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Dragonriders of Pern

by Anne McCaffrey

p.12 Fax sternly gestured to a blue-gowned woman, her hair white-streaked, her face lined with disappointments and bitterness, her body swollen with pregnancy. She advanced awkwardly, stopping several feet from her lord. From her attitude, F'lar deduced that she came no closer to Fax than was absolutely necessary.

p.30 They had been built outside the cliff of Ruatha by Fax's first Warder, a subtler man than all eight of his successors. He had achieved more than all the others, and Lessa had honestly regretted the necessity of his death. But he would have made her revenge impossible. He would have found her out before she had learned how to camouflage herself and her little interferences. What had his name been? she could not recall. Well, she regretted his death.

p.73 "You wash up...pretty, yes, almost pretty," he allowed with such amused condescension in his voice that she pulled roughly away from him, piqued. His low laugh mocked her. "How could one guess, after all, what was under the grime of...ten full Turns, I would say? Yes, you are certainly pretty enough to placate F'nor."
     Thoroughly antagonized by his attitude, she asked in icy tones, "And F'nor must be placated at all costs?"
     He stood grinning at her till she had to clench her fists at her sides to keep from beating that grin off his face.
     At length, he said, "No matter, we must eat, and I shall require your services." At her startled exclamation, he turned, grinning maliciously now as his movement revealed the caked blood on his left sleeve. "The least you can do is bathe wounds honorably received in fighting your battle."

p.75 Ashamed of her unbased fright and furious that he had witnessed it, Lessa sat rebelliously down on the fur-covered wall seat, heartily wishing him a variety of serious and painful injuries that she could dress with inconsiderate hands. She would not waste further opportunities.

p.76 His coldness was caution, she decided, not lack of emotion. His sternness must be assumed to offset his youth, for he couldn't be that much her senior in Turns. There was a blackness about him that was not malevolent; it was a brooding sort of patience. Heavy black hair waved back from a high forehead to brush his shirt collar. Heavy black brows were too often pulled together in a glower or arched haughtily as he looked down his high-bridged nose at his victim; his eyes (an amber, light enough to seem golden) were all to expressive of cynical emotions or cold hauteur. His lips were thin but well-shaped and in repose almost gentle. Why must he always pull his mouth to one side in disapproval or in one of his sardonic smiles? Handsome he must be considered, she supposed candidly, for there was a certain compelling air about him that was magnetic. And at this moment he was completely unaffected.

p.199 Slanting across the sea, like an ever-thickening mist, Threads were falling, silent, beautiful, treacherous. Silvery gray were those space-traversing spores, spinning from hard frozen ovals into coarse filaments as they penetrated the warm atmospheric envelope of Pern. Less than mindless, they had been ejected from their barren planet toward Pern, a hideous rain that sought organic matter to nourish it into growth. One Thread, sinking into fertile soil, would burrow deep, propagating thousands in the warm earth, rendering it into a black-dusted wasteland. The southern continent of Pern had already been sucked dry. The true parasites of Pern were Threads.

p.208 F'lar had told her long ago that she must learn to look beyond the narrow confines of Hold Ruatha and mere revenge. He was, as usual, right. As Weyrwoman under his tutelage, she had further learned that living was more than raising dragons and Spring Games. Living was struggling to do something impossible--to succeed, or die, knowing you had tried!

p.239 Ramoth beat forward with great sweeps of her wings, making for the distant coast. Canth gallantly tried to maintain a matching speed.
     He's only a brown, Lessa scolded her golden queen.
     If he is flying with me, Ramoth replied coolly, he must stretch his wings a little.

p.272 A fleck of red in a cold night sky,
     A drop of blood to guide them by,
     Turn away, Turn away, Turn, be gone,
     A Red Star beckons the travelers on.