Dragonsong (Harper Hall Trilogy Series #1)

( 125 )

Overview

For centuries, the world of Pern has faced a destructive force known as Thread. But the magnificent dragons who've protected this world and the men and women who ride them are dwindling.

As fewer dragons ride the winds and destruction falls from the sky, fifteen- year- old Menolly holds one dream only: to sing, play, and weave the music that comes to her so easily- she wishes to become a Harper. But despite her great talents, her father believes that a young girl is unworthy of ...

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Overview

For centuries, the world of Pern has faced a destructive force known as Thread. But the magnificent dragons who've protected this world and the men and women who ride them are dwindling.

As fewer dragons ride the winds and destruction falls from the sky, fifteen- year- old Menolly holds one dream only: to sing, play, and weave the music that comes to her so easily- she wishes to become a Harper. But despite her great talents, her father believes that a young girl is unworthy of such a respected position and forbids her to persue her dreams. Menolly runs away and happens upon nine fire lizards that could possibly save her world... and change her life forever.

On the planet Pern, after her father forbids her to indulge in music in any way, fifteen-year-old Menolly, runs away and takes shelter with the planet's fire lizards who, along with her music, open a new life for her.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
Anne McCaffrey's Harper Hall Trilogy kicks off with this riveting and poetic first installment, in which Menolly -- a gifted musician who dreams of becoming a Harper -- meets a band of fire lizards and becomes their teacher. The beginning to an entrancing fantasy series that McCaffrey fans (as well as Tamora Pierce and Marion Zimmer Bradley lovers) won't want to miss.
Children's Literature
Science Fiction and fantasy fans have long enjoyed the books by Anne McCaffrey. The trilogy "Harper Hall" has been reissued in paperback with attractive covers for readers just learning about her or for those of us who enjoy rereading a favorite tale. Menolly is the heroine is this story. She escapes from a strict home where her father has forbidden her to sing and because she runs away she has the good fortune to become friends with nine fire lizards. These creatures are relatives of dragons and much sought after. All of Menolly's dreams come true in this book—she becomes a Harper, finds a home with like-minded folks and finds true friends. The story moves at a rapid pace with plenty of danger and daring and we are always rooting for Menolly. Readers will have trouble putting this book down and then will want to read the rest of the story in the second book Dragonsinger and the conclusion of the story in Dragondrums. 2003 (orig. 1976), Aladdin/Simon & Schuster, Ages 10 to 14.
— Marilyn Courtot
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780689860089
  • Publisher: Aladdin
  • Publication date: 3/18/2003
  • Series: Dragonriders of Pern Series , #4
  • Pages: 208
  • Sales rank: 66,910
  • Age range: 10 - 14 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.20 (w) x 7.60 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Anne Inez McCaffrey (April 1, 1926–November 21, 2011) was an American-born Irish writer, best known for the Dragonriders of Pern science fiction series. Early in McCaffrey’s forty-six-year career as a writer, she became the first woman to win a Hugo Award for fiction and the first to win a Nebula Award. Her 1978 novel The White Dragon became one of the first science fiction books to appear on the New York Times bestseller list. In 1999 she was the recipient of the Margaret A. Edwards Award, honoring her lifetime contribution to writing for teens. In 2005 the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America named McCaffrey its twenty-second Grand Master, an annual award to living writers of fantasy and science fiction. She was inducted into the Science Fiction Hall of Fame in 2006.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 125 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(79)

4 Star

(34)

3 Star

(8)

2 Star

(4)

1 Star

(0)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 125 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 22, 2013

    When are we going to get these great stories (Harper Hall Trilog

    When are we going to get these great stories (Harper Hall Trilogy) in NOOK format????

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 3, 2010

    Great Book

    I had to read this book for my 7th grade Language Arts class, and it was a great book to read. The only problems were that the first chapter was confusing because of the different words and once you understand it, it is a very fascinating and interesting book to read. I would definitely read the second and third book.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 23, 2014

    This is the book that got me reading about dragons. It is a good

    This is the book that got me reading about dragons. It is a good read for beginners of Pern, allows you to be introduced but does not overwhelm you with detailarge. 

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  • Posted February 28, 2014

    A must read for Anne McCaffrey fans

    I love the build up of the story. Me illy is an awesome character.

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  • Posted December 28, 2013

    I LOVE Anne's books, just got White Dragon for my nook, cant wai

    I LOVE Anne's books, just got White Dragon for my nook, cant wait for this and the other two Harper Hall of Pern books to be nookbooks

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted November 26, 2012

    I love these books. I have read them over and over and have wor

    I love these books. I have read them over and over and have worn out three sets of paperbacks. Please put these Harper Hall books on the nook. I think they are essential to understanding the world of Pern.

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  • Posted February 26, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    wonderfully written

    A brief forward to the review: "Dragonsong" is the first book in Anne McCaffrey's Harper Hall trilogy. The series is generally catalogued as children's (at least in the nypl catalog) but is really for any readers. Like many of McCaffrey's novels, it's set in the world of Pern. I haven't read anything but this trilogy yet, but am pretty sure these novels (from the 1970s) operate as prequels to the other more adult oriented novels. Oh, and I absolutely loved the entire trilogy.

    On to the review:

    Menolly was born in the small fishing village of Half Circle Sea Hold on Pern. Despite her father's leadership position in the community, Menolly finds herself with very little freedom--especially freedom to make music, her one bliss. When Petiron, the village's old Harper, passes away Menolly's parents realize with some horror that their daughter is the only one who can take up the Harper's duties until a replacement is sent from the Harper Hall.

    Once this replacement arrives, Menolly is ordered to abandon her music (even in her head) on threat of physical harm in order to save her family and the hold from the scandal of having produced a girl Harper. Her hopes shattered, Menolly runs away from the hold and takes refuge in a beach cave where Menolly discovers a nest of the much sought after (and semi-mythical) fire lizards. After finding her new friends, things begin to look up for Menolly who realizes that anything is possible if you aren't afraid of going after what you want.

    There's more to the plot, of course, but all of that is better learned by reading the book instead of this review.

    "Dragonsong" is written in what I would call an understated style. McCaffrey isn't at pains to illustrate her talent as a writer--she knows she's good and has a story worth telling. Having never read about Pern, I wasn't sure what to expect. Despite a mildly confusing start, McCaffrey created a story here that functions as a standalone from the larger world of the Pern series. Furthermore, she also expertly builds up the landscapes and cities of Pern the better for readers to imagine them.

    The other thing that I really like about this story is that it has a fairly narrow focus. The novel centers on Menolly and her journey to the Harper Hall. There are a lot of stories out there about girls who are told they don't deserve much from life, or girls who think they can't do what they really want to do. In a way, Menolly has that problem--especially because of her parents. But she's more than that too. As the novel progresses, Menolly begins to realize with the help of her friends (fire lizard and otherwise) that she deserves better and that there is more to life than pleasing others.

    So, on the one hand we have a wonderfully written fantasy novel that is arguably the first word on Dragon stories in the genre. On the other hand we have the story of a girl finding her own way in the world as she discovers that she's a much stronger, smarter and more vibrant girl than her parents would have her believe.

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  • Posted November 23, 2011

    A Must

    I got into this series because of my dad. I really enjoyed it and I couldn't wait to get into the next one. The names are a little confusing but it gets easier. I don't see why children can't read it, it's a magical series. I recommend it to children and their parents

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  • Posted September 7, 2011

    Wonderful Book for Young Teen Girls

    I love this series, read it years ago and re-read them now as "comfort food". I just bought the series for my niece (12 years old) for Christmas. There is a strong plot with a strong female main character but no sex or unreasonable violence. I would recommend it to anyone who loves fantasy and/or needs a present for a young girl.

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  • Posted May 3, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    A Favorite in My Teens

    This was the first book in the Pern series I ever read. That series is technically science-fiction, but this book even more than the other Pern books reads like high fantasy: dragonets, bards (well, OK, harpers) Lords, etc. This coming of age tale, although directed at the young adult market, I can also tell you given my reread as an adult is definitely a story an adult can enjoy. Menolly is an appealing character that fits an often seen pattern in the genre (one that McCaffrey might have helped set). Unappreciated youngster has dreams inappropriate for a girl yet somehow wins her way in a special school where her talents shine. An entertaining read set in an enchanting world.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 25, 2010

    Good book, but there are some plot issues.

    I love all of the Pern books. I've been a fan for about 20 years, now. While Menolly is one of my favorite characters, there are some inconsistencies in plot between this book and others. Most notably that Menolly is often cited as being the first female Harper ever. Except that in Masterharper of Pern, Robinton's own mother was a Harper. Granted, this book was written 1st, so the inconsistency is actually in the other book. However, if, like me, you like to read the series in Pern's chronological order rather than the order they were written in, this is the book that you would notice the issue in. Other than that little blip, this is nearly as good as the others (I personally prefer the books that focus more on the dragons). But it was enough to make me go "huh?"

    For the record there are similar inconsistencies in history between Dragon's Flight and Moreta. But that can be easily be explained away by several centuries worth of stories getting mixed up. The inconsistency between this book and Masterharper of Pern would have been in living memory - there's really no chance that Robinton or Petiron would have forgotten Merelan.

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  • Posted March 13, 2010

    Good Read

    This was a very good read. I liked the author's style of differing viewpoints and the storyline was intriguing. I read the book because I was cast in the role of MEnolly in the play Dragonsong by Anchorage press and thought it would be more research than fun. BUt I was wrong and look forwardto reading the next two books.

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  • Posted April 11, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Hmmmm....

    This is a good series. The last book isn't that great in my opinion and the main character is switched so it is completely different that the first two. But i think this is a great read for anyone.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 5, 2007

    A reviewer

    this has to be the greatest book i have ever read in my life... i dont read at all, but when we were forced to, due to Reading Counts, i read this, and i fell in love with the series, i have also read most of this series and i love them all i would recommend this book to anybody who likes fantasy and doesnt like to read lol

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 6, 2007

    What I think about this book?

    What I think about this book is that it starts out when she goes out on her own and she winds up impressing nine dragons. She learns to live out on her own, and she learns that dragons aren't just pets, but they are friends/companions.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 5, 2006

    Yes!!!

    This is my favorite book in the whole world. The first time I read it, it really connected with me, and so I read it over and over again. By now I've gone through a couple copies, because I've read it so much. I really think this is an awesome book for anyone, and it is a great adventure. For all of those other reviews who are confused about Pern, type in Anne McCaffery. There are alot of Pern books, and even some more that aren't! Have a good read, because I know you'll enjoy it!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 23, 2005

    The story's are just so magical. . . o

    I think this series is just something that not many people knonw of. This story is a few years old, and some people think that it's old. But people fail to see that this is just like other books. The book has such a deep base that you almost don't relize it. That is what makes this book enjoyable.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 20, 2005

    Excellent!

    I love McCaffrey's series! Any good fiction writer can transport you to their world and put you alongside the action, but in her books, she not only makes it seem as if you're there, but also looking through the eyes of the main character, seeing, touching, and feeling everything they do. Overall, an outstanding book, by itself, and a great series!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 9, 2005

    hmmmm....

    we had to read this for english class. it sucked. peace out.

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 7, 2004

    fun...

    It was much different than all of the other fantasy that I've read. I liked it and all, but a few things confused me. I've read all three books and still don't understand 'Threadfall' Did somebody understand anything about Threadfall other than it was silvery rain like stuff that could be burned, came from the Red Star, drownded in water, burrowed in the ground and 'threadscored' or ate people? And why doesn't it like metel?

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