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Pern #10

The Renegades of Pern

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As long as the people of Pern could remember, the Holds had protected them from Thread, the deadly silver strands that fell from the sky and ravaged the land. In exchange for sanctuary in the huge stone fortresses, the people tithed to their Lord Holders, who in turn supported the Weyrs, whose dragons were Pern's greatest weapon against Thread.But not everyone on Pern was part of that system of mutual care and protection, particularly those who had been rendered holdless as punishment for wrongdoing. And there were some, like Jayge's trader clan, who simply preferred the freedom of the roads to the security of a hold. Others, like Aramina's family, had lost their holds through injustice and cruelty. For all the holdless, life was a constant struggle for survival.

Then, from the ranks of the criminals and the disaffected, rose a band of renegades, led by the Lady Thella. No one was safe from Thella's depredations, and now her quarry was Aramina, reputed to have a telepathic link with dragons. But when Thella mistakenly vented her rage on Jayge's family, she made a dangerous mistake. For Jayge was bent on revenge . . . and he would never let her have the girl who heard dragons!

384 pages, Paperback

First published November 1, 1989

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About the author

Anne McCaffrey

580 books7,093 followers
Anne McCaffrey was born on April 1st, 1926, in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Her parents were George Herbert McCaffrey, BA, MA PhD (Harvard), Colonel USA Army (retired), and Anne Dorothy McElroy McCaffrey, estate agent. She had two brothers: Hugh McCaffrey (deceased 1988), Major US Army, and Kevin Richard McCaffrey, still living.

Anne was educated at Stuart Hall in Staunton Virginia, Montclair High School in Montclair, New Jersey, and graduated cum laude from Radcliffe College, majoring in Slavonic Languages and Literatures.

Her working career included Liberty Music Shops and Helena Rubinstein (1947-1952). She married in 1950 and had three children: Alec Anthony, b. 1952, Todd, b.1956, and Georgeanne, b.1959.

Anne McCaffrey’s first story was published by Sam Moskowitz in Science Fiction + Magazine and her first novel was published by Ballantine Books in 1967. By the time the three children of her marriage were comfortably in school most of the day, she had already achieved enough success with short stories to devote full time to writing. Her first novel, Restoree, was written as a protest against the absurd and unrealistic portrayals of women in s-f novels in the 50s and early 60s. It is, however, in the handling of broader themes and the worlds of her imagination, particularly the two series The Ship Who Sang and the fourteen novels about the Dragonriders of Pern that Ms. McCaffrey’s talents as a story-teller are best displayed.

She died at the age of 85, after suffering a massive stroke on 21 November 2011.

Obituaries: Locus, GalleyCat.

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5 stars
6,300 (31%)
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Displaying 1 - 30 of 357 reviews
Profile Image for Susan Kennedy.
271 reviews9 followers
November 8, 2018
This was an fantastic book. There is so much happening and so many different stories within that you never grow bored. There are quite a few characters, but those from other books that you continue to follow. There are great characters and one terrible villain. There is continent hopping and history being uncovered. I thoroughly enjoyed this one.

It's funny, reading through these books has been a lot of fun. Reading in chronological order has been fun. It has been so long since the first couple of times that I read through this series, that I am hitting on characters that I just don't remember. I was a teenager when I first read these though, so who knows what I was thinking through those first times. I have been thoroughly entertained this time around and it has been so enjoyable getting to know these characters again. Characters that I remember loving and thinking they were the most important, well, that all changed. They are still important and I still think they are fantastic, but there are also other characters that are just as lovable and important.

What a great series. I'm really happy I have taken on reading through them again.
Profile Image for Deborah Ideiosepius.
1,675 reviews132 followers
April 11, 2019
This is a comfortable book which ties together many different plots and people from all over Pern and ultimately links them to the Southern continent. It is also the book that sets up the latter stories in the series, since in the later part the Pernese discover the sites of 'the ancients' on the Southern continent and start excavating them, leading to latter books.

This book contains probably the most number of separate plots, discrete plot lines and the largest suite of characters of any that I have previously read by McCaffrey. To be honest, at first I was a bit exasperated because the prologue introduces us rather too rapidly through rather too many people who you will not encounter until much later, by which time I had forgotten them. The main thrust of the plot in the early novel is the 'Renegades' and the brigands? outlaws? led by Lady Holdless Thella who took advantage of the homeless people created by thread and for a few turns made it quite a dangerous place for those without dragons. This is a different side of Pern, the one where people who are not Hold or Weyr or crafthall are given a look in, and I did enjoy that aspect of it as well as the wider social context that McCaffrey wove into her world.

The various stories come together, though and once again we zoom in on Hold, Weyr and craft having left the 'renegades, holdless ect far behind. While I did enjoy this I agree the many people who have criticised it; the renegades feel like a plot that started but was dropped in the middle of the book. Araminta's story is told elsewhere and I don't quite see why why she reappears at Southern. Peimur and Jaxon and Robinton all suddenly take the place of the previous story we were reading and all of a sudden the entire focus of the book changes with a tiny little token nod to finalising the original plot, right at the end. The story seems to be set in exactly the same time as several other books, all of which follow characters that are in this one as well. It is all a bit mystifying, and nothing like McCaffreys original, tightly written, single plot novels. I did still quite enjoy it.
Profile Image for Timothy Boyd.
6,651 reviews35 followers
November 24, 2022
Great book in the series. This book, The White Dragon, Dragon's code and 2 short stories all take place at the same time, masterfully interwoven by one of the Grand master of SiFi/Fantasy. Pern is an amazing complex and detailed world and a fantastic read. Very recommended
Profile Image for Cathy.
1,668 reviews242 followers
April 27, 2022
Renegades of Pern, published in 1989, starts a decade before the events of Dragonflight and covers the time up to Dragondrums fairly quickly. We get glimpses of Piemur, but the main storyline is otherwise just touched upon briefly here and there and shown through different POVs. Knowing the first two trilogies will give context, I recommend reading those first anyhow, although the first trilogy has a seriously dated tone and attitude.

I really liked Jayge‘s storyline, even though…

“He had found her! He loved her! He would help her. The Weyrs and the Holds be damned. Hold and Weyr could not provide her with safety. He could and would!“ (page 288)

The dreaded instalove makes an appearance…

Apparently Jayge himself will also keep making appearances in:
* All the Weyrs of Pern
* The Dolphins of Pern
* The Skies of Pern

Looking forward to that!

The first half of the book has a rather episodic feel to it, with different POVs in every chapter. I figured that I was reading one of these in-between books one doesn‘t really need.

However, by the middle of the book many of those strands came together. It got pretty interesting and added new things to the overarching story of the world of Pern. We cover not just new, but also important ground. I really enjoyed myself, especially when we started to spend serious time on the Southern Continent, which is always fun.

Not to be skipped when making your way through the Dragonriders of Pern!

Pern Re-read
I started a re-read of the series in 2020/2021 and plan to read all the available main novels that I have not read yet.
I am deleting, as I progress through the series, mostly in publication order. I am not too fussed about the order for the rereads, so I will diverge where it seems practical…

Publication Order — main novels / next
* 1991 - All The Weyrs of Pern
* 1994 - The Dolphins of Pern
* 1998 - The Masterharper of Pern
* 2001 - The Skies of Pern
* 2003 - Dragon’s Kin
* 2005 - Dragonsblood
* 2006 - Dragon’s Fire
* 2007 - Dragon Harper
* 2008 - Dragonheart
* 2010 - Dragongirl
* 2011 - Dragon’s Time
* 2012 - Sky Dragons

Pern Wiki mainpage: https://pern.fandom.com/wiki/Main_Page
Profile Image for notyourmonkey.
342 reviews40 followers
February 1, 2009
Dude, even McCaffrey got bored with her own new (deeply boring) characters halfway through the book, chucked the whole Holdless plotlines for huge swathes, and went back to focusing on Piemur and Toric and the politics of the Southern continent. It irks my sense of order that huge chunks of the through-narrative from the original (in my mind) six books/two trilogies has to be continued here before being picked up as the A story once again in All the Weyrs of Pern again. It seems a poorly put-together book, but I nevertheless relished the bits about Piemur growing up and continuing his story from Dragondrums. I also like the gaps filled in a bit in and around The White Dragon. Those two reasons are worth it to me to slog around the Jayge-Aramina-Thella bits to fill in details for the overarching storyline.

Oh, also? The cover shown here does not match my book, even though I selected via ISBN number. ::grumps::
Profile Image for Gillian Murrell.
521 reviews
April 21, 2017
3.5 stars Although I enjoyed this book it felt like two different stories mashed together, along with bits and pieces of the other books thrown in. The reason for that I guess is that it was over a long period of time. Piemur and the continuing excavations in the south were fascinating but I kept wishing they would come across a Dictionary as it would help immensely.
Profile Image for Karlie Lucas.
Author 13 books82 followers
November 27, 2018
Always a fan of Pern and its many wonders. Thella is such a great character in regards to villains. You seriously want to see her maimed or dead, you dislike her that much. And I love the details of other things going on in the world of Pern at large, especially things pertaining to the Southern Continent. Those bits are actually probably my favorite.
Profile Image for Dark-Draco.
2,162 reviews38 followers
April 12, 2023
This was never my favourite Pern novel and re-reading it after all these year's, my opinion hasn't changed that much. There seems to be too much going on, too many storylines that jump spasmodically from one to another, with nothing really holding them together. The events run concurrently with 'The White Dragon', but don't add a huge amount to the overall storyline.

Thella could have been made a lot more of and taken a bit more centre stage - after Jayge's rescue, she kind of gets forgotten about before suddenly arriving back on the scene towards the end, but her storyline gets muddled in with more exploration of Southern and more issues with Toric, which frankly are a bit boring until right at the very end.

That said, I did still enjoy it, as I probably always will when visiting Pern and once you got used to the sudden leaps in the plots, it ends up being a nice filler between other novels.
Profile Image for Barbara Klaser.
606 reviews14 followers
March 10, 2020
Warning, this story is at times disturbingly violent. I think I may have enjoyed this one more on the second or third reading, though, because I already knew which characters would turn out to be super evil/crazy and violent, and how far they would go, so I was prepared.

It's a story that ranges over about 15 years of the characters' lives, some of them children in the beginning, growing into adults with families of their own. The action flips between the Northern and Southern continents of Pern, and between traders, the holdless, holders, craftsmen, and dragonriders. Some of the rules about dragons not interfering in holder issues seem to me a bit rigid and at the same time unevenly applied. But the end of this story is well worth any little reader irritation or annoyance along the way, as Pern enters a new era, in which the power hungry are more irrelevant and yet as much trouble as ever. There are the violent power hungry, and the less violent power hungry, who are almost as much of a problem as the violent ones.

Some of the characters and even events will be recognizable from other installments in the series, such as a repetition of a few scenes from The White Dragon. But I never seem to mind that with this series. It's kept to a minimum, providing just a reminder while the story keeps its flow and forward motion.

When I think about it, I probably would not want to live on Pern. I don't think of it as dystopian so much as being a world with problems, just different problems than our own, while human nature seems just as varied as we know it to be. Pern also has some features that are quite wonderful, like the dragons and firelizards. Still, the social structure leaves a lot to be desired, from my perspective. It continues to be feudal and reward those already in power. Then again, how different is that from our world?

The story of rediscovery of Pern's past, though, is exciting. No matter whether one's ancestors were more or less knowledgeable or capable, or socially enlightened, learning more about them is always fascinating.
Profile Image for Imy.
33 reviews1 follower
February 4, 2023
Revenge and plotting
Dashing rescue
I love this book, so many POVs. I change from others in the series that only follow a couple people, tops.
But don't read this if it's the first Ann McCaffrey Pern book. It's definitely written for an audience who're very familiar with the characters and worldbuilding.
This book is based over near a decade
Profile Image for Kaylabee.
45 reviews9 followers
September 20, 2018
I loved it! Yes there were slow parts and yes there were a few too many names to remember. But the STORY, omg, the STORY.

I looooove how some books deal with the same timeline/plotline as otherbooks but tells it from other perspectives, adding depth to the world and story as a whole.

This book covers the same time period as the very first three of the series but tells the stories from the point of view of various Renegades (holdless (re: people who are not in charge or living in a Hold) of Pern. I LOVE that. What a great way to tell the story!!
Profile Image for Dianna.
1,875 reviews32 followers
June 29, 2019
I ended up getting really interested in the characters introduced in this book. At first they seemed like a distraction from the story I was impatient to get on with, but by the end they had important places in the story and I really liked some of them. Oh, and there's more Piemur. If you're thinking of skipping this book, I would say don't. As well as being quite well written (compared to some of the other co-authored books I've read in the series—ugh), there are key plot points revealed that you won't want to miss—and of course Piemur. Did I mention Piemur?
Profile Image for Fredrick Danysh.
6,844 reviews162 followers
September 9, 2020
Thread have been a threat to Pern as far back as people can remember, devouring everything but stone. In exchange for protection by the dragonriders, the peole have provided support to the Wyers. Some chose to live outoutside the holds or have been exiled. From some of these outsiders, a revolt against the system starts.
Profile Image for Anne Wingate.
504 reviews15 followers
December 28, 2018
One of the Core Books of the Pern Sequence

I have loved this entire series from day one. If you haven't already done so, begin with the first book and read forward. Although Renegades is terrific as a stand-alone, it is far more memorable and meaningful when read in its place in the Dragonriders of Pern sequence.
Recommended for everyone.
Profile Image for Katie.
166 reviews
June 26, 2013
If the entire book had been about Piemur and the continuing excavations of Landing I would have enjoyed it much more. The continuation of Aramina's story from The Girl Who Heard Dragons was interesting but mixing the two plots made for a rather disjointed book.
Profile Image for Stephanie Carr.
234 reviews2 followers
February 28, 2021
Took a while to really ramp up but once I pinned down what characters to root for, it got fun. And the discovery at the end is still one of my favorite memorable scenes from the series.
Profile Image for Book2Dragon.
358 reviews136 followers
June 7, 2022
Another Anne McCaffrey favorite. It seemed to drag at the beginning (why only 4 stars) but the pace definitely picked up at the end. I also had trouble on the outset at figuring out the time and people in relation to the other books. There are places on the Web to help you, but I hate having to work to read a fiction book.
Good vs Evil: sometimes it is a gray area and sometimes the Evil is just Pure Evil. Most of Pern falls in the gray areas, some whiter than others, but hey we're all human. But the "bad guy" in this one is really, really bad.
Lots of dragons, fire lizards and excavating of abandoned ruins. Some romance just for flavor.
You'll love it as much or more than I no doubt. The Renegades of Pern (Pern, #10) by Anne McCaffrey
3 reviews1 follower
March 2, 2023
I use this book to fall asleep to. It's taken me almost 3 months to read. 5 stars for being boring and long winded. 2 actual stars for plot and characters.
I recognise I'm not using this book for its intended purpose.
Profile Image for Kara.
271 reviews14 followers
March 1, 2022
This book starts at the beginning of the thread falling for the first time in 400 years. But unlike the others, it follows what happens to the regular people of Pern.
It has several storylines that follow different people and how threads falling effects their lives for 17 years.
Profile Image for Mark Kaye.
137 reviews3 followers
June 19, 2022
Really enjoyed this book. A little slow to get started, and a little wordy, but it suddenly get going and doesn’t slow down. The book is a kind out over view of the last 7 books before it. So in a way it starts past tense beginning before Dragonflight, and covering all the books through to Dragondrums. Then the last few chapters are present tense.
The Author captured Thella really well. There aren’t any really nasty evil people on Pern, apart from Fax in Dragonflight, but Thella is worse. Plane nasty for nasty sake, and you feel satisfied with her comeuppance.
The story shifts the to Pern’s history and it’s original inhabitants (or ancients) ending with a sort of cliffhanger.
Looking forward to the next book.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Kessily Lewel.
Author 29 books129 followers
January 21, 2019
Renegades of Pern is a fun book and it always feels to me like it has a different tone from the earlier pern books. The first Pern books were all fantasy. Showing us a medieval world complete with Lords and dragons and then we got a prequel that opened up a big secret-- the people of Pern arrived there on spaceships from Earth. The dragons were genetically engineered and the complete absence of technology in their world was partly a choice of their ancestors, but mostly because of a series of catastrophes that decimated their population.

In Renegades we come back to the present-day Pern but now we have a different outlook on it. We know their history and origins, but they don't. It feels like stumbling over fun little easter eggs every time you recognize a name and realize who they are descended from. We also see little hints here and there of things they did manage to hold onto from before.

It opens way back before thread started falling again and we skip around in the past as we're introduced to a host of new characters. McCaffrey is introducing us to the people who don't have the safety of Weyr and Hold to protect them when thread starts falling, because it's going to be important. We see those who are holdless by choice and those who are holdless because of a crime and how they are affected by the sudden onset of thread--an alien mindless organism which rains down on the planet periodically and eats everything it touches. There are occasionally long hiatuses when they are safe, and they've been having an especially long one of a few hundred years. As a result people have begun to believe it would never return... oops.

So we follow the lives of a number of important characters; Thella a woman who refuses to be controlled by men and becomes a cruel and bitter outlaw instead, Aramina the girl who can hear all dragons and it drives her nuts! Jayge who starts out as a young boy in a trader family, holdless by choice and others. Their stories are side plots but important for seeing another side of Pern.

Some spoilers:
The main story is interposed between them and eventually leads to the discovery of the original colony of their ancestors. It was lost in DragonsDawn when a volcano blew up and all the settlers fled to the North, abandoning the southern continent forever--or so it seemed. Slowly people have begun to trickle back and once they discover this treasure trove of information AND the supplies and technology that were left behind all of Pern is going to change--drastically!

It was a great book. I was a little sad to see that Aramina and Jayge, who were so important to the book early on sort of get resolved and tucked off to the side later. I'm sure they are happier that way but it almost made it feel like I was reading two books at once. It's an essential read though because it prepares you for all the changes that are about to occur, and it's fun to follow the direct line of character lives from the beginning of thread again to the sudden discovery of the past they lost.

258 reviews
June 15, 2017
I quite enjoyed the intertwining stories of this book. The progression of plot is a little spotty and the climax a bit late, but the relationships between the characters involved is just as interesting.
October 4, 2019
Imagine living in a world where you have to fear for your life everyday. Thin strands of steel, millimeters thin, known as thread, falling from the sky cutting people up, this is the fear people live in The Renegades of Pern. The people of Pern only have one defense against this thread, and that would be the Dragonriders, people trained in riding dragons. These dragons use their flames to quickly destroy thread with heat as it falls from the sky. Under the stress of thread, kings constantly fight for land and bandits rob the poor, life is hell and chaos occurs everywhere. Pern is definitely no paradise.
I think the book does very well in introducing its characters and given them each their own story. Itll spend pages on a character, explaining exactly who they are and making it seem as if you know them personally. Their dialogue is realistic and doesn't feel fake and cheesy, you can feel their emotions. This aspect of the story makes it a lot more interesting and keeps the reader reading.
The stories way of passing time is a bit confusing and makes the story hard to follow, and at times you'll have to reread to understand what you just processed. One page the kings alive, 10 pages later there's a new war and the king is dead, read another 20 and that king is dead too. Time progresses very fast and makes it hard to follow a linear story, if there is one. It almost feels as if its many short stories, and reading in like that makes it a bit better to read.
Overall, what I can read of the story is interesting and keeps me intrigued. Fans of fantasy and things along those lines would likely enjoy this book well. Again, it's a bit hard to follow if you expect a linear storyline. However, change your mindset and you'll be fine. Rating wise, id give what I read so far a 7/10, the plots are intriguing and make me want to read more, which isn’t normal for me.
Profile Image for Amyiw.
2,331 reviews63 followers
August 28, 2021
I vaguely remember this books main characters, and do remember the ending, but the middle I remember as dragging a bit. Probably would have given it a 3 stars but cannot rate it without re-reading.

Ok, reread and now remember why I didn’t give this a better rating. It ends right when they start learning about themselves and we don’t get to see where it goes. Very abrupt ending though...

Still Jayge is kind of our main character. He connects with the Girl Who Hears Dragons, who unlike queen riders, hears them all the time and it makes her crazy. There is a very poorly drawn evil woman, sister of a holder, who calls herself Lady Thella as Lady of the holdless. Jayge cross paths with her and she doggedly pursues him even So this main line wasn’t all that good for the evil person but was pretty good for Jayge. Aramina was not really fleshed out.

I’ve gone on to All the Weyrs of Pern which has the future of how the southern continent will be divided . It is definitely worth reading as a continuation but it drags a lot with the telling of people’s stories. 3 stars solid, good, mainly only for readers of the series.
Profile Image for Romana Drew.
Author 8 books61 followers
June 30, 2021
Main characters

Set in the same timeframe as The White Dragon, The Renegades of Pern shares the same cast of characters. Thella, flees an arranged marriage to seek her fortune as a holdless renegade, recruiting the dregs of Pern to raid and pillage. She wreaks havoc on Jayge's family and searches the world for Aramina, the girl who hears all the dragons.

Piemur explores the southern continent and discovers the original landing site.

Toric expands his hold, begrudging any who might settle on the Southern Continent.

The Renegades of Pern spans many years and several different stories, following different characters at different times. It begins with a recap of the events covered in earlier books. The overview may be a bit too much to remember for someone who hasn't read those books.

It begins with the misfortunes of Jayge's family, then moves on to Thella and her misdeeds. After a while, it leaves Thella and follows Jayge and Piemur and the discovery of the original landing site, returning to Thella in the end.

All this moving around makes it hard to latch onto one character and develop an emotional connection. Of course, Thella is a disaster of a person, so making an emotional connection to her is next to impossible. But for readers of and The White Dragon, it is great to learn more about Piemur, Jaxom, and their girlfriends. And Robinton has a role to play in the last third of the book.

This is probably not the best book to introduce someone to Pern, but it fills in a lot of gaps and fleshes out the lives of many characters.
Profile Image for Max Ostrovsky.
564 reviews57 followers
April 4, 2018
I like fantasy. I really do. I'm really starting to not like this Pern series.
Every time I pick up a Pern book, I sigh with reluctance. Every time I pick up a Pern book, I would rather pick up my phone to play a time wasting game like solitaire or Sudoku.
I think it's the writing style. It is awfully dry.
Then the plotting. The ending of the primary plot about the primary protagonist and antagonist (I think primary) was telegraphed from the very beginning, down to the weapons.
Then, there is about a third of the book that veers away from the primary plot. I get that running a B story concurrently with the A story wouldn't have been possible because time passes for the characters in the A story. But by the time the two stories come together, so much has happened to the A story characters that the differences and growth don't seem earned.
However, like the original trilogy, I really got into the sci-fi aspects. And unfortunately, like the original trilogy, the sci-fi doesn't start until the very end. And then doesn't get its own ending! A cliff hanger!
I get the cross book story arc and why that should get a cliff hanger and why Renegades is very self-contained; but the A story line should have had more of a presence. The over arcing story takes over too much with very little connection to the A story. While the protagonists play a part in the over arcing story, their part was not related to the A story line.
I'm not afraid of stories breaking plotting tropes; it just isn't done well here.
Profile Image for Casey.
737 reviews
November 17, 2017
The Renegades of Pern is a disjointed entry in the Pern series. The time in this book covers the time in Dragonflight, Dragonquest, The White Dragon, the novella The Girl Who Heard Dragons, and the Harper Hall trilogy.

Renegades reads liked a deleted scene reel. It gives some backstory, but putting it all together for its own side story doesn't work well. Because this book parallels the time in the others, it's forced to skip forward to whatever parallel plot plot is happening.

Renegades focuses on Thella, the antagonist from The Girl Who Heard Dragons, and her two targets, Jayge and Aramina. Piemur is at the Southern Hold and gives some perspective of the Oldtimers and the development of the new hold. At the very end, the major characters all come together, and there is some discovery of items left in Landing by the first settlers on Pern.

I was never really interested in Jayge. Thella is interesting, but very one-dimensional. Aramina seemed to have less page time than the novella she was in, which I found strange. Now thinking back, it's hard for me to remember which character had the most focus, and that's probably because there isn't a solid plotline.

I liked that Jaxom and Ruth appear for a brief time in the end. Overall, very little about the dragons and their riders, and no real focus on the people living in holds either. It's essentially everyone on the fringe.
Displaying 1 - 30 of 357 reviews

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