Characters Who Love Us Back

Characters Who Love Us Back

A good book is one thing. A great character, easily tucked away into a book bag or within easy reach of one’s bed, can be so much more. Whether the challenging moments of your youth were soothed by a handful of baseball cards, the original Avenger’s Comic Books, or the ineffable brilliance of Anne McCaffrey’s science fiction imaginings, the power of carefully presented characters cannot be overstated. When we relate to others – fictional or real – we feel less alone. When they suffer, we know our suffering is shared by others. And when they overcome immense challenges? What’s to stop us from doing the same?

In Dragonsong, we are introduced to a girl of only fifteen turns. Menolly, the youngest daughter of a Lord Holder, lives thousands of years in the future on a colonized planet that culturally resembles the old, patriarchal world of Earth. Upon the death of her musical mentor, she is forbidden her talent and robbed of her deepest form of expression – purely because of gender expectations. What she does about it is beyond inspirational.

The above, rarely seen image is from the backside of my Harper Hall Trilogy box set. The image speaks eloquently to the start of Menolly’s journey, and mine. As a girl growing up in the 1970’s, the companionship of Anne McCaffrey’s fiercely strong heroines was fundamental to my innate sense of self-confidence. Menolly, Lessa and Killashandra Ree (to name but a few of McCaffrey’s powerful female characters) served as role models for an entire generation of girls. Through them, we gained and held onto the idea that it’s the person we become on the inside, the challenges we face, the tenacity we hold onto and the bravery that gets us from one day to the next…that matters.

Quite honestly, I can recommend this trilogy to all people. Menolly’s story is expanded in Dragonsinger and concluded by Piemur, Menolly’s staunch friend and fellow social misfit, in Dragondrums. These surprisingly small novels are replete with lush landscapes, richly woven world-building and a cast of characters so real you can’t help but fall in love with them. Oh! And, did I mention the fire lizards and genetically altered telepathic dragons?

August 14, 2022

About Author

March Twisdale

march March Twisdale has called Vashon Island home for nearly twenty years. A lifelong advocate of independent thought, March believes there are as many right choices as there are people in the world. She looks forward to bringing inspiring content to Vashon Loop readers, as she's done for eight years with her radio show - Prose, Poetry & Purpose. Find her on by searching "Our Thoughts Matter."