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Dragonflight (Dragonriders of Pern - Volume 1) Mass Market Paperback – May 12, 1986
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From the Publisher
There are dragons all over Anne McCaffrey's house. Some she's bought, but many have been made for her by adoring fans and given to her as gifts. I don't make dragons, of course. But whenever circumstances allow, I do try to bring her American bacon, something she can't get easily in Ireland, and something which she has taught all her friends there to love, as well! I remember the first time I went to visit her, when she was still living in her old, much smaller but very homey, house. My husband and I arrived at the doorstep, and she immediately began bustling about, frying up some of the bacon we'd brought and sharing a lovely late breakfast with us before sending us off to the hotel for a nap. She made us dinner that night, too--the one and only time in my life that I've actually liked shrimp cocktail. Maybe that's because if you squint your eyes and look sideways, shrimp are kind of dragonlike, and I was eating them in the right company!
--Shelly Shapiro, Executive Editor
From the Inside Flap
HOW CAN ONE GIRL SAVE AN ENTIRE WORLD?
To the nobles who live in Benden Weyr, Lessa is nothing but a ragged kitchen girl. For most of her life she has survived by serving those who betrayed her father and took over his lands. Now the time has come for Lessa to shed her disguise--and take back her stolen birthright.
But everything changes when she meets a queen dragon. The bond they share will be deep and last forever. It will protect them when, for the first time in centuries, Lessa's world is threatened by Thread, an evil substance that falls like rain and destroys everything it touches. Dragons and their Riders once protected the planet from Thread, but there are very few of them left these days. Now brave Lessa must risk her life, and the life of her beloved dragon, to save her beautiful world. . . .
"From the Trade Paperback edition.
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More than 40 years after its first publication, Anne McCaffrey's Dragonflight clearly withstands the test of time. A vibrant and compellingly original vision of flaming dragons rising in the skies to combat an ancient foe that returns to menace their home.
Dragonflight has justly remained among the most cherished of SciFi & Fantasy classics because it deftly blends both genres, and because it introduced our world to McCaffrey's captivating world of Pern.
Unfortunately, this kindle edition makes that experience nearly unreadable. The text clearly wasn't given the most cursory review by a human editor prior to being released into the marketplace. Most notably, this text is rife with missing and incorrect punctuation. Without exaggeration, one has the feeling that on almost every virtual page, there are multiple sentences that run together because the necessary punctuation marks are missing.
Making matters worse, character names are at times misused. When characters have names which resemble each other, it's sometimes necessary to take care that they're not mixed up. On more than one occasion though, the reader encounters a name that's simply the result of poor OCR during the original digitization process. Names which are close-but-not-quite-right appear in scenes and are never heard from again.
The shoddy quality of this edition truly takes the reader out of the story, because you are forced to try and understand how the text was really meant to be.
If this were my first exposure to this novel, I would have had a difficult time understanding what was going on. I would likely have never continued reading the series.
I love my Kindle. I have read 100s of Kindle books on it, as well as on phones, tablets and computers. I've read Project Gutenberg works, PDFs and Amazon novels. I've used it for years and this is the first time I've felt compelled to say: don't read this story on your Kindle. It's not worth it.
I highly recommend for fantasy fans as a stepping stone into the science fiction universe, for girls who are looking for strong female leads and swoon-worthy romance, and for anyone who appreciates richly detailed and incredibly developed setting.
Most of my collection was either lost, loaned out and never returned, or badly damaged in some of my many moves over the years. So, I had considered replacing the books - someday.
Someday came with my new Kindle. The Pern series is available for Kindle and my initial purchase is, of course, the first book in the series.
It has been many, many years since I read these books. Sometimes you wonder if the books are still going to be "as good" now that I'm all grown up. I was young, impressive and the books are from so long ago. Will they stand the test of time? Having re-read some other science fiction books and knowing that some of them can disappoint since the technology has gone so beyond those early visions, there is that caveat with any book.
But Dragonfight did not disappoint! The advantage here is that the Pern series is Fantasy Science Fiction. It doesn't matter how old the technology is, the fantasy overrides the technology, which remains timeless and enduring.
As a quick synopsis of the book with no spoiler, the story focuses on Lessa, last rightful heir to Ruatha Hold. She hides in rags and filth to survive to avenge her family's deaths. She is a powerful telepath, can speak with the animals of the Hold and she waits her time to strike.
In the meantime, the Dragonriders of the last Weyr are on a Search for a woman who will bond with the single queen dragon egg laid by the late queen. F'lar the dragonrider heads the Search to Ruatha and discovers treachery and an amazing young lady who could well be the woman to "impress" the new Queen. This is important to F'lar, because he is convinced that the Thread threat is returning shortly after a long absence. A strong queen is needed to rebuild Benden Weyr, help him convince the Hold Lords that the threat of Thread is real and save Pern from destruction from Thread.
OK, if none of this makes sense to you, then you obviously have not read any of the books. Maybe this will peak your interest to get yourself a copy and investigate further. But let me stir more interest for you.
Anne McCaffrey is a master story teller. This particular book has been touted as her best in the series, though I would beg to differ. (I think they were all her best!) It is, however, a very strong introductory novel to the series. A little history: this story was published in two parts in Analog science fiction magazine in 1967 and was published in paperback in 1968. The second installment in Analog won the Hugo Award for Best Novella and was nominated for the Nebula Award for best Novella. The second year the book won the Nebula Award and was nominated for the Hugo award again. It says much about the author and her work. A better recommendation could not be made for the author.
The characters are carefully developed and the lead characters are strong and impressive. The dragons are bold, intelligent, humorous and their history is well laid out. The planet's history is rich, filling and impressive. This books was carefully thought through, and you see this through the entire series. Ms. McCaffrey never falters in her story telling, never leaving loose ends. The stories never get boring. There is adventure, romance and dragons; what could be better?
A few notes on the Kindle version I purchased by Del Rey sold by Random House Digital, Inc. I was very tempted to purchase the trilogy volume (book club edition Del Rey) - the first three novels in one file. However, the many reviews suggested that the typos were hideous and that you would be better off purchasing the books individually. While all the Kindle versions appear to be plagued with typos, I prefer those that do not distract. So I went with the single volumes.
I believe the issue here is that the books were done before word processors, so the books needed to be retyped into files that can convert to Kindle format. And it appears the publishers are not as careful with the Kindle versions as they should be. Some of these books have been out of print in the hard cover version for a long time, as the prices on Amazon for the hard cover versions will testify to.
The most obvious typo was early in the book where Pern was referred to as Peru. I noticed other typos, but not as bad as some of the free Kindle books that are out there. And not as bad as the reviewers for the Trilogy version say are in that particular version.
So, overall, I was pleased with the Kindle experience with this book, and would recommend this Kindle version.
I am also glad I am going back to relive the adventures of the Dragonriders of Pern again. I realized as I read the book that I did miss the adventures; that it had been way too long between reads for me. I am looking forward to the next book.