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110 of 114 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Gift of the Dragons
A Gift of Dragons (2002) is a collection of four short works in the Pern series. Three of these works have been previously published and one is new to this book.

The Smallest Dragonboy (1973) is the story of a twelve year old boy who is the smallest candidate in his Searched group and cruelly treated by another older boy, yet perseveres in his efforts to...
Published on June 4, 2003 by Arthur W. Jordin

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58 of 65 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Short Stores of Pern
This is a somewhat strange little book, and I'm not at all sure who the intended audience is. First of all, it is an anthology of four short stories, only one of which is being newly printed. Other than being set on the dragon planet of Pern, the stories have nothing in common, each standing quite apart from the others in its topic. Every page is adorned with a fanciful...
Published on February 21, 2003 by WILLIAM H FULLER


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110 of 114 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Gift of the Dragons, June 4, 2003
By 
This review is from: A Gift of Dragons (Pern) (Hardcover)
A Gift of Dragons (2002) is a collection of four short works in the Pern series. Three of these works have been previously published and one is new to this book.

The Smallest Dragonboy (1973) is the story of a twelve year old boy who is the smallest candidate in his Searched group and cruelly treated by another older boy, yet perseveres in his efforts to impress a hatchling.

The Girl Who Heard Dragons (1994) is the story of a young holdless girl who can hear dragons talk to each other and, when her family is threatened, finds that she can also talk to them.

Runner of Pern (1999) is the story of a young women who is a runner, carrying written messages for long distance, who comes to Fort Hold at gather time with a score to settle with someone who ran her off the runner trace the night before.

Ever the Twain (2002) is the story of a pair of twins, one of whom desperately wants to become a dragonrider, but the other is selected to be a candidate at the next hatching.

These tales are about character, courage and perseverence and not one of them has an unhappy ending. Some will find them too sweet for their taste, especially together, but I enjoyed the uplift that they brought me.

Recommended for McCaffrey fans and anyone else who enjoys stories like O'Henry's The Gift of the Magi.

-Arthur W. Jordin
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58 of 65 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Short Stores of Pern, February 21, 2003
By 
WILLIAM H FULLER (SPEARFISH, SD USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: A Gift of Dragons (Pern) (Hardcover)
This is a somewhat strange little book, and I'm not at all sure who the intended audience is. First of all, it is an anthology of four short stories, only one of which is being newly printed. Other than being set on the dragon planet of Pern, the stories have nothing in common, each standing quite apart from the others in its topic. Every page is adorned with a fanciful border, making for wide margins and short lines of type. There are also a few full-page illustrations here and there, endearing enough but sparse. Surprisingly, the book is also printed entirely in a sepia-toned ink (which I thought might be hard on the eyes but actually posed no problems or eye fatigue).
Since only one-fourth of the content is newly published and because of the artwork and the unusual ink color, I simply cannot fathom for what audience the book is intended. Junior high school level, perhaps.
The four stories are quite fun to read, especially if one hasn't read them recently in their original publications. However, especially with science fiction, I much prefer to become engrossed in the lengthy plot afforded by novel-length books. Short stories always end too soon, jerking the reader out of the fantasy and back into the mundance world of reality just as one is really getting into the story! Maybe this book is for readers with short attention spans, or maybe McCaffrey is tiring of creating new story lines for the residents of Pern, and this book is analogous to a StarTrek re-run. Overall, I prefer McCaffrey's earlier full-length novels about this planet and its wonderful, telepathic dragons.
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25 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Enchanting Addition to the Pern Series!, August 12, 2003
By 
Silmarwen (Huntington Beach, CA United States) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
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This review is from: A Gift of Dragons (Pern) (Hardcover)
A Gift of Dragons contains 4 short stories that take place on Pern. It includes:
The Smallest Dragonboy - Keevan is the youngest dragon candidate and he is also the smallest. It is easy for other boys to pick on him and to make fun of his desire to become a dragonrider. But this only makes Keevan more determined then ever to impress a dragon and on his first time on the hatching grounds, too! But when a horrible accident leaves him alone in the hospital wing during hatching time, Keevan gives up hope that he will impress a dragon this year - or does he...?
The Girl Who Heard Dragons - Aramina and her family are Holdless, but they are not vagabonds or shiftless people who were tossed out of their holds because they were too lazy. They were of Benden blood, forced to flee when Lord Fax killed all of their blood kin before he realized that Benden blood ran in Aramina's mother's veins. And, just like many others of the Benden lineage, Aramina can hear dragons and talk to them. She is careful to hide her skill, but Lady Holdless Thella found out somehow and is determined to use Aramina's talents for her own gain...
The Runner of Pern - Tenna is a runner, just like everyone in her family and spends her time running up and down the trails of Pern, delivering messages. She is working hard to finish the stitches on her belt and no longer be an apprentice. But when a reckless driver forces Tenna off of the runner trace, where no horses and carts are supposed to be allowed, Tenna is injured and upset. She is determined to give this careless Halgion a good talking to...
Ever the Twain - Neru has always dreamed of becoming a dragonrider, but his twin Nian is afraid of life without him. When the dragonriders come on Search, Neru is sure he will be chosen, but the dragons pass him by - and come to rest on Nian, whom they want to take to the Hatching Grounds. Nian refuses to go without Neru, which makes Neru feel guilty and unwanted. Still, he is determined to take advantage of the opportunity that his sister gave him and tries his hardest to fit into the Weyr. Nian knows that she will do whatever it takes to get Neru to Impress a dragon, but she is quite surprised by what ends up happening at the hatching...
I thought that this book was too expensive for just four short stories when I initially bought it, but it really is quite a bit cheaper than buying the three other books that the first three stories are contained in. Ever the Twain is a new story, however, and is only available here. The stories are not that long and the type font and spacing are quite large, but the hand drawn illustrations and decorative border on every page make this book a little treasure. A must have for anyone who is a fan of the Pern series!
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars One Classic, Two Gems and one not so good, December 28, 2002
By 
Gemz "Gemz" (Iowa City, Iowa United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: A Gift of Dragons (Pern) (Hardcover)
I call the first story a classic because, well, in the McCaffrey Universe in my head it is. In fact, the Littlest Dragonboy was _the_ story that got me reading Pern in the first place. I adore this story for that reason and others. To me, it encompasses all that Pern represents, justice, kindness and simplicity. It is that simplicity that draws me back to this long lived series time and time again.
The second and third stories are beauties as well. The Girl Who Heard Dragons is one of my Mother's favorites. A sweet story with a predicitable, but still sweet ending. The Runner of Pern is wonderful because it explores a totally new aspect of our beloved Pern, with Ms. McCaffrey's characteristic, opposites- attract romance thrown in. A story that left me smiling like I had just seen an old friend.
Finally, the last story in the book did not sit well with me at all. It was just too cozy and sweet. This may sound hypocritical of me, after all, K'van's story is awfully sweet too, I just couldn't really believe this one. (I won't spoil it for you, but it's extremely predictable) Maybe the horrible event that I have been dreading has happened. Perhaps like so many fantasy readers before me I have become disillusioned with the Dragonlady. Everyone told be the day would come, but I swore it would not happen to me. Ah, who knows? All I can do is cling to my fondness of The White Dragon and hope that I can hold out a little longer.
Anyway, I say buy it, or at least check it out from the library and read the first three if you haven't already. As for the new one, which I am assuming most of you veterens of Pern are looking for in this book, I'd skip it and read any wannabe's story from one of the hundreds of fan weyrs on the web, it'll be the same thing.
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19 of 22 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars yet another bundle, December 29, 2003
By 
Lady Lorelei "tarotgoddess.net" (Siler City, NC United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: A Gift of Dragons (Pern) (Hardcover)
Anne's stories of Pern are enchanting. But I loathe publishers who bundle one new short story with several old ones just to sell a book. Why not commission a full book of short stories? Or why not sell the new story as a small paperback for a buck or two?
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a collector's dream, November 18, 2002
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This review is from: A Gift of Dragons (Pern) (Hardcover)
This beautifully illustrated book finally collects some of the hard to find Pern short stories in one place. "The Smallest Dragonrider" was my introduction to her books & it was nice to see one of the non-riders stories, "The Runner of Pern," included. That nice story focuses on a group that is usually incidental to the stories, the messengers/runners who are the ones who really keep the people of Pern connected. The new story "Ever the Twain" is appealing & has a thing or two to say about pride. My one regret --- the exclusion of "The Dolphin Bell" which would have provided a nice historic Pern touch to the 'modern' stories.
For the collector craving hardcover copies of their favorite author, this volume is a wonderful addition to the library.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars nice bite sized chunks, August 29, 2005
By 
LAR (Merced, CA USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: A Gift of Dragons (Pern) (Hardcover)
This collection will disappoint people who want more original material, but I found it useful as an introduction to the series. My 9 year old nephew wanted to read the Pern series but I wasn't sure if it would hold his interest at that age; these stories were the right short length to give him a taste of it without having to read the full length books which are more appropriate for people 13 and over. For people who are either too young for the full length books or who want to see what the fuss is about without investing the time in a longer novel, or for the collector who has to have every volume, this is nice. For people who have already read the novels, only one story is original, so it may seem a waste to repeat.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dragons for the holidays or any time!, December 23, 2002
This review is from: A Gift of Dragons (Pern) (Hardcover)
Reading Dragon Stories from Anne McCaffrey is a delight anytime, but especially so during the holidays. Her prose, always so smooth and humanely warm, shimmers in the holiday glow. Such a pleasure to read again about Keevan, the smallest dragonboy, and Aramina, the girl who heard dragons, and then to meet new charmers like Tenna, the runner and Nian and Neru, the dragon-riding twins. McCaffrey is an absolute master of characterization, but never at the slighting of plot. The pages here turn much too fast. It seems SO long since the last dragon novel. More, please, Ms. M, and soon.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Pern, June 6, 2003
By 
A.J.W. "wcu_rosebud" (robbinsville, nc United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: A Gift of Dragons (Pern) (Hardcover)
Personally, I've never been that into short stories. Mainly because they're not long enough. It seems like in a lot of cases just when I'm getting really interested in the story, it ends. I'm the type of person who likes to read full sized or even larger than normal novels. And if the novel is part of a series then even better. That being said the short stories from this book are much more my style, since they are from a series (the Pern series to be exect). This book includes two short stories that have been published before in other books. One short story that is part of a larger story. And one new short story. If you are a fan of the Pern series this book is definately worth having.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Delightful Mix Of Pern Stories, February 17, 2003
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This review is from: A Gift of Dragons (Pern) (Hardcover)
This nice mix of short stories about the planet of Pern is a great way to learn about some of the suppoting characters. Although The Girl Who Heard Dragons is a favorite of mine, I was a little disappointed to find it included as a large section of a "new" book. That said, if you are a fan of McCaffrey's Pern novels you will want to own this one.
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A Gift of Dragons (Pern)
A Gift of Dragons (Pern) by Anne McCaffrey (Hardcover - October 29, 2002)
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