This is a Pern Novel (way too many to count, and the order can be confusing) , This takes place during the second interval, during the same time, but from a different perspective, as Dragon's Kin. This story deals less with the mining of coal, and more with the Shunned and the mining of firestone, and how dangerous firestone mining can be. Yet the firestone is extremely important, as the time for the third pass is coming and they need the firestone for the dragons to burn the thread from the sky, and to practice being able to do so.
I really enjoyed this story, as I always enjoy the Pern novels. This feels to be more of Todd's work than Anne's as I can tell the difference in the 'feel' of Todd's work than from Anne's not that I don't like it just as much, it just has a different feel to it, and a different approach to the people.