It has been two hundred years since the last Threadfall on Pern and there is no one alive who remembers the deadly silver thread and its first horrific onslaught - except for the dragonriders. For two centuries they have been faithfully practicing the manuevers that Sean O'Connell, the first Weryleader, had developed to most effectively fight Thread. Now the signs of Threadfall are appearing: violent winter storms & volcanic eruptions, as well as other, more subtle signs. But one stubborn Lord Holder, Chalkin of Bitra, refuses to believe the signs. He also refuses to let his people prepare for Threadfall or to let dragonriders patrol his holdings. The Lord Holders must band together and find a way to deal with Chalkin before it is too late...
But, of course, Chalkin is not the only person who is causing problems. Clisser, who is in charge of teaching, is forced to deal with Pern's slowly dying technology. Most of the computers are already dead and unrepairable. Students and parents are rebelling at learning "useless" information, such as wars fought on old Terran and other alien information. Clisser and his fellow teachers must make the tough decision as to curriculum changes - do they begin teaching at the beginning of Pern's history and focus on the here and now or do they continue to teach their students to try and see beyond their own planet? Artist Iantine is caught up in Chalkin's evil wake when he accepted Chalkin's patronage and agreed to paint portraits of his children and his wife. Little did Iantine realize that Chalkin would not be satisfied with any portrait that he made and that he would be forced to pay for food and lodging while staying in Chalkin's home. When he was finally able to escape, he recorded the horrific circumstances of Chalkin's luckless people and forced the Lord Holder's council to realize that Chalkin was not doing his duty. K'vin is the new Weyrleader of Telgar Weyr and is uncertain as to his relationship with the Weyrwoman, Zulaya, who is older than he and much more experienced. As the newest Weyrleader, K'vin is determined to have Telgar put in a good showing at the first Threadfall. If only he could get brave fools like P'tero to stop taking foolish risks to show off for their lovers!
At first, when I started reading Dragonseye, I assumed it was just like Dragonflight - no one believes Thread will fall anymore, it is up to the heroic dragonriders to save everyone, etc., but I was pleasantly surprised by the subtle - but critical - differences. For one thing, Pern still has much of its technology intact at this point and people still remember the first settlers of Pern and why they came to the out of the way planet. They still have computers, pianos, solar panels, etc., and can repair much of what they have. This book covered the tough decisions as to what to pass on to future generations and how and the teaching ballads were born. They also wanted to create something more concrete to warn future Pernese that Thread was coming so they created the Star Stones. The Lord Holders were forced to look at the constitution of Pern and to make a decision regarding Chalkin and realize that lineage wasn't enough. It was also interesting to see the language start to shift into what is more recognizable in Dragonflight as the people of Pern start to use the word 'turn' for 'year', etc. Anyway, the story is familiar, but the characters contained are fresh and new and I greatly enjoyed this midway point between the original settlers and the time of F'lar and Lessa. I particularly enjoyed learning about the artists and found Iantine to be one of my favorite characters in the series. I know that other people have rated this book poorly, but I really enjoyed it and recommend it to other readers who have enjoyed the Pern series.
This report prepared by Debbie