A fun, multi-thread space opera. Set six hundred years into our future, the story relates a time when all religions have been subsumed into a lowest common denominator religion of psychobabble and ritual. Anyone holding any particular faith is persecuted as an enemy of the state. And, of course, the persecutors may have a hidden agenda for their purges.
Well told, especially when the point of view is that of one of the young males. Works less well with the older characters. Too many mature people are thrilled, awed, proud and dread things at a level which makes them appear adolescent. A stupid and obvious conspiracy. Everything involved the king of the Five Realms comes off stilted, as if the author’s concept of royal behavior is draw from fantasy novels.
Quibbles: A lot of “on the nose” storytelling (as Jerry B. Jenkins labels it). “A quintet of five…” What other kind is there? “New warships under construction” Yeah… “They were … that were …” Hard to believe so much twentieth century pop culture survives six hundred years. Much description by characters is obviously to inform the reader. Hard to believe the first thing done with the titular text is not to scan it and fire a bajillion copies into the ether. Censorship is better fought with openness than hiding.
A good story, but too predictable.