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Publisher's Summary

For more than 30 years, Pern has conjured visions of brave men and women mounted upon the backs of dragons. As anyone knows who has been touched by the storytelling magic of Anne McCaffrey, to hear of the exotic world of Pern is to inhabit it - and to experience its extraordinary dragons is to soar aloft with them and share their dazzling adventures.

Now, A Gift of Dragons brings together three beloved stories and a thrilling new tale of Pern in a single volume. In "The Smallest Dragonboy," Keevan is the youngest dragonrider candidate, determined to impress a dragon when the next clutch of eggs hatches. But what transpires will surprise everyone - Keevan most of all. In "The Girl Who Heard Dragons," a young girl's rare ability to communicate with dragons puts her family in danger and will bring her face to face with her greatest fears - and with her most secret desire. The "Runner of Pern" is a girl named Tenna, who follows family tradition by delivering messages - and who will find her destiny on the mossy traces that runners have used for centuries under the dragon-filled sky. And finally, a very special gift: an exciting new Pern adventure, published here for the first time, fresh from the imagination of Anne McCaffrey.

©2002 Anne McCaffrey, "The Smallest Dragonboy" 1973 Rand McNally & Company for Science Fiction Tales, "The Girl Who Heard Dragons" 1994 Anne McCaffrey, "Runner of Pern" 1998 Anne McCaffrey (P)2002 Random House Inc., Random House Audio, a Division of Random House Inc.

Critic Reviews

"McCaffrey's legion of fans will warmly welcome this delightful collection." (Booklist)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

satisfaction

These little "gifts" are far more satisfying than the last couple of full length Pern novels. In each of these short stories, Ms McCaffrey concentrates on a very compressed timeline, and a small number of characters. The results: fully developed characters and lots of detail about their lives on Pern. "A Gift of Dragons" rates right up there with "Nerilka's Story" and "Moreta" as my favorite books in the Pern series.

9 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars

Great Stories

I love this book. 4 very good short stories, including my favorite, The Smallest Dragon Boy.

The reader does a great job with a nice easy to listen to voice, however at the start and end of each story is the MOST OBNOXIOUS MUSIC overlapping the reader's voice. I would have rated this 4 stars but for that. I wish there was a way to make the music go away.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Another wonderful Pern Book

Like her other books in the "Dragonriders of Pern" series this is another great McCaffery offering. All three stories are engaging and, like so many of her books, deliver characters you can love and identify with. McCaffery's heroes/heroines are going through the coming-of-age problems we all have faced (though most of us don't have dragons to help us through...) and need to learn to make adult decisions while barely out of childhood in a place where life and death situations call for courage, strength, and taking chances. If you love fantasy, the Dragonriders of Pern series is one of the best!

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • James
  • Elmendorf , TX, USA
  • 01-31-03

A Gift of Dragons (Unabridged

For anyone who had enjoyed the story of Pern, since "Dragons Dawn" first told us of the journey from earth and establishment of the original settlers on Pern. This continuing saga is a must. Each of the stories here gives us insight into how the civilization developed. Now the original settlers are proud legends to the current citizen of Pern. Her descriptions of the characters and their surroundings are so vivid that you can visualize each of the characters as their part of the story unfolds. You can feel their emotions and see the world of Pern through their eyes. Lee Meriwether's presentation is excellent as she brings the characters to life. I hope to see more of the unabridged stories of Pern being added to audible's inventory. Beginning with Dragons Dawn and taking us up through the history of Pern.

8 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Brings Back Memories

I read this story for the first time in 1991 or 1992 and haven't seen it anywhere since that time. This store was actually in my grade school Reading book. I remember reading ahead (easily bored..) in our reader and coming across this story. It was so touching; I remember reading it over and over, cheering for Keevan, loving the story every time. I read all of the Pern books, but wondered where my favorite story was. When I came across this title in Audible, I didn't even wait for my credits, just paid for it so I could hear it again.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Primrose
  • San Miguel de Allende, MX
  • 03-26-05

Dragons, magic and good friends...

what a great combination - create collection of stories that are filled with the color and life of this fine author's wit and skill. Join the new world that is woven from the threads of each story to form a beautiful tapestry.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

A taste of Pern.

I have always enjoyed the Pern stories. The authors concept of genetically engineered, intelligent and telepathic dragons who ,with the help of their riders fight to protect thier planet from a devastating spaceborn lifeform fascinates me.Tthe entire series of books weaves a tale of a society and its devolution from high tech to agrarian life as the planets residents struggle to survive in the face of a terrible menace. The audible adaptations add a new and enjoyable dimension.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Narration was awesome

Enjoyed the narrators voice change for each character. I look forward to listening to another story read by this narrator.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

A Gift of Dragons

** spoiler alert ** What a great book. This is a book of four short stories all related to Pern. The short stories are "The Smallest Dragonboy", "The Girl Who Heard Dragons", "Runner of Pern" and "Ever the Twain". All four stories were different and very enjoyable.

The Smallest Dragonboy is about a boy, Keevan, that is going to be a candidate on the hatching ground. He is a small boy that grew up the Weyr and is picked on by his peers because of his size. As the hatching draws near the bullying becomes worse and there is talk about the younger boys not being allowed onto the hatching ground as candidates until they are older. His biggest bully ends up injuring him in the end with a head wound and a broken leg. He still hobbles his way to the hatching ground during the impression and impresses a bronze dragon. He is a great character full of heart and you are cheering for him all the way through. Even though he is a small boy, he has a huge heart and personality. This was a great story.

In The Girl Who Heard Dragons,Aramina can hear dragons and speak to them as well. She is with her family who is holdless after the tyranny of Faxx. Bandits are trying to use Aramina because of her talent of hearing dragons. With that, her family flees and is on the run from these bandits. With threadfall imminent, they are forced to find a cave to take cover in. There is an accident with her father and she ends up reaching out to the dragons that she sees and they hear her and respond. They save her father and move them to the cave so that they are safe from threadfall. All this time the Lord Holder for the area and the dragonriders are looking for the bandits that are after her. The bandits elude everyone and find Aramina who calls for the dragons. This is a heartwarming story with a lot of emotions that are misplaced due to fear. Everything works out in the end. Great story.

Runner of Pern is probably my favorite of the four stories. Runner of Pern is about runners, literally, people who run messages from one place to another. This is mostly about Tenna who is a new runner. She is from a family of runners and she is beginning her career as a runner. Runners use tracks that have been laid out by the runner services. They are narrow paths that are to only be used by runners. She is running one evening on a runner track to make a delivery when she hears something coming. She is pushed off of the runner track by a runner (beast/horse) and rider. She is pushed into a bush of thorns that can be very dangerous. She makes it to her destination where they see to her wounds. She finds out she was almost run over by one of the Lord Holder's sons. It takes several days for them to get all of the thorns out and for her to be on the mend. During this time, there is a gather. She promptly approaches the man that was pointed out to her as the one who ran her off the track and she punches him and knocks him out. She finds out that she has knocked out the wrong brother. She has knocked out his twin instead. This story is full of humor. I couldn't help but love Tenna's character and charm. She is a strong woman. There is laughter and romance. A fantastic story!

Ever The Twain is about a set of twins that are searched for the hatching that is to come. The boy has always had the dream of being a dragonrider. The sister is the one that is chosen during the search, but she refuses to go without her brother. This is a heartwarming story that was enjoyable as well.

This set of short stories is a great addition to the Pern series.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Excellent

4 excellent short stories of young people from PERN world. Interesting & well narrated. Glad I listened. Anne McCaffrey really knew how turn a tale whether its a one that takes 10 novels to include all the details or a short story about a specific person & their hopes & dreams. She is still Queen of the Fiction Universe, God rest her soul. Thankfully her son Todd is well trained to continue her legacy.