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Dragon's Kin

4.2 out of 5 stars 32 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Turtleback: 298 pages
  • Publisher: Demco Media (1 Oct. 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0606325506
  • ISBN-13: 978-0606325509
  • Product Dimensions: 2.5 x 10.8 x 17.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)

Product Description

Review

A new novel which continues the epic saga of the dragons of Pern by the celebrated SF writer and her son. This is the first new Pern book since The Skies of Pern in 2001, and depicts that amazing world of humans and great telepathic dragons. Kindan, a young man, helps his father in the coal mining settlement of Camp Natalon. The camp has a watchwher, a distant relation of dragons, and Kindan assists his father in looking after the creature. However, in one awful moment everything goes wrong and Kindan loses his family and the camp's new harper and discovers his own musical talent. He starts a friendship with a mysterious girl called Nuella. It is a story full of good things and always wonderfully inventive. A sure-fire new bestseller. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Book Description

A new novel of Pern. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
This is the latest in the Pern saga which now stretches through some 18 or so books. This is the first however to be co-written by Anne McCaffrey's son, Todd McCaffey. Despite this the book remains true to the style of previous books and the addition of a new author has not affected the feel of Pern.
What has changed is the novel's focus, rather like the Dolphins of Pern, this novel features not dragons but watch-whers, creatures who were bred from fire-lizards, like dragons, but whose value has been neglected under the glory that dragons receive for protecting Pern. We've seen these creatures mentioned before in the series but this is the first time that we have seen them in any kind of detail.
The book's characters are the usual brave, noble, and admirable lot that we see in the Pern series. They may seem a little two dimensional in their outlook and character development but as usual are endearing. The Pern novels aren't so much about character development as the story being told.
The plot surrounds a small mining camp that has been set up to explore the possibilities of shaft mining. The miners work in the usual danger of the mine, but are helped by a watch-wher, a kind of dragon which cannot fly or breathe fire, or communicate as well as its larger brethren, but can see in the dark and works well in mines. The tale follows events that transpire following a disaster in the mine as the community seeks to rebuild itself.
The book is perhaps one of the more original works to come out of the Pern saga to date, dealing with mining and watch-whers rather than dragons. This works in its favour, as the issues that are dealt with are novel and entertaining. One of the disappointing things about this book, and the main reason why I haven't given it a higher score is its length.
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Format: Hardcover
"Dragon's Kin" is Anne McCaffrey's latest offering in her long-running and best-selling "Dragonriders of Pern" series. It is also the first time she has permitted a co-author into the Pern universe: her son, Todd. This time McCaffrey tells the story of an earlier time in Pern's history. The time is more than halfway through the second Interval, 16 years before the next Threadfall and the next pass of the Red Star. We are several hundred years before the events in "Moreta: Dragonlady of Pern" and perhaps a hundred years from the events of "Dragonseye". So, this is the time period we are looking at.
The story is set in the Natalon mining camp, and this is one of the first times we've had a look at the miners. This is the story of Kindan, a twelve year old boy who seemed older when I read the book. Kindan does not expect anything more out of his life than to follow his father into the mines when he is old enough. All of this changes when there is an accident at the mine and Kindan's father and brothers are all killed. He is left an orphan and he is taken in by the Masterharper, Zist.
What the title of this book refers to is the watch whers (they appear in several of the Pern novels). The watch whers are dragon like, though smaller and nocturnal, and are used typically as a nighttime guard or as the first warning if anything is going wrong. They are kin to dragons (hence the title) from when humans first settled on Pern. Watch whers play a prominent role in this book (though, the watch wher egg does not appear until close to half way through the book).
At times, "Dragon's Kin" did not feel like a Pern novel. Dragons play such a limited role, and this story is such a sub-set off of what became the primary storyline throughout Pern.
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Format: Paperback
Dragon's Kin is the first Pern novel to have the involvement of an author other then Anne - namely Todd McCaffrey, her son. (The first Pern story to have the involvement of another author was the short story Impression, which was written by Jody Lynn Nye, with input from Anne.)

Set some sixteen years before the Third Pass of the Red Star, Dragon's Kin is a nice look at Pern some five hundred years after the colonists came to the planet. The story is a nice change in that the main focus is on the Miner Craft, and more importantly the Watch-whers; creatures that have been mentioned since the first book (Dragonflight) was published - but so little is known about. Watch-whers seem to have many talents in common with dragons, and a few unique to them as well.

The novel focuses on Kindan, and Nuella mostly, with other characters getting a look in now and then. Nuella is the more interesting of the two main characters, and I have a suspicion she will have a major role to play in any future Third Pass stories.

Aside from the very obvious pun in the books title (Dragon's Kin - get it?) you could be forgiven for expecting a longish novel, especially after books like The MasterHarper of Pern and The Skies of Pern. Dragon's Kin surprisingly isn't that long, and although not as long as the previous two novels the length of this one actually works well with the story. It is not one that needs to be over long, extremely descriptive, or for that matter too in-depth. Dragon's Kin does have a very abrupt ending, but it hardly unique, as both Dragonsong and Dragonsinger: Harper of Pern both have "abrupt" endings too - that and Todd and Anne will be following Dragon's Kin up.

One thing I can say is that I really enjoyed this novel.
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Comment 13 of 13 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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