Author: Todd McCaffrey
Series: Dragonriders of Pern (Book 21)
Publication: Del Rey; Reprint edition (October 27, 2009)
Description: The specter of sickness looms over the Weyrs of Pern, felling fire-lizards and threatening their dragon cousins, Pern’s sole defense against the deadly phenomenon that is Thread. Fiona, the young rider of queen dragon Talenth, is about to assume the duties of a Weyrwoman when word spreads that dragons have begun succumbing to the new contagion. As more dragons sicken and die, Weyrleader B’Nik and queen rider Lorana comb Fort Weyr’s archives in a desperate search for clues from the past that may hold the solution to the plague. But could the past itself prove the pathway to salvation for Pern’s imperiled dragons? Guided by a mysterious ally from a wholly unexpected place, and trusting in the dragon gift for transcending time, Fiona will join a risky expedition with far-reaching consequences for both Pern’s future and her personal destiny.
My Thoughts: This is another story from the early days of Pern. Fiona, who is the Lord Holder's only surviving child after plague ravaged the population, impresses a queen dragon Talenth and her life changes. Now she is the youngest of three weyrwomen at Fort Weyr. While she spent her life in the Holds, now she has to change her thinking. Luckily, the skills she learned as a Lord Holder's daughter translate nicely to that of a weyrwoman who cares for the needs of the dragons, dragonriders and other people of the weyr.
Fiona love her bond with Talenth and loves being able to care for her. Those around her notice that she and the others who impressed dragons at the latest hatching are different. They seem overly sleepy and dreamy. No one is quite sure why.
Thread is soon to begin falling in its 50 year cycle and dragons are getting sick. Everyone is rushing to try to find old records to see if there are any clues to what might be ailing them and what can be done to cure them. Between injuries from threadfall and the illness that is killing dragons, the dragonriders are quickly seeing that something has to be done or Pern will be lost.
Fiona, Talenth, the weyrlings, and the wounded dragonriders are led back some years into the past by a mysterious woman riding a queen dragon. This will give the injured a chance to heal and the wyrlings and Fiona a chance to grow so that they can be ready to fight thread when they return. They will be spending three years in the past but will return only three days after they left.
What was most interesting to me was the way Fiona comes into her own as a strong leader. I also liked how she met and worked with people she knew in the present. I liked the way she forged a new relationship with the traders who travel Pern.
While I'm not usually a big fan of stories involving time travel, and I have some questions about this one, I think it worked pretty well.
"My father raised me well."I bought this one. You can buy your copy here.
"You mean, your father will raise you well," Azeez corrected her, smiling.
"I think I might prefer is raising me well," Fiona countered, smiling back.