“[Anne] McCaffrey here adds yet another dimension to her colorful and vivid saga by focusing on the attractive dolphins and their highly believable society.”—Publishers Weekly
When the first humans came to settle the planet Pern, they did not come alone: intelligence-enhanced dolphins also crossed the stars to colonize Pern’s oceans while their human partners settled the vast continents. But then disaster struck. The deadly silver spores called Thread fell like rain from the sky, and as the human colonists’ dreams of a new, idyllic life shattered into a desperate struggle for survival, the dolphins were forgotten.
Now, centuries later, as the dragonriders of Pern prepare to complete the momentous task of ridding their world of Thread forever, T’lion, a young bronze rider, and his friend Readis, son of the Lord Holder of Paradise River Hold, make contact with the legendary “shipfish.” And as the dragonriders grapple with the end of an era, T’lion, Readis, and the dolphins face the start of a new one: reviving the bond between land- and ocean-dwellers—and resurrecting the dreams of the first colonists of Pern.
In this latest addition to McCaffrey's popular Pern series (Chronicles of Pern: First Fall, etc.), the humans of Pern are reunited, after eons of noncontact, with the intelligent dolphins who had originally settled the planet with them. When a boy, Readis, is rescued by ``shipfish'' and realizes that they can talk, he develops a lifelong obsession with the fascinating creatures. But, though his interest is shared by the young dragonrider T'Lion and his dragon, Gadareth, it is forbidden by his mother, who has feared the unusual ever since she was kidnapped by outlaws because of her ability to hear and talk with dragons. Readis pursues his briney friendships nonetheless, reporting his findings to the computer, Aivas, which is attempting to guide the humans to a new era by freeing Pern forever from the devastating, life-consuming Thread. Meanwhile, the leading dragonriders and holdlords must act to contain the lust for land and power of Toric, Lord Holder of the South. Expanding upon events related in All the Weyrs of Pern, McCaffrey here adds yet another dimension to her colorful and vivid saga by focusing on the attractive dolphins and their highly believable society.