Dragons taking off…

Dragonflight (Pern: Dragonriders of Pern, #1)
by Anne McCaffrey

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Why is this one of my favourite fantasy series of all time? Sentient dragons, talking telepathically to their riders. People fighting the good fight on dragonback. A really cool world. Entertaining story telling. This is really fun to read. Eat your heart out, Christoper Paolini!

The first 150 pages are a lot of set-up and world building. I can live with that in such a long running series. The romance is mostly non-existent. They meet, they become a pair due to external circumstances, they seem to be fond of each other eventually and maybe in love and definitely possessive.

I can‘t say how many times I have read this series. Pretty much constantly as a teenager. Unfortunately I do not have my old paperbacks anymore, I gave them all away 25 years ago, when I moved. This is the first re-read since then. And it is definitely the very first time I am reading it in the original English. And now there are some additional books that I have never read.

So, Dragonflight—The fun truly starts for me, when Robinton shows up. He is one of my favourite characters of the series. The three Harperhall books are my favourite story arc as well. But first there is this, the beginning of the Dragonriders of Pern.

I have questions now that I didn‘t ask in the early 80s, when I read this for the first time. 

Here there be slight spoilers…

One is the shaking thing. What is with that? F‘lar pretty much expects Lessa to obey him without question and likes to shake her into submission, when she doesn‘t. Ok, there is an instance of affectionate shaking as well. Whatever that is supposed to be. How Lessa didn‘t develop whiplash remains a mystery.

Everybody seems committed to not telling her anything of importance. I am not sure why they don‘t talk with each other and explain things to her like she is an adult. I guess this was McCaffrey‘s way of creating drama suspense. 

Then there is the pink elephant in the room: lack of consent. Whatever happens, takes place in the off and is not explicit or ever discussed in more depth. One presumes that consent wasn‘t given. Did it bother me as a teenager? No. 
Would it be considered rape in the present? Yes, probably. Hard to say without actually being in the scene. It does sound like it though. 
Does the character that took that action feel remorse? Yes, however he had no choice in the matter of the act. But he could have forewarned his wronged counterpart. Guilty by omission. 
Did it bother me massively in the course of reading the story now? No again. I am still debating that with myself. I guess nostalgia won. 

If this had been my first read, I might have given it three stars. Or 3.5 stars, rounded up? Anyway, nostalgia demands 4 stars, despite the above. Yes, I will read Dragonquest and The White Dragon.

5 thoughts on “Dragons taking off…

  1. I reread this in 2015 after a long time back in the 80s as a teenager. I had fond memories and wanted to find out if it still works in our times. At least for me, it does. I didn’t revisit the other volumes (yet). So, I can understand where you are coming from 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s