Lessa awakes to a great fear; she knows something is wrong in her world, but she can't figure it out. F'lar knows he must find a strong woman to Impress the one queen egg or all Pern is doomed. Lessa wants only to gain back control of her hold from Fax, the conqueror of six holds, including her Ruatha. She is willing to manipulate and destroy both lives and property to be Lady of Ruatha and it is her impetuousness that gets Fax killed and her hold turned over to his newborn son. Her interference also leads to her discovery by F'lar. He sees Lessa's powers of magical manipulation and her strength and knows she can lead Pern. When she impresses Ramoth, the queen dragon, and F'lar's dragon Mnementh flys Ramoth, the two are leaders of Benden Weyr, the only Weyr out of six that remains. Even though the rest of Pern doubts the need of the dragons, F'lar knows the Thread, alien organisms from a planet known as the Red Star, will return and that the dragons' fiery breath is the only thing that can destroy them. When Lessa makes a startling discovery and Thread starts to fall, she realizes she can find the dragons they need to beat the Thread if she is willing to risk her life and Ramoth's to save Pern.
I love how McCaffrey makes the world of Pern so believable. From page one, you can believe Pern exists and her descriptions enable you to build a map in your head of that world. She also creates wonderfully flawed characters, who scheme and make horrible choices, but you somehow want them to succeed.
One problem with this book is that it is dated. Women definitely did not have as many rights in our society at the time it was written, let alone in a sort of medieval type society like in the book. Lessa and F'lar's first sexual encounter occurs due to their dragons mating and their love making is rape, although Lessa never phrases it that way, F'lar does. Their emotions are so tied to their dragons that they "mate," at the same time. Eventually the two come to "love" each other, but they are really brutal to each other in the beginning and through most of the book.
Favorite Characters: F'nor. He treats Lessa and F'lar with respect and is willing to do anything to save Pern.
Favorite Quote: "'I respect your doubts. There's nothing wrong in doubting. It sometimes leads to greater faith.'"
This is my least favorite in the series, but I do like the series, even if it is a bit dated. I remember the Harper Hall trilogy books as my favorites, so I will see if they remain that way. I never finished the whole series, but maybe with the rereads I can slowly finish. I can't wait to pick up the next one and get lost in McCaffrey's world of Pern! 3 cups of cocoa.