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Dragonflight (Pern: Dragonriders of Pern, #1)
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(Dragonriders of Pern #1)

4.08  ·  Rating details ·  133,395 ratings  ·  3,544 reviews

To the nobles who live in Benden Weyr, Lessa is nothing but a ragged kitchen girl. For most of her life she has survived by serving those who betrayed her father and took over his lands. Now the time has come for Lessa to shed her disguise—and take back her stolen birthright.

But everything changes when she meets a queen dragon. The bo
Kindle Edition, 347 pages
Published February 26th 2002 by Del Rey (first published 1968)
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Karen Kerr I don't think it has "paled" at all. I read it 20 years ago and enjoyed its characters and story, and now just finished reading it again and enjoyed i…moreI don't think it has "paled" at all. I read it 20 years ago and enjoyed its characters and story, and now just finished reading it again and enjoyed it on newer levels. The writing is rich and active. No dawdling with useless scenes or words. The introduction is a page and a half - got that? a page and a half! - and you learn from it more information about their history and world than I could put in a comment. The language is so rich you can make a vocab list out of it, yet never feel you didn't get the gist of a line. And Lessa! How can anyone not see how fully developed a character Lessa is? For the year it came out, she was a milestone in the strength of women. She inspired, and continues to inspire. This book absolutely deserved every praise and award it receives.(less)

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Average rating 4.08  · 
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 ·  133,395 ratings  ·  3,544 reviews

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Merphy Napier
(I'm sorry in advance to everyone who grew up loving this book. I promise you, I really tried to love it too)

What I liked:
- our mc started out great. She was strong, scrappy, sure she was impulsive and rude at times, but it all made sense for where she came from.
- fast paced and easy to read plot
- generally fairly interesting ideas

What I REALLY didn't like:
- most of the characters are very shallow and really not well developed or layered at all.
- the execution of the plot was also really shallow
Khanh, first of her name, mother of bunnies
I understand that this book (and series) has a lot of haters. Their complaints are valid, but I still regard this as one of the best sci-fi fantasies I've ever read.

I started reading this series really young, and got so caught up in the whole "OMG DRAGONS" part of it that I didn't even realize until later that this book had sci-fi elements, namely, that we are on a different freaking planet here. It's a mishmash of several genres that worked surprisingly well.

From the other reviews of the book
This whole review is a "Spoiler" so don't read it. On the other hand, nothing interesting happens in the book anyway, so might as well save yourself the trouble of reading the actual book.

People of Pern: What's that in the sky! Is it a bird? Is it a Plane? Is it SUPERMAN? Ugh, no.. It's those goddamned Dragonmen, trying to filch our resources.

Dragon People We are Dragonmen! We will protect you from the evil threads!

Evil Threads:

People of Pern: Sod off, there's no such thing.

Lessa: Aha! The d
Nov 09, 2007 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Nobody
What a disappointment. It started out just fine with Lessa, sole survivor of her family wreaking revenge on the evil dude who conquered "Ruatha Hold". The whole dragon/human mind meld thing was okay too. The part that really disgusted me was the whole raping/physical abuse shtick by the supposed hero. My thoughts were, if this was my daughter as the heroine, then the only thing to be done would "bag and tag" that F'lar a**hole cause I would have invented the .45 cal and then blown his head off w ...more
May 06, 2014 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
It always pains me when a beloved classic is just not good enough. Dragonflight by Anne McCaffrey was unfortunately plain unenjoyable.

The setting is the least intriguing one I have been faced with in quite a long time. There was just nothing to pique my interest on the world of Pern. In the author’s defence, she wrote this book in a time when only Tolkien had had the vision and ambition to take a fantasy world to marvellous complexity, and long before the intricacy and skills of the likes of Jor
Mar 31, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I cannot imagine why I have never read this before. I have had plenty of time to do so since it was first published in 1968. It is fantasy/ sci fi, two of my favourite genres. And it has dragons in it! What more could I want?
Well I have now read it and I am joining the side of the people who love it! I thought the world building was extremely good and I liked the idea of the threads (some kind of weird fungal growth) periodically falling on the planet and threatening to destroy it.
The idea of t
May 16, 2007 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: re-reads
It should be stated that I squandered most of junior high reading Anne McCaffrey's sci-fi/fantasy novels near-exclusively, but this was my first time revisiting her since then. I was surprised to find that the first book in the Dragonriders of Pern series actually does have a good story, with interesting characters and an excellent invented world. However, the writing is just abominable, and in spite of being a woman, McCaffrey is frustratingly chauvanistic. The (lack of) copyediting makes me cr ...more
This was an entertaining book and I enjoyed most of it at a three star level. However, the romance drove me absolutely insane. I was gritting my teeth and wondering if I could actually count the number of times that F'lar shook Lessa, because we women love being shaken into sensibility, and a bit later I ran across these.

"Oh, F'lar will be so angry with me. He will shake me and shake me. He always shakes me when I disobey him."

"He'll shake me," Lessa cried, like a little girl.

"I told you he'd sh
May 23, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fantasy, sci-fi
Lately I have been noticing a recurring observation about the quality of first books in various series. There seems to be a growing consensus in reviews that the first book of a series, particularly if it is the first book published by an author, is inherently weak because the author is "learning their craft."

It seems to be both an excuse for what is perceived as poor quality and an excuse for going on in the series despite being underwhelmed by the opener.

I had this in mind as I began reading
Sebastien Castell
It's been ages since I read Dragonflight by Anne McCaffrey. It was my first introduction to her writing and more specifically her world of Pern with its blend of fantasy and sci-fi (everything looks fantasy but is explained – thanks to the ubiquitous prologues across the series – as science fiction.) I rarely re-read books, but felt like going back to something familiar and so thought I'd give Dragonflight a try to see how it has aged in the intervening years.

The first thing that strikes a moder
Oct 26, 2007 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I read this book back in sixth grade and thought it was exciting in the "wow, dragons are so cool; I wish I had one!" sense. I read it again on a whim and found it unintentionally disturbing. It's not just that the writing seemed dry and the characterization wooden. I realize the book was written in the late 60's, but the male-female dynamics still seem uncomfortably dated. The text seems to condone F'lar's treatment of Lessa; he patronizes her, yells at her, shakes her when he's angry, and prac ...more
I truly enjoyed this book and am looking forward to continuing with the series. This work is a well-written, creative adventure novel with the perfect amount of romance. It’s storytelling at its best.

The book is a nice mix of Science Fiction and Fantasy. The setting is the world of Pern. We are told in the Prologue that Pern is a planet settled by Earthlings but now long forgotten. It has apparently reverted back to a feudal type society where most of the citizens live in “holds” which are hist
Graeme Rodaughan
Mar 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone who loves a great story.
Reads like fantasy - actually science fiction, and pure genius. I fell in love with this book when I first read it. Leesa, is a genuine heroine and standout character, and the dragons are marvelous.
L.S. Popovich
The start of a well-known series. While the writing was on par with many fantasies I've read, the characters and setting did not amaze me. It is dragon-centric, so heavy with dragon-lore and dragon-activities and dragon-relationships and dragony stuff that it left me curious about the characters.

For all of its world building, threads and mind-tapping, and so forth, it fell rather flat for me. I can see how plenty of people will enjoy the series. It has the right tropes, and it is competently wri
Feb 17, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
Around 2.5 stars.

This book's prologue is terrible.

It's an opening narration supposed to serve (as they usually do) as an introduction to the story. However, it feels like an unnecessary info dump, placed there because apparently readers are too stupid to figure stuff out on their own and need to be spoon fed all the important facts.

From then on things weren't that bad. The story is easy to read and I found the mix of Sci Fi/Fantasy really interesting. But the plot has holes and coincidences an
2021 Re-read

I can still see why this appealed so strongly to me when I was in my twenties. I identified with Lessa's outrage when it is assumed that she can't do things or can't understand things that the men can. It's obvious that she is more intelligent than most of the dragonrider men, who behave like arrogant jerks. Also, the main characters are in their late teens, early twenties, so no wonder twenties me found them attractive, especially when the older people are represented as hidebound a
David Sven
Mar 30, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
A quick and easy read. The world building is light with a lot of unanswered questions, but I'm assured that the series as a whole "fills out" in that regard. I enjoyed it.

The prologue had me doing a double take because it was pure scifi, with Pern being one of many colonised planets which eventually became isolated and forgotten by Earth. The technology then regressed to the more fantasy feel medieval style setting. There are dragons, but even these are indigenous animals that have been bred to
Mar 12, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
The Dragonriders of Pern series really caught my imagination back in my preteen/early-teen years, when I picked up a library copy of The Renegades of Pern that my mom had put down. I next read All the Weyrs of Pern (thrilling at the brilliant cover art by Michael Whelan) and then started from the beginning, whipping through Dragonflight, Dragonquest, The White Dragon, Moreta, Nerilka's Story and the Harper Hall Trilogy.

I recently had the urge to revisit those carefree years of meaningless scienc
Sep 10, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
10/2014 Buddy Reread: Reliving my preteen years with Don

Once relieved of imminent danger, Pern settled into a more comfortable way of life. The descendants of heroes fell into disfavor, as the legends fell into disrepute.

Hooray! This book was as good as I remembered. The Pern books had a huge influence on my preadolescent self and I was a little nervous about rereading it and finding out that it wasn't as good. Afraid that it would destroy the related memories I made while reading these stor
Jul 18, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5 stars

My first time reading this 1968 classic!

I read this for my 2020 TBR challenge for the category of a book published before I was born. This was actually way more enjoyable than I expected it to be. I liked all the interesting ideas, and even though I had it figured out before the end it was still pretty exciting to read.
Mar 09, 2008 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
What the hell did I just read? All I can remember is that confusing prologue, breeding project, a girl who kept taking showers, and many, many people with apostrophe in their names. I gave up. My reading time is too precious for this crap. AND RAPES! SO MANY RAPES! Dragons mating led to rapes? Come on!
Jul 22, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Anne McCaffrey, who sadly passed away some years ago, has long been heralded as one of the queens of science fiction and fantasy. Her short story "The Smallest Dragonboy" has even found its way into middle school literature textbooks. Dragonflight is the first entry in her insanely-long Pern series, and felt like a television series premiere in many ways, good and bad. The story was compelling, the writing was mostly good (though there are a few rough spots), and it made for good interplanetary ...more
Dec 02, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read a few Pern books in my teen, I thought they were readable but at the time I was not all that taken with them. At that age I was not too discerning, I cared nothing for characterization, dialogue or prose. I read only for fun and escapism, not for the artistry of the works. Well, I am way out of my teen now, and I have cultivated an appreciation finesse to compensate for my own deficiency in that department.

Since her recent passing tributes have been pouring in for Anne McCaffrey from nume
I read this first in a pre-GR era, 21 years ago, to be exact. I loved it then and looking back at my records I see that I read most of the series within 2 years.

Now rereading it as a much more mature person, I find that it is just as fun but I noticed certain odd things this time around. Most notably F’lar’s behavior towards Lessa, which is quite overbearing and possessive, right from the get-go, bordering on a rapist’s thoughts and behavior, which he barely manages to rein in. And what’s with
Apr 10, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was told to read these novels many years ago, and I have no excuse I can say why it has taken so long. I am ashamed. Why did I make assumptions? I suppose I expected overused tropes and kitschy twists, since I knew this was science fiction masquerading as fantasy, not to mention dragons, dragons, dragons... But I stand corrected. At least for this first book in a long series, I stand corrected. I do feel the draw of a very open and wide horizon, a backdrop for many wonders, and I must discover ...more
*** 6/30/19 $2.99 for Kindle. ***
Jul 30, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: zread-1-fantasy
2 stars + 1 bonus star for dragons.

This classic fantasy was interesting. I had made assumptions that since this series was still beloved it would read like a modern tale. Maybe in 1968 this did feel modern with a strong heroine proving herself in a patriarchal world. However, to me it seemed shockingly old fashioned, I expect that from Jane Austen but not from the 60s. I should have known better since I have seen every episode of Mad Men :) Parts of it read like a movie from the 40s where women
When something mentions fantasy/sci-fi and dragons the first thing that comes to most peoples minds is Pern. Even if they haven't read it. I've been hearing about the Pern books for as long as I've been reading those genres. I can remember looking at the books in the library as a kid and picking them up from shelves in bookstores but for some reason I never read a single one.

With this year being about challenging my reading habits and having to choose something for fantasy I thought it high time
Susan Kennedy
Aug 10, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
This was a reread and I thoroughly enjoyed this book again. I love these characters and the story.

Lessa is such a strong female protagonist. I love her boldness and stubbornness. She does make some rash decisions, but over all she is a fantastic character. I love the Weyr leader, F'lar and his brother F'lon. Robinton shows up in these books and he is such a great character. The story itself is fantastic.

It has been 400 turns since the last threadfall and the holders and residents of Pern have de
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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)
  • Dragonquest (Pern, #2)
  • The White Dragon (Pern, #3)

Articles featuring this book

Dragons, demons, kings, queens, and the occasional farm boy (with a special destiny, of course): Fantasy literature has it all! To celebrate...
479 likes · 292 comments
“Dragon kind was no less cruel than mankind. The Dragon, at least, acted from bestial need rather than bestial greed.”
~ A thought by Lessa ~”
“My eyes are green, my hair is silver and I freckle; the rest is subject to change without notice.” 19 likes
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