Dragongirl by Todd McCaffrey, Del Rey, July 27, 2010, 464 pages, $26.00 ISBN 978-0-345-49116-9

This is the third book set in the Pern Universe by Todd McCaffrey, who is the son of Anne McCaffrey, the woman who created Pern. But, if you are a fan of the series, you already know all that. This book picks up where Dragonheart (the previous book) left off. Fiona, who, in the previous book fled to the past to cure the wounded and raise a new crop of dragons, has returned. She’s only been gone three days but has aged three years. Just after her arrival the entire complement of dragons at Telgar Weyr go between. There is a sickness that has been infecting the dragons and killing them. With Telgar empty, Fiona gathers what dragons and riders she can, along with some support personnel and heads to Telgar to take charge. At first there is friction as this young woman with odd ideas implements change after change, not the least of which is sleeping arrangements. But hope soon arrives with Kindan and Lorana who bring a cure for the dragon plague. But, is the cure too late? So many have died that Pern may have reached a tipping point where there are now too few dragons to fly thread without leading to extinction. How Fiona tries to cope with this while coming into her own as a Weyrwoman provides the push behind this novel.

Todd McCaffrey has done a fine job in maintaining the tone, feel and pacing of his mother’s series. While one might argue that Pern embodies a fairly simplistic view of the world, almost as if Faire folk had taken over a volcano somewhere and created a society with no crime, no major social dysfunctions, no personality disorders other than the occasional grumpiness and the entire population continuously working toward the common good, the ability to maintain that worldview requires no little amount of skill. The book was fun, a fairly quick read and a welcomed addition to the Pern universe. It should be noted that there are many things left unresolved here so it appears as if at least one more book is forthcoming. I’m not a big fan of books that don’t state right out that they are not complete, but that’s the case here so if you require your plots tied up by the last page you may want to wait for however many books that will take.

Recommended. The cover is by Les Edwards. More info at http://www.delreybooks.com

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About damnaliens
Writer, reviewer, home provider to the Damnaliens

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