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DRAGONSONG Paperback – Feb 1 1983


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Paperback, Feb 1 1983
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Product Details

  • Paperback
  • Publisher: Corgi (Feb. 1 1983)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0552106615
  • ISBN-13: 978-0552106610
  • Product Dimensions: 1.9 x 10.6 x 17.7 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 200 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (114 customer reviews)

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First Sentence
Almost as if the elements, too, mourned the death of the gentle old Harper, a southeaster blew for three days, locking even the burial barge in the safety of the Dock Cavern. Read the first page
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Craobh Rua on Jan. 23 2007
Format: Paperback
"Dragonsong" is the first book in Anne McCaffery's "Harper Hall Trilogy" and is set on the world of Pern. Unfortunately, it's prone to attack from Thread - spores that grow on a neighbouring planet and, at times, can bridge the gap between the two worlds. Thread is deadly to all life : it can only be killed by fire and it's progress is halted by fire and stone. Fortunately, Pern's inhabitants have a useful ally in the battle against thread : dragons. Not only capable of flying and breathing fire, Pern's dragons can also teleport. They also form a telepathic bond with their riders.

"Dragonsong" doesn't tell the story of the great dragonriders, though : it tells the story of Menolly, a teenage girl living at Half Circle Sea Hold. Her father, Yanus, holds the position of Sea Holder, and is essentially the community's leader. Although life there revolves around fishing, Menolly is a talented musician and singer - talents that had been nurtured by Petiron, the Hold's Harper. However, Petiron has recently died and, though the Hold is waiting for his replacement, Menolly feels his loss more keenly than most. Menolly herself would dearly love to follow in her mentor's footsteps - however, it seems that only men can become a Harper. As a result, Menolly's father strongly disapproves of her love for music, and eventually forbids her to sing or play. This leads to Menolly running away from home and discovering a colony of fire lizards - more or less miniature dragons - which had, until then, been considered the stuff of legend.

Although not the first book set on Pern, "Dragonsong" is a useful starting point. It is the first book of the Harper Hall Trilogy, and starts with a brief introduction that covers the history of Pern and its Dragonriders. Menolly proves herself to be a likeable, resourceful character, though a little lacking in self-confidence. Overall, an enjoyable and easily read book.
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By angela on June 5 2013
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
I loved this book as a child, and love it still! I purchased this specific book for the artwork. It was one I checked out from the library often, and fell in love with many other works by Anne since!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By E. R. Bird on May 13 2004
Format: Paperback
For the child that loves dragons and stories about dragons, only one book series comes to mind that has successfully created an entire complex world of dragons and the people who love them. Anne McCaffrey's dragonriders of Pern series has existed since the 1970s and it is still as popular as ever. Author McCaffrey has written intricate imaginings about Pern and its inhabitants. At once sci-fi and fantasy, she is an adept writer that fully deserves the popularity she has received. For the child that wants an easy introduction into this world, there are two options. They could begin at the very beginning of the series and slowly work their way through all the Pern books. Or, second option, they could start with a book that is both kid-friendly and a wonderful Intro to McCaffrey 101. "Dragonsong" was a book that I personally picked up in sixth grade and loved. It is the perfect way to learn more about the dragons of Pern, their riders, and the people of the planet.

McCaffrey is smart. She knows that this book series is so complex that it there is no way in which to begin any plot without a recap of past events. She includes in this tale a map of Pern, a useful character list, and a Forward that deftly explains the history of the planet and its dragons. Then we meet Menolly. Born in a small fishing village, the girl is the most talented musician in the village, but she yearns to become a professional Harper and create music as well as sing/play it. Unfortunately, no woman has ever been a Harper before and her conservatively minded family is determined to squash this dream of Menolly's before she shames them in some way. When life for Menolly becomes too harsh, she escapes into the wide world and takes shelter in a cave.
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By elfdart TOP 1000 REVIEWER on Jan. 1 2010
Format: Paperback
this is a great book about a girl with passion for music. the story takes place in a fictional land called pern. mccaffrey has fully developed this world in a whole series of books, this is only one series of many that take place in this land, but a lot of them are adult novels as opposed to this one which is meant for kids. the book focuses on this girl named menolly who lives in a very conservative fishing village in a time before modern technology and in a world where dragons exist. menolly loves music, but it is frowned upon for women to participate in music in any significant way, aka singing in a chorus is ok, but it is unheard of for a woman to be a 'harper' which is a person treated almost like a scholar or a preist. men with talent go off to study in a harper school and to be a harper is a very prestigious position. every little town is sent their own harper to teach the children songs and to preside over the music at ceremonies and events.

so this girl menolly is very talented and loves music, but because of the society she lives in, she can't enjoy her gift. the old harper recognized her talent and fostered her gift, and because she was a child her parents allowed this, but as the story opens we find that this old harper is dead and the town (of which her father is the chief) has requested for a new harper. before the old harper died, he had sent off some songs menolly had written to the master harper and he really liked these and told the new harper to find this (thought to be male) prodigy. and this is sort of where we walk into the story.

menolly then goes through some trials, one of which is cutting her hand while gutting fish. this is particularly tragic because she is told that she can no longer play music.
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