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I am looking for a trilogy - the basic plot revolves around a man who ends up on a transport to a domed colony. The colony has evolved its own complicated parochial hierarchy, the colonial mission and technology is forgotten. The protagonist is first tortured in a sensory deprivation cell, then released, somehow joins up with a 'resistance' rebel underground who manage to escape the dome on skimmers...outside they discover that they can breathe the air. they travel across a desert and find a city of people who left the domed colony at some point in the past.

I seem to remember the books being an unusual genre for that author but cant seem to remember the name.

Any ideas would be appreciated - this is one of the best space novels I've read and is worth checking out - I want to add it to my library

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Per @PhilPursglove's comment, this is almost certainly The Empyrion Saga by Stephen R. Lawhead.

This review on Goodreads (of the second book "Siege of Dome") mentions a considerable number of your plot points;

  • Domed cities - check
  • Patriarchy - check
  • Hero tortured in a sensory deprivation chamber - check
  • Escapes and joins resistance - check
  • Travel across a desert - check
  • Set in a domed city - check
  • Trilogy - Actually it was a duology but that's close enough

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