Ringworld Throne

By Larry Niven

The Ringworld Throne is the third book in the Ringworld series and centres on a variety of races banding together to kill a large nest of Vampires on a world that is the shape of a ring.



Third book in the Ringworld series. It hasn't been easy for me to keep a positive attitude towards this book. Somehow I knew that it just couldn't go on and if you ask me, Niven should have stopped with Ringworld Engineers. Not that Ringworld Throne is a bad book, it's just that it's not really about the ringworld - it takes place on the ringworld and uses the same set of characters and humanoids (plus a few new species), but that's just about it. No real new insights in to the nature of the ringworld. Nothing in the plot that couldn't have taken place on a normal planet. After the first two books the ringworld itself is kind of milked dry. But as I said, it's not bad story - or rather it's two stories of average entertainment value.

Two stories with nearly no link between them, one about Louis Wu (as you may remember he was stranded on the ringworld in Ringworld Engineers) and one about a couple of Machine People ganging up with assorted other humanoids against a nest of vampires. Nearly finished with the book I forgave Niven for telling us the story of the Machine People, simple because the Wu's tale in it self would have made a pretty thin book.

The Machine People story is actually quite okay. It is a "different species meet and is forced to stand together against a common enemy" type story, with an added touch of technology meet simple people. The only problem I had with this part of the book was that start, which included an extreme amount of talk about 'rishathra' (sex between different types of humanoids). My first thought was that Niven has turned into an dirty old xenophilic, but later some of it is justified - but I still found it excessive.

The Louis Wu story: Maybe it was just my brain that turned stupid on me while I was reading this part of the book, but I found it very hard to follow, a lot of the time I had no idea where we where or what was going on. I also found a lot of the action pointless (what's with the martians?), which really is a shame as the story in it self is interesting enough; As you may remember there's plant that can turn a young humanoid in to a Protector (a being that lives and breaths to protect it's own species). There's a lot of Protectors in this story, all of them fighting for the good of their own specie - but non of them fighting for the common good (survival of the Ringworld). The most interesting thing about this story is that we get an answers as to what the Night People are up to.

Written on 1st July 1999 by .

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