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DRAGONSONG [Paperback]

ANNE MCCAFFREY
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (114 customer reviews)

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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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Most helpful customer reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Dungeons and...Fire Lizards ? 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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5.0 out of 5 stars Childhood love June 5 2013
By angela
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
5.0 out of 5 stars Pern and it's magic dragons 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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5.0 out of 5 stars great Jan. 1 2010
By elfdart TOP 1000 REVIEWER
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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Most recent customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Not a parent-friendly series
I loved this series. However, I was struck by a recurrent theme of these books: a child or young adult, cruelly treated by parents/guardians who are unsympathetic, neglectful or... Read more
Published on Aug. 19 2008 by Kirsten Emmott
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic Reading
This book has always been one of my favorites in Anne McCaffrey's dragonrider series. Menoly, wanting nothing more than to play her beloved music, is denied it by her parents. Read more
Published on May 9 2004
4.0 out of 5 stars One of the Best
Definitely one of the best in the Dragonriders of Pern series. I think I felt just as frustrated as Menolly when her father wouldn't let her enjoy music! Read more
Published on April 1 2004 by SheaLuna
4.0 out of 5 stars One of the better books in the Dragonriders of Pern series
I like this first novel about Menolly a lot...However, much of Dragonsinger won't make sense if the reader hasn't read Dragonsong first. Read more
Published on Dec 3 2003 by Steffanie
5.0 out of 5 stars Menoly's Tale is great
Menoly is a lot like me. But that is only one reason I absolutely love this book. Menoly is in a spot of disfavor with the people who reside in the hold by the sea. Read more
Published on Dec 1 2003
4.0 out of 5 stars Menolly's Story
Menolly lives in the world of Pern, a magical world where Dragons and their riders protect the people from the hazardous thread that falls from the sky. Read more
Published on May 10 2003 by Nancy E.
5.0 out of 5 stars Dragonsong
What would youdo if your parents would not let you do what you are best at? Run and hide? That's what Menolly did in Dragonsong. Read more
Published on May 6 2003
5.0 out of 5 stars One of My All-Time Favorites!
Menolly is the youngest daughter of Yanus, Sea Holder of Half-Circle Sea Hold. He is a hard man who works hard and is very set in his ways. Read more
Published on May 5 2003 by Silmarwen
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book
I checked out Dragonsinger on accident, not knowing it was the second book. I think I like Dragonsong the best of the trilogy. Read more
Published on April 20 2003
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