Dragonflight is the first book written in the long-running Dragonriders of Pern series by Anne McCaffrey. [It is not the first in the Story of the Planet of Pern.]
The first segment of Dragonflight was a 1968 Hugo awardâ"winning novella (called Weyr Search) prior to publication of the entire book. The second segment (called Dragonrider) received a Nebula Award in 1968.
Pern is a planet inhabited by humans. The original colonists were reduced to a low level of technology by periodic onslaughts of deadly Thread raining down from the sky. By harnessing the indigenous flying, fire-breathing dragons (with some genetic alteration to make them larger), humanity finally managed to gain the upper hand. The dragons, with their human riders, destroyed the Thread in the skies over Pern before they were able to burrow into the land and breed. However, an unusually long interval between attacks, centuries in duration, has caused the general population to gradually dismiss the threat and withdraw support from the Weyrs where dragons are bred and trained. By the time of this novel, only one Weyr remains (the other five having mysteriously disappeared at the same time in the last quiet interval), maintaining a precarious hand-to-mouth existence.
Dragons are telepathic; each bonds to a single human being when first hatched. They come in various colors which are generally correlated with their size, blue, green, brown, bronze, and gold queens. Bronzes, as the largest males, are by tradition the only ones who compete to win the queens in their mating flights. Queens, however, are always the largest dragons. As their human counterparts are linked mind-to-mind, the humans mate when their dragons mate.
Dragonflight chronicles the story of Lessa, the sole survivor of the noble ruling family of Ruatha Hold on the northern continent of Pern. When the rest of her family was killed by a cruel usurper, Fax, she survived by disguising herself as a drudge (a menial servant).
F'lar, wingleader at Benden Weyr and rider of the bronze dragon Mnementh, finds Lessa while Searching for candidates to Impress the Queen egg which is about to hatch. After defeating Fax in single combat (following the rules of the Pernese code duello), F'lar convinces Lessa to give up her birthright as Lord Holder of Ruatha Hold and join him at Benden Weyr. Lessa Impresses the Queen dragonet Ramoth and becomes the Weyrwoman, the new co-leader of the last active Weyr. On Ramoth's first mating flight, Mnementh catches her, and by Weyr tradition, this makes F'lar the Weyrleader.
Lessa and F'lar warn a dangerously unprepared Pern of the impending Thread reappearance. The general response is disbelief, as the last threadfall was 400 years ago, and the stories about threadfall have receded from recent history into legend and myth. It is not until the first Thread begins to fall that they are believed by the general populace and indeed even by some dragonriders.
One Weyr by itself is not enough to defend the planet; there used to be six, but the other five Weyrs have been empty and abandoned since the last Pass. In a desperate attempt to increase their numbers, a new queen, Prideth, and her rider, Kylara, are sent between times (a recently rediscovered skill), back ten turns, giving Prideth time to mature and have Clutches. Stretched to the breaking point, Lessa travels four hundred turns into the past to bring the five 'missing' Weyrs forward to her present. This not only provides much needed skilled reinforcements in the battle against Thread, but explains how and why the five Weyrs were abandoned: they came forward in time.
A beautifully told story though the character relationships are quite thin. The characters are well-developed, however, as individuals and even though this isn't the best of the series it is still very good and a nice start to a great set of fantasy novels.
Pern has fallen into disrepair. Because there has been no danger from the terrible threads that threaten the planet with destruction every few hundred years, traditions are being lost to the wind like dust. The people of Pern no longer understand why they should bother to remove the greenery from their homes, why they should have to give gifts of food to the Dragonriders. They dont do anything except leech. The threads are a thing of the past.
One of the leaders of the Bronze dragons feels differently. The Threads have been too long absent, and the death of their useless Wyerwoman, the companion to the queen dragon, leaves room for improvement. A search is called and Lessa, a kitchen maid who had her lands taken from her birthright is spirited away to the Wyer, the home of all dragons to see if she is fit to be companion to a queen.
Ok, you can shoot me now. Get it over with. Because youre going to want to kill me once I say this next sentence: I didnt like Dragonflight.
I know, I know! Its a classic, the basis of most modern dragon books, blah blah blah. Im sorry, I STILL didnt like it. I dont know why I just didnt get it. The plot is simple enough: girl becomes bound to a dragon, together they have great powers, must save the world. That part I get. I suppose the plot was a little TOO simple. There was no real adversary. Ok, yeah so the Threads have the potential to destroy the worldbut essentially the Dragonriders are fighting against nature, not exactly an exciting adversary that you can love to hate.
I also didnt love McCafferys characters. I tried to like Lessa, I really did, but I just couldnt get over the fact that she was a brat who thought that it should be her way or the highway. She was in no way loveable or relatable, and the main male character left the same things to be desiered.
Towards the end McCaffery jumps off the deep end by messing around with time travel. I had enough to keep straight with all the scheming and mystery going on and then she throws a wrench in the mix by adding in time travel? I was so confused. I still am to tell you the truth. Just thinking about it makes my head hurt.
The bottom line is, McCaffery failed to make me CARE at all. I didnt care about the characters, I didnt care about Pern and its destruction, I didnt care that the space time thingy was going to be messed with. I felt no love or concern for any of Dragonflights characters including the dragons (and I love dragons!). I just didnt get any emotion out of Dragonflight, and in my book that just doesntwellfly.
While many scenes, characters, and bits of story are cut from this adaptation of the first novel of the Dragonriders of Pern series, the beautiful illustrations make this book absolutely worth it for a diehard fan of the series. The pictures are beautiful, the dragons amazingly done.
People interested in this comic collection should definitely read the novel first, just so you know the whole story, before picking up this up and enjoying the eye-candy.
Lessa is more than a kitchen drudge - she is the last of the remaining heirs of the Ruatha bloodline. It is fate that brings her forward to reclaim her birthright, and fate that brings her to impress the newly hatched Queen dragon. But only strength and determination can help her succeed at the most important task she has ever faced.
This is a good book. Some of the sensibilities are clearly from an earlier time, but the story has held up well over 3 decades.
This first book of the series has caught my attention. Her story flows nicely for all ages. I recommend this for the young and old readers alike. I can't believe I have waited so long to start into this fantacy world -- I should have checked it out when I was in high school! I like the strong main character -- she is great. The secondary characters are interesting too and I hope to learn more about them as the series goes on. It made for a great read-aloud book.
This is a Del Rey 1968 edition, 1977 printing (First Canadian printing, 1971). I believe this is the original text, as the dragons have ears. After the appearance of the beautiful Michael Whelan cover paintings, references to dragon ears were removed from the text.
Volume one of the Dragonriders of Pern series
from book back:
After ten long Turns, Lessa was ready to come out of hiding, to reclaim her birthright...and to Impress the young dragon queen and become Weyrwoman of Benden.
Suddenly the deadly silver Threads once again threatened all Pern with destruction. But the mighty telepathic dragons that for centuries have defended Pern were now few in number, not nearly enough to protect the planet in its hour of greatest peril. Then Lessa hatched a daring and danerous scheme to rally support from people who had long ago ceased to exist!
A fantastic mix of sci-fi and fantasy! As a friend of mine said, "This is what the world would be like if we discovered other planets, made a pilgrimage to one of them during Medieval times, and created a race of dragons on the new planet as our protectors." Succinctly put.
I absolutely loved Anne McCaffrey's Dragonflight! It is simply superb in every aspect, and I devoured it! This is, without a doubt, one of my favorite books of 2013! Ugh...I don't even have words for how much I truly enjoyed it!Our story is set in the mere future on the planet Pern- one of three planets found to sustain life. However, there is one fault in the planet: deadly “Threads” constantly fall from the sky – destroying everything they touch. The only way to destroy these Threads: breeding genetically-engineered dragons. And it works! For 400 years, society flourishes.
Our story takes place 600 years after the last Thread attack. Society is suffering...again. And Threads are back! Unfortunately, there are very few dragons left for protection. The end of Pern is near...unless a young girl can find a way to unite all the Dragonriders! Without a doubt, one of the highlights of Dragonflight is the well-developed characters. I am thoroughly impressed by how realistic and well-developed the characters are! They all - even the supporting characters! - have a certain layer of depth and realism that is hard to ignore - making it all the easier to emotionally connect with them (personally, I connected most to Lessa). This is one of the aspects I truly enjoy about this book!
And, though there is a romance in the story, at least the characters escape the perils of "Insta-Love." Surprisingly, the romance didn't bother me personally as much as it might have because it didn't overpower the story as a whole. At least that's a bonus!
The plot? Superb; and practically flawless! This is probably one of the most creative and original books I've ever read, despite how average the summary makes it seem. I truly enjoyed it! The plot is just so creative and imaginative! How Anne McCaffrey came up with this whole plot is beyond me - I'm simply...
The actual writing does not disappoint either. McCaffrey's writing is so eloquent - it's descriptive and amazingly vivid - somewhat like a screenplay. And I loved it! It was phenomenal!
One of the highlights, plot-wise, was the wonderful world-building. McCaffrey truly has built an amazing world. I felt like I was in Pern with Lessa and F'lar! I loved the detail she puts into her world - from Pern's own personal currency and government to how it breeds genetically engineered dragons to fight off the Turns. It's just simply amazing! This book is simply amazing, and I'd highly recommend it to fans of dragons and sci-fi stories. Actually, I'd recommend it to everyone! It's just that amazing! This is a book everyone needs to read at least once...
Lessa's last chance. After ten long Turns, Lessa was ready to come out of hiding, to reclaim her birthright.. and to Impress the young dragon queen and become Weywoman of Benden.
Suddenly the deadly silver Threads once again threatened all Pern with destruction. But the mighty telepathic dragons that for centuries had defended Pern were now few in number, not nearly enough to protect the planet in its hour of greatest peril. Then Lessa hatched a daring and dangerous scheme to rally support from people who had long ago ceased to exist!
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 disguiseâand take back her stolen birthright.
But everything changes when she meets a queen dragon. The bond they share will be deep and last forever. It will protect them when, for the first time in centuries, Lessa's world is threatened by Thread, an evil substance that falls like rain and destroys everything it touches. Dragons and their Riders once protected the planet from Thread, but there are very few of them left these days. Now brave Lessa must risk her life, and the life of her beloved dragon, to save her beautiful world. . . ."