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The White Dragon by Anne McCaffrey
Cover art by Michael Whelan
Published by Del Rey Books
Reviewed by Leigh Kimmel
In Dragonquest, Lord Jaxom of Ruatha accidentally Impressed the runt white dragon Ruth, causing a political crisis right when F'lar was already going mad dealing with the Oldtimers and the dissident Lords Holder. Many wanted him to enter the Weyr, which would leave Ruatha to be contested by all the younger sons of Pern's Lords Holder. However, because Ruth was a runt and not expected to survive, F'lar was able to argue that Jaxom should remain where he was.
Ruth has exceeded all expectations and not only survived, but actually thrived. Jaxom is now on the threshold of manhood, and wishes to realize his dual role in full. However, things will not be so easy. Because Jaxom is Lord Holder of a politically important Hold, his life is not his own to risk. Thus he has had to fight hard just to get to ride Ruth in flight, and the Lords Holder adamantly resist any notion of him actually flying combat against Thread. At the same time, he must prove his maturity in order to end the regency and assume control of his own Hold.
However, in doing so Jaxom stumbles across a secret that threatens the safety of all Pern. The exiled Oldtimers who would not accept F'lar's leadership have not given up all hope. They are willing to risk dragon fighting dragon in order to attain their own ends.
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This review posted on May 20, 1999
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