Monday, August 20, 2012

Dragonsong and Dragonsinger

Dragonsong and Dragonsinger by Anne McCaffrey

Menolly was raised in a sea hold, learning to fish and sail with everyone else.  But her true dream is to be a harper, playing her pipes and writing new songs.  Encouraged by the resident harper, she learns many musical skills, and her love for music only increases.

When the harper dies, her hopes of becoming a harper die with him.  Her father demands that she does "useful" work, hides her from the new harper, and forbids any music in her life.  When Menolly cuts her hand and it gets infected, she is even further discouraged in her dream.  Depressed and looking for something different, Menolly runs away.

In her struggles to survive outside of her hold, Menolly not only finds fire lizards, a rumored beast like a small dragon, she also manages to impress nine of them at a hatching.  With her nine friends she has to keep feed but who keep her company, she starts on a new life.

These two books are a great introduction to the fantastic world of Pern.  They are suitable for young teen readers, where most of the other Pern books by McCaffrey I would only recommend to older teens, due to some mature content.   Dragonsong and Dragonsinger also help the reader understand some of the basics of the world of Pern.

I like how these two books are not focused on the famous dragon riders, but instead focus on a normal girl.  I think a lot of girls would really identify with Menolly and her difficult relationship with her father.  She wants her life to be one way, but he has other ideas.  She struggles to find a place in that world that she likes, and since she can't find one, decides to find a world that she can fit into.  Menolly shows strength, tenacity, and courage, something we can all use in our own lives.

Dragonsong and Dragonsinger are books that I find myself coming back to every so often.  The writing is well done, like everything McCaffrey does.  Menolly is a character many people can relate to.  Any dragon lover should read these books!

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