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Dragonsinger (Pern: Harper Hall, #2)
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(Harper Hall of Pern #2)

4.28  ·  Rating details ·  39,791 ratings  ·  839 reviews
Anne McCaffrey's bestselling Harper Hall Trilogy is a masterpiece of imaginative storytelling. DRAGONSINGER, the second volume in the series, is the spellbinding tale of how Menolly of Half-Circle Sea Hold learned the remarkable secret of Pern's fire lizards and won an honored place among the Harpers of Pern.
Mass Market Paperback, 240 pages
Published October 1978 by Bantam Spectra Books (first published January 1st 1977)
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Average rating 4.28  · 
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 ·  39,791 ratings  ·  839 reviews

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Sebastien Castell
I won't go into depth as this is a book I've read several times since first encountering it as a teenager ages ago and there are literally hundreds of detailed reviews. One thing that inspires me about Dragonsinger, though, is that it doesn't follow the contemporary form of having everything go wrong for the main character all the way through until the end. In contrast, Menolly actually succeeds in almost every chapter--a victory for her shared with the reader--and yet somehow McCaffrey still ma ...more
Jan 26, 2016 rated it it was amazing
My favorite of the Harper Hall books! There's something so satisfying about Menolly, who went through hell in the first book, being treated like a princess, and shown around the Harper Hall. Getting new clothes, meeting new friends, finding out that her scarred hand will heal . . . just so satisfying!
Susan Kennedy
Aug 10, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
This is the second book in the Harper Hall Trilogy and it follows Menolly as she comes to the Harper Hall to become and apprentice.

I absolutely love this character. She has been through so much with a father who would hold her back from music because she is a girl. She is so talented in music and as a song writer that it is such a shame. They did whatever they could to hamper her dream of music. Then, the Masterharper of Pern finds her after looking for the one that has written the songs that ar
Dragonsinger is very much one of those books that, while on the surface about music--Menolly, the protagonist, is a young musician who's just gotten the chance to train professionally, essentially, after earlier being told she had no right to play at all--is really about pursuing any art.

Dragonsinger falls a bit more strongly toward believing that artists are somehow a little different than others, something I'm not convinced of. But mostly it gets things right, and there's one thing I noticed t
Harold Ogle
I think it’s hard for modern readers to imagine the cultural landscape back before fantasy became commonplace and widely accepted. Back when McCaffrey wrote this, before Star Wars, there was very little presence of fantasy in pop culture. Sure, there was plenty of good fantasy to read if you knew where to look, but for most of the general populace, awareness of fantasy was limited to The Lord of the Rings, which had been published twenty years earlier. So when McCaffrey published her Pern novels ...more
Deborah Ideiosepius
This is a continuation of the previous book Drangonsong, and on this re-read I read them sequentially, though when I first discovered these books I did not have that luxury. Though it helps to have read Drangonsong first, McCaffrey comes from the generation of authors where you did NOT publish a book that could not stand on its own (a talent that as a society, we seem to have, MOST regrettably, lost), so it is quite possible to read this book as a standalone.

Menolly has been brought to the Harpe
Mar 17, 2018 rated it really liked it
Another enthralling science fiction work from the late, great Anne McCaffrey.
Nov 20, 2009 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Misogynists.
Gross. I would strongly discourage my daughters from reading this because it encourages a certain kind of female I can't stand: the girl who doesn't get along with other girls (to whom I always want to say "The other girls don't hate you because you're 'special', they hate you because you're insufferable.") The tolerable, even interesting Menolly from the first book (which I gave 4 stars, by the way) disappears into a freaking Mary-Sue, oh so talented, yet so modest, championed by the "good" guy ...more
Sotiris Karaiskos
Dec 06, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
Following this very nice story, our dear Menolly is in the best place to fulfill her dream of becoming a musician. In this music school she meets all the people who can help her to show off her talent but also others who are putting obstacles and competing her. In this world full of opportunities and challenges, she is having difficulties to adapt, but with the help of her little wingers friends have all the resources to succeed while discovering that what she can offer is not just music.

All thi
Nov 15, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: all who love fantasy
Loved this series! Read it as a teenager and was sad to see the author was gaining in years. Eagerly awaited each of her books and read them in one sitting as often as I could. I have read these books countless times and own all except one that I can't find anymore (will check on line). Anne McCaffrey is amazing and a gift to readers. What a drag she is done writing!!!!
Mike (the Paladin)
Menolly's story continues and the books continue to be enjoyable. Not great literature, but nice.
Meg Cabot
Jul 12, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book rocked my world in 8th grade. Plus, dragons!
Simon Mcleish
Aug 21, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned
Originally published on my blog here in September 2000.

Although, one of the lightest novels in the Pern series, Dragonsinger is one of my favourites. I find it very evocative of what it feels like to take pleasure in making music. McCaffery is of course musical (she was an opera producer before taking up writing), and music plays an important part in a fair number of her novels (the Crystal Singer series and The Ship Who Sang as well as several of the Pern series).

Dragonsinger follows on immedia
Maria Elmvang
This is one of those books that would have been too short practically no matter how long it was. One of my very favourite books, and one of my introductions to the fantasy genre. I love the atmosphere it describes, and would love to experience some lessons at Harper Hall myself... even though I'd probably be more likely to be one of the clueless girls (although not as cruel I hope) than Menolly.

I love the lyrics that start off each chapter. Usually when books have lyrics or poems as introduction
Live for my living
Or else I must die
Don't leave me alone.
A world heard that cry.

I love this whole section of the Pern series, it's always such an enjoyable read! I'm a fan of the whole Pern world, but adding in a focus on music was a huge bonus for me (and I love Menolly and her fire lizards).
Perhaps rereading this book every year is overkill - no matter - this has been a perennial favorite of mine.
May 29, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2015
I adored the new setting and characters in this book. The ending truly hit me in a personal way and moved me. I will not forget Menolly and her struggles for some time yet.
Storyline: 2/5
Characters: 4/5
Writing Style: 4/5
World: 3/5

I had made up my mind to dislike this before I started. I don't particularly enjoy children's or young adult books, and I didn't approve of the adolescent turn with the Harper Hall series. While Dragonsong was a perfectly acceptable children's version of the Dragonriders of Pern books, it was a simple recycling of the adult story for younger audiences. McCaffrey didn't make that mistake here. Essentially this is a coming-of-age, boarding s
Such a truly satisfying book, right down to the descriptions of learning to become an accomplished musician, and I loved every minute of it - again! (Why haven't I ever added this to my list, I have no idea!)
I guess it is a lot more interesting when you're 12 or something. I found it like a Disney alternative princess story where the protagonist is being so mistreated (again), until someone finally sees their talent and true value and they turn out to be a true genius everyone should be praising. Hmmh.
The FountainPenDiva, Old school geek chick and lover of teddy bears
In Dragonsigner Menolly finds herself at the Harper Hall. Beyond her wildest dreams and all the obstacles placed by her family, she's ready to a new new life doing what she loves - making music. Unfortunately, life in the Hall isn't all she'd hoped. Her possession of nine fire lizards doesn't make her popular with some, and like most novels of this type, Menolly finds herself dealing with the "mean girl" contingent. She has instructors who don't think it's worth their time to train "a girl", esp ...more
A delightful continuation of Dragonsong, here we find Menolly established at the Harper Hall in Fort Hold. She makes friends, and enemies, and learns that her talents and hard work are valued by those around her. After all her tribulations in the first book it's good to see her so happily settled here.

I do think it lacks a bit in plot, and there are some loose ends I'd have preferred to see tied up, so it's not a 5 star book for me. But it is a lovely read that I enjoyed when I was young and ha
Gillian Murrell
Oct 08, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Another great book in this series Menolly stands up to the bullies in Harper Hall while making friends for the first time in her life. The fire lizards are growing and starting to become useful in all sorts of unexpected ways.
Shadi ***save your ratings use disclaimers**
Even after my 15th reread (this one through audiobook) I still love the hell out of the first two books in this series.
Dec 28, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
As evidenced by the fact that I've finished rereading two of them today.
Jul 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Oh, Menolly, why didn't I know you when I was a teenager? Another book to add to the list of books I wish I'd read when I was younger, but I'm glad I discovered eventually.
Haha, this is so very much a feel good book. Menolly never really struggles with anything, and her troubles are rather shallow compared to all of her advantages, but I can't help but like the book anyway.

Menolly is finally in Harper Hall and she is training to be a Harper. It turns out (well, we knew this already to a degree) that she's a prodigy and can play instruments to a high degree, make them, and compose songs. Of course this gains her a lot of jealousy, though only really on behalf of a
Adi Greif
(See review for Dragonsong). Again, I loved this series and this book as a child. But upon rereading, I find it slow and unclear in its moral message. The main character is an unrealistic mix of traits -- she was essentially emotionally abused as a child and thus is generally overly apologetic and scared of not being liked. Most of the adults constantly praise her humbleness and meek attitude while simultaneously telling her to stop apologizing and believe in herself. Despite her meekness, she o ...more
May 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites, fantasy
Oh, I love this one, too. It always amazes me at the end that the book only covers A WEEK because by the end, I feel so immersed in Harper Hall life.

I’m a complete sucker for school stories, and especially ones where you actually get a sense of what’s being taught and how classes are run. Anne “I love the logistics of worldbuilding” McCaffrey supplies that in spades and it makes me super happy.

Again with the gender roles and “we’ve never had a GIRL do this before.” In contrast to the outrigh
Jan 19, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reread, 8, ebooks, sf, 2013
It was lovely to get back to Menolly and finish off her first story, since Dragonsong is in a way only half a book. That's the story of how Menolly gets to the Harper Hall, while this is the story of how she finds her place there and sets herself up for the future we will see, if as a side character, in later books.

On this reread, I find myself thinking that Dragonsong is a stronger book. The emotion is more powerful and it's a much more personal, perhaps because I felt I was deeper inside Menol
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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

Harper Hall of Pern (3 books)
  • Dragonsong (Harper Hall, #1)
  • Dragondrums (Harper Hall, #3)

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“The tears I feel today
I'll wait to shed tomorrow.
Though I'll not sleep this night
Nor find surcease from sorrow.
My eyes must keep their sight:
I dare not be tear-blinded.
I must be free to talk
Not choked with grief, clear-minded.
My mouth cannot betray
The anguish that I know.
Yes, I'll keep my tears til later:
But my grief will never go.”
“Don't leave me alone!
A cry in the night,
Of anguish heart-stiking,
Of soul-killing fright.

Live for my living
Or else I must die
Don't leave me alone.
A world heard that cry.”
More quotes…