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Publisher's Summary

Journey to the wonder-filled world of Pern in the first volume of Anne McCaffrey's best-selling Harper Hall Trilogy. Dragonsong is the spellbinding tale of Menolly of Half Circle Hold, a brave young girl who flees her seaside village and discovers the legendary fire lizards of Pern.

All her life, Menolly has longed to learn the ancient secrets of the Harpers, the master musicians of Harper Hall. When her stern father denies her the chance to make her dream come true, Menolly runs away from home. Hiding in a cave by the sea, she finds nine magical fire lizards who join her on a breathtaking journey to Harper Hall.

Anne McCaffrey's enchanting tales of Pern, with all their colorful dragons and fantastic characters, have won her millions of fans around the world. The winner of the Hugo and Nebula Award, she is one of the best-loved writers in all of fantasy literature.

Don't miss the other books in the Harper Hall Trilogy.
©1976 Anne McCaffrey (P)1992 Recorded Books

Critic Reviews

"McCaffrey uses great imaginative powers in constructing her intricate and intriguing story." ( Booklist)
"Menolly's independent, resolute character, the fascinating dragon lore, and a certain poetic quality of style all combine to create an original fantasy...akin to the work of Ursula LeGuin." ( Horn Book)

Featured Article: 16 of the Best Fantasy Authors Ever


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What listeners say about Dragonsong: Harper Hall Trilogy, Volume 1

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Grandma tells a story

What did you like best about Dragonsong: Harper Hall Trilogy, Volume 1? What did you like least?

I love this story and have read it dozens of times, so when I saw the audio book I thought why not. Well the story is still great, if you can stay awake for it. This is certainly not the book to listen to in the morning during traffic, you'll fall asleep and crash. The narrator is so SLOW and languid in her tone of voice. It is like listening to an old grandma tell a story with the intention of putting you asleep. It such a disappointment since the story is so vibrate and full of life. A better narrator would make this a wonderful tale. But as it was only my love of the story from when I was a little girl, that got me through the book.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Menolly is of course my favorite. She is strong and spirited and full of life. She struggles with things that anyone can related to. And reading it as a somewhat rebellious teen years ago, she was my ideal.

How could the performance have been better?

This really needs to be done with another narrator. The poems in the beginning of each chapter are read without life. The sentences are read so slowly as to be painful. If you have never read the book I can imagine loosing interest before the end of the first chapter simply because of the narrative style.

Do you think Dragonsong: Harper Hall Trilogy, Volume 1 needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

I think this needs to be re-recorded and it would be magnificent. It is such a super story. It just needs a more lively narration.

Any additional comments?

Please please re-do this as a brilliance audio. I would even pay for it again so long as there is a new narrator.

35 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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One of my favorites

"Dragonsong" and it's sequel "Dragonsinger" are my favorite Pern books and I have faithfully devoured every Pern novel, novella and short story published. I was so excited when I found these in audiobook format and revisiting my 'old friends' was simply wonderful. The only reason I did not give this selection five of five stars was that the narration was merely 'ok'. Several of the pronunciations of names and places, as well as the odd sentence or two, were awkward and pulled the listener out of the flow of the story. Nothing too bad, but noticeable all the same.

38 people found this helpful

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Love the book, dislike the narrator

Why oh why did they find such an awful narrator for my favorite series by Anne McCaffery? The Harper Hall trilogy has been my favorite since I was a teen. I waited for so long to hear it in audio, and was really disappointed.

The reader is plodding, too old for the characters and is not good at changing her voice to suit characters. She makes a wonderful series boring.

My only hope is that somehow, someday, due to Anne McCaffery's popularity will cause all of her books to get new narrators. They deserve them.

34 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Warning: author's works are completely addictive!

This was the first Pern book I had ever read. I was overjoyed to find the audio to this & other Anne McCaffery works. Now if only there were such a thing as real Fire Lizards to impress!

9 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

wonderful book

I read this book years ago and enjoyed it so much
Now I listened to it -- it was just as great the second time. the wonderful world Pern is visited
-- great story

6 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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A good listen for those familiar to Pern

This is one of my favorite stories, which I have read many times. It's nice to listen to it again. I do have to say I'm not fond of the narrator. Her voice is clear, expressive and has a pleasant tone but... I do not find her an appropriate narrator for this story. Some of words are mis pronounced and occasionally she reads with a southern accent. And i also find she can be over dramatic. It doesn't fit Pern. I'm sure she would be excellent in other stories.

5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

It is a good story and a quick listen.

This is a wonderful book! It unfolds in a fast paced, but natural style. While you have to believe in dragons to make this book work, Anne doesn't force you through a series of too convenient coincidences. She has plotted a story that just unfolds and sweeps you along with it. While Menolly has her share of misfortunes and struggles, nothing is too dark, and it comes to a happy ending. It is a good story and a quick listen.

5 people found this helpful

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Lots of fun

This is a prime example of a type of science fiction that I loved as a young adult. It's technically science fiction, but is for all practical purposes fantasy. While ostensibly about people on a faraway planet far in the future, it has much to say about Western culture and norms at the time it was written. The main character is a girl living in a sexist, pre-industrial society with a fairly rigid social system. She has great musical talent, but on Pern, women do not become harpers, the musicians who, while providing entertainment, are also responsible for transmitting the history and culture of their people. The heroine must overcome the prejudices of her family, as well as her own fear of failure, in order to do what she was born to do--make music.

Happily, the concept of girls not being free to follow their hearts' callings feels dated and rather silly. Fortunately, the Harper Hall trilogy is good enough to overcome this. I'm lucky to have been raised on stories such as this, so that by the time I became an adult, my sense of opportunity seemed limitless. Many girls are not as fortunate as I have been, and I hope that stories such as this help to ease their roads and broaden their dreams.

15 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

I love Anne McCaffrey's Many Drag Series

I devoured all of the Dragon books by Anne that I could get my hands on years ago... in my youth ;-) ... I read every book through The White Dragon and loved them all. They are engaging, thought provoking, and just fun. I was so glad to see this available in audio format as I don't have the free time to sit and read anymore with a family and a 2 year old. I do have tons of driving time. This works perfectly, and this book, Dragonsong, was an EXCELLENT listen. I look forward to the rest of the series. I enjoy hard-core science fiction mostly, so Anne's writings which are lighter and more fantasy based are a departure for me, but I like them.

7 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Great Introduction to Anne McCaffrey

My daughter loved the Dragonsinger series. She's not quite old enough to read the rest of the series, but this was a great introduction to a wonderful fantasy author.

6 people found this helpful

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  • Mrs S
  • 07-28-14

Terrible Narration

Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

Loved the book - Hated the boring drone of the narration

What other book might you compare Dragonsong: Harper Hall Trilogy, Volume 1 to, and why?

No compare - the books fall into the Dragonriders of Pern series

How did the narrator detract from the book?

Slow - boring - words mispronounced, just awful. Gave up after about 2 hours. I have Dragon Singer and Dragon Drums by the same narrator but have not bothered to listen.

Do you think Dragonsong: Harper Hall Trilogy, Volume 1 needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

Already done - Dragon Singer & Dragon Drums

Any additional comments?

Try Anne McCaffrey's Freedom series. Much better.

8 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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  • Miss J Niven
  • 02-18-09

Disappointed

I love Anne McCaffrey's Pern books and was delighted to find them on Audible.

Until I heard the readers voice, the heavy American accent and strangulated vowels spoilt it for me. I found that her voices for the male and female characters were the same and could not at times pick up who was supposed to speaking. A great shame, I will not be purchasing the other Pern titles.

16 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Katharine
  • 01-02-10

Dragonsong

Dragonsong is the first in a trilogy set around the Harper hall written by Anne McCaffrey. The first time I read this book it totally enthralled me occaisionally bringing a tear to my eyes. A must read as are the other two (Dragonsinger and Dragondrums). I only wish that the Masterharper of Pern, Dragonquest, Dragonflight and the White Dragon were also available in audio. I would definately purchase them.

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Mark G
  • 12-23-12

Narration at its best

Brought together in one volume, this is a great way to appreciate some of Anne McCaffrey's stories. If you love the Dragon series, you will love these tales.



I first read these whilst I was growing up, and it was great to recapture the spirit through someone else's voice and intonation,

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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  • GM
  • 01-16-10

dragon song - good read

had read this and all the other Dragon books from the late 70's onward and enjoyed all of them. I was looking forward to hearing Dragonsong read. I was not disappointed. The reader was very good, and did real justice to the emotional content of the writing. I shed a few tears. The story is self contained and can be read stand alone. If you haven't read any of the other books I think you could start in her, and then jump to the beginning without losing anything or continue with the other two in this short series. Im looking forward to singer & dragondrums.

2 people found this helpful

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  • linda cressey
  • 04-07-21

old read listen to

I loved these books and.to hear them again is brilliant and well read and produced is super

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Sally Goddard
  • 11-21-20

love a book with dragons

loved this when I could read and loved it now many many years later read to me, beautifully done.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • mark middlemist
  • 04-28-20

Wonderful reading of a wonderful book

This has always been one of my favourite books. This reading definitely does it justice

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • j.m.bower
  • 09-22-19

Beautiful fantasy! Read this first as a teenager.

Read the book as a teenager. Good to hear it read. The Trilogy is well worth checking out.

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  • Mr. Nm Hill
  • 07-19-19

Brilliant to hear

I have read most of the Pern books & have loved all of them & was a bit wary of getting this, my favourite book of the series, as an audiobook, I’m am so pleased that I did, Sally Darling does a fabulous job of narration & just brings the book alive, there is one section near the end that made me choke up when I first read the book, I had exactly the same feeling at the same point when I heard Sally read that bit, you can’t help empathising with the main character (won’t spoil it, you’ll probably know it when you hear it)
I would heartily recommend this book & series to new or regular fantasy readers, it’s well thought out, the story pulls you along, the characters are so alive & the narration & writing is superb, I could go on & on but it’d be better to read her books than my review 😁

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  • ELL
  • 07-28-20

a classic sci-fi story

A classic story that I first read and enjoyed when I was 14 years old. It has dated a little, but was enjoyable to listen to again.
The narrator sounds like an older American lady. I can imagine enjoying listening to her narrate fairy tales and young adult fiction (as long as there are no sex scenes). Her pronounciation of some words and names were surprisingly different to what I had imagined, which grated a little.
Some of the production decisions for this were a little confusing. sometimes a new chapter would be announced without a 1-2 second pause after the end of the previous sentence.

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  • Nerys
  • 07-05-18

Wonderful!

Time has not dated these fantastic stories. I hope more and more of them become available. Highly recommended.

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  • kevin
  • 01-07-17

Well Narrated

Enjoyed these books back in my youth...found Sally Darling's narration excellent. It was easy to get "lost" in this audiobook version.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Tarcha
  • 11-11-16

My favourite story brought to life

Although I think the people that they chose to read Anne McCaffrey's books are too old and stuffy for them I still REALLY enjoyed it.
I wish there were more of my AM favourites available.
I would love to hear Lessa's story in Dragonflight -- my favourite of the Pern novels -- come to life. But Menolly's stories are my close second :)

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  • mrsvee
  • 11-01-16

Sally Darling's voice is definitely listenable.

However, occasional jars are the mispronunciations misplaced emphasis is far too many instances, but for all that, listenable.