Kristen McQuinn's Reviews > Dragon Harper

Dragon Harper by Anne McCaffrey
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's review
Jan 09, 2009

really liked it
bookshelves: 2009, fantasy

** spoiler alert ** I really enjoyed this one. Maybe it's because I haven't read ANY Pern books in so long and I was in unknowing withdrawal. I don't know. But I really liked this one.

It started out in one of my favorite places on Pern, the Harper Hall. Right from the start, I've always loved the harpers, so I tend to have a soft spot for Pern books largely set in the Harper Hall or dealing with harpers in some way. It reminded me a bit of the Harper Hall trilogy with Menolly, when Kindan was getting to know his way around and making friends, dealing with Vaxoram and his bullcrap, etc. I liked that this all built up to show how honorable Kindan is, and his duel with Vaxoram underscored it.

Then the plague came and galvanized Kindan and his friends to step up and do whatever it took to help. It did seem a bit too much like the plague from Moreta's book. However, it was told from the perspective of the holders rather than the weyrfolk, and it didn't affect the weyrs, so it was sufficiently different so it didn't really bother me. I thought there were some parallels to the Black Death, actually. Not in the way the disease itself manifested, but rather in the impact it had on the society. With so many dead, it opened up avenues for people to advance much faster than would ever have been possible before, people had to think in new ways to survive, and probably people got into social positions that would have been impossible before. I just found it interesting.

I do wonder who Todd is planning to set up for Kindan in future books, though. He must have a character in mind, since I didn't see much purpose to killing off Koriana other than to make Kindan and Lord Holder Bemin bond over her death. I don't know why that would matter, though, other than just simple character growth and development. Bemin did need to get over his dislike of harpers, and did so. It's just too bad it had to happen because of the death of his daughter. I will wait and see what happens in this regard in future books.

Overall, I also thought the quality of the writing here was much better than the previous book. The editing was better, too. I didn't see any verbatim repeats, although the slang exclamations sometimes still seem out of place, too American modern to fit into Pern. I think it must just be me, though.

I think Todd McCaffrey is improving and, while I still think he will never be as good a writer as his mother, so far he's able to fill in well enough to keep me happy.

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