This is the origin story of the ballad of Moreta‘s Ride, known from the books of the main timeline. An epidemic has hit Pern, the death toll is high. The search for a cure if frantic.
I think I have read this book maybe once, back in the late 80s or 90s. Back then I definitely didn‘t pick up on all those gay dragonriders or the family dynamics in the Weyrs. This was first published in 1983 and you can tell that McCaffrey evolved somewhat since the publication of the first book of this series in 1968, Dragonflight.
I really enjoyed this. The story flowed nicely, the upbeat beginning at the Gather festival was a good contrast to the later devastation. I liked the relaxed and open attitude towards sex—I don‘t mean that there was a lo of it, but rather that it was portrayed in a very mature fashion, including the accompanying emotions. No eye-roll inducing soppyness and angst, as so often happens in specfic. There are some silly political shenanigans and some of the antagonists are a bit less well fleshed out than the main characters. The personal development of Moreta and Alessan throughout the epidemic was well done. Relationships between rider and dragon are maybe explored a bit more deeply.
And knowing what was coming at the end did not help one little bit. I was ugly crying.
I am deleting, as I progress through my re-reads. For now in publication order. However, as the books are still surprisingly pricey and I need to buy them all again, I went with a collection of three novels that follow chronologically (On Dragonwings)… with the re-reads I am not too fussed about the order, so I will diverge where it seems practical…
Publication Order — main novels
* 1984 – Nerilka’s Story
* 1989 – The Renegades of Pern
* 1991 – All The Weyrs of Pern
* 1994 – The Dolphins of Pern
* 1998 – The Masterharper of Pern
* 2001 – The Skies of Pern
* 2003 – Dragon’s Kin
* 2005 – Dragonsblood
* 2006 – Dragon’s Fire
* 2007 – Dragon Harper
* 2008 – Dragonheart
* 2010 – Dragongirl
* 2011 – Dragon’s Time
* 2012 – Sky Dragons