When Masterharper Zist takes over as Harper for Natalon's coal-mining camp, he takes with him his apprentice, the orphaned, mute Pellar, and Pellar's fire-lizard Chitter. Pellar has become a gifted tracker and Zist gives him his own mission - to find out if the recent thefts of coal are the work of the Shunned, criminals condemned to a life of wandering and hardship. Halla is one of the children of the Shunned. Though innocent of their parents' crimes, these children have inherited their cruel punishment. With no shelter when the lethal Thread falls again they will have no protection against it. Life is even tougher for Halla, all her family are dead and she must fend for herself. Yet Halla is kind and gentle, devoted to helping those more helpless than she, unlike Tenim, a fellow child of the Shunned. Tenim is in league with Tarik, a crooked miner from Camp Natalon, who helps him steal coal in exchange for a cut of the profit. But Tenim soon realizes there is a lot more to be made from firestone, the volatile mineral that enables the dragons of Pern to burn Thread out of the sky. Tenim doesn't care what he has to do, or whom he has to kill, in order to corner the market. Cristov is Tarik's son. Dishonored by his father's greed and treachery, he decides he must make amends somehow... even if it means risking his life by mining the volatile firestone, which blows up at contact with the slightest drop of moisture. From Goodreads.
I still enjoy the Pern stories. In this one I like Pella, the mute harper. I also like that Kindan from a previous book has a short appearance. What is not as great is that it is like 3 stories in one. There is a plague, there is the shunned and then there is the whole thing about the firestones. I am unsure which is the main story. I will continue the series and I have the next book waiting for me at the library.
This book qualifies for:
I Love Library Books Reading Challenge 2014
You Read How Many Books? Reading Challenge 2014
Goodreads Reading Challenge 2014
Crazy Challenge Connection A-Z Locations - 2014
Novel Books & Reading Challenges Tower Teams III
Christmas Spirit Read-a-Thon 2014