Foreigner by Robert J. Sawyer (1994)

Farseer003Cover blurb

Note: This is the final novel of the Quintaglio Ascension trilogy, following Far-Seer and Fossil Hunter. Spoilers ahead for the first two books.


…the dawn of scientific discovery, a new way of thinking. is about to revolutionize the world of dinosaurs. Novato, mate of Afsan the Far-Seer, is mastering the technology of an ancient artifact — one that could take her species to the stars. And Afsan is struggling to overcome his blindness with the help of a new kind of doctor. Mokleb is an advanced practitioner indeed she treats not the body, but the saurian mind…

My thoughts

The last of the Quintaglio Ascension trilogy is more of an afterthought than a conclusion. It concerns the Quintaglio’s attempt to escape their doomed planet, using alien technology to give them a boost from a medieval age to the space age. A big problem for the species is they’re unable to stand within a few feet of each other without launching into a homicidal rage. As a result, they wouldn’t survive in the cramped conditions of spaceflight, killing each other before they could reach their destination. But there may be a new kind of doctor who has the solution for that…

Foreigner is the weakest book of the trilogy, with not much happening in its nearly 250 pages. Sawyer made the mistake of revealing too many of the dinosaur world’s secrets in the first two novels, so he didn’t have much to work with in the final volume. The novelty of the setting has pretty much worn off by now, and the book itself is slow moving and instantly forgettable. Yes, everything comes to a neat and tidy end, but it’s not a very satisfying conclusion.


  • Each book in the Quintaglio Ascension tells the story of the dinosaurian counterpart of a famous scientist on Earth. Galileo Galilei is the model for the protagonist in Far-Seer. Charles Darwin is covered in Fossil Hunter. Sigmund Freud is the main subject of Foreigner.
  • Book covers, essays and background about Foreigner are available on the author’s web site.


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