I loved this book as a kid and I love it again as an adult. If you read only the the first few chapters of this book, you might think that Anne McCaffrey was a sexist, having bought into the myth that men are greater than women, etc. But she is a clever writer and merely sets you up to show how our Heroine Lessa will change that paradigm over a few short years by her bravery, her wit, her strong personality, and her lack of impulse control. Indeed, our Lessa is flawed, deeply flawed at the beginning as she is a somewhat selfish individual bent on revenge. However, McCaffrey pairs her wits with F’Lar’s steady hand. He has his issues too, having waited too long to set a definitive course for his people, and then once doing so playing his cards too close to his chest in a show of control freakishness. And I love these characters for their flaws, as it reflects the true human spirit.
The second half of the book truly shines with more explanation of the dragon’s abilities, the pseudo-science behind their fire breathing abilities, and info on the Threads which travel the void of space when the Red Rogue wanders close to Pern, mindlessly landing on any organic matter and attempting to devour it. In addition to the science, we have a time travel element (and I won’t say much because I don’t want to spoil it), and we have telepathic ability to chat with the dragons who are at least as cognizant as their human counterparts. Indeed, this book has a lot going for it and I look forward to reacquainting myself with the series.