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Dragon's Kin [Hardcover]

Anne McCaffrey , Todd J. McCaffrey
3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (45 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Jan. 1 2003 Dragonriders of Pern (Pb)
Young Kindan has no expectations other than joining his father in the mines of Camp Natalon, a coal mining settlement struggling to turn a profit far from the great Holds where the presence of dragons and their riders means safety and civilization. Mining is fraught with danger. Fortunately, the camp has a watch-wher, a creature distantly related to dragons and uniquely suited to specialized work in the dark, cold mineshafts. Kindan's father is the watch-wher's handler, and his son sometimes helps him out. But even that important job promises no opportunity outside the mine. Then disaster strikes. In one terrible instant, Kindan loses his family and the camp loses its watch-wher. Fathers are replaced by sons in the mine - except for Kindan, who is taken in by the camp's new Harper. Grieving, Kindan finds a measure of solace in a burgeoning musical talent...and in a new friendship with Nuella, a mysterious girl no one seems to know exists. It is Nuella who assists Kindan when he is selected to hatch and train a new watch-wher, a job that forces him to give up his dream of becoming a Harper; and it is Nuella who helps him give new meaning to his life. Meanwhile, sparked by the tragedy, long-simmering tensions are dividing the camp. Far below the surface, a group of resentful miners hides a deadly secret. As warring factions threaten to explode, Nuella and Kindan begin to discover unknown talents in the misunderstood watch-wher - talents that could very well save an entire Hold. During their time teaching the watch-wher, the two learn some things themselves: that even a seemingly impossible dream is never completely out of reach...and that light can be found even in the deepest darkness.
--This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.

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From Publishers Weekly

Beloved bestseller McCaffrey has joined forces with her son, Todd, to produce another delightful entry in the Pern series, which began with Dragonflight in 1968. The action here centers on Camp Natalon, the site of a coal mine. Now that the surface seams of coal have begun to run dry on Pern, it's imperative to start extracting coal from deep underground, despite the increased danger. Some of the miners rely on the expertise of the watch-whers, smaller versions of dragons, to help keep them safe in the mines. As Kindan, blind Nuella and master harper Zist puzzle out the lore, habits and abilities of these nocturnal creatures, they find out more about the watch-whers (and themselves) than they thought possible. Fans who have become comfortable with McCaffrey's smooth trademark style over the years will notice no seams-which bodes well for any solo novels her coauthor, the heir apparent, may contribute to the Dragonriders saga.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.

From Booklist

The latest Pern novel is something of a family affair, with the creator of one of sf's most splendid and longest-lived sagas collaborating with her son on the latest installment. The story takes place during an unexplored period in the history of Pern, before the coming of the Thread. The watch-whers are already playing a prominent role, however, keeping watch at night at the holds and weyrs and helping in the mines. The protagonists are Kindin and Nuella, young people living in a mining camp. A cave-in wipes out Kindin's father and brothers as well as the old watch-wher, and Kindin moves in with camp Harper. There he learns the skills of being a Harper, including discretion and mediation. Eventually, he and Nuella learn the secret of how watch-whers see in the dark, and about their communication with dragons, which opens a wholly new range of capabilities for the dragon-riders. What with sound narrative technique, above-average characterization, and several of the Pern fans favorite ongoing saga themes, the new book is a guaranteed pleaser as well as a harbinger that Pern, an enduring monument for two generations of sf readers so far, will continue after its originator's departure. Roland Green
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.

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First Sentence
KINDAN WAS SO EXCITED that he practically bounced as he ran up to the heights where Camp Natalon kept its drum, fire beacon, and watch. Read the first page
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good coming of age tale, but not great July 7 2004
"Dragon's Kin," while not up to the standard of most of the earlier Pern novels, is far better than the last bunch about F'lessan.
The basic plot is as follows. Kindan wants to be a Harper, and has vocal and musical talent. He's about eleven or twelve when the book opens, and is kind of at loose ends; his favorite sister is marrying, his brothers are distant, and as the youngest of nine children, his father seems rather remote. Kindan does have a close friend, Zenor, who's a few months older, but that's about it.
And things are even more odd in this family than in most, because Kindan's father is bonded to a watchwher (distant cousins of both the fire lizards and the dragons), and lives different hours than most people as watchwhers are nocturnal. At any rate, Kindan doesn't realize how different his life is than most, although his friend Zenor does (and is envious of it).
And because of where he lives, Kindan gets to know more about watchwhers than most people. This might be considered an advantage by many, but not by Kindan. His heart is elsewhere.
Then disaster strikes, and most of Kindan's family gets wiped out in a mining accident. The watchwher dies helping to get the few miners who survived the accident out of the mine, and Kindan is left totally alone for the first time in his life. He has mixed feelings about this, but for the most part, those feelings are never brought to the fore.
Because of this, Kindan doesn't feel totally fleshed out as a character; he's never allowed to fully grieve. And even amidst a bunch of folks who are also grieving, I doubt Kindan -- or any child, no matter how mature -- would be as matter of fact about losing all his family.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Down in the Coal Mine March 31 2004
Dragon's Kin is the twentieth novel in the Pern series, following The Skies of Pern. However, this novel takes place in the past towards the end of the Second Interval, sixteen years prior to the third return of the Red Star. Miners Hall had begun to experiment with deep shaft mines as the surface deposits began to give out. One of the new Camps was headed by Master Miner Natalon.
In this novel, Kindan is the youngest child of Master Miner Danil. His sister Silstra is betrothed to Journeyman Smith Terregar. So he is very excited when his friend Zenor shouts that the caravan carrying the Smith is within sight of the watch station on the heights. Running and even bouncing up the hill, Kindan arrives breathlessly to see the large drays and brightly painted wagons of the traders. He convinces Zenor to run the news back to Natalon.
When Zenor interrupts a discussion to tell the chief miner the news, Natalon's Uncle Tarik carps about his style of reporting; Uncle Tarik complains about a lot of things and obviously feels that he should have been selected as chief miner. Zenor is then sent to inform the rest of the Camp. On the way, he is called aside by his friend Nuella, Natalon's daughter whose presence is being kept secret from the rest of the camp; Natalon is afraid that her blindness is genetic and knowledge of it could damage the marital chances of his other children. Zenor is the only one outside her immediate family who knows Nuella is there.
Terregar is not the only person to arrive with the trader caravan; Master Harper Zist has come to replace Journeyman Harper Jofri. Master Zist has formerly been the Vocals Master at Harper Hall, but a tragedy in his family has led to him leaving the Hall.
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Anne McCaffrey created an intricate world spanning many centuries featuring the bonding of humans and dragons telepathicly in her PERN series. Now Anne has joined with her second son, Todd, to write this newest episode in the PERN.
Todd has 'grown up in PERN'; so readers can be confident that there is no variation in this newest PERN tale. The tone and complexity of the story is sure to delight McCaffrey fans and encourage thoughts of more adventures on the planet PERN.
Blurb and other editorials give a summary; so what more can I say? Teenaged Kindan, blind Nuella and Master-Harper Zist work together and learn the forgotten secrets of how the nocturnal watch-wher see in the dark and their ability to communicate with dragons. This reveals many new possibilities for the dragon-riders and watch-wher. Another cave-in at Natalon's mine leads to a future that both Kindan and Nuella never expected.
Mama McCaffrey shared her writing talent & inspiration with her son and they chose to continue to give us reader's a fantasy world to remember. Such a legacy is impressive; such skill is appreciated. Thank you Anne and Todd for continuing to 'share the dream' of PERN.
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4.0 out of 5 stars decent, but nothing to get excited about Jan. 21 2004
´¿Dragon´¿s Kin´¿ is Anne McCaffrey´¿s latest offering in her long-running and best-selling ´¿Dragonriders of Pern´¿ series. It is also the first time she has permitted a co-author into the Pern universe: her son, Todd. This time McCaffrey tells the story of an earlier time in Pern´¿s history. The time is more than halfway through the second Interval, 16 years before the next Threadfall and the next pass of the Red Star. We are several hundred years before the events in ´¿Moreta: Dragonlady of Pern´¿ and perhaps a hundred years from the events of ´¿Dragonseye´¿. So, this is the time period we are looking at.
The story is set in the Natalon mining camp, and this is one of the first times we´¿ve had a look at the miners. This is the story of Kindan, a twelve year old boy who seemed older when I read the book. Kindan does not expect anything more out of his life than to follow his father into the mines when he is old enough. All of this changes when there is an accident at the mine and Kindan´¿s father and brothers are all killed. He is left an orphan and he is taken in by the Masterharper, Zist.
What the title of this book refers to is the watch whers (they appear in several of the Pern novels). The watch whers are dragon like, though smaller and nocturnal, and are used typically as a nighttime guard or as the first warning if anything is going wrong. They are kin to dragons (hence the title) from when humans first settled on Pern. Watch whers play a prominent role in this book (though, the watch wher egg does not appear until close to half way through the book).
At times, ´¿Dragon´¿s Kin´¿ did not feel like a Pern novel.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
great audio book
Published 2 months ago by 2011cardar
5.0 out of 5 stars I loved the story,
I hope Todd continues with the Pern story. As much as I loved the original stories, I was sad when they ended. It was like losing friends. Thanks
Published 14 months ago by Terry-Anne Cohen
5.0 out of 5 stars dragon's kin
Wonderful writing. I couldn't put it down and can hardly wait toread the next book.
Published on May 25 2010 by B. Wallis
5.0 out of 5 stars Big Anne McCaffrey Fan
I have loved all of Anne's books, all the different series. I hope she keeps writing. I am not sure how much of this book is Anne's and how much is Todd's but I enjoyed it and... Read more
Published on May 12 2004 by Larie D. Manning
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing
This felt like a short story that they tried to stretch to a full novel (less than 300 pages). Really fluffy, nothing story and seem like a very rushed ending. Read more
Published on April 23 2004 by Craig Bonvechio
1.0 out of 5 stars Lame plot
This was an exceptionally lame offering, not up to the usual standards of a McCaffrey story. The plot has great gaping holes, and the writing in general makes it much harder to... Read more
Published on April 22 2004
2.0 out of 5 stars A real disappointment
I was really disappointed in this book. Unlike the other books in the Pern series, this book was written through perspective of children and seemingly for children. Read more
Published on April 14 2004 by Helen Woods
3.0 out of 5 stars COULD BE BETTER!
I love Pern so the newest novel was an instant purchase. The problem with this novel is that nothing happening until the last chapters when a egg is obtained, hatched, grown,... Read more
Published on March 10 2004
5.0 out of 5 stars A thoughtful tale of hard choices and coming of age
Dragon's Kin is the abridged audiobook version of the latest fantasy adventure novel featuring author Anne McCaffrey's fantastic planet of Pern and its dragon-rider protectors. Read more
Published on March 6 2004 by Midwest Book Review
3.0 out of 5 stars Hmmm. . . . .could have been better
I'm rather fond of the Pern series by Ann McCaffrey and am happy to see the story continued by her son. Read more
Published on March 3 2004 by vanwin
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