Flights of Fantasy

Thursday, December 16, 2004

Dragon’s Kin - Anne and Todd McCaffrey

Dragon's Kin - Anne and Todd McCaffreyCategory: Fantasy.

Since Anne McCaffrey is one of my favourite authors (if pushed I may even list her in my top three) I fully expected to enjoy this book, and I did. I have to say I couldn’t detect any other influence in this book. If Todd’s involvement was supposed to be invisible then it was a success.

However I have to say (much as I hate to) that although I enjoyed reading it, and romped my way through it in a day, there was nothing spectacular about it. That’s not to say it’s not a good story. It is. But there was nothing that made me ooh, or ahh, or get really impatient and want to turn the page before I’d finished reading the current one.

The story is set on Pern, her world of dragons and dragonriders and thread. If you haven’t read any of her books before then start with Dragonflight. This book is set hundreds of years before Dragonflight at a time when the miners on Pern have pretty much exhausted their resources available from open-cast mining and have had to rediscover the art of shaft mining. This is not a story about the Dragonriders of Pern but about the 'common' people.

The story follows the fate of Kindan, a youth living with his family in a new mining camp trying to prove itself worthy of becoming a full mine. Kindan’s father is the handler of the mines’ watch-wher who assists in the mine as a form of early warning system for pockets of gas and in rescuing miners caught in cave-ins.

Kindan begins to train as a harper, but after a terrible disaster in the mine he is chosen to raise and train the camps’ new watch-wher. With the assistance of the camps’ harper, his friends and a mysterious girl called Nuella, he undertakes this task. Along the way he makes some interesting discoveries about the nature of the watch-whers, the value of friendships and that strength, determination and allies can be found in many places.

Alongside the basic story there are lessons for the reader in looking for the hidden depths in people. That judgements made about a person based solely on you own interactions with that person can be very narrow-minded, it pays to observe how a person interacts with others as well.

Anne McCaffrey is a great writer; this is a good book, just not one of her best.

Rating: 6/10


  • The sad thing about Pern books is that they have become so silly. I've bought & given away countless copies of the first 2 trilogies. (Dragonriders & Harper Hall) But while it was nice to have the story wrapped up with Renegades-Weyrs, I found that my "suspension of disbelief" weighed more and more heavily. Skies of Pern was a total let-down. I decided no more hardback Pern. So, I'll either get this one from the library or look for it in paperback.

    By Blogger Carson, at 3:50 pm  

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