Dragongirl by Todd McCaffrey

 

Science Fiction

Dragongirl (The Dragonriders of Pern) DragongirlTodd J. McCaffrey; Del Rey 2010WorldCatFiona and her queen dragon Talenth have returned to Fort Weyr. Three days earlier they had disappeared along with a group of other young and injured dragons and their riders. They had traveled to the past to spend three years for the hurt dragons to heal and for the young ones to mature to fighting strength. Pern has Thread falling now and every healthy dragon possible is needed. Now they have returned with more mature dragons ready to fight Thread.

Their presence strengthens Fort Weyr. Unfortunately, there is a sickness that is killing dragons. All the weyrs are losing dragons to the sickness. The future outlook for the weyrs to be able to fight off all the Thread is dismal.

Lorana is a queen dragonrider whose dragon succumbed to the illness. Lorana was able to survive, although many raiders died when their dragons did. If the rider survived, he or she would usually go into a deep depression after the telepathic bond with the dragon is broken. Lorana instead funneled her sorrow into looking for a cure for the illness. Kinden, a Harper of Pern and Fiona’s friend, teams up with Lorana in the research.

While in the past, Fiona was the lead Weyrwoman for the small, hidden hold. Now she is once again junior Weyrwoman. She appreciates Cisca, the Weyrwoman, yet chaffs against the loss of her own independence. Then an unforeseeable tragedy forces Fiona again into a lead role. Once again Fiona is in a leadership role. Lorana and Kinden join her, along with T’mar, the wingleader from the three year past weyr. Together, this group, along with all the remaining weyr leaders in Pern, have to find a way to maintain their strength to fight Thread for the next few decades.

Todd McCaffrey has taken on his mother’s land of Pern. Anne McCaffrey still helps write some, but this time line of Pern is his. A lot happens in Dragongirl in a short time. There are older characters. The main characters, though, are in their late teens and early twenties. That means there’s a lot of angst and worry not only about the future but about present relationships as well.

Some of the relationships could be offensive to readers. Because of the nature of dragons and their telepathic link to humans, dragonriders can find themselves in multiple sexual relations throughout their lives in the weyrs. That is an important component of Dragongirl. While this book stands well in the series, it ends on a cliffhanger.

The characters are strong – especially Fiona and little Bekka, who is an apprentice Healer. Todd McCaffrey keeps the book flowing well, rarely letting up. Dragongirl yanks at the reader’s emotions. It twists and turns, keeping the reader in suspense throughout. It’s not a light book, nor does it drag the reader down. If you’ve already visited Pern, you’ll find Dragongirl to be an excellent part of the series. If you haven’t visited Pern, things are explained enough that you shouldn’t have any problems catching on here.

Notice:  Non-graphic violence, Suggestive dialogue or situations

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