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Dragonflight (Graphic novel) Hardcover

4.4 out of 5 stars 395 customer reviews
Book 1 of 23 in the Dragonriders of Pern Series

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 144 pages
  • Publisher: Eclipse Books; 1st edition
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1560601760
  • ISBN-13: 978-1560601760
  • Product Dimensions: 10.1 x 6.6 x 0.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (395 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,513,233 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Anne McCaffrey, the Hugo Award-winning author of the bestselling Dragonriders of Pern® novels, is one of science fiction's most popular authors. With Elizabeth Ann Scarborough she co-authored Changelings and Maelstrom, Books One and Two of The Twins of Petaybee. McCaffrey lives in a house of her own design, Dragonhold-Underhill, in County Wicklow, Ireland.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Mass Market Paperback
This book begins Anne McCaffrey's wonderful long-running series, "The Dragonriders of Pern." Although sold as a book for young adults and looking on the surface like a fantasy novel, "Dragonflight" is actually neither. Certainly, teenagers will (and do) love this book, but McCaffrey's work is mature and complicated enough for older readers of science fiction and fantasy to enjoy it on the same level as they would any work from an author of "mature" novels. And although the word "dragon" conjures up images of heroic fantasy, "Dragonflight" is actually science fiction: it only wears the outer clothing of fantasy. New readers will find this a surprise, as they learn that Pern isn't a "neverland" fantasy world, but an Earth-colonized planet; that the dragons are the native alien species who consume special minerals to chemically create their fire-breath; and that the evil menace that threatens the planet -- the "threads" -- are not supernatural monsters, but spores migrating from another planet that passes near Pern. Perhaps most surprising for a new reader is the focus on time-travel and time paradoxes; some of the most exciting parts of the book deal with the complexities, dangers, and potentials of time-travel.
The story takes place as Pern nears another invasion from the threads, but the planet is unprepared. Many people no longer believe in the threads (it has been hundreds of "turns" since the last attack), and there are fewer dragon dens (called "weyrs") than there once were to produce the creatures who can destroy the threads. Dragonrider T'Lar searches for a Weyrwoman to help him replenish the dragons before it is too late and unit the dragonriders to face the invasion.
This only scratches the surface of a tale full of suprises and unexpted turns.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
For me, the thing that makes a book a classic is whether or not it comes to mind occasionally in the year after I have read it. If I don't then find myself comparing it to recently read plotlines or movies from the same genre, it would not be worth a five star rating. In this case, I have (drumroll please) over 10 years' worth of ponderings and influence to demonstrate that Dragonflight -- and the entire trilogy -- is an unparalleled classic.
Thumbnail sketch of the plot: a futuristic world barely settled by mankind, which was then cut off from all contact and aid from the motherworld (Earth). Genetic engineering of native life forms to create "Dragons" which form psychic links to individual humans (dragonriders)for life, to aid in fighting a recurring biological threat. Centuries pass between attacks, causing subsequent generations to forget the dragons' purpose, take the dragonriders for granted and weaken their defenses gradually. Now there are signs that the attacks will begin again soon, and the people are caught unprepared. The stage is set for Lessa, a young insignificant, to rise to the top of the dragonrider heirarchy along with F'lar, a seasoned rider, as his mate.
I was tempted to dock a star from the rating based on some formulaic elements: the young, fiery, independant-spirited heroine challenging the restrictive views of her medieval society, the super-Alpha male hero who tries to dominate her but comes to appreciate her in the end...if you've read one, you will recognize the Lessa and F'lar characters, as well as some others as such Romance novel archetypes. Despite this, McCaffrey draws them well and uses her characters perfectly to play up the tension and confusion that Pern is going though. HOWEVER.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Let me get the criticism out of the way first. Over the years, the unending franchise of Pern books has diluted the original magic of this book. After the first two series (this first trilogy, the Masterharper trilogy) and arguably Moreta's story (worth a comfortable 4 stars), McCaffery started trying to fit Pern into a scientific jigsaw puzzle so that it would "make sense." In my view, that was a major mistake, because the glory of this first book, and what made it a true classic, is the degree to which the reader contributes to the world the author created.

Enough of that. This is the classic, and it has earned its reputation. I read this book in the late 70s. I have probably read it a dozen times since then because it is so gosh-darn easy to fall into Dragonflight... and not want to drag myself out again.

I know intellectually that Pern is a made-up universe, but emotionally it's another story. In my heart, I believe it exists. That's how absolutely "real" her world is. The background appeals to our analytical sense of "what if this happened...": forgotten colonists on a generally well-endowed planet, with this one teeny problem: a neighboring planet throws destructive spores at Pern every 200 years, and the residents create genetic telepathic "dragons" which can counter the threat. But the science is left behind, because the story starts thousands of years later, when all the backstory has turned to myth (and not well remembered myth, at that).

But lots of people can create a good world. McCaffrey created marvelous characters to fill it. Like anybody stuck in a "save the world" situation, they try to act heroic, but they fumble because they're just people.

And like the best writers, she makes them come alive with the tiny details.
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