This 3rd book in the Pern series follows Jaxom who has the only albino dragon in the world. He and his dragon, Ruth, set out to prove that they can do anything regular dragons can do, fly together, fight in the skies, travel “between” and through time. Through their adventures, they discover even more talents that other dragons do not have, such as understanding the mischievous little fire-lizards. When all of Pern is in danger, and Jaxom’s lady-love is threatened, Jaxom and Ruth will need all their talents and the help of their friends to save the world!
I love Anne McCaffrey’s writing! She puts together these strings of events that follow one upon another in a meandering story-arc that finally comes full circle. In this book, we see Jaxom growing up, fighting for his dragon rights, breaking the rules, and ultimately finding his place in the world. But underneath the overall story, there are a thousand little details that bring the story to life!
I wanted to like Jaxom, but I ended up being so annoyed with him! He’s self-centered and spoiled. He seems to think the whole world revolves around him and his little problems. And he’s never satisfied with what he has. (At first he says, “If they’ll just let me fly on Ruth’s back, I’ll be happy.” But he’s not happy. And then he says, “If I could just fight thread in the skies with Ruth, then I’ll be happy.” But he’s not.)
He wants more and more privileges for himself and his dragon, and he’s never satisfied. He is very immature and childish. He takes and takes, and doesn’t think about giving to others.
Thankfully, we do see Jaxom’s character gain some maturity through the story. He starts to act more like a person, with generosity, thoughtfulness, and responsibility.
I don’t like how sex is treated so casually in the world of Pern. It makes me dislike many of the characters, because they have no integrity in their personal lives.
I like the imaginative political system of lords, holders, and weyrleaders, but I do get a little tired of all the politics.
Although I loved The Harper Hall Trilogy: Dragonsong; Dragonsinger; Dragondrums from this same fantasy world, I’m not loving the other books in the series quite so much. I really connected with Menolly because she is a musician, but most of the other books are a little bland to me.
The best parts of this book were the bits with Menolly in them!
I do enjoy reading all the Pern books! I will eagerly be reading the rest of this long series!