Todd McCaffrey, Dragon’s Kin

Posted July 25, 2011 by Kathy Davie in

Dragon's Kin (The Dragonriders of Pern)Dragon’s Kin by Anne McCaffrey
Series: Dragonriders of Pern, 491 AL
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Sorry…I just have no enthusiasm about this book and it shows in the review…The only reason I’m giving it a 2 is…it’s Pern.

It’s 491 AL, 491 years after landing, and sixteen years before Thread is scheduled to return to Pern with the primary action taking place at Natalon’s mine. It parallels Dragonsblood and Dragon’s Fire.

The Story
The focus in this story is on the watch-whers. Most people despise them and feel they’re useless. Silstra marries Terregar. Kindan rescues Natalon’s family when something blocks the chimney in his hold. In Dragon’s Kin, the people who have the authority to change this attitude learn of their true value when Kisk rescues miners.

The Characters
Kindan is the youngest in his family and after the tragedy, Master Zist takes him in and starts his training to become a harper.

Danil is Kindan’s father and the WherHandler for Dask. Silstra is Kindan’s sister and she marries Terregar. It’s for their wedding that Dask performs his light show.

No one knows of Nuella’s existence. She’s blind and Master Natalon is terrified that she will impact badly on her siblings’ chances of marriage let alone his subordinates wondering if he’s capable of leading. Nuella is central to changing perceptions of the watch-whers. Master Zist and Kindan get a lift from Weyrleader M’tal and his dragon, Gaminth, when they go to fetch an egg from the watch-wher’s clutch.

Zenor is a contemporary of Kindan and Nuella’s. And secretly in love with Nuella. Tarik is Natalon’s uncle and appears to be extremely disgruntled. Aleesa is a WherMaster and bonded with the last surviving queen watch-wher in Pern. Trader Tarri leads trading caravans to Natalon’s Camp. Weyrleader D’gan of Telgar Weyr is another of the villains in this story.

My Take
I am so disappointed with the writing in this story. There is no subtlety, no buildup. It’s more like he’s leaping from one point in the outline to the next. Sometimes McCaffrey fills in a bit of the points…sometimes, not often. There’s no passion.

On page 33, Master Zist has just arrived, no introduction, and just like that Kindan knows this is the same boogeyman that Harper Jofri has told them of??? It’s also the day of Silstra’s wedding, and Zist has decided that Kaylek’s voice isn’t up to singing for the wedding and dragoons Kindan into it instead. Then wonder of wonders, Zist is angry because Kindan isn’t going to be perfect. I guess this might be a reasonable annoyance if Kindan had ever been trained in singing…

The Cover
The looks like Chinese mountains made of clouds with a central vertical panel of a watch-wher’s egg opening in a nest of straw. The title, Dragon’s Kin is certainly appropriate.

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