Wednesday, 22 April 1998

Anne McCaffrey: The Masterharper of Pern (1998)

Edition: Bantam, 1998
Review number: 29

This is the biography of the character Robinton, who appears in many of the Pern novels and appears to be one of McCafferey's favourite characters. It takes the story of his life up to the events of the first half of Dragonflight, the earliest written Pern novel. Even though she's now spent some time writing novels in the pre-history of the original Pern series, I've felt that its still best to read McCafferey's novel's in publication order.

I also felt that her style softened somewhat after Dragonflight, became more "young adult". Masterharper of Pern marks a return, after quite a few novels, to a novel where important issues are worked through rather than romanticised. This novel is centred around Robinton's relationship with his parents, particularly with his distant father, Petiron. Petiron is so engrossed in his music that he doesn't notice anything about his son. Masterharper of Pern is not a book where everything turns out right in the end; it is more mature than that. It is a little difficult to get started, but I felt it was well worth the effort.

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