Piemur is arguably one of the best singers in Harper Hall. He is eagerly anticipating his performance singing the role of Lessa in a new piece that Master Dominic has commissioned, when his voice starts to change. If Piemur can no longer sing, what role can he play at the Harper Hall? He has no patience for scribing, no skill for creating instruments and he doesn't compose, all he does is sing. Luckily, the Masterharper has a special job just for him. He is to become one of the Drummaster's apprentices and learn the drumbeats that deliver messages over the continent of Pern. Unfortunately, he is not well received in the drummer's tower and barely escapes lasting harm when his fellow apprentices play some nasty pranks on him.
But the Masterharper is not done with Piemur yet and quickly sends him out with Sebell to do some unobtrusive information gathering at Lord Meron's hold. Piemur is excited to be of help, but his natural curiosity gets the better of him and he finds some fire lizard eggs. Ever since he started helping Menolly feed her fair, he has desperately wanted a fire lizard egg of his own, a queen, naturally. He cannot resist the temptation and steals one of the eggs. When it is noticed, Piemur is forced into hiding and finds himself on the largely uninhabited Southern Continent. Unsure of who is friend and who is foe, Piemur sets off to make a home for himself and to forge a new life with his fire lizard, Farli, his runnerbeast, Stupid, and his own quick wits to aid him.
Dragondrums tells the tale of Piemur, one of the first harpers to befriend Menolly (Dragonsong & Dragonsinger) when she came to Harper Hall. He was a rascal in those books, but a very loveable character. I gave this book 4 stars because I felt that Piemur changed quite abruptly from that fun-loving boy into a secretive, solitude-seeker, which is completely opposite from what he was before. I know that it is high time that he grew up and changed, but I did not feel that it was in necessarily a good way. I still enjoyed the book and feel that anyone reading McCaffrey's excellent Pern series will not want to miss it because it offers some critical links as to what is happening on Pern in general between Dragonsinger and The White Dragon, but I enjoyed Dragonsong & Dragonsinger (book 1 & 2 of the Harper Hall Trilogy) much more so I was a little disappointed.
This report prepared by Debbie