Author: Alan Dean Foster
Release Date: 1977
** spoiler alert ** The main plot of the third book in the Pip and Flinx series is pretty standard for the first half, as Flinx attempts to learn about his parents and narrowly escaped a few deadly situations through the help of his dragon Pip. As soon as the book shifts to a new planet quarantined under church edict the story switches to classic Alan Dean Foster alien story time.
The book ties in nicely to the events of The Tar-Aiym Krang, while also setting up future novels through the introduction of a major villain and a resourceful girl with abilities similar to Flinx. The ethical questions posed by teaching a sentient alien race about civilization (and more to the point, war) kept me enthralled for the entire last third of the book.