- Series: Quintaglio Ascension (Book 1)
- Paperback: 320 pages
- Publisher: Tor Books; Reprint edition (May 1, 2004)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0765309742
- ISBN-13: 978-0765309747
- Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.7 x 8.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 34 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,592,729 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Far-Seer: Book One of the Quintaglio Ascension Paperback – May 1, 2004
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From Publishers Weekly
Sawyer ( Golden Fleece ) postulates a world (not the earth) in which dinosaurs, called Quintaglios, have evolved to humanlike levels of civilization--cities, formal government and religion. While on a sea pilgrimage to a heavenly body known as the Face of God, Afsan, a prodigy and apprentice to the court astrologer, makes some astounding discoveries with a "far-seer" (i.e., telescope). He realizes that the stars and planets and moons are at varying distances from his world; that the world is round; that the planets revolve around the sun; that their planet is also a moon that will crash into the planet it revolves around and that they must build flying machines to save themselves. Unfortunately, the planet they revolve around is the Face of God, and Afsan's discoveries go against the Quintaglios' religion, though some see him as a messiahlike prophet. Sawyer does a fine job presenting the physiological features of Quintaglios but is less convincing in making one young stargazer play the combined roles in Quintaglio society of Pythagoras, Magellan, Copernicus, Galileo, da Vinci and Jesus of Nazareth. Science Fiction Book Club alternate.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top customer reviews
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.
Fossil Hunter: Book Two of The Quintaglio Ascension (Quintaglio Trilogy)Foreigner: Book Three of the Quintaglio AscensionQUINTAGLIO ASCENSION - Book (1) One: Far-Seer; Book (2) Two: Fossil Hunter; Book (3) Three: Foreigner
A terrible discovery made by an young apprentice puts everything he believes in check and starts a race to save his species from a world doomed by the same thing they worship.
Amazing book with a thriling and intelligent story. Plus dinosaurs.
My reluctance had more to do with having read and enjoyed Harry Harrison's alternative history in which dinosaurs evolved intelligence in the trilogy that began with West of Eden. That series was such a stupendous feat of world building that I was afraid any book with a similar premise would pale in comparison.
As it turns out I needn't have worried. Harrison's books remain a monumental achievement in designing a completely logical world around the question of what if dinosaurs had never died off. Sawyer, on the other hand, turns his tale into an allegory of one of his favorite topics: the conflict between science and faith.
Apprentice astrologer Afsan, our reptilian stand-in for Galileo, Copernicus and a host of other great minds, makes a startling discovery while on a pilgrimage. Like Galileo, Afsan discovers that his world is not the center of the universe. He also discovers that his home world is becoming unstable and won't last long before it's pulled apart by the planet it orbits. Rather than earning fame with his discovery, Afsan finds infamy. His discovery puts him at odds with the unyielding doctrine of the church. His findings are labeled heresy and Afsan is called a "demon."
OK, so it's a little unrealistic to have a single character make all the scientific observations and conclusions that Afsan makes in a single boat voyage, but Sawyer's book is more a parable than an effort to develop a completely realized world down to an atomic level. I was able to set back and let the Great River of the dinosaurs' world take me where it would, safe in the knowledge that I was in the hands of a master storyteller.
Most recent customer reviews
*** spoiler alert ***
I didn't really believe the protagonist's...Read more
by Robert J. Sawyer
This novel is one of my favorites and is the reason I read more from Robert Sawyer.Read more