In Brief: Well-evoked loneliness and despair of the sensitive girl musician caught friendless in a place where little music is needed, and certainly none from a girl. The final third of the book is less engaging, although it does show the efforts of the new Harper, Elgion, to widen the outlook of the Sea Holder and his people.
Published in: 1976
Age Range: Young Teens+
Three of the books in the Pern series group together as the Harper Hall Trilogy. This is the first and overlaps in time with the events in the more politically-minded Dragonflight & Dragonquest, but has the point of view of a young girl trapped in her remote Sea Hold with parents who actively thwart her yearning for music. Eventually she runs away and in doing so, befriends nine fire lizards.
If the new Harper found his Holder an unimaginative man, hardworking and hidebound, he had been well prepared for it by his training. His problem was that he must provoke a change, subtle at first, in what he found; for Masterharper Robinton wanted each of his journeymen to get every Holder and Craftmaster to think beyond the needs of their own lands, Hall and people. Harpers were not simply tellers of tales and singers of songs; they were arbiters of justice, confidants of Holders and Craftmasters and moulders of the young.
Tuesday 1st January 2002