This novel, the most recent in the Dragonriders of Pern series, is probably the most readable of them so far. Pern is a far-off world, once colonized by Earth, that lives in medieval style, and protects itself from outworld parasitic invaders with dragons. Nerilka's Story is written in a slightly different style than the others in the series; it is in the form of the journal of the daughter of a Fort Holder (what we would call a lord) named Nerilka. Nerilka is independent of her father, and regrets his treatment of a dangerous plague that threatens most of Pern. She abandons her status as royalty, and goes to treat the plague as a healing person. She meets true love, helps to find a cure for the plague, and lives happily ever after.
This novel has what most McCaffrey books lack: a plot, a reasonable length, and an ending. It also shares the fortes of most McCaffrey books: imaginative setting, in-depth characters and wonderful situations. In a nutshell. Nerilka's Story has all of the strengths of McCaffrey's other novels, but few of the standard weaknesses.n
This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.