by Anne McCaffrey
Review by EJ McClure
Del Rey Mass Market Paperback ISBN/ITEM#: 0345456335
Date: 27 August 2002 List Price $6.99 Amazon US / Amazon UK / Show Official Info /
Back to school special! Just in time for that first book report, Ballantine has resurrected McCaffrey's classic Dragonflight, the quintessential fantasy rags to . . . well, if not riches, at least to honor and power.
Lessa of Benden Hold survived the massacre of her family through luck and animal cunning. For years she bides her time in the guise of a filthy, ragged servant, until the visit of some dragonriders from nearby Benden Weyr gives her the chance to stake a claim on her birthright. She manipulates F'lar, leader of the dragonriders, rider of the great bronze dragon, Mnementh, into challenging the tyrant Fax to a duel.
But Lessa has greater enemies than Fax, as she discovers when she is taken to join the candidates at Benden Weyr, one of whom will be chosen as rider for the last queen dragon. The Red Star is approaching, and when it draws close enough to Pern, deadly Thread will once again, raining down on the lush, green world of the dragonriders, or so F'lar believes. Unfortunately, in the centuries since the last Threadfall, the purpose of traditions has been lost, the dragons have dwindled in number, and their riders have fallen into disrepute. Only F'lar's vision and Lessa's courage can save Pern now.
Anne McCaffrey's vividly descriptive prose is nicely complemented by Tony DiTerlizzi's graceful line drawings. Lessa looks just as I imagined her: spunky, beautiful . . . and athletic enough to hold her own among the dragonriders. She's a marvelous heroine for this coming-of-age tale. Fans of McCaffrey's many novels about the Dragonriders of Pern will definitely want to add this handsome trade paperback to their collection. And for the youngster just graduating from Harry Potter to the wide world of fantasy: here's a great book to pop into your backpack for that long bus ride or boring field trip.