Dragon's Fire - Dragonriders of Pern Author:Todd J. McCaffrey, Anne McCaffrey Pellar is an orphan taken in by Masterharper Zist. Though born mute, Pellar is a gifted tracker, and when Zist sets off to take over as harper for Natalon's coal-mining camp, Pellar -- along with his fire-lizard, Chitter -- joins him on a secret mission of his own: to find out if reported thefts of coal are the work of the Shunned, criminals con... more »demned to a life of wandering and hardship.
Halla is one of the children of the Shunned. Though innocent of their parents' crimes, these children have inherited their cruel punishment. Lack of food, shelter, and clothes is their lot; hope is unknown to them. And what future would they hope for? Without a hold to call their own, there will be no protection for them when the lethal Thread inevitably falls again. Life is even tougher for Halla. Her family gone, she must fend for herself. Yet despite the brutality of her surroundings, Halla is kind and gentle, devoted to those more helpless than she.
As depraved as Halla is good, Tenim is in league with Tarik, a crooked miner from Camp Natalon, who helps him steal coal in exchange for a cut of the profit. But Tenim soon realizes there is a lot more to be made from firestone, the volatile mineral that enables the dragons of Pern to burn Thread out of the sky. Tenim doesn't care what he has to do, or whom he has to kill, in order to corner the market.
Cristov is Tarik's son. Dishonored by his father's greed and treachery, the boy must make amends somehow, even if it means risking his life by mining the volatile firestone, which detonates on contact with the slightest drop of moisture.
When the last remaining firestone mine explodes in flames, a desperate race begins to find a new deposit of the deadly but essential mineral, for without it there can be no defense against Thread. But Tenim has a murderous plan to turn tragedy to his own advantage, and only Pellar, Halla, and Cristov can stop him -- and ensure that there will be a future for all on the world of the Dragonriders.« less
In a return to Anne McCaffrey's Pern, this story parallels "Dragon's Kin", her first novel with son Todd. This story continues the look at the use of watchwhers, the dark-loving kin to dragons, and takes a look at how a non-technological society has to deal with the worst of its criminals, with a side-trip to deal with the mining and use of firestone, the essential ingredient for dragons to produce flame to fight thread.
Interesting for those who want a fuller look at Pern society, but needs to be read after "Dragon's Kin."
Dragon's Fire continues the saga of the Dragonriders of Pern. Just like his mother before him, Todd McCaffrey is an excellent writer. He seamlessly continues in his mother's footsteps, or pen steps as the case may be. If you like Anne McCaffrey and her Dragonriders, you will love Todd McCaffrey's books.