Book Review: Anne McCaffrey’s Dragonflight

Posted February 15, 2015 by Kathy Davie in Book Reviews

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

Book Review: Anne McCaffrey’s Dragonflight



Anne McCaffrey

It is part of the , series and is a fantasy, science fiction in Paperback edition that was published by Del Rey Books on April 12, 1979 and has 303 pages.

Explore it on Goodreads or Amazon.

Other books by this author which I have reviewed include The Chronicles of Pern: First Fall, The Masterharper of Pern

First in the Dragonriders of Pern fantasy (and science fiction!) series. It is, publication-wise, the first book Anne McCaffrey released. Chronologically, it falls in at fourteen.

If you’re interested, there is a chronological listing of the Pern books on my website.

My Take

Words cannot begin to explain how much I adore Anne McCaffrey’s Pern series It’s been so very long since I’ve read it, and it’s begun to prey on my mind! McCaffrey is incredible in how well she makes me see the world she has created. As for that, her worldbuilding is also incredible. The clothing, the architecture, the mores, the culture, the songs, the educational system, the planet itself and its various ecosystems! Then she adds the dragons with their particular culture and their world’s expectations. The series-wide conflict that underlies the whole.

McCaffrey makes you care for her characters, and I cry and laugh and hold my breath as I read. It’s probably a good time for me to remember and thank Dave and Gail for turning me on to this series all those decades ago, lol!

Naturally, each individual story in the series must have its own conflicts, and McCaffrey doesn’t disappoint. In Dragonflight, we’re introduced to a class of people who have fallen so far in their world’s estimation: the dragonriders. Thread, an organic-eating organism, hasn’t fallen in 400 years and most of Pern’s population doesn’t believe it will ever fall again, and they are fed up with tithing food and products to a group they see as parasites.

It’s a struggle for young F’lar to keep up his own and his wing’s spirits, to keep training them for what he believes is inevitable, to hold his temper with what he sees as misguided, nay, stupid management and the humbling of the weyr. It’s in his story that we learn so much about Pern’s past and what F’lar believes will be its future. It also introduces us to the young Lessa, Pern’s future savior.

If you enjoy fantasy, you will adore Anne McCaffrey’s Dragonriders of Pern. And if you read this from its very beginning chronologically, you’ll understand why I include science fiction as part of its genre.

The Characters

I don’t plan on my usual litany of characters, instead I’ll hit the highlights.

Ruatha Hold
Lessa is of the Blood, part of the Ruathan bloodline, but she hides herself as a filthy, ancient servant while she plots to overthrow the invader who slew her entire family. Lord Fax is a contemptible conqueror who treats everyone around him with a brutal viciousness. Lady Gemma is his current wife, heavily pregnant. Jaxom is the boy she will bear.

Benden Weyr
The Weyrs were once six-strong, but 400 years ago, five of the Weyrs were suddenly abandoned and no one had any idea what happened.

F’lar is one of the Benden wingleaders. His brother, F’nor, believes fully in F’lar, and between them, their wing is the most efficient and dedicated in their practice games.

R’gul is the current Weyrleader; his bronze dragon flew Jora’s golden queen in a mating ritual. It’s tradition that whatever bronze catches and mates with the senior golden queen becomes that Weyr’s leader. Unfortunately, R’gul is quite hidebound.

The Harper Hall
Robinton is the Masterharper of Pern.

The Cover and Title

The cover has a green sky of a background with a highlit red planet and the Benden mountain range below. It’s the golden Ramoth, with Lessa on her back, flying free.

No, kidding, Dragonflight, for it’s Ramoth’s mating flight that finds F’lar finally in charge as well as Lessa and Ramoth’s heroic flight into the past that saves Pern.