From the Cover:
All Kindan ever wanted was to become a Harper, singing and teaching the ballads of Pern, and he is thrilled when he becomes an Apprentice at the Harper Hall. But then he is offered the chance to attend a Hatching and succeeds in Impressing the magnificent bronze fire-lizard, Valla.
There he meets Koriana, daughter of Lord Holder Bemin of Fort Hold. She also Impresses, in her case a gold fire-lizard, and there is an instant attraction between her and Kindan. Unfortunately an Apprentice Harper is not considered a suitable consort for a Fort Holder’s daughter and they are quickly separated. Things go from bad to worse for Kindan when he is accused of starting a fire which destroys ancient and extremely precious Records. He is banished to Fort Hold in shame and dishonour, but his own worries soon pale into insignificance when a terrible plague starts to spread across Pern, killing nearly everyone infected. As it reaches Fort Hold, Kindan and the rest of Pern’s inhabitants know there very survival is in doubt.
a proper Pern novel… bodes well for future volumes - SFX on Dragonsblood
Marge Piercy wrote a poem, which I cannot remember nor track down, about how a writer only has so much creativity, so should bury poems in the garden, against the lean years.
And Anne McCaffrey was, for me, the embodiement of this poem. The Pern books, which I loved from the very first time I read Weyr Search as a short story that won the Hugo in the year of release, gradually got less and less involving and more and more formulaic.
This collaborative effort with her son, Todd (not the first nor the last!) is a true Pern book whilst also suffering from the fact that I have read so, so many Pern books. This has nothing new to offer, no real developmentof character nor a gripping story. Yet I will be getting more, and reading them. Just without the satisfaction that a really well written book gives.
Another beach / journey / quick pickup read.