on August 8, 2003
Before you read this book, you should read Dragonflight to get to know background info and characters, but it isn't extremely necessary.
This book starts seven turns after Dragonflight.
Lessa and F'lar (the Weyrwoman and Weyrleader of Benden Weyr)are having difficulties with the Oldtimers. A lot has changed in four hundred years and some of the Oldtimers won't accept that change. Most of the Oldtimers don't want to have anything to do with the modern world and try to isolate themselves. Some even try to pick fights with Benden Weyr and take things that are not part of the tithing of the Holds.
Fire lizards are rediscovered in this book and F'nor and Brekke both Impress.
The Dragonriders must unite together to save Pern from the deadly Thread. The Thread is falling out of pattern thus becomes unpredictable. None of the Oldtimers are telling the other Weyrs about unpredictable Threadfall in their Hold and Weyr areas.
F'lar knows he must do something before Pern is destroyed.
Some events in this book lead to other key events in other books such as The White Dragon and all the Weyrs of Pern.
on June 25, 2003
If you've been nosing around the reviews of the later books, you might have noticed a general feeling that Anne McCaffrey's latest efforts on Pern aren't up to par. I have to agree with that, because in my opinion, this is the book that sets the standard the later books are failing to live up to.
There's so much going on in this book--from the conflicts with the Oldtimers that show how much Pern changed in its long Interval, to the rediscovery of the fire lizards and the re-colonization of the Southern Continent, the ascendancy of Benden Weyr as the primary power on Pern, and the question of whether Thread can be destroyed on Red Star--and there's a huge cast of characters from both Weyr and Hold, along with an in-depth visualization of the world of Pern and its culture and traditions, both past and present.
Yet all this is focused through a core cast of well-defined characters whose personal stories are not neglected. There's room among all that world-changing for a tender love story, personal courage, and success against all odds. And the dragons--gotta have dragons! :)
The plot is conveyed with not only a cohesiveness, but an immediacy missing from the later books. Here, I'm right there with the Southern weyrfolk as they rediscover fire-lizards, right there with F'nor as he peers at the Red Star through that distance-viewer. Reading All The Weyrs of Pern--itself one of the best of the later books--is like reading a report about what the characters did next instead of being there. In Dragonquest, there's no question that the main characters are the movers and shakers of this planet, and that what they do will change their world--and that I care what those changes will be.
I highly recommend Dragonquest, in fact all of the Dragonriders trilogy. If you've read the newer stuff, you are sure to like this as well...and if you haven't read the newer books yet, read this first so that you'll care when you do.
on May 7, 2003
Dragonquest begins seven Turns after Dragonflight and the reader is immediately plunged back into the complex world of Pern. F'lar and Lessa are still Weyrleaders at Benden and are struggling to unite all of Pern to fight the deadly Thread. It is true that the 5 weyrs who jumped through time to come forward to aid Benden were there in Pern's time of need, but they are set in their ways and not willing to change. F'lar has heard too many complaints from Holds and Crafthalls under the protection of the Oldtimers' Weyrs to disregard them any longer. When the Weyrleaders even go so far as to keep other Weyrs uninformed of irregular Threadfall, F'lar has no choice but to take action. He immediately starts looking for alternative ways of fighting Thread and easing relations between the dragonmen and the rest of the Pernese, but it is an uphill battle all the way. Meantime, there are other problems brewing inside the Weyrs themselves. Kylara, Weyrwoman of the Southern Weyr, has caused much dissent and no end of headaches for the Weryleaders. Brekke, a new queen, is desperately afraid of what will happen when her queen rises to mate. F'nor is trying to support his half-brother F'lar in all of his endeavors, but he has many problems of his own. Outside of the Werys, the Lord Holders cannot understand why the dragonmen simply do not go to the Red Star and kill the Thread there, before it falls on Pern. Emotions are running high and F'lar and Lessa have their hands full trying to keep everything tied together, but will they be able to unite Pern?
This is the second book in The Dragonriders of Pern book and is just as good as the first one in the series. I felt that this book was a little more complex than the first because the author could spend more time on intertwining people's lives since the reader is more familiar with the world of Pern. This will make it a little more difficult for those who have not read Dragonflight, however. I simply love Anne McCaffrey's characters so it is wonderful to have a series where you get to see the characters grow and change. Even McCaffrey's supporting characters are well-fleshed out and fun to read about. If you enjoy fantasy or science fiction or dragons, do not miss out on this series!
on August 22, 2002
First of all, read the first book in the series (Dragonflight) by Anne McCaffery before you read this one. Besides why wouldn't you want to, it's as good as this one. As Dragonflight, this book features the adventures of F'lar the Benden weyrleader, his weyrmate and Benden weyrwoman Lessa, Masterharper Roberton, F'nor (the half brother of F'lar) and many other characters.
This book, like the previous one is full of many problems for the characters to solve. It makes this a very good read! The oldtimers, the weyrfolk Lessa brought forward seven turns ago is stirring up trouble. F'lar and Lessa is trying to stop their many schemes.
Then of course there's thread to fight. F'lar also duels with an oldtimer and banishs them to the south. F'nor gets injured and was sent to the southern hold to recover where he falls in love with Brekke. Mastersmith Fanderel invents a distance writing and Flessan (F'lar and Lessa's son) finds hidden rooms in Benden. And more romance between the Benden weyrleaders. Then the dragonriders plan to go to the red star....
Want to know what happens? Then read this amazingly interesting book to find out! I tell you, you're going to stay up all night to read this! (You'll also find that parts correspond with the Harperhall trilogy)
on December 5, 2001
"How to begin?" mused Robimton, the Masterharper of Pern. How to begin this most dazzling and wonderfully imaginative and well written novel done by the much apraised author, Anne McCaffery? Well, how about we add some new and exciting characters (and not to mention the adorable 'miniture' dragons, fire-lizards.) But of course the story wouldn't be nearly as complete without F'lar, the Weyrleader, and Lessa, the Weyrwoman, and don't forget the never-ending thread. Oh, and of course F'lar can't resist but get into another life and death threatning duel.
Their are a lot of suprises in here that you don't want to miss! It's definetly as good as The first book in the trilogy, Dragonflight. I still can't decide which one I enjoyed more. No questions asked, you have to check this book out! You'll find yourself staying up at night under your blankets with your flashlight on all night long waiting to see what happens next. So make sure you have plenty of batteries in your flashlight because this will keep you up all night. I reccomend reading the first book in this series, Dragonflight, before this one so you have a better understanding of this book. (Also check out the reprinted cover version of "Dragonquest" at a local bookstore near you.)
on November 18, 2001
I disagree with Daniel C. Sorbal. IMO Dragonflight is far, far better than Dragonquest. But Dragonquest is still very, very good! They are both very special books.
This book does a great job of developing the Pern setting and some of the characters glimpsed briefly in Dragonflight. F'nor and Robinton both developed into great characters here and there was great further development of F'lar. Kylara was an interesting villainess. I was very disappointed not to see more of Lessa, who is still the most interesting character on Pern to me, but I ate up what I did see of her. I also liked Felessan and Jaxom (who becomes obnoxious in his own book) here. And I don't want to forget the dragons -- Mnementh remains my fave but I love Canth too! The rider-dragon relationships are a huge part of what makes the Pern books so special.
What I loved in this book were the political dynamics of Hold vs. Weyr and between Weyrs, as well as within them. It is fascinating how, because of the dragons' courtship ritual, politics and personal relationships become intertwined, and social values become different.
F'nor emerges as a romantic figure here, but I dislike Brekke & find her overly passive and co-dependent on F'nor. I did not feel sad for her, since she had neglected her responsibility to Wirenth and Pern by pining for F'nor so many years instead of giving a bronze rider a chance. She also put F'nor in a hard position, and was childish: thousands of dragonriders had sacrificed personal preferences so that human beings like Brekke could live on Pern. If Brekke had matured and got stronger, as Menolly does in the Harper books, I might have liked her better.
I thought the Wirenth / Prideth conflict was a convenient plot contrivance. I would have much rather seen the mating flight go through and found out what happened if F'nor failed, or if he succeeded. Either way, that would have been a great story! Felessan tells Jaxom that F'nor and F'lar had a major argument over this, so imagine F'lar's reaction if it had gone through. Esp. since it a F'nor / Brekke pairing would've been politically divisive, posibly fraying F'lar's alliance with the oldtimers, and certainly reflected badly on Benden Weyr. Not to mention the eggs could have been affected. I thought F'lar and F'nor's relationship here was perhaps the most interesting and central to the book, wonderfully done, so I wish there had been more conflict. I also would've liked to see Kylara try to follow thorugh on her plan in regards to F'lar. So I was sorry about the queens.
The Oldtimers became stock villains and changed too much from Dragonflight and too obviously to create a story. I would have liked more shades of gray in their viewpoint, it must be so hard to move 400 years into the future. The Red Star plot also seemed contrived to me; F'lar's impulsive rush was out of character as were Lessa's actions. It put a sour note in F'lar and Lessa's relationship I did not care for.
But I loved the other glimpses of F'lar and Lessa's relationship -- they are so romantic to me! One of my favorite couples ever, just perfect for each other. And I also found Robinton's unrequited longing for Lessa moving. Robinton is another great character here. The wedding scene was wonderful. But Perhaps the central character in the book is Pern itself, a fascinating, complex, panaoramic and well-realized world.
on December 30, 2000
If you're familiar with Pern, you've undoubtably read this book, or else you don't need to read a review to help you decide to read this one. If you haven't visited Pern, here's your chance! This is the second book in the series. It's helpful to have read Dragonflight, but not essential. All but two of the books (Dragonsong and Dragonsinger)are standalones.
This book starts seven years after Dragonflight. Lessa's attempt to bring almost 2000 dragons and their riders forward in time to defend the people of Pern from the Thread that falls from the sky, devouring everything organic it touches has been successful...
Despite a real thread - I mean threat -- to every living thing on Pern, people manuver for political power, often running over whoever is in their way. F'lar (hero of the first book) ignores stories of abuses of power until his brother is assaulted when he gets in the way of an "oldtimer" dragonrider who is trying to extort goods from a smith.
To make matters worse, Thread, which has been perfectly predictable for the last seven yearsm has started deviating from its set pattern, making it even more dangerous.
F'lar hatches a plan to go to the source of Thread (the Red Star) and destroy it there...
McCaffrey's characters are believable and likable. In Pern, she has created a world so complete, that you feel if you could go there, you would know who the people were, recognize the colors of the various Holds, Weyrs and Halls, know what food you were being served. Not only is this book a great read, it's a must for any aspiring writer who wants to create worlds of his/her own.
on November 29, 2000
This book is even better than Dragonflight. Easily, as a matter of fact. And that's no small feat at all!
In this book, we get to see, well, Pern. :-) We get to know better the people who make Pern works, though the book is still mostly focused on the dragonriders.
The story is much more action packed than Dragonflight, and the characters are better developed too. How McCaffrey managed that, I don't know. :-)
We get to see the dragonriders fight between themselves (politically, mostly), we learn how Halls and Holds work, we get to know some of the most important Lord Holders and Craftmasters.
The book also sets in motion events that will eventually led to the erradication of thread, way down the line (in All the Weyrs of Pern).
I loved this book, and can't put a single fault to it. While it might not be my favorite, it's definitely one of the best.
My only complain is a timeline disagreement with Dragonsinger, but only consistency fanatics like me would even notice it. :-)
on July 24, 2000
I cannot say bad of any book I have read of Anne McCaffrey's because, simply, I cannot find a reason to. And when you come across such a world as Pern and such a wonderful civilization this author has developed, you can only hope to keep on reading and reading and re-reading countless times the stories of this world she has created.
The second installment on the Dragonriders of Pern was actually my third (I read Dragonsdawn before this one but after Dragonflight) and you are introduced to the wonderful Fire-Lizards or re-introduced in my case since I read Dragonsdawn first. In this book you are faced with a world further developed but still not rid of danger. Though the Dragonriders of Pern fly again to fight Thread, their quarrels are now inside within their midst. And without the unity within the Dragonriders, the world of Pern is doomed. New adventures, new developments and new discoveries are made on this wonderful book. You are here introduced to the young Jaxom, holder of Ruatha Hold, son of ungrieved Fax and the missed Lady Gemma, to whom Lessa, Weyrwoman of Benden Weyr has renounced her right to the Hold, rightful hers. Young Jaxom will have a great part in the 3rd volume of the Dragonriders Chronicles and you will be able to witness the true danger of the Red Star which brings the dangerous Silver Threads to the wonderful world of Pern.
Another book you have to buy and read, re-read and enjoy thoroughly as you will never forget the land of Pern... and you should not...
on May 26, 1999
Judging from the other reviews, I must be in the minority, but I was deeply disappointed in "Dragonquest."
One of the things that made "Dragonflight" so wonderful was both the medieval-like low technology setting and the headstrong characters. In this book (and in the later ones), McCaffrey begins to compromise both, turning the harsh world of Pern into a positively friendly and hospitable place, and the strong and heroic character of Lessa into someone weak and self-serving.
I don't want to give the plot away, but Lessa asks F'nor to do something in this book that in the first book she would have just done herself. Instead of boldly taking matters into her own hands she manipulates someone else into taking the risks. I didn't believe for a minute that she would really do this. The only reason for it was for McCaffrey to allow F'nor a bigger role in the book. Also note that in the introduction she describes F'nor's role in the first book "Dragonflight," as being far more central than he really was to that story. It was Lessa and F'lar's story. And the fire lizard plot is the first sign that McCaffrey is bent on transforming the wonderful heroine of "Dragonflight" into a shrill *****, a transformation that continues in "The White Dragon" and later books.
McCaffrey doesn't seem to care about he intergrity of her characters. She is perfectly willing to be inconsistent in her characterization for the sake of plot contrivances. The capper for me was at the end of "All the Weyrs of Pern," when F'lar and Jaxom manipulated Lessa into staying home on Pern while they went to outer space. That was the last book of hers I read. So much for strong female characters! "Dragonquest" was the book that started the decline. I didn't care for all the focus on Kylara, a superficial and boring character. McCaffrey had a great thing with the first book in her series. It's too bad that she had to muck it up.