Fantasy & Beyond

A Book Forum for Speculative Fiction

Discuss SFF books and authors here.
The Pern books by Anne McCaffrey were formative books in my young teen years. I would borrow them from the school library regularly, and two of my friends would read them too & we would discuss them over lunchtime.

This entry’s book is one of my all-time favourites from the entire (multiple) series / sub-series. It’s the second entry in the YA series Harper Hall Trilogy. I re-read this & the first one (Dragonsong) pretty regularly, but I loathe & despise the MC of the 3rd one (Dragondrums) so rarely include this one.

The plot concerns Menolly, a talented Harper (musicians/educators/news-spreaders/spies), who is Apprenticed to the MasterHarper Robinton and how she deals with being the first female apprentice & the prejudices she faces from the other male apprentices, the various musical Masters, and the female paying students.

What I like about it
* a coming of age story featuring a girl, that doesn’t involve romance
* the descriptions of the music training - I’m not musical at all, but loved reading about the different lessons
* her friendships with people who appreciated her for who she was (and her talents), unlike the majority of her Sea-folk family
* her flight of fire-lizards :)

Pern series in general
Now, attitudes have changed in the 50+ years since she started writing the books / stories, and there are definitely things that happen that make me uncomfortable now. Characters that were favourites when I was younger, aren’t really any more (still despise Piemur though :lol: ).
I prefer the earlier books (published order, not internal chronology), where it’s more fantasy-based than sci-fi, even though she was predominantly a sci-fi author. But if I need a good cry, then the last part of All the Weyrs of Pern is guaranteed to set me off :uglycry:
I’ve read all of the books, except the one written by her daughter Gigi. I do hav3 it in the TBR pile, but as I didn’t really enjoy the ones written / co-written with son Todd, I’m reluctant to start.
Elfy liked this
I reread Dragonsong recently and found it ho-hum. Dragonsinger I can barely remember. Dragondrums, as I think we've discussed, was one of my favourites.

I do keep meaning to revisit a few more of them but never remember at the right time.

I also agree about preferring the earlier ones. I think Dolphins of Pern is where I lost interest in the series.