Menolly shook her hands, letting them flap from her wrists. They ached and trembled from the constricted movements and tension of an hour of intensive playing. No, her parents would never understand that playing musical instruments could be as hard work as sailing or fishing. Dragonsinger was first published by Atheneum in February Dragonsinger placed ninth for the annual Locus Award for Best Novel . Contents [ show ] Synopsis When Menolly , daughter of Yanus Sea Holder, arrived at the Harper Hall , she came in style, aboard a huge bronze dragon, followed by her nine fire lizards.
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AIVAS was found by Jaxom, Jancis, and Piemur while they were excavating the city called Landing, the original settlement of the ancestors the original colonists from Dragonsdawn , that had been buried in ash during a volcanic eruption. AIVAS has remained undisturbed since the events of Dragonsdawn some 2, years earlier and, in addition to holding a huge volume of stored information long since lost to the Pernese society, claims to be able to eliminate the threat of Thread forever.
AIVAS reintroduced many technological advancements to the society. Some people, feeling AIVAS was a threat to their way of life, called it an "abomination," and tried to destroy it, but they were unsuccessful. At the time of his ascension to Weyrleader, Benden Weyr was the only populated weyr on Pern. He took responsibility for ensuring that Pern was protected from Thread, and he even promised the Lord Holders that he would destroy Thread completely at its source, the Red Star.
He is a wingsecond at Benden. This attempt was unsuccessful, as the Red Star could not support human or dragon life, and almost cost both him and his dragon their lives. Since Lessa nearly died giving birth to him, he has no full siblings nor any known half-siblings. Jaxom[ edit ] Jaxom is both a dragonrider and a Lord Holder. Jaxom caused controversy among the leaders of Pern by Impressing the white dragon , Ruth , when he was eleven years old.
On their way back, exploring the back tunnels of the Weyr, the two boys discover a previously unknown room, with diagrams from ancient times and a microscope. The Impression is considered a nuisance by many, as Jaxom has responsibilities as Lord Holder to uphold, and some feel it might create a conflict of interests.
Also, a dragon and its rider must live in a Weyr, but Jaxom as a future Lord Holder must live in his hold, and clearly he can not live in two places at the same time.
Ruth is not expected to mature to a size which would allow him to join a Thread-fighting wing of a weyr, which would take Jaxom away from his responsibilities in Ruatha, so the two are allowed to return to Ruatha. Growing up, Ruth becomes his main friend, but once allowed to fly, and then to go between, he finds friends among other students at the Harper Hall, Smithcraft and in the Weyr. He also learns how to go between time as well as place, and, despite thinking that it would bring down recriminations upon him, to flame Thread.
Jaxom falls in love with Sharra, the sister of Southern Holder Toric and expert Healer, who nurses him back to health when Jaxom succumbs to a potentially fatal illness known as "Firehead". Even though Toric has plans for his sister that do not include "a table-sized Hold in the North", Jaxom and Ruth fly into the Southern area and rescue Sharra; their relationship is then grudgingly accepted by Toric, and they are later married at Ruatha Hold.
Together they had two boys whose names were Jarrol and Shawan. Kale was an amiable man and in ordinary times was considered the ideal Lord Holder.
However, Kale underestimated the greed of his neighbor, Fax , Lord Holder of High Reaches, who had conquered five other holds since claiming his own. Lessa was already headstrong and independent. Her father mentions her as "stubborn at only four [years old]", and the Harper Robinton is amused, years later, when she falls asleep during a marching song.
She bides her time, hoping Fax will renounce the hold or be killed so that she can step forward and claim the Hold as the only survivor of Ruathan Blood. When Benden dragonriders arrive in Search for a woman with the telepathic talents to Impress the new queen dragonet, the dragons feel her aura.
Lessa reluctantly gives up her right to inherit Ruatha Hold to the newborn Jaxom. Jaxom is the son of her distant cousin Gemma, whom Fax married to give his claim to Ruatha legitimacy. She makes daring use of this skill to make a single jump back Turns into the past in a search for help to fight Thread in her time. Lessa is one of the few on Pern who can speak to all of the dragons. Lessa is described as petite, almost childlike, in figure with long, thick black hair.
Her queen Ramoth is the largest dragon on the planet. Lessa almost dies in childbirth and additional pregnancies are assessed as too risky. This leaves Lessa somewhat bitter and she regrets in one book that she was not like Kylara, another Weyrwoman known for promiscuity, who bore several children but wanted none of them. Manora replies this was expected, since she was Weyrwoman and had other duties. When she seriously slashed her left hand while gutting fish, her mother deliberately allowed the wound to heal incorrectly to prevent her from playing again, and Yanus told Elgion that the one who had taken over the Teachings after Petiron died had been a boy fosterling who had returned to his own Hold.
Menolly ran away from the Hold and took refuge in a cliff-side cave where, during a Threadfall, she unintentionally Impressed nine fire-lizards: gold Beauty, bronzes Rocky and Diver, browns Mimic, Lazybones and Brownie, blue Uncle and greens Auntie One and Auntie Two later in the series it is also revealed that she again unintentionally Impressed another bronze fire-lizard, Poll.
Menolly lived Holdless in the cave with her fire lizards, teaching her friends to enjoy music and to sing, until one day she was caught outside far from her cave during Threadfall, and while trying to outrun the falling Thread she was rescued by a brown dragon rider, who brought her to Benden Weyr, where she was befriended by Benden Headwoman Manora and fellow fire lizard owner Mirrim and came to the attention of Lessa herself when it was discovered that Menolly had Impressed nine fire lizards.
Menolly was also responsible for finding and providing a clutch of fire lizard eggs for Benden to distribute to certain individuals. Masterharper Robinton, who had been searching for the very talented apprentice that Petiron had mentioned in messages to the Harper Hall and who had been promised two fire lizard eggs by Benden Weyr, accidentally stumbled across her there after a Hatching, was alerted as to her identity by Harper Elgion who had discovered the truth about Menolly and was also present at the Benden Hatching and immediately brought her to the Harper Hall.
There, she befriended the mentally-challenged drudge Camo and was befriended by precocious apprentice Piemur, female student Audiva, Harper Hall Headwoman Silvina and Journeyman Harper Sebell. Not everyone approved of a girl becoming a Harper, and her talent and her fire-lizards brought the envy of the female students down on her head.
However, her talent and skills caused her to rise from apprentice to journeyman just a week after her arrival at the Harper Hall. Songs helped and were used to transmit news and current events throughout Pern, and Menolly could compose a song out of nearly anything. Later, Sebell came to fall in love with Menolly a feeling which was intensified when his queen fire lizard Kimi and her bronze fire lizard Diver mated , but she deeply loved and revered Master Robinton.
They had three children—Robse, Olos and Lemisa. Menolly went on to become a Master Harper and helped with the movement to banish Thread from Pern forever. Piemur[ edit ] Piemur, originally the son of a herdsman in Crom, is taken to the Harper Hall as an apprentice due to the excellent voice he possesses, though he has little aptitude in other Harper skills such as instrument-making and transcription.
Piemur is chosen as the special apprentice of Master Shonagar, the Master of Voice at that time. Due to his small stature, he is forced to develop other talents in order to be able to enjoy his residence at the Harper Hall, and becomes known as a person of constant mischief and disregard for Hall regulations.
When during Dragonsinger Menolly arrives at the Harper Hall though both this and Dragonsong are viewed primarily through the eyes of Menolly , Piemur is one of the first to get to know her. Piemur has doubts about his future in the Harper Hall, unsure what will become of him when his voice breaks. He shares these doubts with Menolly, who convinces him to concentrate more on the present. While his voice is in transition he is unable to sing.
He becomes the special apprentice of Masterharper Robinton himself; however, this is kept secret. Piemur is publicly assigned to the Drum Tower a communications system using tympani -style drums and complicated drum measures to communicate over long distances as a drum apprentice under Drum-Master Olodkey. These missions include a visit to a nearby sapphire mine, where Piemur discovers that the exiled Oldtimers are taking gemstones without payment.
Piemur believes that this is a test; that he is supposed to remain silent about the bullying in order to prove his discretion. He further antagonizes his fellow drum-apprentices by rapidly surpassing them in knowledge of the drum code, demonstrating a real aptitude for communication-drumming.
The combination of these two factors leads to the other apprentices greasing the steps leading to the Drumheights: Piemur slips on the steps while carrying a message. Taking a dangerous fall, he is lucky to escape with nothing worse than a severe concussion. Following this incident, he is removed from the Drum Tower. One of the first things they notice is the extreme number of fire lizards in the Hold, mostly greens.
They deduce that the fire lizards are the payment Lord Meron has been receiving from the Oldtimers for the goods he trades them. He hides in a sack in a small storage room and promptly falls fast asleep, presumably due to his recent head injury. While Piemur sleeps with the egg tucked warmly in his shirt, the sacks are transported between to Southern Weyr, where the Oldtimers reside, and Piemur escapes without being discovered. He flees the area until the fire lizard, which he was correct to assume was a queen, has hatched.
On his way to Southern Hold inhabited by pioneers from the Northern Continent, not the Oldtimers of the Southern Weyr , Piemur meets Sharra, a Healer from Southern, and helps her gather plants and herbs used by the Healers, and with the research she is conducting on the native plants of the Southern Continent.
They return to the Hold on the same day that Menolly and Sebell, who until now have been searching the Northern Continent for him, arrive at Southern Hold. Holder Toric accepts him into the Southern Hold. Piemur is involved in a large amount of the controversial "progress" that occurs after the awakening of the AIVAS, and together with Jancis, granddaughter of Mastersmith Farandel and a Smithcraft Master in her own right, rebuilds one of the first computers.
Piemur later marries Jancis, and has a son with her, Pierjan. Robinton[ edit ] Robinton is a central character in many different Dragonriders of Pern books set in the Ninth Pass. In Dragonquest his personality became more fully developed and this process was continued throughout Dragonsong , Dragonsinger and Dragondrums. In The Masterharper of Pern , the story of young Robinton is the canvas for developing the backstory alluded to throughout the original Pern Chronicles.
McCaffrey also used him to expand the story of Fax , allowing Robinton to provide an extra perspective on scenes that were some of her earliest writings. A musical prodigy, he surpassed both his parents by composing popular songs throughout his childhood, and becoming a Journeyman harper at fifteen. He was faced with professional jealousy which caused estrangement from his father when young , similar to that which challenged Harpers Menolly and Piemur in Dragonsinger and Dragondrums.
Of course, McCaffrey ensured that he had redeemable character flaws, such as his great fondness for wine particularly Benden wine , which could be said to have saved his life in one point in The White Dragon , when he suffered a heart attack. This friendship reflects the lessening of the isolation and rigidly controlled autonomy of Weyr, Hold and Hall, which was a constant theme of the original Pern Chronicles. His fire-lizard Zair, like a dragon following his rider, died with him.
Robinton was laid to rest in the waters of his beloved Cove Hold, and every dragonrider, Lord Holder and Craftmaster on the planet turned out for the service. His death was a metaphor for the end of the great struggle with Thread , which had consumed the lives of all Pernese since shortly after Landing on Pern.
Mnementh is the sole mate of gold dragon Ramoth and thus the sire or ancestor of many dragons born during the Ninth Pass. She is the mate of Mnementh, and is the largest dragon on Pern. For a period of time at the beginning of the Ninth Pass, Ramoth was the only remaining queen dragon on all of Pern, until the queen Prideth was hatched from her first clutch.
Because the two queens would not be able to repopulate the empty remaining Weyrs in time for the approaching Pass, Lessa and Ramoth jumped back in time Turns to bring forward the members of the empty Weyrs.
In Dragonquest , Ruth hatches near the end of the novel. In Dragonquest, the gold dragon Ramoth lays a clutch of eggs, one of which McCaffrey describes as small with an unusually tough shell. The weyrfolk of Benden Weyr assume that the egg will not hatch, and begin to depart from the Hatching Ground when all the other hatchling dragonets have impressed with human dragonriders.
Lord Jaxom jumps from the bleachers to the Hatching Ground to assist the unborn dragonet by breaking open the shell and inadvertently Impresses the dragon, immediately causing a major uproar among the Lord Holders and the dragonriders. He does survive to maturity, although he is much smaller than the other dragons. Jaxom is able to fly on Ruth and is trained to go between. Jaxom becomes frustrated with various restrictions, such as the inability to take Hold of Ruatha and the refusal of Dragonrider status.
He rebels, and attempts to teach Ruth to chew firestone. After Jaxom and Ruth are scored by Thread in the course of their recovery of the queen egg stolen from Benden Weyr by the Oldtimers though they manage to keep what they were really doing when they were scored a secret for a long time , the Weyrfolk consent to give him firestone training and the pair are trained to fight Thread by the riders at Fort Weyr. In addition to his small size, Ruth is notable for his hide, which though commonly regarded as white, appears to be composed of pale hues from all dragons.
It is possible that Ruth is a neuter, and indeed "he" never shows an interest in mating. In addition to his physical attributes, Ruth is unusually willing to speak with humans besides his own rider, and has close and friendly relationships with fire lizards , as well as a long memory and heightened intelligence.
The Harper Hall Trilogy: Dragonsong; Dragonsinger; Dragondrums
AIVAS was found by Jaxom, Jancis, and Piemur while they were excavating the city called Landing, the original settlement of the ancestors the original colonists from Dragonsdawn , that had been buried in ash during a volcanic eruption. AIVAS has remained undisturbed since the events of Dragonsdawn some 2, years earlier and, in addition to holding a huge volume of stored information long since lost to the Pernese society, claims to be able to eliminate the threat of Thread forever. AIVAS reintroduced many technological advancements to the society. Some people, feeling AIVAS was a threat to their way of life, called it an "abomination," and tried to destroy it, but they were unsuccessful. At the time of his ascension to Weyrleader, Benden Weyr was the only populated weyr on Pern. He took responsibility for ensuring that Pern was protected from Thread, and he even promised the Lord Holders that he would destroy Thread completely at its source, the Red Star. He is a wingsecond at Benden.
Menolly arrives at Harper Hall to find herself the center of unwanted attention and conflict. Due to her gender, she is not allowed to share a dormitory with her fellow all-male apprentices and must be housed with the female students, none of whom are serious musicians and all of whom shun Menolly as an outsider. Conversely, because she dorms with the students, the apprentices reject her, claiming she is not truly one of them, and leaving Menolly confused as to her true place in Harper Hall. In spite of these challenges, Menolly excels at all aspects of her apprenticeship while continuing to compose original tunes.