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 ail the learning that has been discovered from the records of the Old Ones. Their first vicious assault is on the Healer Halls - irrevocable damage is done and it is obvious that this is a worldwide movement with a dangerous mind leading those who would destroy all of the new knowledge. And now comes a fresh and terrible catastrophe - a large cometary fragment is hurtling towards Petri and cannot be deflected. Everyone - dragons, riders, holders and craftsmen - must stand by to perform a giant rescue operation. As F'lessan, son of Lessa and F'lar, plays his heroic part in the events that follow, he is helped by Tai, his new weyrmate. But it is the dragons, bronze Golanth and the brilliant green Zaranth, who will provide the solution to the dangers of the skies.