Rand 'alThor posted the question on SciFi stack exchange. My answer:
Look up to him
This is a play on his name, Sky Haussmann, from Alastair Reynolds' Revelation Space novels. Sky is the protagonist/antagonist of "Chasm City", but he also makes a cameo appearance a century later in "Redemption Ark".
Born on the first soil, aiming for the next
Sky Haussmann is on a generation ship fleet heading for another planet.
Stolen as replacement, his life a lie
Ostensibly Titus Haussman's son, it's later revealed that he was secretly adopted after the real son died.
To be loved, serve but never die
He's ships crew and immortal.
Death came in a flash, lost mother
One of the generation ships blew up, killing his mother.
Hideous rictus, fear and darkness
OK, this one I'm not entirely sure about. A lot of the novel was set against a background of paranoia and fear.
Insanity lurking in the water
The novel features a psychotic dolphin!
A mirror to his own madness
The dolphin's madness reflects Sky's.
Four were in fact five
There were four ships in the generation fleet, but there was a legend of a fifth ship some light days behind. This turned out to be true.
Then five were four again
One ship blew up.
To be the first, leave none alive
Late in the novel Sky, now captain, wanted to be the first to reach the target planet. To lighten the ship, and hence make it able to cruise for longer before having to slow down, he jettisoned his entire cargo of cryo frozen colonists.
Now only war will reign
Understandably, the other ships' colonists were a little miffed at this ruthless slaughter and waged war against Sky and his followers, who are now his cultists.
Burning sacrifice, deceptive bait
Sky is captured and put to death, but he'd anticipated this and left a stooge to be executed in his place.
To live on the edge for a century wait
To conceal his fake death, he goes into cryosleep for a century under the care of his cultists.
A ghost to be revealed, reborn on the second soil
At the end of "Chasm City" his fake death and survival is revealed