Dragonflight is an iconic book in the fantasy world. Not only is it one of the first emerging fantasy books of the time, but also one of the first emergent female fantasy writers. Most people who read fantasy know the name Anne McCaffrey and are rather familiar with her Dragonrider’s of Pern books.
Here’s the thing: Dragonflight is old. It was first published in 1968, the first of its kind. This book is the very first book in the Pern series, so I would suggest starting here to get some of the world information as well as seeing how names and places and events are set up. There are many Pern books, some take place in times before Dragonflight and some take place long after. Dragonflight actually has two books that are directly related to it: Dragonquest and The White Dragon. Read those first.
The question is, should you even read this old fantasy novel? This book features Lessa who is trying to claim back her birthright to Benden Weyr from the usurper Fax. Not only does she have this problem, but all the other Weyrs (basically the worlds major civilizations) have been uninhabited for years and they need to utilize that land for food. After reclaiming her title and the trust of the people, Lessa must travel BACK IN TIME to bring all the Weyr leaders to the future to rebuild the civilizations of the Weyrs. Among all this, there are dragons and riders (Lessa having her dragon queen Ramoth).
The writing is old but rich, and the names of the people and dragons are very unique, but hard to remember. The story itself is very convoluted and hard to follow because of this, and the introduction to this world of Pern to us as the reader is not quite clear. I feel that my reading of the novel likewise makes this review convoluted as well because it was pretty hard for me to keep track and figure out what was going on, although I did finish the book. The end seemed very anticlimactic as well. The thing I remember the most about the book is the part where the usurpers mistress(?) is having a child. This child later becomes the important Jaxom in the next two books.
So, should you read Dragonflight? If you are a hardcore fantasy fan, then yeah, sure. Anne McCaffrey doesn’t have a billion books published for nothing. If you are looking for something engaging and exciting that you haven’t read yet, I would NOT suggest picking up Dragonflight. Go for something more like His Majesty’s Dragon or A Game of Thrones (both are tough texts, but they are more contemporary).