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In the world of Pern, Harpers are regarded to be more powerful than kings, for the music they play can literally control the minds of others. For young Menolly, her dreams of becoming a Harper have nothing to do with power, but rather her love of music. Now she is finally living out her musical dreams as an apprentice Harper, but it''s turning out to be more challenging than she thought.
Formerly forbidden to study music because of her gender, Menolly quickly encounters hostility from a number of her male peers and masters. But she is not alone in her struggles. With the help of new friends, teachers, and her nine fire lizards, Menolly finds that her musical talents may prove more powerful than anyone could imagine.
Born in 1926, Anne McCaffrey became a writer somewhat later than most--her first novel, RESTOREE, was published in 1968. Prior to then, McCaffrey had studied Slavonic Language and Literature at Radcliffe College, been married and had three children, and devoted a lot of time and effort to music and acting, eventually becoming heavily involved with the American premiere of one of Carl Orff's stage pieces. Unquestionably, McCaffrey's major fiction work is the Dragon Riders of Pern series. It began auspiciously in 1967 with a Hugo Award-winning short story, "Weyr Search," that was expanded into her novel, DRAGONFLIGHT. Still going strong after more than 30 years, it is one of the most renowned series in the fantasy genre. The name of her home, Dragonhold-Underhill, is derived from these books. McCaffrey's first four books, RESTOREE, DECISION AT DOONA, DRAGONFLIGHT, and THE SHIP WHO SANG, are all classics written at a time when the worlds of science fiction and fantasy were largely dominated by male writers and male characters. McCaffrey's early writing stood in direct opposition the "establishment," and helped pave the way for other women writers. Her later material has continued in this vein, and while not perhaps achieving the commercial success of some of her contemporaries, has nonetheless maintained an extraordinarily high standard of quality.
From the Publisher
Menolly studies under the Masterharper in her quest to become an esteemed Harper of Pern.