From Publishers Weekly
As a terrible plague sweeps Pern, a brave Harper apprentice emerges as a true hero in this satisfying third collaboration between McCaffrey mère
(after 2006's Dragon's Fire
). The danger this time is not the deadly Thread but a virulent disease, similar to our world's 1918 influenza epidemic or the more recent outbreaks of SARS. Kindan, a young apprentice of the Harpers' Guild who's dedicated to music, education and healing, had hoped to become a dragonrider, but failed to bond with a dragon at the last hatching. Then his education and budding romance with a lord's daughter are disrupted by the epidemic, which poses a particular threat to the dragons and dragonriders who will be needed to fight the approaching Thread. The McCaffreys depict the crisis vividly, with enough detail to make the tragedy all too real and with enough hope to keep fantasy fans happy. (Dec.)
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In this sequel to Dragon’s Fire (2006), young Kindan is now a Harper Hall apprentice and proud owner of a fire lizard. Hall, Hold, and Weyr (three sections of Pernese society) are threatened by a deadly plague, and Kindan and his fellow apprentices are racing to find the cure before the Third Pass begins. In a smooth, clear reading that is somewhat lacking in intensity, Ericksen does not create distinct voices for each character. Series fans, however, will undoubtedly have no trouble identifying the principal players. Featuring a large cast of adolescent characters, this coming-of-age tale is suggested where earlier Pern titles by the McCaffreys (mother and son) are popular. --Jessica Moyer
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