Title: Dragonquest – The Dragonriders of Pern, Book #2
Author: Anne McCaffrey
Publish Date: 1971
Publisher: Del Rey Books
Genre: Science Fiction
Sub-Genre: Dragons, Thread, Between, Mating Rituals, Animal Husbandry, Romance, Castes, Craftsmen, Time Travel, Inventions, Astronomy, History, Evolution, Treachery, Morality, Selective Breeding, Organic Medicine, Traditions, Telepathy, Empathy, Lords, Fire, Fire-stone
F’lar is the Weyrleader of Benden Weyr in northern Pern. He is respected among the Dragonfolk, Craftsmen, and commoners as an honest man. His Weyrmate, Lessa, had traveled back 400 turns to bring five Dragons and their riders to the future to help battle the Thread that is relentlessly attacking Pern from their home planet.
Although the Thread attacks occur in cycles, something has changed and the attacks are not following the schedule as exactly as they always had. This uncertainty has caused the people to press very hard for a solution to this new and unexpected development.
As the Old-time Weyrleaders and their Lords ask more and more of their commoners in tithes, gifts and worship, the Weyrs (homes of the Dragons and their riders) become more isolated from each other, not even trying to help other Weyrs fight Thread. The thread begins falling (Threadfall) more frequently and some Weyrleaders choose not to tell any other Weyrs about the Threadfall at all. In fact, the Oldtimers feel contempt for F’lar and the oldest, T’ron, wants him out of the way.
With ire against the other Weyrleaders by the commoners and Craftsmen rising to critical heights, F’lar meets with them to try and resolve some of their issues and to help out whenever and wherever he can.
The Oldtimers become angry with him over his meddling and openly begin accusing him of trying to take over their lands and corrupt their peoples. The worst of the accusations come from T’ron, the oldest of the five brought forward by Lessa. He decides that it is time to take it upon himself to be rid of the troublesome F’lar.
So T’ron attacks F’lar and wounds him in a fight in his attempt to take control of all the Weyrs, and thereby Pern itself, by force. With his wounds, F’lar falls ill and control of the Weyrs begins slipping even further into anarchy. With him to guide the people of Pern to work together, they are all now at the mercy of the Threads…
A red planet orbits the sun and every so often it comes close enough to Pern to allow Thread to cross the void between the two planets and fall to the fertile lands of Pern.