Sky Dragons: Dragonriders of Pern
by Anne McCaffrey and Todd McCaffrey
Cover Artist: Les Edwards
Review by Bill Lawhorn
Del Rey Hardcover ISBN/ITEM#: 9780345500915
Date: 26 June 2012 List Price $26.00 Amazon US / Amazon UK
Thread is falling and there aren't enough dragons to fight it. The third pass is challenging in ways that had never been imagined. The dragon sickness took a huge toll, as did the loss of dragons between. With the cure things are beginning to get better, if only the Weyrs can keep ahead.
There is a new plan to time it and raise more dragon riders. The only problem is finding a location where the young dragons can mature safely. The first location is not acceptable as it is too susceptible to tunnel snakes and Mrreows. Xhinna and Taria and a cast of others find what they think is a perfect location, except for a hatching ground.
Resources are a major problem. Hatchlings need a lot of food. People or money are needed to get the food. And the group has few of either. The local grounds and knowledge of some of their Weyr make it possible to succeed but only through hard work. In addition, turning an enemy into a useful ally also helps. In the end you know they will be successful, but it isn't an easy resolution.
This is the concluding volume in the second interval and third pass series. It is not a good entry point since there are numerous characters that have been developed through the course of the series. This series is a little weaker than some of the earlier sets. Part of the weakness, I attribute to the confusing web created by the huge amount of timing that is integral to the narrative. The constant jumps through time by numerous characters makes following events difficult.
There are strong female lead characters. The strength of the women is not at the expense of the males. There is a cooperative community that is part and parcel in the entire Pern series.
Anne McCafferty had input into this novel. It is the last piece of her life's work. She has left the world a better place and will be remembered for many years by her fans and by others as new people find Pern and the tales that she left. But this isn't the end of Pern. Her children will carry her torch into the future so that many others can enjoy the continuing adventures of the dragon riders of Pern.