Young Kindan has no expectations other than joining his father in the mines of Camp Natalon, a coal mining settlement struggling to turn a profit far from the great Holds where the presence of dragons and their riders means safety and civilization. Mining is fraught with danger. Fortunately, the camp has a watch-wher, a creature distantly related to dragons and uniquely suited to specialized work in the dark, cold mineshafts. Kindan's father is the watch-wher's handler, and his son sometimes helps him out. But even that important job promises no opportunity outside the mine.Then disaster strikes. In one terrible instant, Kindan loses his family and the camp loses its watch-wher. Fathers are replaced by sons in the mine - except for Kindan, who is taken in by the camp's new Harper. Grieving, Kindan finds a measure of solace in a burgeoning musical talent … and in a new friendship with Nuella, a mysterious girl no one seems to know exists. It is Nuella who assists Kindan when he is selected to hatch and train a new watch-wher, a job that forces him to give up his dream of becoming a Harper; and it is Nuella who helps him give new meaning to his life.Meanwhile, sparked by the tragedy, long-simmering tensions are dividing the camp. Far below the surface, a group of resentful miners hides a deadly secret. As warring factions threaten to explode, Nuella and Kindan begin to discover unknown talents in the misunderstood watch-wher - talents that could very well save an entire Hold. During their time teaching the watch-wher, the two learn some things themselves: that even a seemingly impossible dream is never completely out of reach … and that light can be found even in the deepest darkness.
With the Dragonriders of Pern, McCaffrey has given us more than just an extraordinary masterwork of imagination. She has given us a whole world-and has taught us to fly. Now, in this triumphant return to Pern, Anne McCaffrey takes us on an adventure as surprising and unforgettable as any that has come before…
"SUPERB STORYTELLING AND ENGAGING CHARACTERS…
McCaffrey's most popular series takes on a new dimension with the latest installment, as familiar characters feel the weight of their years, giving way to a new generation of humans and their dragon companions."
"The continuing evolution of this world is carefully handled and always fascinating… . Multifaceted as the eyes of their dragons, these novels offer romance, adventure, medieval pageantry, intrigue… [and] a satisfyingly complex society. In McCaffrey serves up a buffet which can satisfy virtually anyone who steps up to its table."
First Hardcover Edition: April 2001 First Mass Market Edition: January 2002
Synopsis : Pern: a beautiful world colonized by humans, terrorized by the deadly spores called Thread, and defended by magnificent flying dragons. Anne McCaffrey's best-selling tales of this planet have yielded a multitude of unforgettable characters. And now, after years of urging by devoted readers, one of the most popular denizens of Pern takes center stage in a novel that chronicles his extraordinary life.Along with the dragonriders, perhaps none are so revered on Pern as the harpers, whose songs record history, warn of the coming of Thread, and prepare Pern's people for the future. And no one is more influential than the Masterharper of Pern. The son of renowned composer Petiron and gifted singer Merelan, Robinton is a prodigy from birth and enjoys a special rapport with the telepathic dragons. But it is a time when Thread has not been a threat for centuries, the harpers have fallen into disfavor, and one despotic man is plotting to take over Pern. In this climate of unrest, Robinton will come into his own . . . driven by his belief in music, in the dragons, and in the salvation of his beloved Pern.
When the volcanoes rumble and the powerful storms begin brewing on Pern, it means one thing: Thread. For 257 years Pern has been free of the life-destroying Thread, but now the Red Star has reappeared in the sky and soon the deadly Threadfall will follow. In the holds and weyrs across the land, the genetically-engineered dragons of Pern and their human riders begin feverishly training to combat the Thread, for only dragon fire can destroy the silvery invaders. But, incredibly, one Lord Holder refuses to believe the Thread will fall again, and he may endanger the entire planet.