Tuesday, 12 November 2013

Dragonsdawn by Anne McCaffrey

Right, so I liked what I saw when I dipped into the world of Pern a couple of times previously. So I wanted to go to the beginning of the story and find out how it all began. Now I realise this is not the book she wrote first, it came much later, and some readers caution against beginning here. Ah well. It certainly makes a great introduction.

It begins aboard a spaceship in its final weeks of travel to a new home. There are plenty of personal threads and wider political issues as the cram-packed ship prepares to land. Chronicles follow of the first years of settling in, of new discoveries and homemaking on a brand new planet.

Then comes a threat from space: a deadly dangerous bacterial life form that destroys everything organic it falls on. Witness the battle as the people fight for their settlements and find ways to stay safe – including the daring genetic engineering of a local lizard into what we know as dragons.

Many of the cultural practices seen in later books are shown here at their birth. Names of first colonists become names of settlements. I loved following the journey of Irish Sean and Sorka in particular, from their childhood to becoming the first Dragonriders.

Great read. I’ll be returning to Pern again soon.
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