Friday, October 26, 2012

Book Review - Dragon Song (JS)

Dragon song by Anne McCaffrey

Review by Jacqui Slaney

Looking back over the reviews I have done, I have realised that one of the authors I used to read the most I have not mentioned at all, so decided I should rectify that omission.

Anne McCaffrey created a world called Pern; she filled it with dragons and their riders and gave them peoples to protect from an alien threat.

There are quite a few books in the series, this one is less about dragons and more about the people who live on the planet, this is the description:

Every two hundred years or so, shimmering Threads fall from space, raining death and black ruin on Pern. The great dragons of Pern hurl themselves through the beleaguered skies, flaming tongues of fire to destroy deadly Thread and save the Planet. However, it was not Threadfall that made young Menolly unhappy. It was her father who betrayed her ambition to be a Harper, who thwarted her love of music. Menolly had no choice but to run away. When, suddenly, she came upon a group of fire lizards, wild and smaller relatives of the fire-breathing dragons, she let her music swirl around them. She taught nine of them to sing. Suddenly Menolly was no longer alone -- she was Mistress of Music and Ward of the dazzling fire dragons.

This is a story about a girl’s love of music and her desire to be something different from that of her parents and to break away from what a girl’s role is seen to be.

Menolly is a skilled musician living in a distant sea hold, all she wants is to be a Harper – someone who can teach music, produce their own and has some standing in the community. Unfortunately, being a girl, her father does not see this as a suitable occupation for her. After she has an accident, it seems that he will have his way about Menolly’s future, but instead she runs away.

To live outside a holding is seen to be a death warrant on Pern, due to the regular falls from the sky of Thread, a life form that can destroy everything it touches.

Instead, Menolly’s thrives on her own and actually finds egg’s of prized fire lizards that are tiny versions of the dragons that patrol Perns skies. She saves the young hatchlings and they become bonded to her. Through a series of events, the music that she loves changes her life and the attitudes of the people of Pern.

This is not a complicated story but it is very readable, and is suitable for the young or adult reader. There are better books, but thanks to the well-written characters and the world that McCaffrey creates, I enjoyed it.

I found all the characters real and three dimensional  even the supporting cast, whereas in some novels, you often have only a handful that are fleshed out and  the  rest seem to be just used to bulk the story out.

Pern itself is well described and very believable, I really loved the descriptions of the different peoples and the land itself.

I think it was reading the books of Pern that gave me the idea that I wanted to write, to see if I could create something like this.

 So if you want to read something in the fantasy realm then definitely try Anne McCaffrey, think you might enjoy it.

 9 out of 10



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