Last chapter, Vergerin was held up as a model of virtue, because the narrative likes him, and K’vin finally got Zulaya by behaving how she wanted him to all along – right after K’vin rightly chewed another rider out for his own toxic masculinity. I’m still steamed about that, so we should just finish the book.
Dragonseye: Chapters XVI and XVII: Content Notes:
When we last left the new couple, they were about to sneak off on a clandestine observation of Thread in the south. K’vin and Zulaya find out they are far from the only dragonriders to have had the same idea and time for observation.
Consequently, he was perhaps not as surprised as he might have been to realize the airspace around them, and Meranath and Zulaya, was well occupied. With that extra sense dragons had, the two had averted a collision.
So it is canonical, then, that dragons do not just warp themselves out wherever they are envisioned, but do make adjustments for the presence of others. Then weyrling accidents are because juvenile dragons don’t have that sense fully developed? (If so, though, Moreta’s jump to nowhere should have thrown an error somewhere, along with any of the other dragons that do the same thing, since they are all mature enough to know better.)
In any case, the plan might be to just observe, but the dragons themselves have other ideas about that.
The word seemed to rumble from dragon to dragon, and K’vin had to grab hold of the neck ridge as Charanth started to lurch toward what he had known all his life as his adversary.
I have no firestone! How can I flame it! What is wrong? Why have you brought me here where there is Thread and I have no fire to char it!
It’s all right, Charanth. We’re here to watch. To see.
But it is Thread! I must chew to flame. Why may I not flame when there is THREAD!
[…K’vin tries to reason with Charanth, and notices other riders having similar trouble…]
Then, all of a sudden, Charanth stopped flying toward Thread.
Oh, all right! The tone was that of a petulant child forced by a senior authority to follow orders totally against the grain.
So the queens kick in the override they have (and that Menolly observed in her fire lizard fair) and everyone lands and calms their dragons, before sheepishly admitting that perhaps this idea wasn’t quite as brilliant as they had envisioned. And having a laugh at it. Before someone thinks to thank the queens for their help.
Then everyone present is told that this meeting never happened, before K’vin suggests that the Weyrleaders should agree to rotate wings from every Weyr in for the first few sessions of Threadfall so as to give them practice before the actual thing happens in their neighborhood. Everyone present agrees to the idea, with the seniormost Weyrleader agreeing to present it to S’nan, so that he will listen and agree to it as well.
And that actually closes the chapter out.
Chapter XVII is essentially, “And then Thread came, and they fought Thread beautifully.” There’s some tweaking of S’nan for being serious about things, and lots of description of how the fighting goes, but it’s all from K’vin’s perspective, and in the jumble of everything, he can’t really focus much on anything other than what’s in front of him and whether his wings are staying in the formation.
There is one bit to draw attention to, mostly as the coda to P’tero and M’leng.
K’vin briefly thought of P’tero’s vain attempt to be included in the fighting force Telgar would launch. Maybe he should have put the blue rider in, sore ass and all, to prove that there was a lot more to fighting Thread than having the guts to do it. But to include P’tero would have been to exclude a perfectly healthy and less erratic rider. K’vin had not selected M’leng of the green riders chosen for the First Fall. That would ease discord between that pair: that one had gone and the other had not. Basically, they were good weyrmates, having a reasonably stable relationship ever since P’tero, who was the younger, had Impressed Ormonth.
So it ends well for them, at least at this point. It’s always possible their partnership will be cut short by tragedy, but K’vin exercises good leadership by not putting salt in P’tero’s ass. As he said when giving P’tero his talking-to, there will be plenty of opportunities in the future.
Yes, that’s a big gloss over an entire chapter, but the actual fighting mechanics of the dragons haven’t changed since we saw them before. Flame in formation, all the way through, turn, reload, flame again. Queens pick up the stragglers and help the ground crews catch and roast burrows before they go too far. This first official fall happens over Bitra, of course, because otherwise the plot wouldn’t have nearly as much impact and Vergerin wouldn’t be able to have a pat on the back for getting the hold right with Jesus…err, the dragonriders.
Let’s take a look at what’s next…oh, fsck. The next recommended book is The Masterharper of Pern. Well, at least it was nice having a book that didn’t have Robinton’s hands in it before we get his biography.
So…thanks for sticking around with this book, and also, go support your local public library. Without them, this series would be both expensive and painful. Thanks to the library, it’s just painful.