I have a handful of favorite fiction books from my youth to which I return periodically for a light and familiar escape. One such book is Dragonsong, of Anne McCaffrey’s Harper Hall Trilogy (among her many books about the fantastical land of Pern). I read many of the Pern books growing up, but the Harper Hall Trilogy tops my “frequently read” list of Anne McCaffrey books.
As a youth, I loved following the emotional adventures of Menolly — the musically talented, can’t-be-contained protagonist of Dragonsong — as she discovers elusive fire lizards (akin to small dragons) and strives to claim her voice as a songstress.
Menolly’s story, despite its otherworldly setting, traces that very common narrative of finding one’s place and purpose in the world. Reading Dragonsong as an adult, I recognize why the book continues to draw me in: the constant soul-searching and world-searching of an artistic person, the wonder of all that is unknown and unfolding, the stubbornness (ha!), and the importance of playing a necessary role in the grand scheme of things.
Also what drew me and continues to draw me in: the dragons. Seriously, if I can’t have the ability to fly myself, may I please have the opportunity to ride a dragon?