Author: Anne McCaffrey
Series: Pern: On Dragons (Book 14)
Publication: Del Rey; Reprint edition (December 27, 1997)
Description: In Anne McCaffrey's New York Times bestselling DRAGONSEYE, join Weyrleaders, Holders, and Craftmasters in the creation of the legendary Star Stones and the teaching ballads of Pern!
It's been two-hundred years since the deadly Thread fell like rain upon Pern, devouring everything in its path. No one alive remembers that first horrific onslaught and no one believes in its return--except for the dragonriders. For two centuries they have been practicing and training, passing down from generation to generation the formidable Threadfighting techniques.
Now the ominous signs are appearing: the violent winter storms and volcanic eruptions that are said to herald the approach of the Red Star and its lethal spawn. But one stubborn Lord Holder, Chalkin of Bitra, refuses to believe--and that disbelief could spell disaster. So as the dragonriders desperately train to face a terrifying enemy, they and the other Lord Holders must find a way to deal with Chalkin--before history repeats itself and unleashes its virulence on all of Pern. . . .
My Thoughts: It is two-hundred years since the first Thread fell on Pern. Old Earth technology is failing or has already failed. Old attitudes are going away except for some die-hard traditionalists. This story follows a number of people who are getting ready for Thread to fall.
We get the story of a young woman named Debera who was Searched but whose father didn't tell her that she had a chance to Impress a dragon because he had made other more advantageous (to him) plans for her future. When she finds the letter, she runs away from home followed by her father, the man he made the deal with, and her potential mate. She gets to the hatching ground in time to Impress the green Dragon Morath.
We get the story of an artist whose first commission is to paints miniatures of the young children of the Lord Holder of Bitra. Iantine learns just how badly a Hold can be run as he meets Lord Holder Chalkin who doesn't believe that Thread is really going to fall.
We see that various Lord Holders and Weyr Leaders as they meet to decide what to do about Lord Chalkin and get to know the personalities of the first group to fight Thread without old Earth technology but with dragons.
We meet the teachers who are tasked with finding a way to continue teaching their necessary curriculum now that the final computers have died. We see the development of the Teaching Songs and Ballads.
This was an excellent story that sets up the Pern that readers see in the books that take place in times long past this second Thread fall. The characters were engaging and the plot was fast moving.
"I was Searched," she said, urgently stroking Morath, who was trying to burrow her head into the girl's body. "I had the right to come. I wanted to come," and then she waved an indignant hand at her prostrate father, "and they didn't even show me the letter telling me to come. He wants me for a union because he had a deal with Boris for a mining site and with Ganmar for taking me on. I don't want Ganmar, and I don't know anything about mining. I was Searched and I have the right to decide." The indignant words rushed out, accompanied by expressions of distaste, resentment, and anger.I bought this one on December 10, 1997. You can buy your copy here.