusts a silvery carbon eating menace called thread. The settlers befriend creatures called firelizards which breathe fire on the thread destroying it before it destroys every living thing living on Pern. Through genetic modification la ...more
Fredrick Danysh
Jun 20, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: science-fiction
This volume contains three separate novels relating to Pern and its dragons. In Dragonflight it has been so long since Thread have fallen that some Lords no longer want to support the wyers. F'lar and Lessa create a new legends of what the dragon can do. Dragonquest is the story of trying to reach the red star. A rare white dragon is born and in an unheard of action bonds with Jaxon, the young Lord Holder of Ruatha. ...more
Dec 27, 2007 rated it liked it
Pretty standard pulp fantasy with a bit of a sci-fi bent. Entertaining & a good read, but nothing tremendous. Dragonflight begins the Pern series, and Dragonquest picks up pretty much right where Dragonflight leaves off, but The White Dragon takes place several years and 3 books later, so it can be somewhat jarring if you haven't read the Harper trilogy (the 3 intervening books).

Strong points (all 3 books):

1. Generally likeable main characters who cooperate well against external threats. In th
Jay Glasgow
Nov 15, 2011 rated it did not like it
This book was a very huge disappointment. This series is what led me to detest Anne McCafrey. The dialogue was poor and contrived, the diction was everywhere, ornate one second, and layman's the next second. Throughout all three books, I did read them all sadly, there was no growth whatsoever. The people didn't change, no one got better. Even the sentient "dragons" were stagnant from birth in action and character. There was little plot besides the "worms" eating crops, and the discovery of a pla ...more
Feb 06, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I had not read any of these books in something like 25 years and only had the vaguest of memories of what the books were about. I knew there were dragons (obviously) and they were used to destroy something called Thread that fell from the sky but that was about it, and that I enjoyed the books as a kid. So it was with great enthusiasm that I revisited the series with this handy collection that covers the first three novels in the Pern series.

I was surprised to discover it was a science fiction
Aug 23, 2015 rated it really liked it
This isn't the first time I have read this series of books, hell not even the second or third. It is interesting to me, how some books I read back in the days of High School, don't hold up as well the older I get. Others though hold up well to the test of time, Dragonriders is one of those. Each time I read a book, no matter what the book is, I find myself discovering new things, or remembering things that had slipped my mind in regards to the book. It is always fun when these discovery's add to ...more
Jun 19, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy
I've read this multiple times from when it was 1st published as well as most of the following novels, duologues and trilogies. It is a favorite epic fantasy of mine. I consider it one of the best speculative fiction series extant.

I've argued the genre of this series - fantasy vs sci-fi - since CompuServe days. To me it has always felt like fantasy and this 1st trilogy is certainly epic fantasy. Granted it becomes Sci-Fi as the Southern continent is explored and discoveries of origins made. I ge
Jun 23, 2008 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Young sci-fi/fantasy fans
I enjoyed the first book very much. While I enjoyed the other two, I felt the writing reverted to the "he said, she said" of other follow-on fantasy novels (any number of David Eddings books qualify). The world of Pern is novel and the dragon/rider relationship is intriguing to read about. It's a worthwhile read, but I don't feel the full potential was achieved due to a lack of depth and more telling than showing. ...more
L.E. Doggett
May 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing
One of my very rare Five stars.

Very good writing, an ingenious world. The dragons are worth reading about, the characters are real and stay in character. The actions scenes are great, so are the descriptions. The plot follows itself as it should. This is the first three books which are a trilogy. So you can get the full read with this set.

I fully recommend all three. A little dark in places and a surprise ending, not sure if the all the main characters are always likable but they are real. A gre
Scottsdale Public Library
The Dragonriders of Pern is a fantastic trilogy packed full of adventure and encourages you to rise above the doubts of others. All three books have great messages about perseverance, plus fantastic dragons and fine lizards. If you enjoy the trilogy there is an additional trilogy, The Harper Hall, which continues the story. Enjoy! - teen reviewer Sofia D.
Jun 12, 2011 rated it really liked it
The three-volumes-on-one Dragonriders of Pern is hard to grade. For someone without a special place in their heart for fantasy novels, I’d rate it mediocre. For someone who enjoys a nice, fluffy read, a daydream come to elaborate life, it can be quite enjoyable. I found myself on the edge of dropping it a number of times but the book engaged my highly developed sense of the daydream enough that I read it through, enjoying a fast, fun read.

That’s not to say the volumes are not without many flaws.
Gere Lewis
Oct 17, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Lisa (Harmonybites)
Sep 02, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Everyone
Here in one volume are the first two novels--and in my opinion the best three--of McCaffrey's Pern series: Dragonflight, Dragonquest and The White Dragon. They often wind up on best fantasy lists, though technically they're science fiction about a lost colony of Earth. The dragons were bred from native dragonettes and bonded to human riders who imprint them at hatching. They were created and maintained to fight an inimical spore that comes from space. The setting has the feel of medieval or Rena ...more
Jul 20, 2020 rated it did not like it
Shelves: abandoned
I have tried to read this series several times in the last ten years, and cannot complete it. I either got bored or frustrated while reading it. This time round, I managed to finish the first book Dragonflight, and thought it was probably worth 2.5* (which I downrated to 2).

What really gets me is that nothing really goes wrong for the good guys.

One of the Wikipedia entries for this book maintains it is science fiction: at best this is preteen fantasy.
Erik Graff
Sep 20, 2008 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: no one
Recommended to Erik by: no one
Shelves: sf
I actually enjoyed reading the beginning of this trilogy and those parts which were more concerned with the planet, its colonization and its periodic interplanetary crises. As it when on, however, it became increasingly a fantasy, rather than a science, fiction. Not only was it just a fantasy, but it was a rather typical one, employing over-used dragon themes and idealized mediaeval social structures. By the completion of page 750, I was thoroughly bored.
Jerry Aubin
I truly LOVED these books as a child 30 years ago. I tried re-reading them to my ten-year-old (same age as when I read them) and was really taken back by how much I thought the writing was horrible. Whatever charm I saw as a ten-year old was gone as an adult. My ten-year-old really did not like them either. He found them confusing to keep track of who was who.
Oct 20, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My introduction to Anne McCaffrey.

I was given this for my 13th birthday by (of all people) my psychiatrist! I suppose it was his way of showing my foster-family that he, at least, supported my scifi habit.
Jun 01, 2015 rated it did not like it
Almost one thousand pages of wasted time. I kept waiting for ANYTHING to happen, no character development, awkward worldbuilding, (view spoiler) ...more
Patryk O'really
Apr 04, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
great characters. totally believable world, great progression and arc
Phillip Murrell
This book combines the first three novels of the Pern series. It was a fascinating world with unique ideas, but I couldn't find a story in it. Characters would constantly repeat things (e.g "not dragon versus dragon" or "the Red Star can't be reached") but then these talking points would be dropped to focus on the next shiny object without any resolution. It lacks action, proper villains, and realistic characterizations of culture. For example, religion (of any kind) doesn't appear to exist. The ...more
Jul 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I loved this series. I go back every so often and re-read them. They are still good, years after I first discovered them.
Boy, Jaxom has been visited by the Suck Fairy since I read these books many years ago. He was a highly sympathetic character right up until he comes of age, and then he is a creep to women in a way that doesn't read well at all in the modern era. That hadn't stuck in my memory, but did make reading the third of the included books here rather less than fun. ...more
Wendy S. Delmater
Apr 09, 2018 rated it really liked it
Eminently readable and occasionally problematic, The Dragonriders of Pern trilogy is a classic in the science fiction genre that all serious students of science fiction should read, at least once. As much as I tell in this review I will not give away the main plot resolution, nor many of the fascinating subplots, but I will explore characters, so...mild spoilers ahead if you've not read it yet

Book one of the trilogy starts in the point of view of a very strong female lead character, Lessa. She'
Crimson Sparrow
May 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
I LOVED these books as a teen. They captivated me and made me fall in love with dragons - an obsession I maintain to this day. If I had rated them then, it would have been 5 stars: A strong-willed, resourceful female lead marked for greatness, telepathy, animals, a brilliant blend of science and fantasy - what's not to love?

I don't know that the stories have aged well, but they shaped me. I owe so much of my love of fantasy and sci fi to these books, and regardless of their current appeal, McCaf
Nov 11, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Went back to read this in a fit of nostalgia, and realized I should have left well enough alone. I still love the original concept, but the original characters, not so much. Especially Lessa. Now that I'm older, her manipulative interactions grate. Ah, well, I'll remember the dragons happily, and keep it at that. ...more
Lady ♥ Belleza
This is a re-read for me. I read these books many years ago. So long ago that while I remembered the general theme of the books, I couldn’t remember the details. As it turned out, many of the things I remembered about these books, weren’t in these books. That doesn’t mean that what I remembered wasn’t in one of the books, there are many books Anne McCaffrey wrote about Pern. You can see the list on Fantastic Fiction.

To get back to the book, The Dragonriders of Pern is an omnibus containing three
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Why read 'The Dragonriders of Pern'? 11 76 Dec 10, 2017 04:34PM  
Beyond Reality: Pern! 11 23 Nov 15, 2017 12:16PM  
Sci-fi and Heroic...: Dragonriders of Pern 5 29 Nov 11, 2016 05:29AM  
Movie 2 14 Jun 03, 2015 05:18PM  
One of my Favorites! 8 46 Aug 24, 2014 10:45AM  
The Sword and Laser: Warner Brothers wants to develop Dragonriders of Pern Movies 15 95 Aug 18, 2014 12:29PM  

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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

Other books in the series

Dragonriders of Pern (3 books)
  • Dragonflight (Dragonriders of Pern, #1)
  • Dragonquest (Pern, #2)
  • The White Dragon (Pern, #3)

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