❰Ebook❯ ➣ The White Dragon Author Anne McCaffrey – Saudionline.co.uk

10 thoughts on “The White Dragon

  1. says:

    Yes by all means, judge a book set in a feudalistic world surrounded by dragon on your personal interpretation of feminism on Earth circa 2013. This makes no sense to me. If you're going to read a book I think you should read a book and suspend your sense of self to really get a feel for the world that's being created. Now yes McCaffrey wrote a lot of these books in the 60's and 70's and she did not write super liberated women, though for her time they would have seemed quite progressive no doubt. However again, the stories are set in a fantasy world that is feudal in nature so how about judging the writing on the writing? The stories are creative, plausible, the science of this world has continuity and logic, the characters are well written. They are great stories meant to be entertaining and distracting, not to be analyzed like you're in 5th period English.

  2. says:

    Okay, wow, I had forgotten how unpleasant I find Jaxom about half the time. He's a sympathetic character in that he gets to do all this cool stuff, but the internal monologue and motivations McCaffrey gives him are kind of tool-y. His distress over having no one real place where he fits is deeply appealing, but the way he whines about it is not.

    Also, hi dodgy gender issues, how I didn't miss you! They're prevalent enough in the Lessa books and the Menolly books, almost negligible in Piemur's book, but here, where you're deeply wedged into Jaxom's brain, they're even worse. His treatment of Corana, the holder girl he first takes up with in order to have a cover for training Ruth to chew firestone, is abysmal. First he almost-forces her when he's caught up in the mating tensions of the green at Fort (which is brushed away when Ruth says but she liked it), then Jaxom is glad to have his attachment to Sharra as an acceptable excuse for ditching her, except for when Sharra doesn't immediately succumb to his charms(?), he considers seeking out Corana "for a little relief", if only in idle contemplation. I suppose that's some of the class wonkiness in these books coming out, too (Sharra is not for 'relief' because she's Toric's sister, but Corana's father is beholden to Jaxom, so that's okay!), but the whole thing is deeply unpleasant.

    And don't even get me started on the whole Jaxom-Menolly thing, or Jaxom and Piemur snitting over Sharra, or poor freakin' Mirrim, who has a careless tongue but has had just as rough a deal as Jaxom but is comstantly slagged on in all these books.

    Still, though. Still. Like with all these books, above and beyond some of the crappy characters and weird class structure and hopefully-outdated views on women, they are so bloody compelling. Like Pern, like Valdemar, I suppose. There remains something inherently attractive about a magical being choosing you and you alone to be their special friend.

    I do love the mixing and merging of Craft and Hold and Weyr in this book, as the culmination of the whole trilogy. Or, really, what I consider the six original Pern books - the Dragonrider and Dragonsinger trilogies. I'm glad there's All the Weyrs of Pern that comes after it, but really this is the close of the heart of Pernese canon for me.

  3. says:

    No extra points in the rating for the awesome dragons and unique world this time around. The shine of Pern has worn off, and all that's left is the author's writing. In that regard, this book was pretty lackluster.

    I had a lot of hope for Jaxom and Ruth after Dragonquest. I was pretty much completely disappointed. Jaxom is a whiny, bratty kid that I had absolutely no investment in. In fact, I actively want him to fail. Characters that are special and wonderful at everything just for the sake of it annoy me, and McCaffrey seems to be frequently guilty of this. Jaxom is a Lord Holder AND a dragon rider AND super smart and daring and skilled and blah blah. How was all this getting developed since most of his established history as a youth is him being coddled by the overbearing Lytol? His character development was less development than abrupt change. He starts off rather meek, unwilling to assert himself and letting his caretakers fuss over him and his peers tease him. Then one day he throws a hissy fit, and suddenly everyone realizes he's actually a ~man~ and ready for all sorts of responsibilities that they pile on. Because hissy fits are totally the adult way to handle things. He's now ready to fly his dragon, and learn about Hold affairs, and train in all the Craft halls, and also have time to secretly train his dragon and take it upon himself to save the day. He constantly does stupid and reckless things, but instead of being told off, he's praised for being so adventurous and doted on by everyone as he recovers.

    His love interests are completely undeveloped and actually rather insulting. First he only wants girl A to use as an alibi, then he kind of likes girl A because she strokes his ego (and more than his ego, if you know what I mean) so he uses her for more than just an alibi, then he completely ignores girl A and doesn't bother to talk to her again (seriously, he casually mentions her a few times, but no actual interactions or attempts at communication for the rest of the book) at all after months away and a near-death experience because suddenly he's in love with girl B for no reason except her voice is pretty. ??? Sure. Even better, when he can't manage to get girl B alone, he contemplates using girl A again. Real Romeo, there.

    Ruth is completely uneventful too - apparently the only unique thing about being the only white dragon ever is that fire lizards adore him, and he isn't interested in mating. Hardly worth all the build up of him being so special. We never even learn WHY he's white, or if there's any precedent for him. Unsatisfying follow through here.

    A few saving graces character-wise in this book: Master Robinton and Menolly. As I understand it, they are the main characters of the Harper Hall trilogy, so maybe those books will be more interesting for me - but then I was excited about Jaxom until McCaffrey actually wrote him as a main character. Regardless, Robinton seems to be the only rational person on Pern (except when it comes to his health), and Menolly is rather clever and funny. The glimpses of Brekke were also great, and I wish she could have been developed more. She had a lot of untapped potential, both in her ability to communicate with all dragons and how she dealt with the loss of her own.

    Plot-wise, this book has a lot of the same problems that the first two did, in that there doesn't seem to be a solid issue building up to any sort of climax, and no resolution. I was more willing to ignore it in the first two books, but this is the last in a trilogy, so I expected a little more oomph. Mostly the trilogy seems to be about discovering things about dragons or the planet that they mostly had forgotten in the passing of time. Which is fine, but could have included a little more plot structure to keep the reader entertained. Instead it just comes off like a bunch of set up for the next generation to deal with. Like, well now we've got the grubs, and all the Southern continent to explore and we know Thread comes from the Red Star - you guys take it from here! I know these are just three books in a huge collection, but a little payoff would be nice.

  4. says:

    The White Dragon wraps up the Dragonriders of Pern trilogy quite neatly; however, pretty much everyone knows that it isn't the end for Pern. Although the series got off to a slightly rough start, it actually got much better as it went on. If you're a fan of science fiction, and you've never read anything by Anne McCaffrey, what are you waiting for? Give her books a chance!

  5. says:

    Sometimes the runt is more important than anyone thought.

  6. says:

    Oh, my gosh. I read this over and over in sixth grade, giggling naughtily all the while. Good grief, Jaxom and that buxom farmer's sister!

    I think I read this before any of the other Pern books, though I had read DRAGONSINGER. I loved Ruth, and the idea of a dragon who was just big enough to ride, but small enough to be kept at home.

  7. says:

    Another great story of Pern. This one focuses on Jaxom, the Lord Holder of Ruatha and his white dragon, Ruth.

    You learn a lot more of Jaxom and those he interacts with. You learn of his friendships and how he struggles with becoming Lord. His relationship with his dragon is wonderful and they make a great team. They take on some interesting endeavors that have you cheering them on. He is a great character and he interacts with other characters that I have grown to love through this series, like Menolly and Masterharper Robinton.

    This is another fantastic book in this series.

  8. says:

    This is basically a review of the three books that make up the trilogy. There actually was a book between books two and three that I'm not counting, but which do introduce several characters in this book, but I'm not counting it as one of the main books because that book was originally published as YA and it wasn't available at my local library.

    I prefer to review the books as they exist, and not the book I'd wished someone had written. I also think that if a book is part of a series that is more than 40 years old, expecting it to follow conventions of the 21st Century is silly.

    I've just finished re-reading all three books. I gave all three of them four stars because even with some reservations about the books, I was pulled into reading them one after another and right now! That bit of magic still exists, and it isn't just that this was a favorite series way back when.

    One thing that any SF book of that era required was levels of world building that most series don't currently have. I'm pretty sure McCaffrey could have answered questions as to WHY any bit of Pern's culture existed, and in fact there are stories about most of those answers. And the series is SF and not Fantasy because there are stories about how Pern was settled, why Pern was abandoned by it technological parents, and even how the dragons got to be the size they needed to be to fight Thread. Back when these books were written the difference between SF and Fantasy was the ability to explain how things that looked like a fantasy were arrived at.

    My biggest reservation always was that her villains are just too one dementionable. They exist only so the hero or heroine can fight against them. Personally I prefer that my hero fight against people and things that are more real.

    Outside of that it was a fun read and I do recommend all three books.

  9. says:

    10/2014 Reread. The continuing adventure with Don to rediscover Pern.

    I love Ruth. I love Jaxom.

    They are pleased to see us in the air together. Ramoth and Mnementh are very happy to see you on my back at last. I am very happy. Are you happier now?
    And fire lizards!

    I forgot how jam-packed the Pern stories were. Ruth and Jaxom's maturation is only a small portion of what happens as the politics expand, problems inflate and then are resolved, but really the bond between the two is what drove the book for me.

    The explorations of the southern continent. The discovery of the Dawn Sisters and the connection to the past is great. F'lar and the others are determined to leave the weyrs in a much better position after the Pass than they entered it. As usual, the adept statesmanship and Robinton's skills are front and center again.

    I look forward the the Harper Hall trilogy and more details on Robinton and Menolly.
    “I loved you first, Master.”

    Favorite quote:
    You can, you know, be all and more, without being disloyal to anyone, or yourself.”

  10. says:

    As much as I loved the first two books of the Dragonriders of Pern series, The White Dragon remains my favorite. And not because of Jaxom, whom I never liked as a lead character/protagonist. Ruth was my favorite character. Ruth, the stunted runt totally unique White Dragon.

    The archaeological discoveries on the Southern Continent at the original landing site are the most memorable and compelling parts of this installment in the saga of Pern. And Ruth's abilities to manipulate time and space are unparalleled in the evolution of the dragons.

    As with most of McCaffrey's novels, I tend to skip over the romantic story lines as they bore me to tears. Rarely does she write a romantic subplot that engages me. And her attempts at jealous revenge subplots also grates on me.

    But that aside, I enjoy the early Pern novels, and this one, along with Dragonsong are my favorites.

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