It’s sort of a good thing that I read one of Anne McCaffrey’s books before, it helped me know who some of the characters are, and understand a couple of things, like the Threads from the Red Star. Anyway, this book is set seven Turns after the five weyrs from the past came forward in time to help deal with the Threadfall in the book that I read before this one, which would be Dragonflight. The main character in this story is called Menolly, the unusually tall and musical daughter of Sea Holder Yanus. Of course, the Half-Circle Sea Hold is old fashioned you might say. Girls can’t be Harpers is an example of their thoughts. Of course, the problem with that is that Menolly was taught how to sing and play instruments by Petiron, the old Harper. She knew the songs better than he did in the last months he was living, and she did “tuning” as her parents called it, making up tunes and songs of her own. Of course, she was allowed to do this while Petiron was alive, but as soon as he was dead and she’d sung the song for his passing, Yanus forbade any tuning or singing for her. So Menolly does it in secret, and is allowed to do the Teachings for the children, songs they should know and all that. When the new Harper (named Elgion) arrives though, she made a mistake and accidentally did a bit of tuning, and unfortunately, Yanus heard.
He came and bent her over the tall Harper’s stool and beat her across the shoulders with his belt. Have I shown yet that I hate Yanus and really like Menolly? No? Well then now you know. So it goes on until Menolly accidentally cuts her hand. Her mother tells her she cut a tendon and will never be able to play instruments again. And later when Elgion plays songs, her mother pinches her and tells her that she cannot sing loudly, she must sing quietly as befits a girl. So Menolly just leaves the hall, despite her parents hissing at her to get back and behave. Eventually she runs away. At an earlier point she observed fire lizards mating, and then when she saw them again, she saved their eggs from the rising tide. When she runs away, she goes there again and this time she saves the fire lizard hatchlings from dying because of the Threadfall. She gives them the spiderclaws she caught, feeding them. She Impressed nine this way without meaning to. Impressing is something that happens with dragons and fire lizards, if you take care of them and talk to them once they hatch, they then belong to you and you alone. There isn’t any way to change it. They die when you die.
Over a bit of time, Menolly starts teaching her dragons to sing you might say, they hum along in tune with the music she plays or sings. And she names them too. The little gold queen fire lizard is Beauty, the bronze ones are Rocky and Diver, the brown ones are Lazybones, Mimic, and Brownie. The blue one is called Uncle, and the green ones are Auntie One and Auntie Two. After awhile, she is out looking for food with her fire lizards and Threads start falling, she is saved just in time by a dragonrider. Then she is taken to Benden Weyr. Of course, the rider didn’t see her fire lizards, and somehow, Beauty managed to find Menolly at the weyr. It’s a really good book, only 192 pages, ensuring its a quick read, but its still pretty good. I especially like the design of the fire lizards, they look dnagerous, but lovable at the same time somehow. I’d say that Manora was my favorite character besides Menolly, but still, Master Harper Robinton is also quite funny. Read the book, it’s amusing. 🙂