Dragon's Kin (Dragonriders of Pern Series #17) (Turtleback School & Library Binding Edition)

Dragon's Kin (Dragonriders of Pern Series #17) (Turtleback School & Library Binding Edition)

by Anne McCaffrey, Todd J. McCaffrey
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Hardcover(Library Binding - THIS EDITION IS INTENDED FOR USE IN SCHOOLS AND LIBRARIES ONLY)

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Overview

Dragon's Kin (Dragonriders of Pern Series #17) (Turtleback School & Library Binding Edition) by Anne McCaffrey, Todd J. McCaffrey

Beginning with the classic Dragonriders of Pern, Anne McCaffrey has created a complex, endlessly fascinating world uniting humans and great telepathic dragons. Millions of devoted readers have soared on the glittering wings of Anne’s imagination, following book by book the evolution of one of science fiction’s most beloved and honored series. Now, for the first time, Anne has invited another writer to join her in the skies of Pern, a writer with an intimate knowledge of Pern and its history: her son, Todd.

DRAGON’S KIN

Young Kindan has no expectations other than joining his father in the mines of Camp Natalon, a coal mining settlement struggling to turn a profit far from the great Holds where the presence of dragons and their riders means safety and civilization. Mining is fraught with danger. Fortunately, the camp has a watch-wher, a creature distantly related to dragons and uniquely suited to specialized work in the dark, cold mineshafts. Kindan’s father is the watch-wher’s handler, and his son sometimes helps him out. But even that important job promises no opportunity outside the mine.

Then disaster strikes. In one terrible instant, Kindan loses his family and the camp loses its watch-wher. Fathers are replaced by sons in the mine–except for Kindan, who is taken in by the camp’s new Harper. Grieving, Kindan finds a measure of solace in a burgeoning musical talent . . . and in a new friendship with Nuella, a mysterious girl no one seems to know exists. It is Nuella who assists Kindan when he is selected to hatch and train a new watch-wher, a job that forces him to give up his dream of becoming a Harper; and it is Nuella who helps him give new meaning to his life.

Meanwhile, sparked by the tragedy, long-simmering tensions are dividing the camp. Far below the surface, a group of resentful miners hides a deadly secret. As warring factions threaten to explode, Nuella and Kindan begin to discover unknown talents in the misunderstood watch-wher–talents that could very well save an entire Hold. During their time teaching the watch-wher, the two learn some things themselves: that even a seemingly impossible dream is never completely out of reach . . . and that light can be found even in darkness.

From the Hardcover edition.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781417737680
Publisher: Turtleback Books
Publication date: 12/28/2004
Series: Dragonriders of Pern Series , #17
Edition description: THIS EDITION IS INTENDED FOR USE IN SCHOOLS AND LIBRARIES ONLY
Pages: 298
Product dimensions: 4.25(w) x (h) x 1.00(d)
Age Range: 14 - 18 Years

About the Author

Anne McCaffrey was born in Cambridge, Massachusetts. She graduated cum laude from Radcliffe College, majoring in Slavonic languages and literatures. A prolific bestselling author, McCaffrey is best known for her handling of broad themes and the worlds of her imagination, particularly in her tales of the Talents and the novels about the Dragonriders of Pern. McCaffrey lives in a house of her own design, Dragonhold-Underhill, in County Wicklow, Ireland. Visit the author’s Web site at www.annemccaffrey.org.

Todd McCaffrey, Anne’s son, is a computer engineer living in Los Angeles. He is currently working on a solo Dragonriders of Pern novel, Dragonsblood.

From the Hardcover edition.

Read an Excerpt

CHAPTER I

In early morning light I see, A distant dragon come to me.

Kindan was so excited that he practically bounced as he ran up to the heights where Camp Natalon kept its drum, fire beacon, and watch.

“They’re here! They’re here!” Zenor shouted down at him. Needing no further urging, Kindan put on an extra burst of speed.

Breathless, he joined his friend on the peak where they kept the watch. Looking down at the valley, he could plainly see the large drays rolling ponderously up toward the main camp. Leading them were the smaller, but bright and cheerfully painted domicile wagons owned by the caravanners.

From the watch heights, not only could he see all the way across the lake to the bend where the trail turned out of sight, but he could also see the fields on the far side of the lake, which had just been cleared, ready for their first planting of crops. Closer in, he could see where the trail forked, the more heavily traveled way heading up to the depot where the mined and bagged coal was stored, the lighter way leading toward the miners’ houses on the near side of the lake.

Most of the houses were in three rows arranged in a U shape around a central square. The open, northern end of the U faced the road. It was there that smaller spice gardens had been planted. And it was in front of those, closer to the main square, that wedding preparations were in progress—for Kindan’s own sister’s wedding.

None of those houses were “proper” houses, built to withstand Threadfall. But Threadfall was a long way off—another sixteen Turns—and the miners were glad to have the temporary comfort of their own housing, convenient to the new mine.

Midway from the square to the hill was a separate house and a large shed. The house was Kindan’s home and the shed housed Dask, the camp’s sole remaining watch-wher. Dask was bonded to Kindan’s father, Danil.

Hidden from the watch point by the bend of the hill was a much larger and sturdier dwelling—the full stone hold of Natalon, the head Miner in the camp. North of it, separated by a walled-in herb garden, was a smaller but almost as well-built dwelling, the home of the camp’s Harper.

Just beyond the Harper’s dwelling—the edge of which was visible from the lookout—the hillside, a spur from the western mountain, turned abruptly and the plain in front of it rose toward the peak of the mountain, with another spur about two kilometers distant forming a valley. Two hundred meters from the bend and a hundred meters west of the lookout was the entrance to the mine.

The boys knew the valley like the backs of their hands, even though it was changing daily and Kindan had been there only six months himself. They paid no attention to the view. Today, not even the novelty of the wedding preparations interested them: The two boys had eyes only for the trader caravan winding its way around the lake below them.

“Where’s Terregar?” Zenor asked. “Can you see him?”

Kindan squinted and shaded his eyes against the sun with his hand, but mostly for show. The distance was far too great to make out one person in the whole caravan.

“I don’t know,” he answered irritably. “I’m sure he’s down there somewhere.”

Zenor laughed. “Well, he’d better be, or your Sis will kill him.”

Kindan favored this comment with a glare. “Hadn’t you better get back on down and tell Natalon?” he asked.

“Me?” Zenor replied. “I’m on watch, not a runner.”

“Shards!” Kindan groaned. “I’m all out of breath, Zenor.” He added in a lower tone, “And besides, you know how much Natalon wants to hear this news.”

Zenor’s eyes widened. “Oh, yeah, I do! Everyone knows that he was hoping your Sis would stay at the Camp.”

“Right,” Kindan agreed. “So just imagine how mad he’ll be at hearing about it from me.”

“Ah, come on, Kindan,” Zenor replied. “There’s good news with the bad—that’s a whole caravan approaching, not just a wedding.”

“Which he has to host,” Kindan snapped back. He sighed. “Well, if you insist, I’ll go back down.” He paused dramatically, eyeing his smaller friend. “But Sis said that I’ve got to wash Dask tonight.”

Zenor’s eyes narrowed as he considered this. “You mean, if I do the running, you’ll let me help wash the watch-wher?”

Kindan grinned. “Exactly!”

“You would?” Zenor repeated hopefully. “Your dad won’t mind?”

Kindan shook his head. “Not if he doesn’t find out, he won’t.”

The added enticement of doing something unsanctioned brought a gleam to Zenor’s eyes. “All right, I’ll do it.”

“Great.”

“Of course, washing a watch-wher’s not the same as oiling a dragon,” Zenor went on. The thought of Impressing a dragon, of becoming telepathically linked with one of Pern’s great fire-breathing defenders, was the secret wish of every child on Pern. But dragons seemed to prefer the children of the Weyr: Only a few riders were chosen from the Holds and Crafts. And no dragon had ever visited Camp Natalon.

“You know,” Zenor continued, “I saw them.”

Everyone in Camp Natalon knew that Zenor had seen dragons; it was his favorite tale. Kindan suppressed a groan. Instead, he made encouraging noises while hoping that Zenor wouldn’t dawdle too much longer or Natalon would be wondering at the speed of his runner—and might remember who it was.

“They were so beautiful! A perfect V formation. Way up high. You could see them: bronze, brown, blue, green . . .” Zenor’s voice faded as he recalled the memory. “And they looked so soft—”

“Soft?” Kindan interrupted, his tone full of disbelief. “How could they look soft?”

“Well, they did! Not like your father’s watch-wher.”

Kindan, feeling anger on Dask’s behalf, stomped firmly on his emotion, remembering that he still wanted Zenor to run for him.

“Is the caravan getting closer?” he asked, hinting broadly.

Zenor looked, nodded, and sprinted away from the watch point. “You won’t forget, will you?” he called back over his shoulder.

“Never!” Kindan replied. He was delighted at the thought of help with what he was certain was going to be a particularly thorough bathing of the coal mine’s only watch-wher, the night before a major wedding.

At the bottom of the hillside, after his long, warm scramble down, Zenor paused and looked back up to where Kindan was now standing watch. It was warmer in the valley and the air was thicker, partly from the moisture in the fields, and partly from the smoke already beginning to rise from the Camp’s fires. Catching his breath, he turned to search for Miner Natalon. He steered for the largest knot of people he could find, figuring that the Camp’s leader would be there. He was right.

Natalon was a rangy sort of a man who stood taller than the average. Zenor’s father, Talmaric, had called Natalon a “youngster” once, but only in a low voice. After hearing that, Zenor had tried to imagine Natalon as young but couldn’t. Even though Talmaric was five Turns older than Natalon, Natalon’s twenty-six Turns might have been a full hundred when compared to Zenor’s meager ten.

Zenor considered calling out, but there was still a lot of confusion over the right title for Natalon. He’d be “Lord Natalon” if the Camp proved itself and became a proper Mine but that was still to happen and no one quite knew how to address him now. Zenor opted for worming through the crowd and grabbing at Natalon’s sleeve.

Miner Natalon was not pleased to have someone yank on his sleeve in the middle of an argument. He looked down and saw the sweat-stained face of Talmaric’s son but couldn’t remember the child’s name. It had been so much easier six months earlier, when there’d only been himself and a few other miners seeking out a new seam of coal. But finding that seam, and still others after it, had been exactly what Natalon had hoped for—to start a Camp and prove it into a Mine.

Talmaric’s son yanked again. “Yes?” Natalon said.

“The caravan’s approaching, sir,” Zenor said, hoping that “sir” would not affront the Camp’s head miner.

“How soon, lad? Don’t you know how to make a proper report?” a querulous voice barked above Zenor’s ears. He turned and saw that the speaker was Tarik, Natalon’s uncle. Zenor had had several encounters with Tarik’s son, Cristov, and still bore bruises from the last meeting.

Rumor had it that Tarik was furious that Crom Hold’s MasterMiner hadn’t put him in charge of seeking out new coal. Another rumor, whispered quietly among only a few of the Camp’s boys, was that Tarik was doing everything in his power to prove that Natalon was unsuited to run the Camp and that he, Tarik, should be placed in charge. The last set of bruises Zenor had got from Cristov were the result of an ill-placed comment about Cristov’s father.

“How long until they arrive, Zenor?” a kinder voice asked. It was Danil, Kindan’s father, and the partner of the Camp’s only surviving watch-wher.

“I spotted them at the head of the valley,” Zenor replied. “I imagine it’ll be four, maybe six hours until they reach the camp.”

“They’d get here faster if the roadway were properly lined,” Tarik growled, casting a reproving glare at Natalon.

From the Hardcover edition.

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Dragon's Kin (Dragonriders of Pern Series #17) 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 70 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Holy cow. I mean, honestly. You can be a fan of the Pern novels without throwing a hissy fit because this particular book was not so focused on dragons you could count the flakes on a poorly oiled hide. For myself, I loved this book. It's a reminder that not every man, woman, and child on Pern is a dragonrider. They cant be. And the people of Pern rely on miners, and crafters, just as much as they do the dragonriders. And since Lessa, WEYRWOMAN OF ALL WEYRWOMEN, was friends with a watchweyr, and hid in its den, I think people should take a second look. The watchweyrs are there for a reason, and there is a reason this book was written. After all... why else would there have been so much controversy about the watchweyrs when dragons were first being engineered...
Guest More than 1 year ago
Loved it! It's great to know that we can continue to read about Pernese population. Though the story starts out sounding sad it quickly turned around and took us to a great new adventure with new characters and new creatures. We now learn that the watch-wher had a greater purpose and the people around them are just as interesting. Great story!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Hey all, I'm a die-hard 'Dragonriders of Pern' fan so imagine my delight when I received an early copy of the unpublished 'Dragon's Kin' autographed by Anne & Todd McCaffrey! Well after reading the book several times I can confidently conclude that it is awesome! It is well-written for the most part though it is not quite up to par with most other 'Dragonrider' books (though this is just my opinion, of course). It is very interesting if you want to learn more about Pern. If the only thing you like about Pern is the dragons then this is not the book for you since it focuses on watch-whers. I loved this book and would reccomend it to any 'Dragonrider' fan!
melodyk16 More than 1 year ago
Having read all of the Pern series, this one adds another view of life and living with all those wonderful Dragons and their riders. I hope that Todd McCaffrey will continue where his mother left off
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have read all of the earlier books written by Anne. Todd is not as capable. This book was written more in a style that jr. high students would find easy. Not a total disappointment, but the story lacked depth.
hm1wil More than 1 year ago
This is a great follow on to Dragons Dawn which introduces the reader to a diffent "dragon" line. Even though its not technically a dragon tale, I loved this book. We start to see the lost of knowledge over time and it's impact on Pern's citizens. It's a reminder that not every man, woman, and child on Pern is a dragonrider. The people of Pern rely on miners, harpers, and crafters, just as much as they do the dragonriders. And since Lessa, WEYRWOMAN OF ALL WEYRWOMEN, was friends with a watchweyr, and hid in its den, I think people should take a second look. The watchweyrs are there for a reason, and there is a reason this book was written. After all, why did Wind Blossom create them in the first place, could she have foresaw the need in mining for coal & metals? Only Anne or Todd can say in future novels.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Having been privileged to receive an advance copy of Dragon's Kin, I can only say SUPERB. Anne & Todd return to the characterizations that brought the series to prominence. The people are real not supermen/women. I only hope she will follow on with this line. BUY IT!!!
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Why? Why? Why?.......
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Guardian105 More than 1 year ago
This is what I say to customers who are skeptical of reading Todd McCaffrey's take on the Dragonriders of PERN: Anne had a huge history to work with. She wrote a little bit about the beginning, a little bit about the middle, but mostly about the 'present,' which includes F'Lar and company. As opposed to potentially angering diehard/hardcore fans of this series, Todd has taken a chunk of history that his mother did not touch upon and calls it his own. Perfect solution.
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I liked the part where Kindan was taking care of the new watch-were.
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