In the beginning, before Thread, before the Dragons, before the Holds and the Weyrs and the elite Dragonriders of Pern, was just the great ships gliding through space with nearly six thousand colonists prepared to tackle the mighty task of beginning a new world on a strange planet.
It was a jewel of a planet, with rivers and seas and mountains, and breathable air and growing things. Then came the terror. The strange, unidentifiable circles in the grass suddenly revealed a meaning, and every living thing was at risk. Many died - a horrible and consuming death. All resources, every man, woman and child had to fight the terrible nightmare of Thread.
But a new creature was about to save the planet. From the delicate fire lizards a new life was born - a new symbiosis between man and beast.
Join the original survey team as they explore Pern and decide to recommend it for colonization. Share the terror of the evacuation from the Southern Continent as a flotilla of ships, aided by intelligent, talking dolphins, braves the dreadful currents of the Pernest ocean. Learn how the famous Ruatha Hold was founded, and thrill with the dragonriders as they expand into a second, then a third Weyr. And discover a secret lost in time: the rescue of some of the original colonists before the planet was cut off forever!
Building a new life on a distant world, braving the dreaded Thread that falls like silver rain from the sky only to destroy every living thing it touches, flying heroically on the wondrous dragons: The Dragonriders of Pern!
It's been two hundred years since the deadly Thread fell like rain upon Pern, devouring everything in its path. No one alive remembers that first horrific onslaught and no one believes in its return—except for the dragonriders. For two centuries they have been practicing and training, passing down from generation to generation the formidable Threadfighting techniques.
Now the ominous signs are appearing: the violent winter storms and volcanic eruptions that are said to herald the approach of the Red Star and its lethal spawn. But one stubborn Lord Holder, Chalkin of Bitra, refuses to believe--and that disbelief could spell disaster. So as the dragonriders desperately train to face a terrifying enemy, they and the other Lord Holders must find a way to deal with Chalkin—before history repeats itself and unleashes its virulence on all of Pern. . . .
The son of a miner, Kindan has no expectations for any other life. He loves his lessons with the camp’s harper, but music isn’t part of a miner’s future. He also enjoys helping out with the camp’s watch-wher— a creature distantly related to dragons and uniquely suited to work in dark, cold spaces—but even that important job can’t promise a future above the ground. Then disaster strikes. In one terrible instant, Kindan loses his family and the camp loses its watch-wher. It will take a new friendship and a new responsibility to teach Kindan that even a seemingly impossible dream is never out of reach . . . and that light can be found in the deepest darkness.
“A guaranteed pleaser [in] one of SF’s most splendid and longest-lived sagas.”—Booklist
“Another delightful entry in the Pern series.”—Publishers Weekly
When Masterharper Zist takes over as Harper for Natalon's coal-mining camp, he takes with him his apprentice, the orphaned, mute Pellar, and Pellar's fire-lizard Chitter. Pellar has become a gifted tracker and Zist gives him his own mission - to find out if the recent thefts of coal are the work of the Shunned, criminals condemned to a life of wandering and hardship. Halla is one of the children of the Shunned. Though innocent of their parents' crimes, these children have inherited their cruel punishment. With no shelter when the lethal Thread falls again they will have no protection against it. Life is even tougher for Halla, all her family are dead and she must fend for herself. Yet Halla is kind and gentle, devoted to helping those more helpless than she, unlike Tenim, a fellow child of the Shunned. Tenim is in league with Tarik, a crooked miner from Camp Natalon, who helps him steal coal in exchange for a cut of the profit. But Tenim soon realizes there is a lot more to be made from firestone, the volatile mineral that enables the dragons of Pern to burn Thread out of the sky. Tenim doesn't care what he has to do, or whom he has to kill, in order to corner the market. Cristov is Tarik's son. Dishonored by his father's greed and treachery, he decides he must make amends somehow... even if it means risking his life by mining the volatile firestone, which blows up at contact with the slightest drop of moisture.
When the last remaining firestone mine explodes in flames, a desperate race begins to find a new deposit of the deadly but essential mineral, for without it there can be no defence against Thread. But Tenim has a murderous plan to turn the tragedy to his own advantage, and only Pellar, Halla and Cristov can stop him - and ensure that there will be a future for all on the world of the Dragonriders.
The grim specter of sickness looms over the Weyrs of Pern, felling fire-lizards and posing a potentially devastating threat to their dragon cousins, Pern's sole defense against the deadly phenomenon that is Thread. Fiona, the youngest and only surviving daughter of Lord Bemin, is just coming of age, and about to assume the duties of a Weyrwoman, when word spreads that dragons have indeed begun succumbing to the new contagion. With the next season of Threadfall quickly approaching, and the already diminished ranks of the dragons once more under siege, every Weyr across Pern is in crisis mode. It is hardly the time for disturbing distractions---such as the strange voice Fiona suddenly hears in her mind at the darkest and most urgent moments.
Circumstances and the mood of the weyrfolk worsen when advance patrols relay the dreaded news that black dust---the unmistakable herald of falling Thread---has been sighted. As more dragons sicken and die, leaving only a new generation of weyrlings too young to succeed them. Wyerleader B'Nik and queen rider Lorana arrive from Benden Weyr to comb Fort Weyr's archives in a desperate search for clues from the past that may hold the solution to the plague.
But could the actual past itself prove the pathway to salvation for Pern's stricken dragons and the entire imperiled planet? Guided by a mysterious ally from a wholly unexpected place, and trusting in the unique dragon gift for transcending time, Fiona will join a risky expedition with far-reaching consequences for both Pern's future and her personal destiny.
With a cast of beloved characters from previous Pern novels, Dragongirl is another triumph for Todd McCaffrey—and a riveting chapter for the Dragonriders of Pern.
Young Fiona, rider of the gold queen Talenth, has returned with the dragons and riders who fled into the past to heal their battle wounds and prepare to fight anew the menace of Thread. Now more than three years older, Fiona is no longer a child but a woman—thrust into authority by a shocking tragedy. But leading weyrfolk who are distrustful of a young outsider will be only one of her challenges. Despite gaining reinforcements from the past, too few dragons have survived the recent plague to stem the tide of the intensifying Threadfall. As a senior Weyrwoman, Fiona must take decisive action. With the aid of Lorana, the rider who sacrificed her dragon for others, and Fiona’s true love, the harper Kindan, she proposes a daring, nearly impossible plan. But if it succeeds, it just might save them all.
Now they can increase the number and strength of the dragons before going back to their own time to fight Thread. Although Lorana found she couldn't break time, she has found a way to cheat it.
An air of pleasant anticipation hung so thickly over the Halls, Holds and Weyrs of Pern that it had affected even the businesslike ways of Moreta, the Weyrwoman of Fort Weyr, where her dragon, Queen Orlith, would soon clutch.
Then without warning, a runnerbeast fell ill. Soon myriads of holders, craftsmen, and dragonriders were dying; and the mysterious ailment had spread to all but the most inaccessible holds. Pern was in mortal danger. For, if dragonriders did not rise to char Thread, the parasite would devour any and all organic life it encountered.
The future of the planet rested in the hands of Moreta and the other deicated, lelfless Pernese leaders. But of all their problems, the most difficult to overcome was time. . . .
Everyone, holder and dragonrider alike, pitched in to help—except Nerilka’s father, who refused to share Fort Hold’s bounty with the other Holds. So, ashamed of her family and determined to do her part, Nerilka packed up medicines and supplies and sneaked off to aid her people.
Her quest to help wherever she was most needed led her finally to Ruatha Hold, where Lord Alessan was frantically preparing the precious serum needed for mass inoculations against the dread plague.
Nerilka had long ago abandoned her hope of marriage and a home of her own. Now she found happiness in being useful and appreciated—first the Healers and then Alessan made very clear that they were grateful for her help.
She had no idea that her new path would change the course of her life forever!
In a time when the deadly scourge Thread has not fallen on Pern for centuries—and many dare to hope that Thread will never fall again—a boy is born to Harper Hall. A musical prodigy who has the ability to speak with the dragons, he is called Robinton, and he is destined to be one of the most famous and beloved leaders Pern has ever known.
It is a perilous time for the harpers who sing of Thread—they are being turned away from holds, derided, attacked, even beaten. In this climate of unrest, Robinton will come into his own. But despite the tragedies that beset his own life, he continues to believe in music and in the dragons, and he is determined to save his beloved Pern from itself—so that the dragonriders can be ready to fly against the dreaded Thread when at last it returns . . .
“The story takes wing . . . when McCaffrey’s beloved dragons roar and their riders soar upon the beasts’ mighty backs. . . . Fans of Pern will likely be enthralled.”—Publishers Weekly
And finally, a very special gift; an exciting new Pern adventure fresh from the imagination of Anne McCaffrey.
'Anne McCaffrey, one of the queens of science fiction, knows exactly how to give her public what it wants' The Times
Another Turn, and the deadly silver Threads began falling again. So the bold dragonriders took to the skies and their magnificent dragons swirled and swooped in space, belching flames that destroyed the shimmering strands before they reached the ground.
But F'lar knew he had to find a better way to protect the peoples and lands of Pern, and he had to find it before the rebellious Oldtimers could breed any more dissent...before his brother F'nor would be foolhardy enough to launch another suicide mission...and before the mercurial fire lizards could cause even more trouble.
Dragonriders of Pern is an epic of the fantasy genre for a reason. Discover why this series is so beloved and lose yourself in Pern: a world of dragons and other worldly forces; a world of mighty powers and omnious threats, from New York Times and Sunday Times bestselling author Anne McCaffrey. If you like David Eddings, Brandon Sanderson and Douglas Adams, you will love this.
'Anne McCaffrey, one of the queens of science fiction, knows exactly how to give her public what it wants' - THE TIMES
"Thank heavens for Anne McCaffrey"-- ***** Reader review
"An EXCEPTIONAL work of fantasy, brilliantly written" -- ***** Reader review
"Another fabulous book from Pern's history" -- ***** Reader review
"A great story both as a stand-alone novel... and as part of the Dragonriders series" -- ***** Reader review
IN A GREAT HALL, A DESTINY UNRAVELS...
When Menolly, daughter of Yanus Sea Holder, arrived at the Harper Craft Hall, she came in style, aboard a huge bronze dragon, followed by her nine fire lizards.
The Masterharper of Pern, aware of her unique skills, had chosen her as his only girl apprentice.
But the holdless girl had first to overcome many heartaches in this strange new life.
Two things sustained her - her devoted lizards, a subject on which she was fitted to instruct her Masters - and the music... music of compelling beauty, music-making where at last she was accepted.
The Dragonriders of Pern series continues in The White Dragon.