Home > Book Reviews > Review: The Renegades of Pern by Anne McCaffrey

Review: The Renegades of Pern by Anne McCaffrey

I don’t recommend The Renegades of Pern unless you have previously read other books in the Dragonriders of Pern series.  In particular:

This is not a standalone book.

Renegades runs concurrently with the first 2 trilogies and tells many of the same stories or enhances the understanding of the economy, peoples, and hold life that was somewhat less important in the classic series.  I was particularly taken with the description early in the book of a roving trader caravan’s first encounter with thread, caught out in the open with limited protection (and very little thought, perhaps, that thread was even real).  This story snippet and the devastated family’s attempt to find more permanent shelter in a Hold was a vast contrast to the more active and potent response to thread by the dragonriders.

The book opens with a series of flash incidents where Pernese individuals become renegade (by choice, arrogance, flight from danger, despair) outside of Hold, Craft, and Weyr.  These individuals recur throughout the narrative.

Also fascinating was McCaffrey’s use of alternate points of view to fill in stories which were only tangentially or briefly discussed in earlier books.  For example, Piemur hides away in a storeroom in Dragondrums and the Harper Hall eventually determines that he must have been accidentally spirited away to the Southern Continent.  Renegades tells his side of his escape, exploration arrangement with Toric (the ambitious Southern holder), and his eventual reuniting with his friends.

Although the book is a bit of a “filler” book (covering periods in the 12th, 15th, and 17th year of the Red Star’s current pass), it does tell a continuous thread (pardon the pun) throughout, especially with the rebellious Thella, the sister of the Lord Holder of Telgar Hold.  Passed over as a holder herself in favor of her male sibling, she becomes embittered and sets up a parasitic hold of her own, collecting other holdless, and often equally as ruthless, “renegades”.

The story neatly sets up All the Weyrs of Pern.

3 1/2 out of 5 stars (finished May 24, 2011)

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