Anne McCaffrey: Dragonquest

Dragonquest (Dragonriders of Pern #2)
by Anne McCaffrey
(fantasy, dragons)

This second book in the Dragonriders of Pern series is, I feel, equally as good as the first. It has all the same style drama and romance and humor, just sometimes focused on different characters. It follows the first book’s plot to a logical place – though not a conclusion. This series does have (in my opinion) a conclusion (even though books are still being written in the world, I feel they are a separate series), and that is still a long time coming. That said, you’re not left with an annoying cliffhanger: the book wraps itself up nicely, even while leaving series items obvious for future books.

In some respects I’ve always like this book more than the first. I think part of that is because the dragon-speak is consistent throughout. The first book suffers from – if anything – a discrepancy in how the dragons talked in McCaffrey’s original short story, and how their speech evolved later when the story became a book. (It went from descriptions of what they said, to italicized dialogue.) This isn’t anything that harms the first book, but it is noticeable. And when you like the dragons’ lines as much as the humans’, as I do, you miss that style in the first bit of the first book.

It’s also probable that I enjoyed DRAGONQUEST more than DRAGONFLIGHT when I was younger because I’ve always associated more with Brekke than any of the characters in Pern. (I wanted to associate with Menolly, but always felt she was more musically talented than I. And don’t argue, Dad: I may have a good voice and have been decent on the piano when I was taking lessons, but that’s more learned skill than raw talent.) Anyway, since Brekke features heavily in this second book in the series, it’s logical that I would like it.

Anyway, like DRAGONFLIGHT, if you are a lover of epic fantasy and dragons and haven’t read this series, you need to. It is a classic, and remains as timely today as it was when it was written.

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