Dragonriders of Pern Books in Order: How to read Anne McCaffrey’s fantasy classic series?

Last Updated 12 months ago.Let’s ride dragons !

What is Dragonriders of Pern about?

Written by American-Irish author Anne McCaffrey, Dragonriders of Pern is a science fantasy series published since 1968. Beginning in 2003, her middle child Todd McCaffrey has written Pern novels, both solo and jointly with Anne. The series comprises 23 novels and several short stories.

Dragonriders of Pern takes place in an isolated world where life is presented as a pre-industrial society. But their ancient way of life is about to come under attack from a myth that is all too real. And a girl and her dragon will change Pern forever.

Dragonriders of Pern Books in Order:

Publication Order/Suggested Order

Anne McCaffrey herself suggested you should read Dragonriders of Pern in the order in which they were published, except for one book she adviced to read a little bit later than its published date.

Let’s notice that some books and stories take place during the same time period, it runs parallel to other books in the series.

Dragonflight Book 1 Dragonriders of Pern Reading Order Dragonquest Book 2 Dragonriders of Pern Reading Order Dragonsong Harper Hall Trilogy Dragonriders of Pern Reading Order Dragonsinger Harper Hall Trilogy Dragonriders of Pern Reading Order

  1. Dragonflight – The men who rode the dragons were a breed apart. Chosen when the dragons were first hatched, they became soulmates for life with the huge, magnificent beasts they controlled, the only creatures who could defend the planet Pern from the blood-red star. But without the Queen, the dragons would become extinct. Only the gigantic, golden Queen could breed the new flights. And the Queen was fading… leaving behind one last, huge, golden egg.
  2. Dragonquest – Another Turn, and the deadly silver Threads began falling again. So the bold dragonriders took to the skies and their magnificent dragons swirled and swooped in space, belching flames that destroyed the shimmering strands before they reached the ground. But F’lar knew he had to find a better way to protect the peoples and lands of Pern, and he had to find it before the rebellious Oldtimers could breed any more dissent…
  3. Dragonsong – 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.
  4. Dragonsinger – When Menolly arrived at the Harper Craft Hall, she came in style, aboard a huge bronze dragon, followed by her nine fire lizards.The Masterharper of Pern, aware of her unique skills, had chosen her as his only girl apprentice. But the holdless girl had first to overcome many heartaches in this strange new life.

Dragondrums Harper Hall Trilogy Dragonriders of Pern Reading Order The White Dragon Book 3 Dragonriders of Pern Reading Order Moreta - Dragonlady Of Pern (The Dragon Books) Dragonriders of Pern Reading Order Nerilka's Story Dragonriders of Pern Reading Order

  1. Dragondrums – When the voice of Piemur, an apprentice at Harper Hall, changes, he has to leave the companionship of Master Shonagar behind. But his disappointment is soon replaced by a new challenge. He is to enter the service of the Master Harper himself as a rider of dragons. Soon, he embarks on a dangerous mission to the Southern Hold. The future of Pern hangs on his success.
  2. The White Dragon – Although published prior to Dragondrums, The White Dragon continues the adventures of certain Dragondrums characters. McCaffrey recommended reading Dragonsong, Dragonsinger and Dragondrums before The White Dragon. Nearly everyone else on Pern thought the white dragon Ruth was a runt who would never amount to anything, but Jaxom knew his dragon was special. In secret they trained to fight against the burning threads from the Red Planet, to fly Back in time as well as Between, and finally their close and special union was to result in the most startling and breathtaking discovery of all…
  3. Moreta: Dragonlady of Pern – Some fourteen hundred turns after men first came to Pern rode Moreta, on her great golden dragon, Orlith. It was towards the end of the Pass of the Red Star — a time when every living creature on Pern was threatened by Threadfall. And then, at the height of the battle against Thread, came a new and terrible evil. Moreta, in one last superhuman endeavour, was to save her people, and become the greatest legend of dragonlore until the end of time.
  4. Nerilka’s Story – Everyone, holder and dragonrider alike, pitched in to help—except Nerilka’s father, who refused to share Fort Hold’s bounty with the other Holds. So, ashamed of her family and determined to do her part, Nerilka packed up medicines and supplies and sneaked off to aid her people. She had no idea that her new path would change the course of her life forever!

Dragonsdawn (The Dragon Books) Dragonriders of Pern Reading Order The Renegades Of Pern (The Dragon Books) Dragonriders of Pern Reading Order All The Weyrs Of Pern (The Dragon Books) Dragonriders of Pern Reading Order The Chronicles Of Pern First Fall Dragonriders of Pern Reading Order

  1. Dragonsdawn – The beautiful planet Pern seemed a paradise to its new colonists – until unimaginable terror turned it into hell. Suddenly, deadly spores were falling like silver threads from the sky, devouring everything – and everyone – in their path. It began to look as if the colony, cut off from Earth and lacking the resources to combat the menace, was doomed. If only, they thought, the dragonets were big enough for a human to ride and intelligent enough to work as a team with a rider. And so they set their most talented geneticist to work to create the creatures Pern so desperately needed – Dragons!
  2. The Renegades of Pern – They were misfits, the outcasts, the murderers without Hold or Crafthall. Some were resentful, some sought vengeance, but it was not until Thella, Lady Holder of Telgar, began to weld them together into a terrifying and brilliantly evil clan that they became the Renegades of Pern. Jayge Lilcamp, the young and roving trader, was one of the first to fall foul of the renegades, and as he saw what Thella had done to his family and his wagon train he began to seek his own revenge, a revenge which grew into a determination to destroy the most evil woman on Pern.
  3. All the Weyrs of Pern – When AIVAS — the Artificial Intelligence Voice Address System — was first discovered at Landing, the entire planet of Pern was awed at the knowledge it divulged. All the history of the people of Pern was there. But the greatest promise AIVAS offered was the chance to rid Pern of Thread forever. All the great ones of Pern began the long and arduous task of learning just how to operate the incredible plan — a plan of such daring and epic proportions that both dragons and riders would be put at risk.
  4. The Chronicles of Pern: First Fall – Collects short stories The Survey: P.E.R.N., The Dolphins’ Bell, The Ford of Red Hanrahan, The Second Weyr, Rescue Run.

The Dolphins Of Pern (The Dragon Books) Dragonriders of Pern Reading Order Red Star Rising (The Dragon Books) Dragonriders of Pern Reading Order The Masterharper Of Pern (The Dragon Books) Dragonriders of Pern Reading Order The Skies Of Pern (The Dragon Books) Dragonriders of Pern Reading Order

  1. The Dolphins of Pern – Readis, his Uncle Alemi and bronze Gadareth’s rider, T’lion of Eastern Hold, are determined to restore the ‘doll fins’ to their rightful place in the ecology of Pern…and the partnership of men. And Readis must win his parents’ consent to his association with the ‘sea dragons of Pern’ – the bottlenose dolphins.
  2. Red Star Rising (Dragonseye) – It’s been two hundred years since the deadly Thread fell like rain upon Pern, devouring everything in its path. No one alive remembers that first horrific onslaught and no one believes in its return—except for the dragonriders. Now the ominous signs are appearing, But one stubborn Lord Holder, Chalkin of Bitra, refuses to believe–and that disbelief could spell disaster. So as the dragonriders desperately train to face a terrifying enemy, they and the other Lord Holders must find a way to deal with Chalkin—before history repeats itself and unleashes its virulence on all of Pern. . . .
  3. The Masterharper of Pern – MasterSinger Merelan and Harper Petiron were a brilliant and devoted couple. When, after a long and difficult birth, Robinton was born to them, it should have been the culmination of a unique partnership. But Petiron had no time for his son. Carefully, the Harper Hall took over, training the greatest talent Pern had ever seen – a talent that was more than just musical, for Robinton was able to talk to the dragons of Pern. He then became part of the great plan to rescue Lessa from the brutal rule of Holder Fax – Lessa, who was to be the saviour of the dragons of Pern.
  4. The Skies of Pern – A new age is dawning on Pern, for since the dragons have changed the orbit of the Red Star, the horrors of Threadfall will soon be a thing of the past. But even as the dragon riders are trying to decide what their future role will be, further dangers are beginning to emerge, as those calling themselves the Abominators plot together to destroy all the learning that has been discovered from the records of the Old Ones.

A Gift of Dragons Dragonriders of Pern Reading Order Dragon's Kin (The Dragon Books) Dragonriders of Pern Reading Order Dragonsblood (The Dragon Books) Dragonriders of Pern Reading Order Dragon's Fire (The Dragon Books) Dragonriders of Pern Reading Order

  1. A Gift of Dragons – Collects short stories Ever the Twain, Runner of Pern, The Smallest Dragonboy, The Girl Who Heard Dragons.
  2. Dragon’s Kin – When disaster strikes in the mines of Camp Natalon, Kindan becomes orphaned and the camp find itseld without a watch-wher – a creature distantly related to dragons and suited to specialized work in the dark, cold mineshafts. Grieving, Kindan is taken in by the camp’s new Harper and finds a measure of solace in a burgeoning musical talent . . . and in a new friendship with the mysterious Nuella. Kindan is selected to hatch and train a new watch-wher, and must find a new meaning to his life.
  3. Dragonsblood – A deadly and mysterious plague begins to wipe out the dragons, leaving mankind no defence against the deadly Thread which has just begun to fall. However, Lorana has two firelizards who manage to travel Back in time to meet the geneticist Wind Blossom. Wind Blossom must devises a way to leave clues for Lorana so that she can discover the cure in her time and save the dragons, and thus the future of mankind on Pern.
  4. Dragon’s Fire – At Natalon’s mining camp, Pellar embarks on a secret mission to discover whether the condemned criminals known as the Shunned are stealing coal. But he discovers a heartless thief named Tenim has realized there is profit to be made from firestone. When the last remaining firestone mine explodes, Tenim has a murderous plan to turn tragedy to his own advantage. Now Pellar and his new friends—the kind and gentle Halla, a child of the Shunned, and Cristov, the son of a corrupt miner—must stop Tenim.

Dragon Harper (The Dragon Books) Dragonriders of Pern Reading Order Dragonheart Dragonriders of Pern Reading Order Dragongirl (The Dragon Books) Dragonriders of Pern Reading Order Dragon's Time (The Dragon Books) Dragonriders of Pern Reading Order

  1. Dragon Harper – Kindan is an apprentice harper at the Harper Hall when a plague begins to spread across Pern, killing nearly everyone infected. He  and his friends search the harper records to see if they can find a cure, but all they can find is mention of a similar plague over a hundred Turns past. As the plague gets worse, he is sent to Fort Hold to help tend the sick, where he will be reunited with Koriana, the young lady he loves. But will she be free of the plague, and will he be able to find a cure before more people die?
  2. Dragonheart – When Fiona, the only surviving member of Lord Holder Bemin’s family, impresses a queen dragon, she doesn’t begin to realize the perils and privileges that come with her new role. As she grows into a young woman and her dragon reaches her full growth, Fiona faces not only the possibility of losing her dragon to the sickness that has claimed so many others but also the challenges of becoming a Weyrwoman in her own right. What, she must ask herself, is she willing to give up in order to become a queen rider? And, although the marvellous queen dragon has chosen her, is she really suited to the life of a queen rider?
  3. Dragongirl – Fiona is sent to relieve the distressed weyrfolk of the now-dragonless Weyr. When her queen, Talenth, rises to mate, Fiona finds herself not only Telgar’s senior Weyrwoman but in the center of the dilemma that confronts all Pern – how can the one thousand fighting dragons do the job of three thousand? And, if they can’t, how long will it be before all of Pern is consumed by Thread?
  4. Dragon’s Time – More dragons and their riders die each Threadfall. With their numbers dwindling, Lorana made the decision to fly forward in time in a desperate bid to bring dragons from the future to fight Thread. She knew that jumping so far in time would result in her losing her baby, but without her jump all life on Pern is doomed…

Sky Dragons Dragonriders of Pern Dragonriders of Pern Reading Order Dragon's Code Dragonriders of Pern Reading Order

  1. Sky Dragons – After a vicious plague swept through the world of Pern, there are no longer enough dragons to fight off the current onslaught of Thread. Pern’s last best chance to rebuild the decimated dragon population lies with a group of young dragonriders and their dragons left stranded on an unexplored island. Leadership of these dragons and riders falls to Xhinna, female rider of a blue dragon. She must solve the problem of how to get sufficient numbers of dragon eggs, protect her people and baby dragons from the predators and, worse, traitors or all hope for Pern will be lost!
  2. Dragon’s Code – The last time Thread attacked Pern, the world was unprepared for the fight—until the Oldtimers appeared. These courageous dragonriders arrived from the past, traveling four hundred years to help their descendants survive. And while most of the displaced rescuers adapted to their new reality, others could not abide the jarring change and found themselves in soul-crushing exile, where unhappiness and resentment seethed. Piemur, a journeyman harper, also feels displaced and uncertain of his future. When the unthinkable happens, Piemur must rise to the challenge to avert disaster and restore honor to the dragons and dragonriders of Pern. Because now, in a world already beset by Thread, another, more insidious danger looms: For the first time in living memory, dragons may be on the verge of fighting dragons.

Chronological Order

  1. The Survey: P.E.R.N. – Collected in The Chronicles of Pern: First Fall
  2. Dragonsdawn
  3. The Dolphins’ Bell – Collected in The Chronicles of Pern: First Fall
  4. The Ford of Red Hanrahan – Collected in The Chronicles of Pern: First Fall
  5. The Second Weyr – Collected in The Chronicles of Pern: First Fall
  6. Rescue Run – Collected in TheThe Chronicles of Pern: First Fall
  7. Red Star Rising (Dragonseye)
  8. Ever the Twain – Collected in A Gift of Dragons
  9. Dragon’s Kin (with Todd McCaffrey)
  10. Dragon’s Fire (with Todd McCaffrey)
  11. Dragon Harper (with Todd McCaffrey)
  12. Dragonsblood (by Todd McCaffrey)
  13. Dragonheart (by Todd McCaffrey)
  14. Dragongirl (by Todd McCaffrey)
  15. Dragon’s Time (with Todd McCaffrey)
  16. Sky Dragons (with Todd McCaffrey)
  17. Moreta: Dragonlady of Pern
  18. Nerilka’s Story
  19. Beyond Between – Collected in Legends II
  20. The Masterharper of Pern
  21. Runner of Pern – Collected in A Gift of Dragons
  22. Dragonflight
  23. Dragonflight (Comic books Vol 1 to 3)
  24. Dragonquest
  25. Dragonsong
  26. Dragonsinger
  27. Dragondrums
  28. The Impression – Collected in The Dragonlover’s Guide to Pern
  29. The Smallest Dragonboy – Collected in A Gift of Dragons 
  30. The White Dragon
  31. The Girl Who Heard Dragons – Collected in A Gift of Dragons
  32. Dragon’s Code (by Gigi McCaffrey)
  33. The Renegades of Pern
  34. All the Weyrs of Pern
  35. The Dolphins of Pern
  36. The Skies of Pern

19 thoughts on “Dragonriders of Pern Books in Order: How to read Anne McCaffrey’s fantasy classic series?”

  1. In a 2018 interview Gigi Mccaffrey said her book Drsgon’s Code tales place 1/3 to 1/2 of the way thru White Dragon, a few years after Piemer’s voice had changed & he was sent to Southern continent.

  2. Didn’t Ann write a book called Landing that talked about the early days of Pern’s colonization, or am I remembering wrong?

    1. The series Dragonsong, Dragonsinger and Dragondrums was a young adult series Ann wrote for the younger readers. The other books, although not sexually explicit, have some adult themes that might be not be appropriate for younger readers. If you start him on the young adult series, but the time he’s a little older, he’ll be ready for the others. I gave my son the young adult series when he was a little older than yours, but if he’s a mature reader, I think he will love them.

      1. I read Dragonflight when I was 14 and didn’t notice anything inappropriate for a kid/teen to read if that helps. He’s gonna love it if he does read the series though 🙂

    2. I love this series of books, and for the most part, if your son is a good reader, they are fun and interesting. However, every time one of the female dragons go into heat and mate, their riders are swept up into a sexual frenzy they can’t control because they are linked to the minds of their dragons. I would advise that you wait until your son is about 15 or so to let him read these books. I was a teenager when I started reading these books, and they were racy for me then; however I know children are more precocious today. It’s up to you, but I’d read one first to see what they are like. But I, even as a grandmother, still LOVE these books. The people and the world is so realistic that you just get immersed in the stories. Good luck.

    3. I was given the the first two novels by my aunt, who like me, was a voracious reader. I was 11 or 12 at the time. This was in the early 80’s. They may seem a bit racy to adults now, but as a kid, it really didn’t have any impact on me. I know parents are always concerned about the welfare of their child, and I would never presume to tell someone what they should or should not give their child to read, but there isn’t anything graphic in the books with regards to sex for anyone to worry over. If questions arise, they could be used as a teachable moment. I would recommend reading the books yourself first, then pass them down. The first 2 novels are short, but they opened a world of imagination to me as a child, and even now, this series is one I constantly re-read. They were the greatest gift I was given by my aunt, and I’m grateful to her every time I open the pages.

    4. Absolutely. Start with Dragonflight, it’s not too heavy a read. I’ve been reading these books since tge 1970s and still go back to them time and time again.

  3. I have just re-read the whole series of Pern books in chronological order – a thoroughly enjoyable time!! However, having literally just finished “The Skies of Pern” I am left wanting more and wanting to know how for example the development of the Starhalls went, and /or whether telekinesis was able to save the planet from future disaster. Does anyone know whether my questions will ever be answered?

  4. i wish they would start making the movies from dragonsdawn on they would make a fortune and it would blow away marvel completely.

  5. I have read the whole series of Pern books. I also have purchased every unabridged Audible books of the series. I am very much enjoying listening to these stories as I cook, clean, knit &/or crochet, and as I travel to and from appointments. My grandsons ages 9 & 10 listen to them with me and it has made for some great questions and amazing conversations .

    1. Do you read them in publication order or chronological? I am having a hard time finding how to read them. I want to order them off of thrift books but I need an order in which to read because there are so many!

      1. I’ve read the series several time. I generally read them in publication order starting with Dragonflight. There are 1 or 2 I’ve moved the order to be chronological but that’s just a personal preference

  6. Just started back reading them again. Now I am not sure which way to read them. Now there are 36 books in the series. I started reading them back in 1996 and just kept going back to the library for more. Now I am buying them on audible since I work security it is difficult to read a paper book. I love these and I started out with Dragonsong.

  7. I was introduced to this series in the late 1970s and they have become precious friends over the years. I am currently collecting the entire Pern series so I can read them in chronological order, something I have never done. I also listen to them on audio book format. These are wonderful stories that I love to return to every few years!

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