Anne McCaffrey's enchanting tales of Pern, with all their colorful dragons and fantastic characters, have won her millions of fans around the world. The winner of the Hugo and Nebula Award, she is one of the best-loved writers in all of fantasy literature. Dragonsong is the spellbinding tale of Menolly of Half Circle Hold, a brave young girl who flees her seaside village and discovers the legendary fire lizards of Pern.
Menolly has returned home and entered the Harper Hall. But her entry into the Hall proves the beginning of more troubles, and the Master Harper gives her a difficult time because she is a girl.
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As Menolly begins to despair, she finds help in the shape of nine bright allies. When the voice of Piemur, an apprentice at Harper Hall, changes, he has to leave the companionship of Master Shonagar behind. Menolly's father has a duty to fulfill in the education of the sea hold's children so he reluctantly agrees to let Menolly assume that responsibility temporarily until the new Harper arrives. Menolly instructs the children carefully as her parents expect her to.
But her music calls to her incessantly and she can't contain herself completely. She composes and writes a song one afternoon in the classroom after the children have left to do their chores. Unfortunately, her father happens to be passing by in the hall, doesn't recognize the tune, and proceeds to beat Menolly for the audacity of breaking his commandment of "no tuning. She gathers up some food and clothes and escapes through the front door of the sea hold, leaving it unlocked and open during a Fall something she had forgot about in her haste to leave.
A Fall is the deadly rain from the sky actually space that contains a virulent organism that east all things organic in seconds. Only stone, metal or water can protect you from it. The Dragonriders of Pern fly to fight the menace before it can reach the ground, but if the terrain is rocky or watery, they will let it fall. Menolly is trapped on the beach and squirms her way into a small cave where a fire lizard queen and her eggs are hatching.
As they hatch, the hungry fire lizards leave the cave only to be destroyed by the Fall outside. Menolly is desparate to save them, so starts feeding them from her supplies. In the end, she saves nine fire lizards and soon discovers that like Dragons, they now "look" to her. Menolly survives for a time on her own, but again is caught out in a Fall and tries to outrun the leading edge.
A Dragonrider spots her, thinking she's a boy because she is very tall and lanky, scoops her up and takes her back to the Weir. From that point forward, Menolly's life changes, for the better. Menolly still struggles and is very unsure of herself. Eventually, those around her that care and befriend her draw her out from her harden shell and she eventually finds herself a student in the Harper Hall.
This is a great coming of age tale. There is nothing like snuggling under the covers with one of your favorite books on a rainy day. I love this book, unconditionally, so don't expect a fair review from me. The book was written for an arguably younger audience than any other set of books in McCaffrey's Pern series. There is no sex, minimal violence, the readi There is nothing like snuggling under the covers with one of your favorite books on a rainy day.
There is no sex, minimal violence, the reading level is definitly geared toward middleschoolers not in a condescending way though , and the main characters are in their teens.
Still, its a necessary part of the Pernverse for any enthusiast. The characters are enjoyable, Harper Hall is a favorite location of mine, everyone wants a firelizard after reading this story, and its a quick but excellent read. I think it says something that I have read this book over a dozen times, but still find myself longing to relive the events therein. Do yourself a favor if its raining out, curl up with any of your favorite books, but I do hope you'll give this one a try.
Read as book of in celebration of being able to read at all after a few trying years of little time for literature The first Anne McCaffrey I ever read, and still a favorite. Menolly is a great character, and her adventures are timeless and instantly engaging. Aug 08, bella rated it it was amazing.
Dragonsong: Harper Hall Trilogy, Volume 1
I'm actually not sure I can explain my love for this book but I'm going to try. I've been a little disgruntled with the fantasy genre especially ya fantasy. I'm not a fan of the over emergence of vampires, fairies and angels. The Game of Thrones helped redeem adult fantasy for me and Dragonsong has totally redeemed my love of ya fantasy.
I never picked up this series as a teen and I wish I had. Dragonsong is the first book in the Harper Hall trilogy and the first Dragonriders of Pern book that I've read. It set around Menolly , who lives in the Sea Hold. She has an extraordinary musical ability, but can never dream of being a Harper because Harpers are always boys. After a accident renders Menolly unable to play music, she runs away from the oppressive Sea Hold and discovers the fire lizards and sets the course for an adventure that will bring her close to the dragons she sings about.
Despite her oppressive surroundings she finds ways to be positive, like secretly tuning and singing. I felt like I was taking the journey with Menolly. I felt like crying when her hand was injured and she couldn't play. I rejoiced with her when she left the hold, even though she didn't know what the outcome would be.
I love the world of Pern that Anne McCaffrey as created. It's pure escapism for me. I got caught up in the world and didn't want to leave. Thankfully there are plenty of Pern novels to discover and I will be diving into Dragonsinger next. I am a little confused about the order in which I have to read the books of this series because there are different approaches. I chose the order in which they were released. So I have to break the Dragonriders of Pern trilogy to begin this. In the Harper Hall trilogy we are at the same time as the previous book of the series but we follow a different story.
The protagonist of this story is the sweet and sensitive Menolly who goes against the strict conservative beliefs of the region that was bor I am a little confused about the order in which I have to read the books of this series because there are different approaches. The protagonist of this story is the sweet and sensitive Menolly who goes against the strict conservative beliefs of the region that was born expressing her love for music, which in their opinion is a purely male affair. That is why she knows the strong disapproval of hers that reaches the limits of rejection.
Disappointed seeks love and appreciation somewhere and finds them in the strangest place. It is the beginning of a very moving, sensitive and emotional story, written in a beautiful way that makes the reader feel all the emotions of the heroine on her journey. A book that really touched me and from now on will have a special place in my heart. This was good, but not great. If the book was any longer I might not have felt the need to finish it, but it was just the right combination of length and interesting to make me want to know how it all turned out for the protagonist. The world Anne Mccaffrey created is intriguing, but other than that there was not much happening.
In saying that, the second half was much better than the first, and I am almost tempted to carry on with the series, but not sure if I will as there are so many other boo This was good, but not great. In saying that, the second half was much better than the first, and I am almost tempted to carry on with the series, but not sure if I will as there are so many other books clamouring for my attention. Aug 20, Erica rated it it was amazing Shelves: Dragons were my ponies, Koivu.
Oct 09, Mike the Paladin rated it really liked it Shelves: I read these later than the first 3 Dragon books but I enjoyed them. A little "younger" audiance in mind here but a nice read. I didn't particularly enjoy this book, but I don't think it was really the book's fault. I had previously read one short story in the Pern series, and it was intriguing enough for me to buy this book for 50 cents. But I didn't realize that not only was this the third book in the overall Pern series, it was the first book in the Harper Hall trilogy.
Reading it, I was like, "Menolly who? Constrictive gender roles, whatever. What th I didn't particularly enjoy this book, but I don't think it was really the book's fault. What the eff are those?
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If you want dragons, go to the Dragonrider trilogy, not the Harper Hall trilogy. Anyway, the book is decent. If you like stories where oppressed year-old girls rebel against constrictive societies and rise to success in male-dominated professions, you'll probably like this. I'm kind of sick of them, so I wasn't that into it myself. Mar 26, Kent rated it it was ok Shelves: Alien prejudice is a favorite trope for sci-fi fantasy writers. Presumably, reading about strange discrimination teaches us that all discrimination is strange. Thoughtful writers like Iain Banks can use alien prejudice to comment on the dynamics of power and on cultural relativity.
That makes for an interesting read.
In Dragonsong, Anne McCaffrey has done something else entirely. It turns out that a main character who goes against the fake cultural grain can be two things simultaneously: And so we have Menolly, the girl who is really good at music, but girls aren't supposed to be musicians don'tcha know, so shut up Menolly and go chop vegetables. Does Menolly in any way subvert our expectations of what a female fantasy character should be?
She's innocent, artistic, the forest creatures love her. She's basically Snow White. This is a story of It Gets Better--Menolly goes from a prejudiced society to one that appreciates her for what she is. That's good, and it does get better, kids--even if you don't conform to bigoted Western cultural expectations. Also, this is some bland-ass prose. Apr 23, Cecelia rated it really liked it. I went through both. However, unlike horses, my love of dragons and dragon-lore has lasted well into adulthood.
Wrede and Anne McCaffrey. The story follows gifted musician Menolly, youngest daughter of the head of fishing-centric Half Circle Hold, as she struggles against the restrictions of Hold life and traditions that state that women cannot be Harpers. The injustice finally becomes too much and Menolly flees, only to discover a nest of fire lizards, a new life, and a destiny that will take her far from anything she has ever known.
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I must have gotten it at a Scholastic book sale or similar, because I distinctly remember that I bought it because: And then, after I was swept into the world of Pern and dragons and fire lizards, I discovered it was the first in a trilogy and had to read the next two immediately. Thank goodness for libraries. The main thing I remember feeling when I read this as a child was just how unfair life was for Menolly. Rereading it now as an adult I still feel the injustice of her situation, even to the point of tears — but it is tempered now with knowledge.
Her family forbids her musical tinkering not solely out of spite, as I thought when I was younger, but out of fear. And it is that attitude that eventually forces her flight into the unknown. Of course, that flight is what saves Menolly, but it also breaks her spirit and effectively cuts her off from the past. This is one of the clearest examples I can think of in fantasy and science fiction of leaving the past and pushing into the future. But I mentioned dragons! May 26, Alethea A rated it it was amazing.
I just reread this for the first time in 17 years I love this trilogy so much! Dragonsong serves both as an introduction for young adult readers to the Dragonrider series, an examination of gender roles and tradition in their society and perhaps in ours , as well as a I just reread this for the first time in 17 years Dragonsong serves both as an introduction for young adult readers to the Dragonrider series, an examination of gender roles and tradition in their society and perhaps in ours , as well as a loving celebration of music and poetry.
It is followed by Dragonsinger and Dragondrums. New readers may take some effort to adjust to McCaffery's Pern dialect and the strange apostrophied names of the male Dragonriders, but this gets easier with time and is an excellent language learning tool. Readers may learn to pick up on implied meanings, for example: Solid storytelling is made even more memorable by vivid views of the landscape of the planet, the social order and a brief history of Pern, and dazzling descriptions of the fanciful wildlife, including dragons and fire lizards.
This story will captivate and delight even the most reluctant reader. Recently engaged with question "What is your favorite fantasy? The Harper Hall series is a favorite. Would like to re-read Wrede. The character McCaffrey created for her Dragon song was a favorite Robin Hobb's thinner books.
For me, a fun read, and reread, and a chance to see whether YA or SF copies got borrowed more. At what age do the YA readers start borrowing from the SF? Keep them away from Terry Goodkind, especially if they are home schooled. McCaffrey's love for music shines through. Dragons and music on a different planet, with a likeable heroine to boot! Where has this book been all my life? I can't wait to read more. So Menolly runs away, taking shelter in a cave by the sea. Miraculously, she happens upon nine fire lizards that could possibly save her world You read this over an average of words per minute.
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