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Dragonflight (Dragonriders of Pern, Bk 1)
Dragonflight - Dragonriders of Pern, Bk 1
Author: Anne McCaffrey
HOW CAN ONE GIRL SAVE AN ENTIRE WORLD? — To the nobles who live in Benden Weyr, Lessa is nothing but a ragged kitchen girl. For most of her life she has survived by serving those who betrayed her father and took over his lands. Now the time has come for Lessa to shed her disguise?and take back her stolen birthright. — But everything changes when s...  more »
PBS Market Price: $8.09 or $4.19+1 credit
ISBN-13: 9780345335463
ISBN-10: 0345335465
Publication Date: 5/12/1986
Pages: 320
Reading Level: Young Adult
  • Currently 4.1/5 Stars.

4.1 stars, based on 371 ratings
Publisher: Del Rey
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
Members Wishing: 2
Reviews: Member | Amazon | Write a Review

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TheMimi avatar reviewed Dragonflight (Dragonriders of Pern, Bk 1) on + 13 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
Dragonflight is the first book written in the long-running Dragonriders of Pern series by Anne McCaffrey. [It is not the first in the Story of the Planet of Pern.]

The first segment of Dragonflight was a 1968 Hugo awardâ"winning novella (called Weyr Search) prior to publication of the entire book. The second segment (called Dragonrider) received a Nebula Award in 1968.

Pern is a planet inhabited by humans. The original colonists were reduced to a low level of technology by periodic onslaughts of deadly Thread raining down from the sky. By harnessing the indigenous flying, fire-breathing dragons (with some genetic alteration to make them larger), humanity finally managed to gain the upper hand. The dragons, with their human riders, destroyed the Thread in the skies over Pern before they were able to burrow into the land and breed. However, an unusually long interval between attacks, centuries in duration, has caused the general population to gradually dismiss the threat and withdraw support from the Weyrs where dragons are bred and trained. By the time of this novel, only one Weyr remains (the other five having mysteriously disappeared at the same time in the last quiet interval), maintaining a precarious hand-to-mouth existence.

Dragons are telepathic; each bonds to a single human being when first hatched. They come in various colors which are generally correlated with their size, blue, green, brown, bronze, and gold queens. Bronzes, as the largest males, are by tradition the only ones who compete to win the queens in their mating flights. Queens, however, are always the largest dragons. As their human counterparts are linked mind-to-mind, the humans mate when their dragons mate.

Dragonflight chronicles the story of Lessa, the sole survivor of the noble ruling family of Ruatha Hold on the northern continent of Pern. When the rest of her family was killed by a cruel usurper, Fax, she survived by disguising herself as a drudge (a menial servant).

F'lar, wingleader at Benden Weyr and rider of the bronze dragon Mnementh, finds Lessa while Searching for candidates to Impress the Queen egg which is about to hatch. After defeating Fax in single combat (following the rules of the Pernese code duello), F'lar convinces Lessa to give up her birthright as Lord Holder of Ruatha Hold and join him at Benden Weyr. Lessa Impresses the Queen dragonet Ramoth and becomes the Weyrwoman, the new co-leader of the last active Weyr. On Ramoth's first mating flight, Mnementh catches her, and by Weyr tradition, this makes F'lar the Weyrleader.

Lessa and F'lar warn a dangerously unprepared Pern of the impending Thread reappearance. The general response is disbelief, as the last threadfall was 400 years ago, and the stories about threadfall have receded from recent history into legend and myth. It is not until the first Thread begins to fall that they are believed by the general populace and indeed even by some dragonriders.

One Weyr by itself is not enough to defend the planet; there used to be six, but the other five Weyrs have been empty and abandoned since the last Pass. In a desperate attempt to increase their numbers, a new queen, Prideth, and her rider, Kylara, are sent between times (a recently rediscovered skill), back ten turns, giving Prideth time to mature and have Clutches. Stretched to the breaking point, Lessa travels four hundred turns into the past to bring the five 'missing' Weyrs forward to her present. This not only provides much needed skilled reinforcements in the battle against Thread, but explains how and why the five Weyrs were abandoned: they came forward in time.
reviewed Dragonflight (Dragonriders of Pern, Bk 1) on + 23 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
A beautifully told story though the character relationships are quite thin. The characters are well-developed, however, as individuals and even though this isn't the best of the series it is still very good and a nice start to a great set of fantasy novels.
cloverluv avatar reviewed Dragonflight (Dragonriders of Pern, Bk 1) on + 129 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Pern has fallen into disrepair. Because there has been no danger from the terrible threads that threaten the planet with destruction every few hundred years, traditions are being lost to the wind like dust. The people of Pern no longer understand why they should bother to remove the greenery from their homes, why they should have to give gifts of food to the Dragonriders. They dont do anything except leech. The threads are a thing of the past.

One of the leaders of the Bronze dragons feels differently. The Threads have been too long absent, and the death of their useless Wyerwoman, the companion to the queen dragon, leaves room for improvement. A search is called and Lessa, a kitchen maid who had her lands taken from her birthright is spirited away to the Wyer, the home of all dragons to see if she is fit to be companion to a queen.

Ok, you can shoot me now. Get it over with. Because youre going to want to kill me once I say this next sentence: I didnt like Dragonflight.

I know, I know! Its a classic, the basis of most modern dragon books, blah blah blah. Im sorry, I STILL didnt like it. I dont know why I just didnt get it. The plot is simple enough: girl becomes bound to a dragon, together they have great powers, must save the world. That part I get. I suppose the plot was a little TOO simple. There was no real adversary. Ok, yeah so the Threads have the potential to destroy the worldbut essentially the Dragonriders are fighting against nature, not exactly an exciting adversary that you can love to hate.

I also didnt love McCafferys characters. I tried to like Lessa, I really did, but I just couldnt get over the fact that she was a brat who thought that it should be her way or the highway. She was in no way loveable or relatable, and the main male character left the same things to be desiered.

Towards the end McCaffery jumps off the deep end by messing around with time travel. I had enough to keep straight with all the scheming and mystery going on and then she throws a wrench in the mix by adding in time travel? I was so confused. I still am to tell you the truth. Just thinking about it makes my head hurt.

The bottom line is, McCaffery failed to make me CARE at all. I didnt care about the characters, I didnt care about Pern and its destruction, I didnt care that the space time thingy was going to be messed with. I felt no love or concern for any of Dragonflights characters including the dragons (and I love dragons!). I just didnt get any emotion out of Dragonflight, and in my book that just doesntwellfly. 
Two stars.
KelseyFamily06 avatar reviewed Dragonflight (Dragonriders of Pern, Bk 1) on + 53 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
I love the Pern Series. I have been reading it since I was a pre-teen. And I still go back and re-read it over and over.
reviewed Dragonflight (Dragonriders of Pern, Bk 1) on + 21 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
This book was pretty good and very complicated. I just didn't like the big time jumps they had between all the main sections.
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reviewed Dragonflight (Dragonriders of Pern, Bk 1) on + 2 more book reviews
Recently rediscovered this classic series of books. I hadn't read this particular one and it lives up to the quality of the rest of the series!
scoutmomskf avatar reviewed Dragonflight (Dragonriders of Pern, Bk 1) on + 2535 more book reviews
I was introduced to this series by a friend in high school (the late 70s) and have been a huge fan ever since. I have read the early books several times and was long overdue for a reread when I picked it up again. It didn't take long for me to become immersed in the world of Pern once more. I've read several reviews that complain about behaviors and attitudes, but I look at it through the eyes of when it was written (1968).

People from Earth colonized the world of Pern, but over the years, Earth forgot about them. The early colonists had modern technology to help them settle into their new world. This technology became vital when the planet was attacked by organisms the settlers called "Thread." The bioengineers bred fighting beasts called dragons, creatures with strong telepathic links with their riders. Over the centuries, the dragons protected the planet and its inhabitants from the every two-hundred-years incursions. Also, modern technology broke down over the years, and life on Pern began to resemble a feudal society. I loved the descriptions of life on Pern, both in the Weyr and the holds. The small details of daily living and the larger ones of significant events make the world real and believable.

As this book opens, it has been four hundred years since the last attack of Thread. Many believe there will be no more Thread and resent the requirement to support the dragonriders. The current leadership, R'gul, at the only surviving weyr, Benden, believes it is best to make as few demands as possible, keeping the dragonriders out of the public eye. He, too, believes that there is no more Thread. A younger dragonrider, F'lar, is confident that R'gul is wrong and that a new attack is imminent. With a new queen egg about to hatch, F'lar is one of several bronze dragon riders who goes on Search for candidates for the new queen. This eventually brings him to Ruatha Hold and Lessa.

Lessa is the only surviving member of the family who held Ruatha. Ten years earlier, a neighboring Holder invaded and murdered her entire family. Lessa, age eleven, barely escaped and has been living disguised as a drudge, waiting for her chance at revenge. Lessa is clever, intelligent, and occasionally ruthless in her methods. F'lar's arrival sets in motion a series of events that will change her life forever. Even though I know how it turns out, I am caught up in the intensity every time I read the book. F'lar's belief that Lessa is exactly what Pern needs is convincing.

I felt for Lessa as she was swept from the only home she knew to the strangeness of the Weyr. She knew nothing of what was happening, and F'lar refused to explain more than the barest details. When it came time to Impress the new queen, I loved seeing Lessa stand back, observe for a bit, and learn from others' mistakes. When she acts, she does so decisively, and her Impression of Ramoth is described in emotional detail. Here we get the first inkling of the depth of the connection between dragon and rider. But this is only the beginning. As the new Weyrwoman, Lessa must now undergo intense training. A naturally impatient person, she is frustrated by the pedantic instruction provided by R'gul. As convinced as F'lar about the coming Thread, she doesn't understand why he doesn't do anything about the issue because, once again, no one tells her anything of importance. In her frustration and ignorance, Lessa makes some choices that could have ended badly but for a fortunately timed mating flight.

Said mating flight changes everything. The description of the flight is vivid and intense. I loved seeing it through the eyes of the linked Lessa and Ramoth, which gave it extra depth. F'lar's Mnementh became the queen's mate, which caused a change in leadership for the Weyr. I loved watching F'lar take charge and shake things up. He is the firm leader that the Weyr and Pern need, but even he can't magically fix the neglect of decades. I loved watching him gather together the brilliant minds of the time to collaborate on ways to protect the planet. One of my favorite scenes involves Masterharper Robinton and his eloquent smackdown of the skeptics and vocal support of F'lar.

I could feel F'lar's desperation as he worked to prepare for Thread's arrival. The clock is ticking, and he has only a few dragons to use instead of the necessary hundreds. The first encounter with Thread is both terrifying and exhilarating. I felt his pain at the subsequent consequences and despair that they won't prevail. At the same time, Lessa comes into her strength as Weywoman, her early life allowing her to see what must be done. Her belief in the fate of the five missing Weyrs led to a stunning solution. I loved this section with F'lar's fear for Lessa, his hope for her survival, and his reaction to her return. I loved F'lar's surprise for her, and R'gul's reaction was very satisfying.

The relationship between F'lar and Lessa is challenging to describe. At times it feels almost Pygmalion-like as F'lar molds Lessa into his concept of a Weyrwoman. He admires her intelligence, resilience, and determination but is frequently frustrated by her impulsiveness. He tends to be domineering at times which aggravates her stubbornness. Lessa is frequently torn in her feelings for F'lar. She is attracted but wary, a feeling reinforced by the mating flight's results. There are times when she seems to antagonize him deliberately. She also respects his belief in the traditions that herald the imminent arrival of Thread and supports his efforts to bring the Weyr and Holders into line. Though they never overtly state their feelings, by the end of the book, it is clear that they do love each other.
Lenore avatar reviewed Dragonflight (Dragonriders of Pern, Bk 1) on + 193 more book reviews
1st book in the series. I got all the other books after reading this one!
eierkopf avatar reviewed Dragonflight (Dragonriders of Pern, Bk 1) on + 2 more book reviews
When I bought this one, I forgot that I had read it in the past. It was a good re-read. I enjoyed it.

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