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Dragonís Fire
The Dragonriders of Pern

by Anne and Todd McCaffrey

      It is always a great occasion when the latest Pern novel comes out, and invariably when I close the cover over the final page it is with a happy sigh. This book is no exception, having the usual mixture of charismatic characters, high adventure mixed with the minutiae of daily life and the joy of meeting both old friends and new people. This story centers on mining, and the plight of the Shunned. These are criminals who have been driven out of holds to wander and live as best they can. Amongst them are innocent spouses and children, two of who are Halla and Tenim. Both are orphaned and homeless, but whereas Halla is a good person doing her best to help the children in her care, Tenim is a hardened criminal. He is in cahoots with Tarik, a bent miner from Camp Natalon, and together they hatch a plot first to steal and sell coal, and then the valuable but volatile firestone, needed by the dragons to burn Thread.

Anne McCaffrey (and it seems her son Todd as well) has the knack of keeping those pages turning far into the night. What is their secret? A magic combination of world building taken to its limits, characters the reader cares about, those charismatic dragons and some good stories that deal with real situations. Young Pellar comes to terms with his inability to talk, Cristov has to deal with his shady background, Halla is homeless and tries to keep out of trouble and more. It is difficult not to become involved in this type of story, and though other writers have mined these books for inspiration there is nothing quite like the original. Writing a book a few years back where Thread was defeated was a mistake, as now the books are set far in the past, this one almost five hundred years after the Landing. Maybe one day the McCaffreys will come up with a story dealing with a Threadless Pern, but until then it is so enjoyable to read about those dragons and their riders that I donít care if the day never comes... highly recommended.

The Book

Bantam Press (Transworld UK)
7 August 2006
ISBN-10: 0593054989
ISBN-13: 9780593054987
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The Reviewer

Rachel A Hyde
Reviewed 2006
© 2006