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Publisher's Summary

Life in the Harper Hall is busy for best friends Kindan, Nonala, and Kelsa. As the only female apprentices, Nonala and Kelsa are the butt of jokes and easy targets for the bully Vaxoram and his cronies. But when Kindan springs to Kelsa's defense, he winds up in a fight for his life against the older, bigger Vaxoram - a fight that will lead to a surprising friendship. Meanwhile, in nearby Fort Hold, a clutch of fire-lizard eggs is about to hatch, and Lord Bemin's beautiful young daughter, Koriana, is determined to Impress one of the delightful creatures. At the hatching, Kindan Impresses a fire-lizard of his own...and wins the heart of Koriana. But Lord Bemin mistrusts harpers and will not hear of a match between his daughter and the low-born Kindan.
Then fate intervenes in the form of a virulent plague as fast-spreading as it is deadly. Arising suddenly, as if out of nowhere, the contagion decimates hold after hold, paying no heed to distinctions of birth.
In this feverish crucible, friendship and love will be tested to the breaking point and beyond. For with Threadfall scant years away, the Dragonriders dare not expose themselves to infection, and it will fall to Kindan and his fellow apprentices to bravely search for a cure and save humanity.
The price of failure is unthinkable. But the price of success may be even harder to bear.
Pay another visit to Pern.
©2007 Anne and Todd McCaffrey (P)2007 Brilliance Audio
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Critic Reviews

"The McCaffreys depict the crisis vividly, with enough detail to make the tragedy all too real and with enough hope to keep fantasy fans happy." ( Publishers Weekly)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
1 out of 5 stars
By Amazon Customer on 01-12-09

Disappointing

I was sorry to see one of my favorite authors put her name on this book. It started out as a conglomeration of several previous books with very little originality. It ends as a lengthy and tedious account of sickness and dying. Very little was either original or interesting. I forced myself to finish the story in hopes there would be something redeeming. The narrator was good but it wasn't worth the effort or time.

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4 of 5 people found this review helpful

1 out of 5 stars
By Jo on 04-05-09

very dissapointed

I have been a fan for a great many years, starting with the first book I read. If this had been the first book of the Pern series I had ever read, it would have been the last. There is nothing original to this book and it is now filed in my will not read again file.

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
1 out of 5 stars
By Bob on 09-12-10

Not up to the same standard.

This Pern book is nothing like as good as the others in the series. There are too many characters and they are poorly portrayed, and, while at first it lays down some potentially interesting plot lines, they are all ruthlessly eradicated around 2/3rds of the way through, rendering the effort of writing/listening to them pointless and frustrating. All that is left is the most obvious resolution which had previously been discounted on a dubious technicality only to be revived too late to save the story.

Meanwhile, new characters and previously unknown and contradictory facts are shoe-horned into the story in a doomed attempt to prevent the whole thing grinding to a halt. It is a ploy that fails and the last 1/3rd of the book is simply dull.

Nothing wrong with the narration though ;)

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

3 out of 5 stars
By Jacqui on 08-23-12

Enjoyable, but a couple of disappointments

I really enjoy the Pern series and this story was good overall.

I was a little disappointed that the narrator had an American accent. It doesn't seem right from an Irish author. I was also a little disappointed that there were a few mistakes, e.g. calling someone a 'Holder' rather than a 'Harper' or the other way around. I don't know if this was a mistake in recording or in the original text.

There were a few times when my disbelief was not entirely suspended when I thought that characters were not doing something obvious, but overall the story was good. The characters were interesting and it was good to discover what had happened to characters introduced in a previous book.

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