NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
Scores of dragons are dead after plague swept across the world of Pern, and now the Weyrs are struggling to rebuild before Threadfall destroys everything—and everyone—left alive. Their best hope lies with a group of new dragonriders who have volunteered to brave the dangers of an unexplored island populated by vicious wild felines and voracious tunnel-snakes to create a safe home for their young dragons, whose offspring will hopefully replenish Pern’s decimated population. But their leader, Xhinna, the first female rider of a blue dragon, faces an uphill battle to win the respect of her peers, especially after tragedy leaves the new colony reeling. The way forward seems to lie with the awesome ability of the dragons to travel through time. But that power comes with risks: By venturing into the past, Xhinna may jeopardize the very future she has sworn to save.
“Memorable characters and a good balance of individual dramas and large-scale action make this a strong addition to the Pern saga.”—Library Journal
“Longtime fans will enjoy the latest adventures of the cheerful dragonriders and their colorful mounts.”—Publishers Weekly
“McCaffrey will be remembered, rightly, as one of science fiction’s grand masters.”—Tor.com
Showing 1-1 of the 1 most recent reviews
1 . Cant wait
Posted June 27, 2012 by Mel , IndyThis book should be great. I do think it is a sad thing that Anne McCaffrey has died but hopefully her son will keep up her world of Pern with more great novels..Rest in Peace for one of the worlds greatest Sci Fi writers. Nov. 23,2011.
June 26, 2012
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Excerpt from Sky Dragons by Anne McCaffrey
A Dark Dream in Blue
This was not how it happened.
For one, the two moons were not in the sky: Belior and Timor had set long ago and it was early morning. But here, now, in her dream, the moons bathed the plain with their eerie light and awkward double shadows.
In her dream she could see under the ground. She could see tunnels and hives, teeming with life as the six-legged, slithering tunnel snakes dug their way to their prize--the dragon eggs nestled on the surface in sand-filled beds that were not nearly as safe as their guardians had believed. The dragon eggs that were the hope of Pern.
She wanted to shout, to scream a warning, but she was ghostlike, standing horrified sentinel over her sleeping form.
Above in the night sky, the Red Star pulsed malignantly far beyond the two pale moons. When the Red Star drew closer, Thread would fall.
Thread. Voracious, all-consuming. A touch of it burnt through flesh and clothing, even tough dragon-hide. It could drain a lush valley of all life in a day. Unchecked, it would consume all life on Pern. It drowned in water, froze on ice--and perished by flaming dragon's breath.
Without the dragons these eggs held, there would be too few dragons left to protect the world from Thread.
Even in her dream, Xhinna felt her blue dragon, Tazith, stir and try to follow her feelings. She turned to where he lay sprawled nearby and smiled. She was the first woman to ride blue in all memory, and as she looked at him, her heart swelled with love and pride.
Brown dragons and bronzes always chose male riders, just as the gold queen dragons chose female riders. According to Tradition, the blues and greens were also ridden only by males. But times had changed.
A sickness had risen, a sickness that killed dragons. They had fallen by the hundreds even as the first Fall of Thread in the new Third Pass required dragons to fly and flame to save Pern. It was only through the genius of Lorana that a cure had been found, created in an unprecedented cross-time collaboration with the original colonists. The price of Lorana's success had been her own queen dragon.
When a dragon died . . . "It is like having your soul ripped apart." The thought was so terrible that Xhinna whimpered. She turned in surprise to see her sleeping self whimper and then--
She was awake, shivering.
"Are you okay?" Taria asked sleepily. "You were having a nightmare."
"I'm okay," Xhinna said.
Taria wrapped her arms around her and pulled her close. "You're freezing."
"Just a bad dream."
In the morning the eggs were gone. Their shattered remains had been dumped in the sea, empty. Only twenty-three of the two hundred and fifty-three eggs had hatched; the rest had been ruptured, their contents devoured by tunnel snakes burrowing up from the ground.
This never would have happened in the high rocky Weyrs where the dragons usually lived, but here, on the uncharted plains of the Eastern Isle, the ground was too soft, the way too easy, and the tunnel snakes were too greedy.
The sun warmed her as she scanned the now-empty plain, but Xhinna shivered as she saw once again, in her memory, cluster after cluster of lifeless, dead eggs, their vitals destroyed by the voracious tunnel snakes. She remembered the desperate fight, the cries, the screams of agony, and the few--very, very few--triumphs in this one-sided disaster.
She turned as a baby dragonet gave a plaintive cry that was instantly answered by a consoling voice. Qinth, the only green to hatch, had been severely mauled by the tunnel snakes before it was freed by Jeriz--J'riz, now that he'd Impressed the grievously wounded dragon.
"It's okay, shh, little one, you'll do fine!" blond-haired Bekka said soothingly to both dragon and rider. She was small and young for a healer, but she made up for lack of stature and age with a fierce determination and a stubborn resolve never to lose a ward. Her mother was a midwife; her father had been a dragonrider, until the dragon sickness had taken his blue Serth.
If they were here, now, because of Lorana, then it was J'riz's father, Tenniz, who had set her on the way. Tenniz was one of the rare traders born with the gift of the Sight--the strange gift that gave glimpses of the future. With his Sight, Tenniz had recognized Lorana, had helped set her on the path that had led her and all the other Turns into the past and to the eastern of the two Great Isles--low-lying masses that had remained untouched by humans for hundreds of Turns.
J'riz did not have the gift of the Sight--that had gone to his younger sister, Jirana. Ten Turns was unusually young for Sight to manifest, but this adult responsibility did not prevent Jirana from being an extremely outgoing and passionate child. Xhinna loved both of them like a big sister, and the terrible plight of J'riz's green dragonet, Qinth, tore at her heart.
Despite Bekka's cheerful manner, Xhinna could think of no other dragon so horribly injured that had survived. She feared that J'riz might be a dragonrider for less than a sevenday.