Todd McCaffrey, Dragon’s Fire

Posted July 25, 2011 by Kathy Davie in

Dragon's Fire (The Dragonriders of Pern)Dragon’s Fire by Anne McCaffrey
Series: Dragonriders of Pern, 491.7 AL
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

It’s 483.7 AL, 483 491.7* AL, 491 years and 7 months after landing, and Thread isn’t expected for 16 more years. It parallels Dragonsblood and Dragon’s Kin.

* I’m amending the date mentioned in the book. According to Dragonsblood, Thread is expected soon and it’s 507 AL. In Dragon’s Fire, McCaffrey states that Thread is expected in 16 years so subtracting 16 from 507 yields 491 and not 483. I figured I’d keep the .7. So shoot me, besides the action in this book parallels Dragon’s Kin and using all the same characters is also 491.

The Story
The Harper Hall is concerned about the Shunned. People who were turned out of their Holds for engaging in criminal activity. Of course, there are humans involved, so there is always some degree of wrongdoing practiced on both sides. I’d certainly be happy to see Weyrleader D’gan offed.

The other concern is the firestone. Pern is running out. Even if it is that nasty, explosive stuff. McCaffrey tosses some bits in to add drama…oh darn, he missed.

We cover the same old ground as the two books mentioned above simply from Pellar and Halla’s perspectives. This time we hear about Kindan and Natalon Camp getting their watch-wher egg from Aleesa through Tarik and Tenim’s point of view…yawn…

Ooh, McCaffrey manages to use up some pages by telling us how Natalon’s chimney got blocked (see Dragon’s Kin).

The Characters
Pellar is a mute harper fostered by Master Zist while Halla’s parents had been Shunned and she and her brother suffered for it.

As for Harper Moran. I can’t believe his actions…how did he ever become a harper in the first place? It just doesn’t hold together that Moran could be using his name and skill to make deals and the Harper Hall doesn’t hear about him for years even though they are supposedly looking for him.

Tenim is the evil one in this story alongside D’gan and Tarik.

Cristov finally comes into his own in this story. In the other two, he was mentioned. This time, his dream comes true at great cost.

Trader Tarri appears as well this time becoming a friend and advocate for Halla.

All the characters from Dragonblood and Dragon’s Kin appear playing their parts in various degrees with references to their adventures in these two stories.

My Take
Yes, it’s interesting finding out about the two kinds of firestone. It could have been covered in the other two books. Actually the three books could have been compiled into one instead of going over the same ground over and over and over just from three different perspectives.

Unfortunately, the writing suffers even more. McCaffrey doesn’t evoke the sadness and criminality of what is happening to the children. He states that Aleesa is insane…I haven’t seen any indications of insanity. What, he got bored and didn’t want to have to look up possible adjectives in the thesaurus? He might have to stretch his mind and build up to the insanity concept? At the end of the book, TM is thanking all these people for helping with the book…he should be casting stones.

Page 124, Pellar was amazed…but, about what?? On page 292, McCaffrey points out that Corvin is being wayward, that “the boy had already decided that Tarik was no such guide”. Any chance we could have had some lead up to this?? Kindan has already pointed out Corvin’s loyalty. We do know that Corvin is unhappy with his father’s antics in causing accidents and preventing rescue but there is still no connection, no preparation on McCaffrey’s part, no emotion involved in the author’s statement.

C’mon McCaffrey, didn’t anybody mention that the outline needs more than a few sentences to fill it in???

All I can say is, thank god for the library. If I had actually wasted money buying these books to join the others I own, I’d’a been extremely annoyed…!

The Cover
The cover is bordered in smoky reds with a green flaming dragon in the center. The title, Dragon’s Fire is appropriate as it does focus on the hazards of mining the contemporary firestone.

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