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When Masterharper Zist takes over as Harper for Natalons coal-mining camp- he takes with him his apprentice- the orphaned- mute Pellar- and Pellars 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 doesnt care what he has to do- or whom he has to kill- in order to corner the market. Cristov is Tariks son. Dishonored by his fathers 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.When the last remaining firestone mine explodes in flames- a desperate race begins to find a new deposit of the deadly but essential mineral- for without it there c... Please click here to ask a question
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