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The Ringworld Throne
Larry Niven
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The Ringworld Throne (Ringworld #3)

3.55  ·  Rating Details ·  7,963 Ratings  ·  194 Reviews
In the twenty-ninth century, Louis Wu, a 200-years-young adventurer, became one of the first humans from Known Space to set foot on the Ringworld, and his exploits there became legends among many of the native races. During Louis Wu's second sojourn on the Ringworld, he was able to save it from total destruction... but several hundred million people died anyway, and that w ...more
Published (first published June 3rd 1996)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Ben Babcock
Once upon a time, a science-fiction author wrote a novel about a Big Dumb object. It would go on to win the trifecta: the Hugo, Nebula, and Locus awards for best novel, not to mention become the iconic novel about Big Dumb Objects. It is now, essentially, a classic.

Fans with engineering degrees from MIT decided to crunch the numbers and ask difficult questions about how this Big Dumb Object could actually work the way the author said it works. Because that's what fans do. However, the author dec
Aug 06, 2013 Ric rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition

(2013 was turning into a stale year for SF. That summer, I really needed the solace of good, hard SF to escape, if just fleetingly, some harsh realities, same reality having given me long days and nights to read and listen. So, without really making a decision to do so but compelled by circumstances, I started a re-read of the Ringworld series. The publication history of the series was such that one book came out every ten years, on average. And so each book read provided a reflection of a deca

Booknerd Fraser
Jan 10, 2010 Booknerd Fraser rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
This was a disappointment. I mean, Niven knows how to get you to turn the page, but the first part of the story is about characters I'm not really attached to, and the second part was something of a rushed train wreck. It's the opposite of over-written, it was under-written
Jan 04, 2013 Harvey rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Rishathra. Endless rishathra. I'm over it Larry! Write about something else.

Very disappointing.
Oct 14, 2010 Jacob rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
The entire first half the book is completely unnecessary and the whole book is incredibly hard to follow (a problem I had all previous books too). Niven doesn't have a great talent for clearly describing environments his characters are in. I found myself reading and re-reading and re-re-reading things over and over again. He seems to contradict himself in his imagery often and that causes my imagination to come to an aggravating halt.

The first half of the book barely involves the main characters
I was excited to find this book, because I hoped Niven had something new to say about the Ringworld. Well, he didn't. In fact, I almost gave up after the first hundred pages or so, because I found it so deathly dull.

The first half of the book deals with a whole slew of characters, most of whom never appear again, hunting vampires. I'm not sure what this was supposed to accomplish in terms of plot structure. It was, frankly, boring and seemed to serve no purpose other than to let Niven mention th
Aug 11, 2016 Mars rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The downhill trend of the series continues. In and of itself, it's a fairly acceptable book, but it's worse than Engineers (book 2). Action jumps around, the whole vampire hunter thing to which half the book is devoted leads essentially nowhere, a crew of 4 (which is easy to keep track of) plus no-more-than-2-at-a-time auxilliary characters is gone, replaced by dozens of characters, many of them with 6-syllable names, most of those entirely unpronounceable...

Random junk words are introduced, whi
Benjamin Duffy
I believe it was Isaac Asimov who said that in true science fiction, the setting is the real protagonist. In this third Ringworld book, Niven is finally arriving at that stage; there's frustratingly little of Louis Wu (undoubtedly Niven's most interesting and compelling character) in the first half of this book, so it was slow going for me until the Ringworld itself roped me in. By that, I mean that eventually I kept pushing forward, not because I cared what happened to the people, but more beca ...more
Jona Cannon
Luis Wu is self-marooned on ringworld, and seems to be thought of as a wizard or a god depending on how primitive the education of the species you talk to. He is not through punishing himself for saving 95% of the people of ringworld by sacrificing the other 5%. Can a god find redemption for his sins?

I'd heard from other fans that this was the least favorite of this series, and I agree. It was hard to follow, and not a great story. It kinda felt to me like Niven just wanted to bang out another b
S James Bysouth
3 Stars, just. Ringworld Thr—sigh—rone.

In Ringworld Throne we are kept guessing up until the last chapter. But, where in other books the guessing is about Whodunnit or Who’s going to win, this guessing is more “what the hell is going on!?”.

It is an extremely confusing plot to follow. Larry replaces what would otherwise be telling reveals with . . . ellipsis’. He thinks it is clever and suspenseful. It is actually annoying. And confusing.

The first half of the book deals with a war against seemin
Jan 02, 2015 Marin rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Though a big fan of Niven's works, I have never been a big fan of the Ringworld series. The setup is so enormous, so many possible stories arise, that it feels the author is (unsuccessfully) trying to tell them all. The Ringworld Throne is the most painful proof of that (so far). Several different plots run along completely unrelated to each other, right until the last couple of chapters. Not only are these plots very boring as they stand all alone, but they also try to wear down the poor reader ...more
Chris Friend
Tedious. Includes too many minor characters and too many unimportant conversations, distracting from the core, important action that move the story forward and affect the characters who matter.

Also, somewhat random references to modern literature, including using Brit Lit author names as temporary character names gets distracting and feels like an intrusion of reality into the fantasy world.

Overall this book can serve as a great example of why creative writing students are given rules to follow
Martin Boulter
Good but the graphic nature of the series continues to grow not sure about the next book yet.
Nov 07, 2015 Brett rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Brett by: Bungie
This book feels like two stories stitched together into one sort of Frankensteinish one. The first half is noticeably different from the previous Ringworld novels, instead choosing to focus heavily on Ringworld natives as pov characters. Series protagonist Louis Wu plays only a minor supporting role until the second half, at which point the scale flips and it becomes his book, with the previously featured natives falling into the background. It doesn't mesh well, and the novel suffers from the i ...more
Steven Reiz
Sep 28, 2016 Steven Reiz rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: livingroom
Re-read, second major retcon (didn't actually kill any hominids by playing the giant solar flare over the rims of the ringworld at the end of the prev book!), all about protectors fighting each other, which is interesting only for a short while; it's cool how smart they are but leaves protagonists mosty as bystanders, little emotional involvement, no major new concepts. War against vampires that was a bit interesting, all in all ok but not great relative to other Niven.
Jose Vera
“Trono de Mundo Anillo” es uno de esos libros en los que se espera mucho y terminan decepcionando.

Aunque hace muchos años que leí tanto “Mundo Anillo” como “Ingenieros de Mundo Anillo” las aventuras de Luis Wu, Chmee, Teela Brown, Nessus e Inferior las recuerdo con esa nostalgia especial que dejan las buenas historias. Empecé este libro con la idea de una continuación acorde a lo que había leído y aunque en términos generales la historia no esta mal, no esta al nivel de las otras dos novelas.

May 10, 2014 Casey rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi, aliens, 1990s
What did I just read? This story read like the wish fulfillment of a 14 year old boy who got laughed at because of his size.
"Mating has consequences. A hominid's response to mating is not of the mind. Rishathra has no consequences, and the mind may remain in command. Embarrassment is inappropriate. Laughter is always to be shared. Rishathra is entertainment and diplomacy and friendship, and knowing that you can you always reach your weapons in the dark."

Oh rishathra, that funny little word that
Mark Oppenlander
In the third installment of the Ringworld series, we find that Larry Niven seems to be trying something new. In the process, he seems to have forgotten what made the first two books interesting.

More than half of this book is taken up with the story of a group of Ringworld hominids from different species who come together on a crusade to eliminate a nest of vampires who are living in the shadow of a floating city. The only character in this section who is a holdover from the previous book is Vall
Storyline: 2/5
Characters: 1/5
Writing Style: 1/5
World: 2/5

The Ringworld Throne follows fairly directly from its predecessor, the Ringworld Engineers, but stylistically, something happened with Niven's writing in the seventeen years between the two publications. I've never found Niven's characters, pacing, or development to be his strength, but this read more like a rough draft or perhaps a first time author. Entire scenes were routinely confusing and lacking adequate description or context. I oft
Anthony Galvin
I didn't like this as much as the first two. It seemd like two short stories mashed together the first mainly being about vampires, yup drink your blood vampires but with a twist... pheremones, they make you have sex (rishathra) with them while they drink your blood. Because of things done in the previous novels their numbers are increasing and they need to be stoppped. A group of Ringworld inhabitants set out to stop it. The concluding story is about advanced mutated species (protectors) who we ...more
Apr 04, 2013 Tim rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the third of four “Ringworld” books by Larry Niven. It chronicles basically two series of events: The forming of a coalition of various hominid/human races to battle against a proliferating vampire race, and the further adventures of Louis Wu and his merry companions, Hindmost, the Pierson’s Puppeteer, and Acolyte, a Kzin, son of Chmee (you gotta read the previous books to get who these are).
My favorite part of the book was the first, and indeed if this was the only story in the book it
Nov 25, 2013 Bob rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
I last read through the Ringworld series while in High School (a long time ago). Back then, there were two books. When I recently learned Niven wrote a fifth in the Ringworld Series, I decided to buy all five and read the full series.

The Ringworld Throne, my first reading now, extends the story after the heroes have been stranded on the Ringworld for 20 years. Without access to boosterspice, Louis Wu has aged. Chmeee, we learn, has captured the map of Earth and have sired at least one son called
Oct 07, 2013 Onefinemess rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
This wasn't quite as hard to read as the last book - at least the parts without the standard cast actually felt like a book that was going somewhere... until they stopped going somewhere.

I don't get it. This is not a good book, by any standards I can apply to judge it. So much shit just happens with only half-assed explanations afterwards that, I mean... ABULAOELAE. What? That's how my brain feels.

I had hoped that, after a couple decades, his writing skills would become more palatable to my read
Jonathan Palfrey
The odd thing about this book is that the first half of it is taken up with preliminaries and irrelevancies; if you want to follow the continuing story of Louis Wu (the main protagonist of the whole series), you can skip Chapters 1–4, 6–8, 10, 12, 14–17. In fact, if you're in a hurry or rereading the book, I think you could simply start reading at Chapter 18 without missing anything essential.

The real story of the book (as opposed to the sideshow in the first half) is about the problem of lookin
Feb 07, 2013 Al rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition

Come back to the Ringworld . . . the most astonishing feat of engineering ever encountered. A place of untold technological wonders, home to a myriad humanoid races, and world of some of the most beloved science fiction stories ever written!The human, Louis Wu; the puppeteer known as the Hindmost; Acolyte, son of the Kzin called Chmeee . . . legendary beings brought together once again in the defense of the Ringworld. Something is going on with the Protectors. Incoming spacecraft are bei

This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nov 01, 2007 Loosechanj rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2007
Third in the Ringworld novels, and as much as I enjoyed the first two, I have to admit this one was pretty awful. I just couldn't get into it, and I just pushed through just to get it into the "read" pile. It might have helped if I'd read it while [b]The Ringworld Engineers[/b] was fresher in my mind, because I think a lot of my dissatisfaction with the story stemmed from not remembering who most of the characters were, apart from Louis Wu & Co. Also, a good portion of the story was [i]not[/ ...more
Dec 11, 2012 Phil rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Thomson Kneeland
Apr 27, 2013 Thomson Kneeland rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Niven created an interesting landscape and ideas for the 1970 Ringworld. Louis Wu returns in The Ringworld Throne, cast amidst a landscape of boring characters with one dimensional personalities. The first 200 pages moves like molasses and the plot only really begins halfway through the novel; the writing is pretty uncompelling, but besides its lack of much of a plot for a the first 200 pages, the concept of rishathra and interspecies sex seems to take up the majority of the social relations/dev ...more
Aug 22, 2013 Chris rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Well, we say goodbye to the Ringworld. I admit, this was a head scratcher. Niven used a totally different style of storytelling this time around. Broken up between several adventures occurring simultaneously, my attention drifted at points. I had to go back to the previous book (which I had just finished) to remind myself who was who. After a while the pace did quicken, especially during a few very tense and exciting battles halfway through the book.

The discovery of ruined and ancient cities, t
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Laurence van Cott Niven's best known work is Ringworld (Ringworld, #1) (1970), which received the Hugo, Locus, Ditmar, and Nebula awards. His work is primarily hard science fiction, using big science concepts and theoretical physics. The creation of thoroughly worked-out alien species, which are very different from humans both physically and mentally, is recognized as one of Niven's main strengths ...more
More about Larry Niven...

Other Books in the Series

Ringworld (5 books)
  • Ringworld (Ringworld #1)
  • The Ringworld Engineers (Ringworld #2)
  • Ringworld's Children (Ringworld, #4)
  • Fate of Worlds: Return from the Ringworld (Ringworld, #5)

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