Dragonflight by Anne McCaffrey
DragonflightLessa is the only survivor of the family holding Ruatha Hold. She is hiding among the servants at the Hold. As she is getting ready to reveal herself, the Dragonriders come. She is chosen to be presented at the next hatching of a gold dragon. She is fierce, independent, and resentful. She goes. She impresses and becomes partners with Ramoth.
Her life is changed. Instead of being the owner of an impressive hold, she is now a Dragonrider. She rides a gold dragon, the special dragon of the weyr, the queen, the breeder. She has trouble adjusting to her new life but nothing would take her from Ramoth. She does not know that she is at the edge of a terrible time for her planet of Pern.
Pern has myths of strange things falling from the sky and ruining the land. The dragons used to live across the continent; now they are confined to one weyr. Their importance is no longer recognized. Yet the time is coming when Pern will depend on them for its survival.
When Ann McCaffrey and science fiction are discussed, her Pern series is usually at the top of the list. This is the first novel of the series and is wonderful. It’s one that I love to reread every few years, or at least skim. Lessa is a strong woman and well written character. Her conflicting emotions as she becomes a dragonrider and gives up her dream of restoring her family’s home are compelling. This is a superb book.