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Dragonriders of Pern Series Review (2024)

Anne McCaffrey

The Dragonriders of Pern series is a science fiction series written by American-Irish author Anne McCaffrey. She started the series in 1967 and her son has actually helped her here and there with a few stories as well.

What to Expect

The review is going to show you a brief description of what to expect inside the series and which order you should read them in if you wish to have the best time with Anne’s amazing science fiction and fantasy series.

Dragonriders of Pern Book Series




Dragonflight is the first book in the series and the book in which you find out what kind of story this dragon series has to tell you. You get to meet a few of the most important characters to the entire series in this book as well as a few others who aren’t as important but still add value to the plot.

Planet of Pern

Another thing shown to you in the very first book of the series is another very important fact about the whole story. You find out that humankind has inhabited a planet called Pern in the Rukbat star system.


They had the technology to colonize other planets like this one but they have lost most of it after getting there due to the fierce attacks of Thread, a destructive organism that comes more into play later on in the story. The important thing is that the Pernese people have the help of intelligent and fierce dragons to fight off the periodic attacks of Thread. You can find this book in another article of ours.



Kitchen Girl

In the first book of the series, Dragonflight, you met Lessa who is described as nothing more than a kitchen girl, she has been known as one for so long but her story is finally going to change after she meets a queen dragon with who she shares a bond like nothing she has ever felt before.

Threads Falling Again

This time, in Dragonquest, the story moves on after the events of the first book and there is no surprise as the deadly Threads start falling from the sky again, consuming everything in their path, mostly organic matter, and presenting yet another difficult situation for the characters.


Luckily, the magnificent dragons fly high as they burn and melt the thread strands before they ever reach the ground and start consuming. F’lar is a character who you will have a lot of fun reading about in the book of Dragonriders of Pern itself as he is determined to find another, more effective way of protecting his beloved Pern.

The White Dragon



You will definitely have a great time reading this long series if you are a fan of dragon books and science fiction. The White Dragon is the third book on our list and a book that is no less exciting than the rest.


In this story, you read about a fascinating character called Jaxom who accidentally impresses an unusual white dragon called Ruth and they now share an unbreakable bond. Jaxom finds it hard to be both a dragon rider and the Lord of Ruatha Hold but you will see that he manages.

Another Time

The fun part of the story arrives when Jaxom and Ruth travel to another time as this white dragon has the ability to freely do that as he pleases and their mission takes them there after trying to recover the queen’s stolen egg. They encounter Thread again and even worse, Jaxom falls ill from some sort of sickness which takes him on a journey to find some of the biggest secrets that the ancient Pernese had left behind.




The fourth book on our Dragonriders of Pern reading order is Dragonsong, a book that talks about Menolly, a girl who runs away from home after a fight with her father who made her very unhappy. After running away, Menolly gets to experience quite the adventure of her lifetime.

Love of Music

An interesting side of Menolly is that she has a huge love of music and you find out that this ability will be quite useful later on. After running away, she comes across a few distant relatives of the majestic dragons, a bunch of fire lizards who show true appreciation for Menolly’s music after which she finds herself making a few new friends along the way.




You get to read about Menolly again in this one as she truly is one of the most interesting Dragonriders of Pern characters that you will meet. Her dragon story for young adults goes on as she continues to pursue her dream of becoming a Harper of Pern.

Her journey takes her to a very skilled master in this area, a Masterharper, who starts teaching her a few very important lessons about the trade and about life itself.


Some of the things that Menolly learns from this master are that there is a lot more that is required for someone to become a Harper of Pern than just knowledge about music and a clever way with words.

There are many difficulties along the way, the first one of which is the problems that come with her being the first female apprentice of the Masterharper and a few other problems that Menolly must overcome if she is to fulfill her dreams.




You will notice that some stories within the series focus on the big picture which is important to all of the characters inside, but some of them focus on specific characters and their own troubles on Pern.


Such as Menolly and her music dreams, the important thing is that everything fits in nicely with the whole series if you make sure that you follow our Dragonriders of Pern order displayed in this review.


In Dragondrums, the story of a character called Piemur is the main focus this time as you get to read his story about being another one of the apprentices at Harper Hall. The problems that Piemur has to face start coming when puberty hits and his voice starts changing which begins to raise a question whether he should still be an apprentice at Harper Hall or not.

Moreta: Dragonlady of Pern


Weyrwoman of Fort Weyr

The story of Moreta is also an exciting one as it approaches the middle of the series. Keep in mind that this review is not in the Dragonriders of Pern publication order. It is in the reading order that we recommend you follow if you wish to understand the story to its fullest.

Queen Orlith

Back to the story, Moreta is the Weyrwoman of Fort Weyr, she has a bond with a dragon queen, Queen Orlith, who is about to clutch. Everything is looking great in Pern now as they await 8 more turns of the planet until the deadly Thread falls again.

Mortal Danger

They always kept counting how much time was left until Thread fell again, but this time it struck sooner and the unprepared characters witnessed Pern become in mortal danger once again. This might be among the most exciting books of the series as unexpected twists always present a thrilling story and there are many more events that will surely keep you very entertained.

Nerilka’s Story


Life-Changing Journey

Nerilka is another fascinating character in the series and her life-changing journey starts after her father refuses to help others who are in need of refuge and nourishment from the deadly Thread plague. Nerilka has never been more ashamed of her family, so she chooses her own path, to go out there and help whoever needs it.

New Path

This new path that she chooses alone would present a life-changing journey that Nerilka never even thought was possible. She finds happiness in helping others and being appreciated and that later makes sure that many others start to ask for Nerilka’s help. She becomes wanted almost everywhere for her generosity and good spirit. You will find that Nerilka’s story definitely fits into a few of the best books from the Dragonriders of Pern book series.



Human Colonists

In Dragonsdawn, the story goes back to the main problem that everyone has, the Thread. You also get to see a lot more of the human colonists that are new to the world of Pern as they thought that this world was a paradise because it does look like one until the deadly Thread starts ruining everything that the hardworking Pernese have worked for.


You get to know more about Pern itself from this book as the author describes how the dragons, humans, and Pernese work together to make sure that they and the whole world of Pern survive the Thread that occasionally starts raining from the sky and begins to devour anything it touches.

The Renegades of Pern


The Holds

This book talks a little more in detail about the Holds that have been the number one protectors from the deadly Thread strands for many generations. The Holds have a system so that there is order and peace, there are Lord Holders who own the Holds and offer security and protection to those who follow the rules and behave.

Not Everyone Can Join

However, there are others who do not have permission to join everyone in the safety that these Holds have to offer as some choose to be on the road and survive on their own such as Jayge’s trader clan as they would rather be on their own than being locked inside with everyone else in one spot.

Criminal Records

There also those who have criminal records and have done injustice and they don’t even have permission to enter the Holds, a perfect example for these people is the Aramina family who you will get to read all about in the book itself.

All the Weyrs of Pern


Thread Again

This book is among the most exciting ones yet in this series as you get to read about some of the characters you met ever since the series started as well as find out that the dream that everyone on Pern has to eradicate the deadly Thread once and for all may actually be finally possible.

New Opportunity

The brave dragons and dragonriders have worked hard to prevent the Thread strands from reaching the surface and destroying everything in their path, but they have always wished for and have been searching for a way to completely destroy this Thread once and for all, and finally, an opportunity has presented itself.

Artificial Intelligence

They have discovered an ancient artificial intelligence computer buried in the ground and it was actually still working. This computer offered the knowledge and a chance that has the power to completely change Pern for the better. The book gets super exciting fast so be sure to not miss this one.

The Chronicles of Pern: First Fall


History of Pern

Anne McCaffrey’s Dragonriders of Pern is definitely a book that holds many adventures and is almost thrilling every second of reading. This book offers you a chance to discover a lot more about Pern and its history, about the deadly threat that the Thread presents to everyone on the planet, about the human colonists, and about so much more from the series.

Mass Evacuation

You get to find out so much in this one such as the mass evacuation from a volcanic southern continent, about the creation of one of the largest and strongest Holds on the planet, the Ruatha Hold.


You also get to meet another fascinating character in this book, her name is Torene and she has just realized that her dragon may actually be the next Queen of the newly formed Benden Weyr. This is a story definitely worth reading if you want to be more familiar with everything that happens next in the series and have an easier time understanding all of the following events.

The Dolphins’ Bell


Another Continent

This is the complete story, in detail, of how the human colonist managed to cross over to another continent on Pern. The reason for this cross over is because the humans found out that the southern continent which they were currently on is too geologically unstable and that it could crack at any time now. They need to gather everything that they can carry and cross over to the northern continent where they can begin their new lives.

Difficult Journey

The journey ahead is described as difficult from what they can see but the humans manage to get help from a few friends, the intelligent dolphins who helped them colonize in the first place. You are definitely going to have fun with this one as the adventures and crossing attempts are too good to miss and the illustrations in this one definitely help out to capture the full story as well.

The Second Weyr


Fort Weyr

The story in the Second Weyr happens a few years after the dragonriders move out of Fort Hold and expand, forming Fort Weyr in a nearby volcanic crater. The story goes even further as the formation of Benden Weyr and Telgar Weyr is mentioned as well.

Long Journey

You get to read about the young queen dragonrider girl, Torene, as she leads the establishment of a draco-human community off of a whole continent. A long journey is written in this book as the humans move to the most distant habitable region where they are forced to go because of the unstable land that they were living on.

New Weyrs

You find out how the new Weyrs are formed as the leaders of Fort Weyr, Sorka Hanrahan and Sean Connell have to authorize the formation of three new Weyrs at the same time. This book definitely offers a lot of knowledge and insight about the formation of these new Weyrs that are crucial to everything that goes on in the whole series.

Rescue Run


Pernese Settlers

Rescue Run is another one that is among the most interesting books in this Dragonriders of Pern series. In it, you find out about a distress call that was sent by a few Pernese settlers who experienced their first-ever Threadfall.

A Tad Too Late

We would say that luckily for them a Federation ship answered the call but the bad part is that the answer to the distress call was 49 years late. This is a very interesting story indeed as you read a separate story about this Federation ship and the crew inside.


You read about their adventures most of which always involve the planet’s curse, the Thread. Other adventures are also mentioned here that make this book definitely among the most interesting ones of the series.

The Dolphins of Pern



Moving further along Dragonriders of Pern series, we present a story that brings back the magnificent intelligent dolphins that helped the settlers colonize Pern and move across another continent.

Readis and Gadareth

This time, the story also involves a few other interesting characters, two boys, one of which is a dragonrider. These two boys are well aware that the dolphins exist as they have past experiences with them of their own.

Amusing Events

One of the boys, Readis, is the son of the Paradise River Lord Holder. He was actually saved once by these magnificent talking creatures and the other boy, T’lion, is a young Eastern Weyr dragonrider of Bronze Gadareth. He also develops an interest for the dolphins after a past encounter with them of his own. We won’t spoil what happens next in the book as those amusing events are for you to find out for yourself and keep all of the excitement and mystery that follows.



Red Star

In Dragonseye, there is a terrible danger approaching all of Pern as the inhabitants have found out that the Red Star is approaching fast and bringing one of the worst waves of the Thread upon the people. They haven’t seen anything like this from the first time the Thread ever fell and that was something that almost wiped out everyone on the planet.

Slightly Annoying

There is particular character in this book who might get on your nerves as he refuses to believe that this threat is approaching and he might just cause another armageddon all over again.

Chalkin of Bitra

His name is Chalkin of Bitra and what’s even worse is that he is a Lord Holder and that means that he has a responsibility to house and protect the people from such an occasion in his Hold, but you can see where the annoying part comes as he stubbornly refuses to do so. He doesn’t even believe that the danger is real.

The Masterharper of Pern


Talking to Dragons

The Masterharper of Pern is a story about a boy with so much talent for music and singing that he actually possessed the ability to talk to dragons. This boy is the son of a beautiful couple who made perfect harmonies when singing together. It was to be expected that their son would have musical talent but no one ever expected him to be so gifted.


This boy’s name is Robinton and although his career was a total success without on bump in the road, he did have a lot of personal problems as his father was never a good enough father to him as he never spent any time with his son.

Best of the Best

The Harper Hall shaped this boy to be the best of the best and he eventually got a chance to do even more good with his life after getting a chance to save Lessa from the brutal Holder Fax. Lessa is also a very important person in these characters’ lives as she is said to be the savior of the dragons of Pern.

The Skies of Pern


End at Last

The Skies of Pern is the book of the series that finally brings an end to the horrible curse known as the Thread that has been bringing destruction and death to Pern for centuries.

Now, finally the Red Star that was responsible for all of that has been shifted into a safe orbit and the current Threadfall that is happening will finally be the last one they ever see.

New Danger

But, the world of Pern is definitely not out of danger yet as there is always something else to make things interesting. A new danger now appears from the sky which you will get to read all about in the book itself and see what this new type of problem could be bringing the people and dragons of Pern this time.

In a world where the dragons might not be needed anymore, the people quickly realize that they would never be able to survive without them as the new threat proves exactly the same.

A Gift of Dragons: Illustrated Stories


Short Stories

A Gift of Dragons is one of the few short stories and short story collections in Dragonriders of Pern book series. Inside it are three beloved and wonderful short stories that offer amazing plots that fit in nicely between the events of the main story in the book and there is also a new bonus story that is definitely going to hit you like a nice surprise.


One of the stories is called The Smallest Dragonboy and in it, the main character is a young boy named Keevan, he is the youngest dragonrider candidate this time around and there is no determination bigger than his own to impress a dragon once the new clutch of eggs hatches. There is quite an interesting surprise waiting as the story progresses.

The second story is called The Girl Who Heard Dragons which is about a (you guessed it) girl who can hear and understand dragons, a definitely rare ability that many wish for. The third one is called The Runner of Pern and it is about Tenna, a girl who follows her family tradition and delivers messages. The last, bonus tale in this collection is also something to look forward to as there are very amusing surprises inside also.

The Smallest Dragonboy

This is the longer version of the first story we mentioned from the A Gift of Dragons collection. As you know, Keevan is the main character in this book as he is a determined young boy who must bond and impress his own dragon at all costs, it is simply his greatest wish.

Keevan is the candidate for the new clutch of the dragon Ramoth but he doesn’t seem to be the best dragonrider material as he is the shortest among the others, the youngest, and is constantly teased by the others who are giving him a hard time. Mostly for the fact that he is a boy who has waited and been a candidate for 8 Impressions and still hasn’t gotten a chance.


You will see a tale of a young boy who is working extremely hard to get what his wants, to be determined like that is definitely many should strive for as it shows a lot about you. Keevan’s worries are not yet over however as he overhears the elders talking that they should drop the younger candidates. You get to find out what this means for our small protagonist.

The Girl Who Heard Dragons


16 Stories

The Girl Who Heard Dragons is about a girl who can understand dragons but it is also another collection of short stories coming from the world of dragons called Pern.

There are 16 amazing short stories in this collection book including the main one about the girl who has one of the rarest abilities on Pern, to be able to completely understand what dragons are saying and say it back to them as well.

A Little Break

It’s definitely a nice thing to take a break from the main story that talks about more serious matters and enjoy some time reading these short stories that also talks about the world of Pern and the dragonriders but in a more fun and laid back style.

There are almost 400 pages of short stories inside so you are going to have an exciting few days before you get to continue on with the main story in the series.

Dragon’s Kin



This one is one of the few books inside that Anne has written together with her son Todd McCaffrey. In Dragon’s Kin, you read a story about a character named Kindan, a young man who has decided to join his father at the coal mines of Camp Natalon and get to work.


Those mines are definitely a dangerous place to work at but they do have a Watch-wher, a creature that is a distant relative to the huge dragons who keeps watch over everything and has special abilities that are suited for dark and cold places such as the mines.


Things were going smooth, as smooth as a coal mine can be, but one day, in an instant, a terrible disaster leaves young Kindan without a family and the camp without its Watch-wher. A new journey emerges from this for Kindan as he has a chance to become a Harper now which is something that he actually wanted before too. Nuella is a girl who becomes a huge part of Kindan’s life and the rest of the story that follows after.



Fatal Illness

In the previous book, Anne managed to write another masterpiece along with her son Todd, but this time, she leaves all the work to Todd as he proves that he has his mother’s taste in writing so he creates Dragonsblood, a tale about the mysterious and fatal illness that is spreading fast among dragons.


Lorana is one of the main characters who you get to meet in this story as her own beloved dragon, named Arith, is also among the infected. Her mission is well known, finding a cure for this before something terrible happens and before the next Threadfall that is approaching very soon makes searching for a cure simply impossible until it goes away.

Lost Knowledge

So she starts her journey, looking for long-lost knowledge about the cure for this sickness. Find out if Lorana has what it takes to find it on time before things get even worse than they already are.

Dragon’s Fire



This book is Anne’s and Todd’s second collaboration and they have again succeeded in writing another one of their amazing stories about the dragons and dragonriders of Pern. This story talks about a character named Pellar, a gifted tracker who always comes in handy on various missions, especially when it comes to finding someone or something.

Life Full of Struggle

You quickly find out that Pellar didn’t exactly have the most fun childhood as he is an orphan who was taken in by Masterharper Zist and on top of that, he is even mute which definitely presents its difficulties in life.


Pellar respects Zist and when he gets an opportunity to carry out an investigation at the Natalon coal mines after Zist heads over to taken control there, he instantly takes it and follows him for a secret mission of his own.

Dragon Harper


Best Friends

Dragon Harper is a book from Dragonriders of Pern series that has a new kind of danger for a change, rather than the deadly Thread, and also a book in which you get to read about a lot of drama as you get to read about the Harper Hall best friends, Kindan, Nonala, and Kelsa.


A few other characters come into play that definitely change the outcome of the story, one of them is a horrible bully, called Vaxoram. He constantly bullies the ladies so when Kindan steps into to defend one of them he ends up in a fight for his life, a fight that will surprise you with its outcome.

Horrible Plague

Aside from the teenage drama part, the real trouble begins when they discover a horrible plague that might just be the thing that ends all life on this planet, it would prove even deadlier than the annoying Threadfall. Now there is an exciting read that you certainly cannot miss out on.



Trouble Ahead

Dragonheart continues the story that started in Dragonsblood, the sickness that threatens to kill all of the dragons on Pern is still to be taken care of and a lot of new troubles appear before the characters which will definitely test them if they care enough to save their magnificent beasts and only protectors from the fatal Thread.

Time Travel

This story is also a time travel story as a few of the characters take you back in time to discover this long lost knowledge to create the cure for this deadly disease that seems to be a match for their beloved dragons.

First Civilization

The mission leads them to the first civilization that lived on Pern, it has always been said that they possessed what was necessary to make sure that the dragons survive this deadly plague. You get to find out if that is true and if it is, what could this rare cure possibly be and how it would work.




We are approaching the end of this review as there are only 3 books left in it. This one is called Dragongirl and as you can probably guess from the title, the main character and protagonist in this one is a girl, she is called Fiona. This story actually continues the previous one as well, about the dragon sickness that seems to have become the number one concern of so many.


It looks like Fiona is about to become a Weyrwoman as news spreads that the dragons might not actually survive this deadly plague. They seem to be dying faster than before and even more dragons are becoming sick every day.


A lot of mystery comes your away from this book as they are still searching the past for any sign of clues to this cure that is said could cure the suffering dragons. You also get to meet new allies that might prove crucial to finding the cure.

Dragon’s Time


Big Sacrifice

The end of this review is almost here as only two books are left to be reviewed. Dragon’s Time is the book that finally tells you that the deadly plague that took so many dragons’ lives has finally been eradicated even though it took a huge sacrifice for it to be done, a sacrifice that you will find out all about yourself as we don’t want to give out too many spoilers here.

Even Worse

There is even more tragedy now as this disease was so horrible that there are simply not enough dragons to withstand another Threadfall and defend everyone on the ground. Even more concerning is that Lorana is pregnant now and she still has a ton of responsibilities if the world is to be protected and safe again.

Time Travel

They attempt time travel again, on a mission to try and change a few things and if you have read any time travel science fiction before, then you know that those kinds of things almost always go wrong.

Sky Dragons


Rebuilding Pern

And finally, the last one in review, Sky Dragons is a book that shows you the process of rebuilding Pern after the horrible sickness almost got to every single dragon on the planet, if that was to happen, the Thread would have finished off the rest of the humans and Pern would be a ghost town.

Tight Deadline

Even worse, they are on a deadline as they have to rebuild before the next Threadfall comes and starts the destruction. The find a risky plan which involves traveling to an unexplored island that has a lot of dangers inside it as well.


Hopefully, the short summaries that you read about each of the books were enough for you to understand what kind of story you can expect in this series and decide whether it would be good enough for your needs.

Robert Hazley

Robert is a science fiction and fantasy geek. (He is also the best looking Ereads writer!) Besides reading and writing, he enjoys sports, cosplay, and good food (don't we all?). Currently works as an accountant (would you believe that?)