Book Review: The White Dragon by Anne McCaffrey from The Dragonriders of Pern

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Spoiler Free Summary:  The White Dragon by Anne McCaffrey is the third book (sort of) in the Dragonriders of Pern series (at least what is commonly regarded as the first in the main arc). No one thought much of Lord Jaxom’s little white dragon, Ruth. But Jaxom believed. The two begin training to work together. Jaxom wants nothing more than to prove his dragon is indeed special. However, not even Jaxom can imagine just how special Ruth really is.

Character:  I must be honest here. I’ve made it clear that Dragonriders is my favorite series ever, and Ruth is my favorite character ever. His relationship with Jaxom is so beautiful. Strangely, this book doesn’t have the action and suspense of a Mistborn book (my third favorite series). It’s not a thrilling ride. Instead, it’s a bout a friendship that defies the odds, and that’s why the story is so powerful to me. As a person who has been blessed with truly lifelong friendships, this story connects with me in a way that it might not for others. Still, when people talk about a boy and his dragon story, this is it. This, again, is proof that dragon stories don’t have to be about action. I’m not anti-action at all. I usually enjoy it more. But I think it bears contemplation that as much as I love action, I love characters I can connect with more. Writers should take that to heart. If you connect your readers to your characters, they won’t care what the plot is. They’ll care what happens to the characters no matter how physically dangerous the stakes are. There are still stakes in this story, and there’s even physical danger. But I read this story (at least three times so far) just to hang out with two characters I dearly love.

Exposition: As Dragonriders progresses, the exposition becomes less of a crutch. I barely even notice any here. There are some scenes where the dialogue gives us some data, but it’s well woven into the conversation in a natural way. At least two books into the series (there are books that fall between that I don’t believe one “has” to read), McCaffrey finds a rhythm that lets the pace move faster. I will say this, there is absolutely a mandatory reading order. If you pick up The White Dragon, and you haven’t read the other two books I’ve reviewed, you’re going to be very lost.

Worldbuilding: Just when you think this wonderful world can’t get anymore fascinating, McCaffrey opens up a whole new dimension (literally). This story takes the overall arc in a direction that gives the main characters a new hope. While some could argue the story builds slowly, I affirm McCaffrey allows readers to sink into her world the way one likes to sink into a hot bath. Sure, there are some intense moments, but the payoff is well worth it.

This Camera Press image was found on McCaffrey’s New York Times obituary and used for this review.

Dialogue: The dialogue here does have a few scenes where the characters are moving the plot along. It’s pretty easy to tell, but it’s at least woven into conversations that are relevant and motivating to the characters. There are several adorable conversations between Ruth and Jaxom that really help to build on their relationship. This is still very good dialogue, but it might not be as great as the first two books.

Description: McCaffrey is always so effortless in her description. Reading one of her books makes me feel like a two-year-old trying to finger paint. However, the brilliance of her work isn’t in complexity. Instead, it’s in the simplicity. She doesn’t beat the reader over the head with details. Instead, she gives you small details that make a location or action feel more real, and that’s how description should be.

Overall: The White Dragon is my favorite book in my favorite series featuring my two favorite characters, so I’m a little biased. However, this book is guaranteed to yank the heartstrings of anyone who has ever been a a part of a powerful friendship. It’s touching, dramatic, and powerful. So here’s the challenge. Read the three books I’ve reviewed so far. If you’re not in love with the characters by now, you probably lack a human heart, but I won’t make you read the rest. Ultimately, this is a story that shows that faith in friendship can help people achieve more than anyone thought possible, and I for one find that a beautiful thought.

Thanks for reading


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Book Review: Twelve Extraordinary Women by John MacArthur

Book Review: Twelve Extraordinary Women by John MacArthur

The cover for this book was taken from it’s Amazon buy page for review purposes. 

I picked up Twelve Extraordinary Women by John MacArthur mostly because of how much I enjoyed Twelve Ordinary Men.

This book gives insight into how God related with women in particular. He naturally discussed women like Ruth, Rahab, Mary (Jesus’s mother), Mary Magdalene, Eve, and Sarah.

I think Magdalene was of particular import. Leaving her out leaves a lot of women who saw their value in giving birth (Mary and Sarah to name the two I most readily recall).  Magdalene is a particularly interesting person in history for me. She wasn’t a famous mother. She was a redeemed woman who had a Christian love for Christ. Where a number of women trusted in God, hoping that he would bless them with a child (Heck, me and my wife are doing that right this moment. This isn’t a bad thing to want.) Magdalene had a unique role.

John-MacArthur-Primary-2The Samaritan woman was also discussed in this, and I found her chapter of particular interest as well.

I’ll honestly say this book didn’t have the same level of impact as Twelve Ordinary Men. I think the number twelve was taken because of the other study, but I was a bit worried that a theme would arise from this that MacArthur may not have intended. You’d expect Eve, Jesus’s mother and Sarah. I mentioned the Samaritan woman and Magdalene, and there are critical as well. Rahab makes sense to show how God can use a person’s sin for good and can even forgive those sins. (Rahab lied about knowing where Joshua’s spies were, which is a sin, but God used that to protect his people. He also forgave that sin and even blessed Rahab by including her in the lineage of both David and Christ.)  I guess my concern is that some may feel the emphasis on woman having children and finding husbands (in Ruth’s case), will cause interpretive issues  for someone unfamiliar with Dr. MacArthur’s work and (more importantly) scripture.

I still found it enlightening, and I still enjoyed it. Something I’ll add is that now that I’m simply reading MacArthur’s books because I find value in his theology and insight, I’m naturally not as drawn to these as previous ones. That’s not because these aren’t good or valuable books. Instead, I’m not reading to fill a need. I’m not reading to understand something I’m struggling with or learn about something I can’t quite figure out.  I’m just reading because I like it. That’s going to shade my opinion of these books in comparison others I’ve read. 

I’d recommend this book to women of faith who may be wondering more about how God choose to work in their lives.

Thanks for reading,


Sonnets For My Savior 14

Sonnets For My Savior 14

Because of His Grace

I was trapped by by sin.

I was lost and without hope.

I hid the pain deep within.

I was buried with more loneliness than I with which could cope.

No amount of money could bring me joy.

No amount of fleshly pleasures could bring me gladness.

Despite all of the effort I did employ,

nothing worked, I was still lost in sadness.

I questioned why he continued to deny me.

I questioned why he let me experience such pain.

Then His grace showed me what I couldn’t see.

Without Him, my life was in vain.

When I sought his grace, He made me new.

His grace saved me, and it can save you too.



Our God remains faithful though we are faithless.

He cannot deny himself.

Even though our sins are countless,

He does not lie or change, nor will He slander himself.

He doesn’t tempt us beyond our ability,

He provides a means of escape for every temptation.

While He rules with unquestioned sovereignty,

His grace is sufficient for us and worthy of veneration.

His word is upright,

and His love never ends.

Even as the morning comes after every night,

His great reliability never bends.

He is just, upright, and without iniquity,

and His faithfulness abounds despite our impurity.


Adam and Jesus

His obedience

to counter his defiance.

His deference

to counter his noncompliance.

Adam’s rebellion was the root of our sin,

so Jesus’ submission became our salvation.

Because of the first man, evil lies within,

but through Christ, we each become a new creation.

Adam’s sin led him to hide,

but Jesus sought His father when His time drew near.

Adam tried to cast his guilt aside,

but Jesus, without guilt, had nothing to fear.

Adam’s trespass resulted in condemnation,

but Jesus’ act of righteousness resulted in justification.


Your Will

We accept Your Son as our Savior,

for you gave us the gospel, and we have heard it.

We seek Your word with great fervor

and ask that you fill our hearts with Your Spirit.

Let us be sanctified,

so that we might be more like Your Son.

Let our previous, selfish temptations be denied,

and let only Your will be done.

Let us submit to Your law, Your church, and the leaders you’ve appointed over us.

Let our hearts be like a servant most humble.

We understand that some might punish or persecute us,

so we glorify You, Lord, for we suffer but trust that your grace won’t let us stumble.

Let Your will live in the hearts of women and men,

for You are our God now and forever, Amen.


His Miracles

He made the leper clean.

He healed the centurion’s servant with a word.

He healed many, just as the prophet had foreseen.

He healed Peter’s mother-in-law, and she began to serve him after that occurred.

He calmed a storm.

He cast out demons.

Many great works did he perform

to show authority in his sermons.

He helped a paralytic to his feet,

and brought life to the dead.

He healed a woman on the street,

He never failed to do a single thing he had said.

The Son of God did all these wonderful things,

but the greatest work is the salvation that He brings.


His Favorite Method

He worked through David to make Goliath fall.

He worked through Moses to set the Israelites free.

He healed the sick through the mere handkerchiefs that touched Paul.

He worked through Elisha to help a crippled woman earn money.

He worked through Sampson to bring the house of the Philistines down.

He worked through Elijah to burn the captains and their host.

For Joshua the sun and moon stood still, and this increased the army’s renown.

Look at all the miracles, and how He performed them most.

Through Peter, he strengthened a man’s legs and feet.

Through Isaiah, he killed the Assyrian king in his own land.

Many a wondrous deed did our Lord, God, complete,

but he didn’t do them simply by his own mighty hand.

Indeed for most the wonders and tasks we have seen Him do,

have come through his servants, people just like me and you.


The Provider

He made bread rain down from the sky.

He used a log to sweeten Marah’s waters.

To those who are faithful, his is faithful and does not deny.

His generously gives to all his sons and daughters.

He is our provider.

With him, we never want for anything.

Even to Ruth, a Moabitess outsider,

He provided a redeemer, and made her a matron of the king.

He provided for Elijah in the wilderness.

He blessed Abraham with an heir.

Praise be to God for his love and kindness.

Blessed is he who gives when we are in despair.

If ever one doubts how loving and giving is He.

Simply look at the world He gave us; it’s there for all to see.