Book Review: Todd McCaffrey’s Dragonheart

Posted February 25, 2009 by Kathy Davie in Book Reviews

I received this book for free from the library in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Book Review: Todd McCaffrey’s Dragonheart



Todd McCaffrey

It is part of the Dragonriders of Pern 501.3 AL, series and is a science fiction in Hardcover edition that was published by Del Rey Books on October 1, 2008 and has 538 pages.

Explore it on Goodreads or Amazon.

Todd McCaffrey’s effort at taking up his mother’s writing mantle and carry on with the Pern Universe, in an earlier time in Pern’s history.

My Take

I so love reading about Pern, and it was with trepidation that I picked up the first joint McCaffrey effort, Dragon’s Kin.

Okay, so it was disappointing.

It was his first time.

I’ve now read Dragonheart and I’m still so very disappointed.

Yes, there is a storyline. A storyline in which the characters are inserted with little development. Events and inner thoughts are skimmed over. It’s like reading an outline that has been fleshed out a bit.

Few events have the in-depth lead-up I’be been accustomed to with Anne McCaffrey; one is dropped into a conversation without having any real idea as to what or why it’s happening. The reader is introduced to Xhinna with so very little background that why he bothered with the little bit he did…I dunno. In the earlier books, we’d have learned such detail about Xhinna that we would become emotionally involved with her trials and triumphs.

When we’re dumped into the past, there is no discussion about timing, whether it is a known ability, or how they learned to “time”. Why don’t we revisit their current time while the injured and young weyrlings are in the past to learn how they’re coping. What the emotions are of those left ahead? We have no idea if Cisca has been thinking about the ramifications of an older Fiona and how the two of them will have to merge their authority.

Then there’s the huge number of dragons dying. There is no emotion here.

In The White Dragon, 3, the despair felt by Lytol by the loss of his dragon and his continuing difficulties in coping with life without a dragon bring an intensity and the reader has no choice but to feel his emotional loss.

In Dragonheart, dragons are dying by the dozens, and when Xhinna and Fiona discuss the fact that 18 dragons are sick and over 50 have died, they’re simply totting up the numbers.

I think it’s great that Todd has “set up shop” in a new time period of Pern but there should be some continuity with the riders’ relationships with their dragons. I miss the small touches in which the reader is reminded of the smells associated with the dragons.

I want to know how things will turn out but I have no emotional investment in the conclusion.