Sequel to Dragonflight -- enjoyed this book, set seven years after Dragonflight. Includes the main characters introduced in the first book, and goes into more depth into additional characters like F'nor and Canth.
Reminds me why Anne McCaffrey is the queen of dragon writers.
Dragonquest is part of the Dragonriders of Pern series. It was the second book written but is not chronologically the 2nd book about Pern's history. It was nominated for a Hugo Award for Best Novel in 1972. It takes place seven years after the end of Dragonflight.
As it opens, tensions are rising between the Oldtimers, those dragonriders who came forward in time 400 turns (Pernese years) to help the undermanned contemporary dragonriders protect the planet Pern and its inhabitants from the destructive Thread. F'nor attempts to mediate, but things escalate to the point that an Oldtimer, T'reb (who is disturbed by his green dragon being in heat), stabs F'nor. F'nor is sent to the Southern Continent to recover, where he falls in love with Brekke and discovers the wicked deeds of Weyrwoman Kylara. F'lar, F'nor's half-brother, is eventually forced into a duel with T'ron, the leader of the Oldtimers, which ends in banishment for the Oldtimers who will not accept F'lar's leadership and in a grave injury for F'lar. Brekke's queen dragon rises in mating flight but is attacked by Kylara's queen dragon and both dragons die, leaving their riders in near-catatonic states. Only Brekke recovers.
Due to the newly-discovered "distance viewer" (telescope), the dragonriders finally have the ability to travel to the Red Star, believed to be where the Thread originates. Pressure builds on F'lar to lead an expedition there, to attack the Thread at its source. F'nor takes it upon himself to make the dangerous jump between first, recognizing that his half-brother is indispensable. The Red Star turns out to be lethal to both humans and dragons, and F'nor and his dragon Canth nearly die, able to return home only on the strength of Brekke's telepathic cry, "Don't leave me alone!"
The cry was also the inspiration for a song by Menolly, after she found that a certain guitar chord sounded amazingly like Brekke's voice when she screamed. This is chronicled in Dragonsinger.