Summary and book reviews of The Masterharper of Pern by Anne McCaffrey

The Masterharper of Pern

By Anne McCaffrey

The Masterharper of Pern
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  • Hardcover: Jan 1998,
    430 pages.
    Paperback: Jan 1999,
    422 pages.

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Book Summary

Pern: a beautiful world colonized by humans, terrorized by the deadly spores called Thread, and defended by magnificent flying dragons. Anne McCaffrey's bestselling tales of this planet have yielded a multitude of unforgettable characters. And now, after years of urging by devoted readers, one of the most popular denizens of Pern takes center stage in a novel that chronicles his extraordinary life.

Along with the dragonriders, perhaps none are so revered on Pern as the harpers, whose songs record history, warn of the coming of Thread, and prepare Pern's people for the future. And no one is more influential than the Masterharper of Pern. The son of renowned composer Petiron and gifted singer Merelan, Robinton is a prodigy from birth and enjoys a special rapport with the telepathic dragons. But it is a time when Thread has not been a threat for centuries, the harpers have fallen into disfavor, and one despotic man is plotting to take over Pern. In this climate of unrest, Robinton will come into his own . . . driven by his belief in music, in the dragons, and in the salvation of his beloved Pern.

Chapter One

His parents were busy packing for their trip to Nerat, so Robinton had been told to go outside and play. He always missed his mother, but it would be nice to stay with Kubisa and Lina, where he could sing and play his pipe or his drum without worrying about annoying his father. Now it was his turn to hop-it without smudging the chalk lines on the flags, and his attention was utterly focused on the movement of his feet--until Libby made him miss the longest hop by suddenly pointing skyward in astonishment.

"Oh, look, Robie!" she cried.

"That's not fair..."

His complaint died as he realized that the dragons soaring above were coming closer to the Harper Hall, rather than the Hold, where they usually landed. Half a wing of dragons--six of them. As they swept closer, backwinging, their hind legs stretching downward to land in the Harper Hall quadrangle, Robie, Libby, and Lexey...

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Reviews

Media Reviews
Kirkus Reviews

Covers well-trodden ground in more detail than hitherto; presumably, most dragonfans will find it satisfying enough.

School Library Journal

This is McCaffrey at her best, combining excellent writing with vivid settings and detailed, fully fleshed-out characters. The book would be best read after Dragonflight (1986) and Dragonquest (1979, both Ballantine), but can stand alone.

VOYA - Amanda Lenhart

Those who have not read her other work will enjoy this one more if it is not their entry point into the series. Ideally, it should be read after the Dragonsong trilogy, though any of McCaffrey's early Pern books like Dragonflight (Ballantine, 1968) or Dragonquest (Ballantine, 1971) will work as well. Most of all, this book is fun. It is an enveloping work that transports the reader to another place without numbing the mind with formulaic, hacked-out prose.

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