The back of the book of this particular paperback has spoilers, information on the characters of the book that are not revealed (apparently) until the later books in the trilogy, and I was disappointed by that. Of course I won’t reveal that!
This is Book One of the Quintaglio Ascension. A “Quintaglio” is a species of intelligent dinosaur, genetically related to Tyrannosaurus Rex, that are on a moon orbiting a gas giant.
The gas giant has religious significance on this moon. The people there believe the world is flat, going down a river and that the gas giant is The Face of God. Asfan, apprentice astrologer, makes discoveries of his universe that fly in the face (sorry for the pun) of the scholars and religionists of the day.
Asfan realizes that if he claims there is no God, that the Face of God is just a planet, that he will crash and burn the religion which has kept his kind civilized for many hundreds of years. On the other hand, he needs to if he wants to have an honest heart and tell the truth.
He discovers the truth with the “Far-Seer” (a telescope), notes the movements of the planets and makes his discoveries. Asfan is also a very skilled killer and some of the more gory aspects of the book make for some intense reading.
The truth has costs, however. A faction that considers him “The One” (holy Matrix!) wants to believe Asfan has been prophesized for the final coming of the world. Asfan on the other hand just wants to help people get off the planet!
Bottom Line: We get to know the Quintaglio society, its language, swear words and even partake of some dinosaur sex. The parallels to our own Galileo is purposeful and enjoyable to say the least. The author really blasts adherence to dogma rather than having an open mind, which should open the door to discussion of these topics, especially with young adult readers.
Not sure if I will continue with this trilogy, but this book is a great start. Just don’t read the back of the book! Recommended.