In One Word

In One Word, Dragonflight by Anne McCafferty is…

  • First published in 1968 by Ballantine Books
  • Format: Physical Book – Published in 1978 by Corgi Books
  • Reading Time: 3 struggling days


  • Because I’m trying to read as much fantasy and sci fi written by women as possible, finding the perfect book for the ‘Maternal Heritage’ challenge in Dancing with Fantasy and Sci Fi was very difficult. In the end, I went back to the old standby of picking one of Annemieke’s recommendations.
  • Exciting premise for Lessa – the lost heiress of a kingdom forced to the lowest rungs of palace society, biding her time and using clever manipulation of everyone around her until the perfect moment to retake her birthright. Lessa is an awesome character and perfect to bring back the Weyr from the brink. She brought the contemptuous lords of the land and her fellow dragonriders to heel excellently too and was easily the reason why I ranked this book higher than two stars. A good main character can really elevate an average book.
  • Feel like, as Shyla Fairfax-Owen excellently put it, I’m the new kid at the table and don’t get any of the inside jokes from the other people. I still don’t know what Threads are, only that they’re bad business, and I don’t really have a good grasp of the dragon hierarchy. Only that gold dragons are queens and bronze dragons are higher than blues and greens but not a lot else. Some more world building is definitely needed. One little prologue suggesting futuristic technology long lost won’t do.
  • Unsatisfied with the romance between Lessa and F’Lar. They don’t have much chemistry at all and I don’t think F’Lar respects Lessa nearly as much as she deserves. Near the end, it even turned rather disturbing.
  • Dragonriders or Weyr might belong to an organisation led by women but that doesn’t mean there aren’t a few elements that haven’t stood the test of time. The role of Weyrwoman definitely seems to be traditionally more a symbolic leadership role, delegating most of the actual duties to a man, and the Weyrwoman’s golden queen mount is there only to lay eggs. The book’s definitely showing its age there.
  • Did not expect time travel to come into it. Teleportation was a surprise but that came completely out of the blue. I like the way the author doesn’t make time travel too easy as well. Being in two places at once takes a toll on the body and mind so abuse of this power and giving the main character a get-out-of-struggle free card is averted.
  • Losing interest a bit as the plot slows down. The pacing is a bit on the tame side with not much sense of urgency. Mostly because the threat of the Threads is never adequately explained and there’s a lot of time spent talking about it rather than acting on it. I know I must have missed a few important things because I was skipping over parts that were boring me.
  • I found out after reading this that Dragonflight was two novellas merged into one and, yes, that does show. I think I might have enjoyed it more reading it separately or maybe even listening to it as an audiobook.
  • Not a lot of character development at all. Apart from Lessa, the others feel very one-dimensional and uninteresting. I can’t say any of them made much of an impression on me. Not a good one, anyway.
  • Going out with a cliffhanger that left me feeling very cold indeed. Too much of the book depended on prior knowledge of the world and I just couldn’t get up to speed at all. This is quite a disappointment.

Goodreads Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️

Did you agree with my rating? Can you think of a better word to describe it? Please let me know with a like, share or comment.

2 thoughts on “In One Word, Dragonflight by Anne McCafferty is…”

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