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Dragonflight (Dragonriders of Pern, #1)
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Ghosts and Other Monsters > Dragonflight, Spoilers

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message 1: by Margaret (new) - added it

Margaret | 3554 comments Mod
Let's discuss Dragonflight by Anne McCaffrey, spoil away.


Michele | 520 comments I'm excited about this one!


message 3: by Michele (last edited Jun 01, 2020 02:53PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Michele | 520 comments Favorite bits: when Lessa realizes that her lie ("the babe lives and is male!") is actually true, and when she Impresses Ramoth. I cry at all the Impression sequences in the series, but this one is the most moving -- Lessa's life to this point has been nothing but abuse, betrayal, and loneliness; she has had no one to love or trust. Now, in one magical moment, she has unconditional love, absolute loyalty, and an incredibly powerful ally who will never, ever betray her.

Least favorite bit: The watchwher's death. Definitely a "the dog dies" moment, even though the animal is not remotely canine.


message 4: by Annette (last edited Jun 14, 2020 08:20AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Annette | 263 comments I finished this book - again. I had read this maybe 30 years ago? Anyway, I didn't remember any of it! It was just an okay read this time through. I liked Lessa. And I liked some of the minor characters more than F'lor. I would have liked a bit more attention to the world building. I could almost picture it. One thing that I didn't like was that it's so obvious that's it's part of a series; I like my books to be a bit more complete.


message 5: by Phil (new) - rated it 1 star

Phil Jensen | 31 comments Annette wrote: "One thing that I didn't like was that it's so obvious that's it's part of a series; I like my books to be a bit more complete."

I had the opposite impression. I could tell which part of it was published first, and the rest of it had a tacked-on feel.


message 6: by Margaret (new) - added it

Margaret | 3554 comments Mod
I'm sad to say that after reading to the 40% mark, I'm calling it quits on this book. I've fallen asleep within 30 minutes of reading it for the last 4 nights. This is not normal for me! Like Annette, I had trouble visualizing the world. I also found it difficult to connect with any of the characters.

It's interesting how connected to Impress Ramoth you are, Michele! I found that section macabre. What about the women they're sacrificing to the dragon? What are their stories?

I liked the watchwher at the beginning but felt no connection to the other dragons.

I wonder if it matters when people read this? I'm reading it for the first time now in my late thirties. Would I have connected to the story more as a child?

Here's a good quote from the beginning: "WHEN is a legend legend? Why is a myth a myth? How old and disused must a fact be for it to be relegated to the category “Fairy-tale”? And why do certain facts remain incontrovertible while others lose their validity to assume a shabby, unstable character?"


message 7: by Asaria (last edited Jun 30, 2020 12:12PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Asaria | 603 comments I agree with Phil, the book feels like short story collection or series of vignettes.

It's the first time I've read Dragonflight in English. Definitely there is a different feel to both versions. Polish translation leans in my memory more on fantasy, English is like science fiction. Certain phrasing and wording made me perceive protagonists in other light too.

Lessa and F'lar's relationship as presented here hasn't aged well in my opinion. Not growing in Weyr, she had no idea what Weyr-life looks like and everything that goes with it. Someone should have explained to her the rules of dragon mating. I think this is an important scrap of information that she should have.

In my rereads I started to dislike F'lar for being a jerk in the beginning too. He later redeems himself a bit imho. The basic problem stays - most of character development happens off-screen. F'nor is much more likable.

Lessa, no matter which version I read, is a strong heroine. A cunning, courageous woman, who isn't afraid of speaking her mind, and yet is very politically inclined. She is the kind of leads that I really like to follow in books.

Margaret wrote: "I'm sad to say that after reading to the 40% mark, I'm calling it quits on this book. I've fallen asleep within 30 minutes of reading it for the last 4 nights. This is not normal for me! Like Annet..."

You know? My teen self was also deeply impressed by this scene.


message 8: by Margaret (new) - added it

Margaret | 3554 comments Mod
So question since I didn't finish it, what makes the series science fiction? I didn't get to any sciencey parts.


message 9: by Asaria (last edited Jul 02, 2020 01:02AM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Asaria | 603 comments Margaret wrote: "So question since I didn't finish it, what makes the series science fiction? I didn't get to any sciencey parts."

Margaret, McCaffrey's series is put into sci fi fantasy genre as (view spoiler). For me, Dragonflight always felt like fantasy whenever I read translation.


Julia (ultramarine) | 50 comments It's the first time I've read Dragonflight in English. Definitely there is a different feel to both versions. Polish translation leans in my memory more on fantasy, English is like science fiction. "

That's interesting. I've read Polish translation and I knew there are many science fiction themes in this, but it felt more like fantasy. Because of... dragons? :D

It was just... fine. I liked some ideas and I think Lessa is a great heroine. I agree that it feels sometimes like a collection of short stories, some scenes just seemed unconnected with each other and, as it was mentioned, many things happen off-screen. Maybe that was the reason why I didn't really connect with the story. Also, McCaffrey doesn't explain all the important things at once, so I had quite a hard time finding myself in this world at the beginning. Later I've found out there was a list of characters, places, etc. at the end of the book. It would have been helpful if I had noticed it earlier. Btw this list was full of spoilers. I think no one would add sth like this if the book was published nowadays, people are too afraid of spoilers :D


Asaria | 603 comments Julia wrote: "It's the first time I've read Dragonflight in English. Definitely there is a different feel to both versions. Polish translation leans in my memory more on fantasy, English is like science fiction...."

It has been years since I read Polish translation. Maybe you are onto something. :)


Julia (ultramarine) | 50 comments Asaria wrote: "It has been years since I read Polish translation. Maybe you are onto something. :)"

I'm sure that translation can change the feel of the book. It could be interesting to read translation right after the original version and compare them, but that's a task for some hardcore fan :D


message 13: by Asaria (last edited Jul 01, 2020 02:44PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Asaria | 603 comments Julia wrote: "Asaria wrote: "It has been years since I read Polish translation. Maybe you are onto something. :)"

I'm sure that translation can change the feel of the book. It could be interesting to read tran..."


Been there, done that in the past :)

I've noticed translation can change the way you see protagonists or sidekicks. Like in Kadare's The General of the Dead Army, where I had two widely different impressions of the titular hero .


message 14: by Margaret (new) - added it

Margaret | 3554 comments Mod
Thanks for the explanation, Asaria! That's kinda like Marion Zimmer Bradley's Darkover novels, which I devoured as a teen. (I wouldn't necessarily recommend those because it turns out she's a horrible human being, but it's similar--psychic powers and magic on a planet with descendants from Earth).


message 15: by Asaria (last edited Jul 02, 2020 10:17AM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Asaria | 603 comments Margaret wrote: "Thanks for the explanation, Asaria! That's kinda like Marion Zimmer Bradley's Darkover novels, which I devoured as a teen. (I wouldn't necessarily recommend those because it turns out she's a horri..."

You're welcome.

I've heard there is a kind of sexual scandal (abuse or sexual assault?) associated with her or her husband, but I don't know the details.


message 16: by Margaret (new) - added it

Margaret | 3554 comments Mod
Both her and her husband. If you want to to know more, Jim Hines does a good job discussing it and linking to court trials and testimony: https://www.jimchines.com/2014/06/rap...


message 17: by Asaria (last edited Jul 03, 2020 03:22AM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Asaria | 603 comments Thanks for the link. This case is much more horrible and inhuman than I initially thought.


message 18: by Margaret (new) - added it

Margaret | 3554 comments Mod
Asaria wrote: "Thanks for the link. This case is much more horrible and inhuman than I initially thought."

It's about as bad as it could be.


Emily M | 135 comments Asaria wrote:Lessa and F'lar's relationship as presented here hasn't aged well in my opinion. Not growing in Weyr, she had no idea what Weyr-life looks like and everything that goes with it. Someone should have explained to her the rules of dragon mating. I think this is an important scrap of information that she should have.
The basic problem stays - most of character development happens off-screen. F'nor is much more likable."


Even reading this in the 90s as a teenager, Lessa and F'lar's relationship hadn't aged well and F'nor was more likeable!

I always loved the Impression scene although it is grotesque; I like the sometime brutality of the world.

And I don't think this book reads particularly like part of a series. It was the first one published and maybe the only one that can stand alone.

The books do show their age though.


message 20: by Mary (new)

Mary Catelli | 868 comments It was the classic case of the first book was popular, and the author was trapped into a series.


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