Pern AL 50: the geneticist Wind Blossom is nearing the end of her long life and is painfully aware that the colonists are running out of the modern technology the settlers brought with them to Pern and that they are forgetting how to use what they do have. Society is beginning to revert to a feudal system and Wind Blossom is concerned that future generations may be hit by an illness they have no tools to fight and that mankind may subsequently be wiped off the face of Pern.
AL 507: Lorana is training to be an animal healer but when she arrives at Benden Weyr she impresses a golden dragon and becomes a dragonrider. However, a deadly and mysterious plague begins to wipe out the dragons, leaving mankind no defence against the deadly Thread which has just begun to fall. Lorana has two firelizards who manage to travel Back in time to Wind Blossom's era. Wind Blossom discovers what is wrong with the dragons and comes up with a cure. She also devises a way to leave clues for Lorana so that she can discover the cure in her time and save the dragons, and thus the future of mankind on Pern.
The torch has been passed and burns more brightly than ever in this latest chapter of the venerable Pern saga, the first of what one hopes will be many solo efforts by the son of series creator Anne McCaffrey (Dragons of Pern). The narrative shifts smoothly between Wind Blossom, one of the original colonists of Pern, who's struggling to create a legacy for future generations before she dies, and Lorana, a young dragonrider born 450 years later with unusual talents for healing and telepathy. A genuinely spellbinding set of time travel puzzles and paradoxes is set against the moving backdrop of two populations struggling to survive: the children of the colonists, learning to live in a new world as they lose the technology of the old one, and the dragons of Lorana's time, who are dying of a mysterious plague just when they're needed to protect Pern. The strength of the two women and the mysterious connection between them is gradually revealed through a number of surprising and sometimes heartbreaking parallel occurrences. This stand-alone tale fits beautifully into the existing history and style of earlier books while still breaking new ground. Despite being geared toward the existing fan base, it will be quite accessible to new readers. In her introduction, the elder McCaffrey writes, "son, you done did good and me proud!" Even the most nepotism-wary will concur and eagerly look forward to the next installment. , with his mother.
This book fits in beautifully with Anne's books, filling a gap that needed filling.