Kindan is an apprentice harper at the Harper Hall but he is finding the lessons very difficult and although he has his friends, Nonala, Kelsa and Verilan, he also has enemies, such as the bully Vaxoram. Things begin to improve for Kindan when he beats Vaxoram in a duel and Vaxoram becomes first his servant and then gradually his trusted friend. ...
Kindan is an apprentice harper at the Harper Hall but he is finding the lessons very difficult and although he has his friends, Nonala, Kelsa and Verilan, he also has enemies, such as the bully Vaxoram. Things begin to improve for Kindan when he beats Vaxoram in a duel and Vaxoram becomes first his servant and then gradually his trusted friend. Then Kindan impresses a fire-lizard and becomes the proud owner of the magnicent Valla. At the hatching he meets Koriana, daughter of Lord Holder Bemin of Fort Hold. She also impresses and she and Kindan fall in love, but her parents disapprove and she has to return to Fort Hold. Then a plague begins to spread across Pern, killing nearly everyone infected.Kindan and his friends search the harper records to see if they can find a cure, but all they can find is mention of a similar plague over a hundred Turns past. As the plague gets worse Kindan and Vaxoram are sent to Fort Hold to help tend the sick. Kindan will be reunited with Koriana, but will she be free of the plague, and will he be able to find a cure before more people die?
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Publishers Weekly, 2007-10-15 As a terrible plague sweeps Pern, a brave Harper apprentice emerges as a true hero in this satisfying third collaboration between McCaffrey mere and fils (after 2006's Dragon's Fire). The danger this time is not the deadly Thread but a virulent disease, similar to our world's 1918 influenza epidemic or the more recent outbreaks of SARS. Kindan, a young apprentice of the Harpers' Guild who's dedicated to music, education and healing, had hoped to become a dragonrider, but failed to bond with a dragon at the last hatching. Then his education and budding romance with a lord's daughter are disrupted by the epidemic, which poses a particular threat to the dragons and dragonriders who will be needed to fight the approaching Thread. 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. (Dec.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
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