One of the best books I've read this year although it's not without its flaws. You could talk for hours/pages about it and it's hard to condense it into a tiny review but...
This epic tale starts with a desperate young woman gambling on making a better life for herself and her sister by leaving Earth on a colonists ship. On the way there the ship is damaged by asteroids and it is lost for many light years until it crashes on a strange planet. What follows is a harrowing, thought-provoking, and romantic journey for Amber and the powerful, devout alien (Meoraq) who unwillingly becomes her protector.
The book contrasts the ugly side of human nature with the goodness of love, loyalty and spiritual belief. It's a very personal story and Amber and Meoraq are both changed deeply by the events they live through. I'm not the most religious person and I get bored very quickly by discussions about belief, but here it is so beautifully done and so interconnected with the heroes physical and emotional struggle that I found myself hanging on to Meoraq's faith as strongly as he did and(show spoiler)
Amber is a great heroine. Angry and foolhardy, she is a source of annoyance, inspiration, and ultimately love to Meoraq. Although I could have hit her over the head for her misplaced and never-ending loyalty to the humans and her sister. Meoraq, Sword of Sheul and God’s Striding Foot is INCREDIBLE. My heart has been completely stolen by a religious lizard man. One of the most memorable fictional heroes ever.
There's lots of violence, including terrible situations of captivity and rape but I found them a believable consequence of the situation they were in and they didn't detract from the story at all for me. The worst characters of all were the humans. (Die Scott! DIE!!!!)
This book has some amazingly humorous and poignant scenes as Amber and Meoraq muddle their way through their communication and relationship issues. I laughed out loud plenty of times and cried too. I loved the ending! The last hour of Gann indeed!