The volume The dragonriders of Pern contains three of my all-time favorite titles: Dragonflight, Dragonquest, and The white dragon. Anne McCaffrey is a prolific writer with multiple scifi/fantasy series, but her Pern volumes are the most numerous and arguably the most popular. What has always appealed to me, first, is Pern itself: its beautiful dragons and Earth backhistory and current culture of peril, and, second, the struggles her characters experience which are so universal and yet unique to Pern. Survival is rule number one, but even on Pern, politics and greed often hold many captive. McCaffrey's characters are realistic, strong with common weaknesses, but friendship and teamwork are always important elements. The dragons are attractive personalities in themselves, and intrigue and romance play important roles in the books.
The first book, Dragonflight, introduces us to one of the most memorable fictional characters of all-time, Lessa. This tiny but fiery young woman has been hiding as a kitchen drudge in Ruath Hold for years, since treachery betrayed her family to invaders. Lessa has haunted the place, making sure that the invader, Fax, got no profit or benefit from her home. Finally, he is brought back to Ruatha when dragonriders arrive on search--looking for potential riders.
Lessa works hard, using her strange skills, to avoid notice and make the visit a disaster, but the dragonriders are not as easily deceived as Lord Fax. When Fax declares "The day one of my holds cannot support itself or the visit of its rightful overlord, I shall renounce it," the dragon riders all sense Lessa's exultation and begin to surreptitiously search for the source. Within a day, Ruath Hold has a new lord, and Lessa has become the new Weyrwoman, the only queen dragon rider on Pern.
One would think that was enough story for any book, but that is only the first sixty pages. There is so much more to deal with, and Lessa is the strong, decisive, and intelligent woman needed for Pern in this crisis. More excitement and danger are ahead! ~Tessa Eger 5 out of 5 stars Also available in ebook format.