I screwed up with Sharra’s name…
It’s 2552 AL, 2,552 years After Landing; a few years after Robinton’s death and AIVAS’ shutting down.
One of Robinton’s kidnappers escapes his prison intent upon finding like-minded followers who wish to return Pern to its traditions. AIVAS is Abomination and every change brought about by it must be destroyed even as the dragonriders of Pern look toward the end of this Pass when there will no longer be Thread to fight. The dragonriders are looking to the future, considering what skills they can learn, what careers they can embrace—although F’lar doesn’t seem interested in seeing beyond the end of this Pass!
The majority of Pern is embracing these new changes from Aivas even as the traditionalists are fighting against them using every disaster as proof that changing the path of the Red Star can only bring greater tragedies down upon their planet. They hate the improvements made in medical care. They despise the new glass and printing press. When the latest invasion from the stars devastates the coastlines of Pern, the Abominators twist its arrival as due to the interference with the Red Star while the dragonriders end up creating a whole new crafthall with a better future for them.
The two main characters in Skies of Pern are F’lessan, bronze rider of Golanth, son of Less and F’lar, a wingleader at Benden, and Tai, a green rider of Zaranth from Monaco as F’lessan pursues Tai romantically. Zaranth plays a very important role as she reveals the hidden talent Aivas had been expecting and thereby saving Golanth and impressing Ramoth. Both F’lessan and Tai are fascinated by astronomy and the telescope at Honshu receives a lot of attention.
Lessa and F’lar were the original characters from the initial story McCaffrey created along with their dragons, Ramoth and Mnementh. Piemur’s place as the Harper Hall’s spy is taken by Pinch with just as much success. Toric has become worse while Jaxom, Ruth, and Sharra are content. Lytol, Wansor, D’ram, and Master Idarolam are still here in various capacities while Sebell is still the Masterharper married to Mennolly with her fire lizards.
F’lessan’s use of “green rider” as an endearment is rather awkward. I felt he could have come up with a much more friendly, if not loving, reference to Tai. McCaffrey’s “battle cry” for the Abominators is either unbelievable for its stupidity or all too believable…for its stupidity!
I love that F’lessan plans to take over Honshu as his home and that he’s trying to pull together its history with Kenjo Fusaiyuki and Stev Kimmer.
It’s odd as The Skies of Pern has a lot going on but the drama level seems fairly even.
The cover is unexpectedly white with a pale blue striped center and a golden dragon wheeling in the center. The title, The Skies of Pern is so very appropriate as the sky is everything in this story.