Dragonsinger Summary & Study Guide

This Study Guide consists of approximately 37 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Dragonsinger.
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Dragonsinger Summary & Study Guide Description

Dragonsinger Summary & Study Guide includes comprehensive information and analysis to help you understand the book. This study guide contains the following sections:

This detailed literature summary also contains Topics for Discussion and a Free Quiz on Dragonsinger by Anne McCaffrey.

The Dragonsinger is a science fiction novel by Anne McCaffrey. All of Pern has been searching for Petiron's apprentice and have finally found the talented harper, but are shocked to find it is a girl. Menolly has lived alone since running away from Half Circle Sea Hold in the dark days after Petiron's death and is unsure how to handle the concern of the kind people at Harpers Craft Hall who have taken her in with the belief that she will change the face of music on Pern. Menolly is afraid of letting these kind people down, but slowly she begins to realize she has finally found the place where she belongs. Dragonsinger is a delightful novel of hope and self discovery that readers of all ages and tastes will enjoy.

Menolly arrives at Harpers Craft Hall on the back of a dragon. Menolly is nervous, but too tired to worry what everyone thinks of her at the moment. Menolly meets the headwoman of the hall who quickly puts her to bed in a guest room for the night, promising to settle her in the girl's cot the following day. Menolly gathers her fire lizards around her and quickly falls into a deep sleep. The next morning, Menolly rises early and wanders to the kitchen to find something for her fire lizards to eat. Camo, the kitchen drudge, offers to help Menolly feed the creatures, excited at the aspect of being near such beautiful animals. After the fire lizards finish eating, Menolly begins singing along to the choir she can hear singing in a nearby building. The fire lizards join in, making Menolly happy because it proves the creatures are also happy. However, the sound of the fire lizards draws the attention of nearly everyone in the hall, causing Menolly a great deal of embarrassment.

Menolly goes up to visit with the Masterharper, who tries to reassure her about taking on the role of apprentice at a craft in which no woman has ever become a Master. Later, the headwoman, Silvina, takes Menolly to the cot where she will be living with the other girls. As Menolly takes her things to her new room, her fire dragons enter the home. The cotholder becomes frightened by the fire dragons and demands that Menolly keep them under control. Afterward, Menolly is directed to go to the instrument makers in order to pick a gitar to use. Menolly chooses carefully, unwittingly impressing Master Jerint when she chooses the Masterharper's gitar. Afterward, Menolly plays the gitar for Master Domick who runs her through a group of chords that would be difficult for a normal apprentice, but Menolly finds easy except for the scar on her hand that limits her movement.

After working with Master Domick, Menolly hears the bell for lunch. Menolly arrives in the hall later and does not know where she is supposed to sit. Menolly picks the first seat she finds beside a small boy she later learns is Piemur. Piemur is excited to meet Menolly and finds himself defending her to the other boys who think Menolly is acting above her station by sitting with them. After lunch, Menolly spends time with Master Morshal who quizzes her on music theory. When she is done there, Piemur takes Menolly to meet Master Shonagar, the singing teacher. Shonagar teaches Menolly so many breathing exercises that she almost forgets how to sing, but manages to get a meager compliment from the grumpy master.

Menolly returns to the hall where she allows Camo to help her feed the fire lizards. Menolly then goes to her own dinner where she meets the other girls who live at Harpers Craft Hall. One girl seems friendly, but the others seem to follow a young woman who is rude and conceited toward Menolly. After dinner, Menolly does not know where she is expected to go. Exhausted from the day's events, Menolly slips back to the cot where she falls into a deep sleep. The next morning, Menolly is awakened by Dunca, the cotholder, screaming at her from the door for sneaking into the cot without letting anyone know she was there. Menolly tries to explain herself, but Dunca wants none of it. Menolly eats a quick breakfast with the rest of the girls before slipping away to feed her fire lizards. Menolly does not know where to go from there, but is directed to the archway room where the other girls are having gitar practice. Menolly outplays all the girls, making them all look like fools.

At lunch, Menolly learns she should have been with Master Domick instead of the girls. A message was left with Dunca for Menolly, but she did not receive it. After lunch, Menolly is supposed to report to Master Jerint with her pipes, but when she goes to the cot to retrieve them, she can hear Dunca and Pona discussing her. As Menolly considers her options, her fire lizards retrieve the pipes from her room for her so that she does not have to enter the cot herself. Menolly is amazed because no one has ever seen fire lizards acting together that way before.

That night, after a long day of working with the masters and helping the Masterharper with the eggs she had given him, Menolly returns to the cot exhausted. Dunca meets her at the door and yells at her for what she sees as Menolly's disrespect. Menolly hears her out and then disappears into her room at the first opportunity she can find. The next morning, Menolly wakes early and decides to take a bath and wash her clothing. Menolly goes to breakfast in her spare set of clothing and is told that the clothes are inappropriate. Menolly is miserable in the cot. Silvina recognizes this later in the day and decides to move Menolly back to the hall. Silvina declares that this is where Menolly belongs anyway since she is the Masterharper's apprentice.

Menolly's first night in the hall she is awakened by her fire lizards. The fire lizards appear to be deeply frightened by something only they are aware of. Menolly senses a tragedy and an overwhelming loss, but does not know where it has come from. The next morning, however, Menolly learns that a dragon and his rider attempted to go to the Red Sun and were badly injured. Menolly writes a song about the event and the Masterharper tells her that it is a very good song. That same morning, the two eggs that Menolly gave the Masterharper hatch and the Masterharper and his journeyman, Sebell, impress them.

On the restday there is a gather. Menolly is given some money by the Masterharper and told to have a good time. Menolly attends with Piemur, first enjoying some hot pies before going in search of a new belt. While Menolly and Piemur are shopping for the belt, one of the girls from the cot approaches with her beau. The girl accuses Menolly of stealing her money. Menolly refuses to back off and a fight ensues. Sensing her anger, the fire lizards join the fight, injuring those who caused the argument. The Masterharper is alerted to the fight by his own fire lizards, arriving in time to break up the fight and send the offending parties back to their rooms. Later Menolly learns that the offending girl was sent home from the Harpers Craft Hall.

Menolly has come to love the people of Harpers Craft Hall and worries that the young woman who caused her so much trouble could make it so she would have to leave. However, this worry is put to rest when the Masterharper promotes Menolly to journeyman, giving her the rank that will ensure no one will ever be able to hurt her again.

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