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Science Fiction - Anne McCaffrey - Dragonflight

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Anne McCaffrey
320 pages
Del Rey

There are those in this world who have never even heard of the Dragons of Pern. If they are readers of fantasy novels then they have lead a sheltered life and if they are readers of mainstream fiction then they owe it to themselves to branch out to other genres. Dragonflight is Anne McCaffrey’s first novel in the Dragonriders of Pern series which has spawned 19 books and has been one of the most successful fantasy series of all time.

Dragonflight is essentially the story of Lessa who is found by F’lar on Search when he visits Ruath Hold. Sounds a little weird because it is a little weird. There is so much that is original and unique about the Dragonriders of Pern series of books that it might smack of hyperbole to go into them all. Telepathic dragons, the ability for dragons to teleport themselves and their riders, the threat of the thread are all part of an amazing tapestry.

Structurally the novel is a voyage which follows Lessa from her life at Ruath Hold to the High Reaches Weyr. Lessa is the kind of personality who makes life happen rather than letting it happen to her. She is a gifted troublemaker, very smart and a risk taker at heart. Finding herself in an untenable situation where the life of everyone she knows and Pern itself is threatened with extinction Lessa does what those around her have already come to expect – the unthinkable.

McCaffrey first published Dragonflight in 1968 and it has been on the shelves of fantasy novel lovers ever since. Dragonflight is really a timeless novel that deserves to be read and reread.

Denis Bernicky

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