|Submitted by Steve Painter |
(Jan 20, 2004)
I'm a big fan of the Pern series, and consequently also a big fan of Robinton himself. So reading this book was thoroughly enjoyable for me due to the insight it gave me into Robinton and Pernese life during the Long Interval.
Unfortunately, the book is far from perfect. The parts concerned with Harper Hall seem to be directly lifted from Dragonsinger; Robinton is a direct analogue of Menolly through most of his experiences at the hall.
Other aspects of the plot are repeats of earlier books, and that grew a little tedious. But most unforgiveable are the vast number of inconsistencies that have been compounded by this novel. McCaffrey regularly makes consistency errors (where are her proof-readers?) but there are two notable cases that really stand out in this novel.
The first has to do with the order of founding of the major Holds of Pern. In all books prior to First Fall, Ruatha was cited again and again as the second oldest hold. Then First Fall makes reference to Boll being founded a couple of years prior. At that point, the inconsistency is forgivable. Maybe the true order was forgotten over time, maybe Pierre de Courcis didn't found SOUTH Boll Hold till a little later. But Masterharper has Robinton create a little ditty for slower students to remember the order of founding that goes "First Fort Hold and then South Boll..." (or something like that).
The second inconsistency has to do with Harpers going around preaching the Charter to all and sundry. And that Robinton had "seen the original, remarkably preserved" in Fort or the Hall (I forget which). However, I could swear that the original Charter is unearthed from a box in Fort Hold during All the Weyrs of Pern, and indeed, it is in that book where such a great fuss is made over how remarkably close Pernese law has held to that document over the years.
Anyway, Masterharper was a decent read but definitely annoying for any pedants out there like me. Anne, you should get more people to check your work!!!