Dragon's Code by Gigi McCaffrey is the latest novel in the Dragonriders of Pern saga and, through my own lens of nostalgia for the older Pern novels, an extremely fun and satisfying read. Many people will, of course, compare Gigi McCaffrey's writing to that of her mother Anne McCaffrey, or even her brother Todd McCaffrey. Instead, I want to take a look at the book for the enjoyable return to the world of Pern that it is.
Gigi McCaffrey fills her story with many memorable characters from her mother's series. Fans of the series will be delighted to see familiar names and reminisce about previous adventures in the world of Pern; while those that have never read a Pern novel before can enjoy being introduced to these characters for the first time, and will undoubtedly want to go back and learn more about them by reading the series from the beginning.
Fair warning, if you don't want certain plot elements of the Dragonriders of Pern saga to be spoiled by this book then you should read the first three books of the series before tackling this one, especially The White Dragon. Also, if you wish to become more familiar with the main character of this story and the characters he interacts with you should check out Dragonsinger and Dragondrums. We will ignore these plot elements in this review, and try to be as spoiler free as possible.
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In Dragon's Code we return to the world of Pern, where dragons and their riders provide a united front to protect the world from the scourge of Thread, a silvery substance that falls from the skies and burns and destroys almost anything it touches. The flames spewed by the dragons are one of the few sure ways of destroying Thread.
However, unrest has brewed between certain factions of the dragon riders, and a mysterious illness affecting the dragons is adding to the tension. Amidst this turmoil we follow Piemur, a journeyman Harper (skilled historians, musicians, and diplomats of Pern), as he struggles to help calm tensions between the dragon riders, and also find his own place in the world.
While reading this book I was hit by waves of nostalgia, and every time I came across a familiar name I couldn't help but smile and think back on what I remembered about their story. With it being so long since I had read any other Pern novels there were many plot points that I had forgotten, but this in no way made reading the book less enjoyable. In fact, it made it an entirely fun and interesting experience. It also made it clear that this is a book can be enjoyed by long time veterans of the Pern novels and newcomers to the series alike.
If you're interested in checking out more of the Dragonriders of Pern series, please take a look at our book series page here, and if you want to dive right in by purchasing the book, then click below.
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