Series: Pern #15
Published by Del Rey on January 12th 1998
Number of Pages: 431
Genres: Adventure, Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Young Adult
Purchase: At Amazon
MasterSinger Merelan and Harper Petiron were a brilliant and devoted couple. Merelan was the most outstanding soprano ever heard on Pern, and was often the only one who could master Petiron's technically accomplished compositions. When, after a long and difficult birth, Robinton was born to them, it should have been the culmination of a unique partnership.
But Petiron, almost from the first day, had no time for his son, refusing to see the incredible talent the boy possessed, ignoring his achievements and maintaining a strict and disapproving vigilance over him at all times.
Carefully, secretly, the Harper Hall took over, training the greatest talent Pern had ever seen - a talent that was more than just musical, for Robinton was able to talk to the dragons of Pern.
As constant sadness beset his personal life, so a startling career sent him like a meteor through the Holds and Weyrs of Pern until, as MasterHarper, he became part of the great plan to rescue Lessa from the brutal rule of Holder Fax - Lessa, who was to be the saviour of the dragons of Pern.
I’ve always loved Robinton, so getting a look into his life before he was the MasterHarper was fun! Petiron was an awful father, I can see better why he and Robinton don’t get on well. But his mother was such a sweet woman. She easily made my favorite character list.
I also loved seeing the characters we know as old or middle-aged, as children and young adults. We get to meet Lord Groghe before he became a Lord. C’gan as a young dragonrider, Lessa as a toddler, Jerint, Shonagar, Silvina, Manora, Sebell, and a host of others I’ve already forgotten.
I really loved F’lon, F’lar and F’nor’s father. Seeing him grow up with Robinton, and getting to know his dragon Simanith. It made it all the worse knowing what was in store for them. We also get to see how Fax started out, and just how blind the Lord Holders were until it was too late.
There were a few issues in the book. One being that Robinton is supposed to be a connoisseur of wines. Especially Benden wines. So much so, that in other books, people would give him a glass of wine with no hint of year or brand or anything, and he could tell you not only where it came from, but what year the vintage was. This book didn’t do a good job of showing how he got to be such an expert. He complained to himself about inferior wines he was forced to drink (pretty much any wine that wasn’t Benden), but never once did the book mention him being able to differentiate wines past that. Nor did it explain how he got to be so good at it later in life.
I liked that he spoke to dragons as a child, and some of them spoke back to him. It made sense, as a child, since dragons can and will speak to anyone they wish to. But not everyone can hear them. It also made sense that the only dragon who spoke to him as an adult, was F’lon’s Simanith. And then only because F’lon asked Simanith to speak to Robinton as a way to help Robinton with his sadness about not being able to stand at a Hatching. Even then, he didn’t speak to him often, and only when F’lon was in Robinton’s company.
Despite continuity errors, I did enjoy this book. My only issue now is that I want to go back and re-read all the F’lar and Lessa books!