The amazon.com product description:
In the world of Pern, Harpers are regarded to be more powerful than kings, for the music they play can literally control the minds of others. For young Menolly, her dreams of becoming a Harper have nothing to do with power, but rather her love of music. Now she is finally living out her musical dreams as an apprentice Harper, but it's turning out to be more challenging than she thought.Dragonsinger is the sequel to Dragonsong, the first book of the Harper Hall trilogy. The final book in the trilogy is Dragondrums (which I'm reading now). The book picks up more or less where the first book left off, detailing Menolly's life in the Harper Hall and her experiences in the unfamiliar environment.
Formerly forbidden to study music because of her gender, Menolly quickly encounters hostility from a number of her male peers and masters. But she is not alone in her struggles. With the help of new friends, teachers, and her nine fire lizards, Menolly finds that her musical talents may prove more powerful than anyone could imagine.
At the same time, it's a somewhat different perspective on Pern and the greater events going on, as Dragonsinger runs concurrently with the events of Dragonquest and Dragonflight, and even, I think, The White Dragon, Anne McCaffrey's original trilogy of Pern books. It's interesting to see the events from the perspective of one who's not involved with them in any way for a change.
Like the first book in the set, this book is marketed towards teens these days, although I don't know if that was the original idea or not. Either way, these books make for a great introduction to Pern and Anne McCaffrey's writing.
This one is my favourite of the three novels, to be honest. Menolly really comes into her own here, and the ending? well, I don't want to give any spoilers, but if you read the book, you'll see why I loved it so much. Also, the lyrics that start each chapter are a really neat touch - especially the first one, the "Fire Lizard Song".
If you're looking for a great introduction to a classic science fiction series, and a quick read, all three of the Harper Hall books might just be for you. I think, that even though these books are a trilogy, it might still be possible to read Dragonsinger without having read the first book, but they're good quick reads, so why not try Dragonsong first?