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Dragon's Time: Dragonriders of Pern by Anne McCaffrey and Todd McCaffrey
Cover Artist: Les Edwards
Review by Bill Lawhorn
Del Rey Hardcover  ISBN/ITEM#: 9780345500892
Date: 28 June 2011 List Price $26.00 Amazon US / Amazon UK

Links: Anne McCaffrey's Website / Todd McCaffrey's Website / Show Official Info /

Lorana, Fiona, Kindan, and the rest of Telgar Weyr return for time-twisted adventure. Thread is falling and there aren't enough dragons to defend Pern. Losses to disease and the loss of a Weyr's fighting strength created this shortage during the third pass. Lorana takes the burden of saving Pern on herself at a great personal cost.

The story progresses and gives more background on the traders and their relationship with Lorana. The actions through time eventually result in the resolution of the current crisis. There is more action "between" and readers will better understand what happens to those that go between and are lost. This is an interesting development that adds depth to Pern.

Although the time and perspective jumping got a little confusing, this was a better novel than Dragongirl. With the focus back on action and less on Fiona's relationships, the story was tighter and thus more enjoyable. Part of the improvement may be due to Anne being more deeply involved in the story development, but the idea is pure Todd. The divergent relationships that were at the forefront of Dragongirl take a back seat to action and the meetings and adventures only hinted at in earlier volumes are finally developed.

As part of a long running series, Dragon's Time is not a good entry point to the world of Pern. New readers should plan to read some of the earlier novels first. Readers should try either at the chronological beginning, Dragons Dawn, or with the as written order and Dragonflight. There is another novel to come, Dragonrider, set during the Third Pass.

Some of the relationships in the recent Pern novels have been questioned by fans. Todd addressed some of these concerns at Stellarcon 2011. He stated that the relationships were intentional and that Anne has approved. Although it doesn't eliminate the issues, at least readers can know that it was planned.

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