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The White Dragon (4 stars)

The story itself doesn’t measure up to the first two books of the Pern series, but is still worth reading. The first two books had a certain amount of wonder and tension in them (especially the first) that is missing in this story. Pern is pretty much under control and the the tension is provided by conflict between the northern holds and weirs and the recalcitrant “old timers” in the Southern continent. Also, there is the adventure of Jaxom, the heir to Ruatha hold, as he grows up under the tutelage of his mentor, a dragonless rider, and actually manages to impress a dragon — a white runt — by accident.

With full Weirs, thread is not a major menace, so it’s not the major source of tension and things in Pern are pretty much reduced to “normal”. Well, as normal as things can be during a “pass”. The sense of urgency in the first book just isn’t there. However, Jaxom’s problems, both political and romantic, and the conflict between north and south are sufficient to keep the book entertaining.

And there’s always the dragons, which are the main attraction for many readers.

So, if you can score or borrow a copy, by all means get it. You won’t be disappointed.

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