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Book Reviews of Dragonflight (Dragonriders of Pern, Bk 1)

Dragonflight (Dragonriders of Pern, Bk 1)
Dragonflight - Dragonriders of Pern, Bk 1
Author: Anne McCaffrey
PBS Market Price: $8.09 or $4.19+1 credit
ISBN-13: 9780345335463
ISBN-10: 0345335465
Publication Date: 5/12/1986
Pages: 320
Reading Level: Young Adult
  • Currently 4.1/5 Stars.

4.1 stars, based on 371 ratings
Publisher: Del Rey
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
Reviews: Amazon | Write a Review

27 Book Reviews submitted by our Members...sorted by voted most helpful

TheMimi avatar reviewed Dragonflight (Dragonriders of Pern, Bk 1) on + 13 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
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.
reviewed Dragonflight (Dragonriders of Pern, Bk 1) on + 23 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
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.
cloverluv avatar reviewed Dragonflight (Dragonriders of Pern, Bk 1) on + 129 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
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. 
Two stars.
reviewed Dragonflight (Dragonriders of Pern, Bk 1) on + 21 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
This book was pretty good and very complicated. I just didn't like the big time jumps they had between all the main sections.
KelseyFamily06 avatar reviewed Dragonflight (Dragonriders of Pern, Bk 1) on + 53 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
I love the Pern Series. I have been reading it since I was a pre-teen. And I still go back and re-read it over and over.
reviewed Dragonflight (Dragonriders of Pern, Bk 1) on + 2 more book reviews
Recently rediscovered this classic series of books. I hadn't read this particular one and it lives up to the quality of the rest of the series!
reviewed Dragonflight (Dragonriders of Pern, Bk 1) on + 68 more book reviews
This whole series is wonderous.
reviewed Dragonflight (Dragonriders of Pern, Bk 1) on + 9 more book reviews
meh... it an okay book, there is just a TON of terminology, and the story line gets frustrating fast. Lots of names for different dragons and riders. all in all not what it is cracked up to be.
scoutmomskf avatar reviewed Dragonflight (Dragonriders of Pern, Bk 1) on + 2548 more book reviews
I was introduced to this series by a friend in high school (the late 70s) and have been a huge fan ever since. I have read the early books several times and was long overdue for a reread when I picked it up again. It didn't take long for me to become immersed in the world of Pern once more. I've read several reviews that complain about behaviors and attitudes, but I look at it through the eyes of when it was written (1968).

People from Earth colonized the world of Pern, but over the years, Earth forgot about them. The early colonists had modern technology to help them settle into their new world. This technology became vital when the planet was attacked by organisms the settlers called "Thread." The bioengineers bred fighting beasts called dragons, creatures with strong telepathic links with their riders. Over the centuries, the dragons protected the planet and its inhabitants from the every two-hundred-years incursions. Also, modern technology broke down over the years, and life on Pern began to resemble a feudal society. I loved the descriptions of life on Pern, both in the Weyr and the holds. The small details of daily living and the larger ones of significant events make the world real and believable.

As this book opens, it has been four hundred years since the last attack of Thread. Many believe there will be no more Thread and resent the requirement to support the dragonriders. The current leadership, R'gul, at the only surviving weyr, Benden, believes it is best to make as few demands as possible, keeping the dragonriders out of the public eye. He, too, believes that there is no more Thread. A younger dragonrider, F'lar, is confident that R'gul is wrong and that a new attack is imminent. With a new queen egg about to hatch, F'lar is one of several bronze dragon riders who goes on Search for candidates for the new queen. This eventually brings him to Ruatha Hold and Lessa.

Lessa is the only surviving member of the family who held Ruatha. Ten years earlier, a neighboring Holder invaded and murdered her entire family. Lessa, age eleven, barely escaped and has been living disguised as a drudge, waiting for her chance at revenge. Lessa is clever, intelligent, and occasionally ruthless in her methods. F'lar's arrival sets in motion a series of events that will change her life forever. Even though I know how it turns out, I am caught up in the intensity every time I read the book. F'lar's belief that Lessa is exactly what Pern needs is convincing.

I felt for Lessa as she was swept from the only home she knew to the strangeness of the Weyr. She knew nothing of what was happening, and F'lar refused to explain more than the barest details. When it came time to Impress the new queen, I loved seeing Lessa stand back, observe for a bit, and learn from others' mistakes. When she acts, she does so decisively, and her Impression of Ramoth is described in emotional detail. Here we get the first inkling of the depth of the connection between dragon and rider. But this is only the beginning. As the new Weyrwoman, Lessa must now undergo intense training. A naturally impatient person, she is frustrated by the pedantic instruction provided by R'gul. As convinced as F'lar about the coming Thread, she doesn't understand why he doesn't do anything about the issue because, once again, no one tells her anything of importance. In her frustration and ignorance, Lessa makes some choices that could have ended badly but for a fortunately timed mating flight.

Said mating flight changes everything. The description of the flight is vivid and intense. I loved seeing it through the eyes of the linked Lessa and Ramoth, which gave it extra depth. F'lar's Mnementh became the queen's mate, which caused a change in leadership for the Weyr. I loved watching F'lar take charge and shake things up. He is the firm leader that the Weyr and Pern need, but even he can't magically fix the neglect of decades. I loved watching him gather together the brilliant minds of the time to collaborate on ways to protect the planet. One of my favorite scenes involves Masterharper Robinton and his eloquent smackdown of the skeptics and vocal support of F'lar.

I could feel F'lar's desperation as he worked to prepare for Thread's arrival. The clock is ticking, and he has only a few dragons to use instead of the necessary hundreds. The first encounter with Thread is both terrifying and exhilarating. I felt his pain at the subsequent consequences and despair that they won't prevail. At the same time, Lessa comes into her strength as Weywoman, her early life allowing her to see what must be done. Her belief in the fate of the five missing Weyrs led to a stunning solution. I loved this section with F'lar's fear for Lessa, his hope for her survival, and his reaction to her return. I loved F'lar's surprise for her, and R'gul's reaction was very satisfying.

The relationship between F'lar and Lessa is challenging to describe. At times it feels almost Pygmalion-like as F'lar molds Lessa into his concept of a Weyrwoman. He admires her intelligence, resilience, and determination but is frequently frustrated by her impulsiveness. He tends to be domineering at times which aggravates her stubbornness. Lessa is frequently torn in her feelings for F'lar. She is attracted but wary, a feeling reinforced by the mating flight's results. There are times when she seems to antagonize him deliberately. She also respects his belief in the traditions that herald the imminent arrival of Thread and supports his efforts to bring the Weyr and Holders into line. Though they never overtly state their feelings, by the end of the book, it is clear that they do love each other.
eierkopf avatar reviewed Dragonflight (Dragonriders of Pern, Bk 1) on + 2 more book reviews
When I bought this one, I forgot that I had read it in the past. It was a good re-read. I enjoyed it.
Lenore avatar reviewed Dragonflight (Dragonriders of Pern, Bk 1) on + 193 more book reviews
1st book in the series. I got all the other books after reading this one!
Aqua avatar reviewed Dragonflight (Dragonriders of Pern, Bk 1) on + 17 more book reviews
After ten long Turns, Lessa is ready to come out of hiding, to reclaim her birthright...and to Impress the young dragon queen and become Weyrwoman of Benden.

The first in the Dragonriders of Pern series. I really enjoyed this book. It's a pretty easy read and very entertaining.
reviewed Dragonflight (Dragonriders of Pern, Bk 1) on + 8 more book reviews
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.

Read my complete review here.
reviewed Dragonflight (Dragonriders of Pern, Bk 1) on + 36 more book reviews
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!
readinginthedark avatar reviewed Dragonflight (Dragonriders of Pern, Bk 1) on + 16 more book reviews
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.
reviewed Dragonflight (Dragonriders of Pern, Bk 1) on + 23 more book reviews
I liked this installment of Pern: it's a good story and a gripping read.
reviewed Dragonflight (Dragonriders of Pern, Bk 1) on + 10 more book reviews
My favorite of the Dragonriders series.
kahanachameleon avatar reviewed Dragonflight (Dragonriders of Pern, Bk 1) on + 33 more book reviews
The first Pern novel, and for me, it's the best.
jasoncavallaro avatar reviewed Dragonflight (Dragonriders of Pern, Bk 1) on + 91 more book reviews
Inventive plot, but stale writing style
reviewed Dragonflight (Dragonriders of Pern, Bk 1) on + 14 more book reviews
The beginning of Ann McCaffrey's excellent Dragonriders of Pern series.
reviewed Dragonflight (Dragonriders of Pern, Bk 1) on + 10 more book reviews
Love this series-great to re-read the first installment
reviewed Dragonflight (Dragonriders of Pern, Bk 1) on + 109 more book reviews
volume 1 in the dragon riders of pern series
reviewed Dragonflight (Dragonriders of Pern, Bk 1) on + 11 more book reviews
According to an "official" guide, this book is #1 of 16.
reviewed Dragonflight (Dragonriders of Pern, Bk 1) on
Volume one of the dragonriders of pern
reviewed Dragonflight (Dragonriders of Pern, Bk 1) on + 37 more book reviews
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!
zoesnicholson avatar reviewed Dragonflight (Dragonriders of Pern, Bk 1) on + 20 more book reviews

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...

reviewed Dragonflight (Dragonriders of Pern, Bk 1) on + 25 more book reviews

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. . . ."

-Review borrowed off