Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Ringworld Throne (Ringworld, #3)” as Want to Read:
The Ringworld Throne (Ringworld, #3)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Ringworld Throne

(Ringworld #3)

3.54  ·  Rating details ·  9,835 ratings  ·  277 reviews
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 togeth
Mass Market Paperback, 368 pages
Published March 30th 1997 by Del Rey Books (first published June 3rd 1996)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Ringworld Throne, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Breck Beatie I don't know that I'd say it depends on reading the first two, but that would definitely help. There is a TON of context that is developed in the firs…moreI don't know that I'd say it depends on reading the first two, but that would definitely help. There is a TON of context that is developed in the first two that isn't entirely explained in "Throne". But then, there's a ton of context in the rest of Niven's tales of known space that would help to understand "Ringworld" and I seem to remember reading that book before getting all the rest of the tales, and enjoying it mightily.
If you decide to go that route (i.e. reading the books in order) I'd recommend reading "Crashlander: The Collected Tales of Beowulf Schaeffer" (specifically the "At The Core" story), "Ringworld", "Protector", "The Ringworld Engineers", and then "The Ringworld Throne".

However you decide to proceed, have fun!(less)

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.54  · 
Rating details
 ·  9,835 ratings  ·  277 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of The Ringworld Throne (Ringworld, #3)
Kara Babcock
Jul 11, 2010 rated it did not like it
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
Manuel Antão
Nov 17, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 1980
If you're into stuff like this, you can read the full review.

Inexplicable Anomalies: "The Ringworld Throne" by Larry Niven

(Original Review, 1980-07-01)

Now we're going to argue the reasons for sequels? It's straightforward here. Niven obviously doesn't need the money (although it can't hurt too badly). It's those damned readers who keep begging for more and pawing after him at every convention, in every fanzine, in all his letters, etc. ad infinitum. He's got to do *something* to shut them up, el
Ok, some new "Ringworld " ideas, residents etc., but there wasn't much "story wise" and I found it hard to read Niven's wandering prose...
Jan 04, 2013 rated it did not like it
Rishathra. Endless rishathra. I'm over it Larry! Write about something else.

Very disappointing.
Mar 08, 2013 rated it it was ok
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
Nov 29, 2009 rated it liked it

(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 de

Jan 11, 2012 rated it liked it
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
Graham Crawford
Jul 03, 2012 rated it did not like it
Everyone says this book is rubbish, and it really is. The last third is stupidly complicated - a pea and shell trick with teleporters that goes on for so long the author looses the peas and the plot.

The first half is really a short story with side characters that has been stretched out to fill a novel. I could almost cope with a soft porn alien vampire novella (True Blood in space!) - almost. Except it's the same sex over and over again. And it's relentlessly male heterosexual wish fulfillment -
Booknerd Fraser
Jan 10, 2010 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
Sep 20, 2010 rated it it was ok
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
Benjamin Duffy
Oct 21, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy-sci-fi
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
Jan 02, 2015 rated it did not like it
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
Jul 17, 2019 rated it liked it
Warning: the Ringworld series is addictive. The quality, however, decreases with progress. Still, the story is interesting enough to want to read the sequel.
Jona Cannon
Jan 31, 2011 rated it it was ok
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
Such an old story but still good.
I don't think that I would recommend it for everyone because of this reason, new SiFi uses much more advance science with authors trying to explain its working which is missing in Ringworld but if you disregard it you can enjoy the series.
Angie Shoemaker
Jul 27, 2019 rated it it was ok
I started this book thinking I was going to like it more than its predecessors. It had more action, more sarcastic dialogue. But in the end, I was just relieved to be done. I got super tired of all the “rishing” (sex between alien species), the half-explained solutions to nebulous problems, and the copious references to the “rutting urge.” I feel no desire to read the final two books in this series.
Nov 19, 2018 rated it it was ok
Less and less interesting.
Dec 20, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobooks, 2018
Much more sex in this one than the previous ones that had their fair share. Nothing super explicit, but enough to make say “let’s get on with the story.”

This book also told more perspectives outside Louis Wu. I think I prefer sticking with Louis.

Otherwise, enjoyed the story. It ended with a little bit of a cliffhanger, but since it is a series, that is forgivable.
S James Bysouth
Feb 25, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
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
Jun 15, 2017 rated it did not like it
This is the first book in a long time that I started reading and never finished.

While the first two ringworld books were annoying in their obsession with aliens having sex with each other, this installment in the series was unreadable for the same reason. At 60% there still seemed to be almost nothing going on in the book except for "Rishathra" (Wikipedia: "In Larry Niven's Ringworld novels, rishathra is "sexual practice outside one's own species but within the intelligent hominoids"), and what
Jan 08, 2014 rated it it was ok
Shelves: science-fiction
This is the sequel to Larry Niven's award-winning Ringworld, and his pretty-good Ringworld Engineers. I re-read those recently, and am now reading the next sequels for the first time. Throne (#3) is a big disappointment. The contribution of this book to the overall series could have been made in two short chapters - one about Valavirgillan's war with the Vampires, and one about Louis Wu and Hindmost and Acolyte's war with all the rival Protectors. But the two stories as stretched out in this boo ...more
Eric Stodolnik
May 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
I'm sad to say that I was a bit disappointed with this installment of the Ringworld series. In fact, I was a bit on the fence as to wether I was going to give this a 3 Star or a 4 Star rating. I decided on 4 Stars, I think because I really enjoyed the ending, or more specifically most of the "Part 2" section, and it picking up and my enjoying it a lot more at the end meant my enjoyment was more fresh in my memory than my disappointment. So I settled on 4 Stars, but if you could do half-stars on ...more
Dec 21, 2017 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Milos Radulovic
May 05, 2020 rated it did not like it
Unlike previous two books which i couldn't put down while reading, this one was real torture. Previous one in the serious in the engineers gave us indication of some problems in Larry Niven's style of writing and they are on full display here. Characters are there but not really there, they pop into the storyline without a reason (99% of them do not develop nor they help others develop) and are discarded just as easily. Story meanders, there are lot of deus-ex machina moments or moments that see ...more
Jun 22, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: library
I felt invested enough in the series to give it a few more pages to engage me, but even still it almost didn't make it. It did eventually get me interested, but I have some problems with it. For example, is it really necessary for the species to greet each other with sex? It wasn't graphic, just unnecessary. As it goes on, the text becomes more and more dependent upon recalling things from the previous book in order to make sense of what is going on. There are also a couple of distinct plotlines ...more
Jonas Salonen
Mar 21, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: previously-owned
Uh oh... I should probably have seen this coming. This is the third actual book in the Ringworld saga. The first Ringworld was pretty good, the second not so much and this one...

It really shows that Niven can not write a long story and keep it interesting. And, if I even once more hear the term rishatra or rish, I will burn the book I read it in and... and... and... oh, well... Anyway. This book has close to none science fiction in it. It mostly follows uninteresting persons going around the Rin
Aug 03, 2018 rated it did not like it
I really liked the first book, or maybe just the concept of a massive ringworld, but yea I quite enjoyed it. I kind of liked the second book (maybe the novelty was wearing off), but when reading the third book I was totally lost. I had no idea what anybody was doing, or why. The vampire hunting was fairly obvious, but everything else: Why people were making decisions, going places, doing tasks seemed totally random.
At least the first and second books had clearly defined plots "Get off the Ringwo
Jul 18, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I don't think the story here matches the vast canvas of Ringworld. Half of the book describes a band of hominids on a quest to end the vampire menace... (view spoiler). The rest is a bunch of protectors fighting for control, and Louis Wu and his companions trying to keep up with things.

I think Niven's terse writing style (which I remember liking at the time I discovered him) has grown more pronounced over the decades so that here i
William Crosby
Oct 20, 2017 rated it liked it
Initially this book's primary focus is on the interactions of the various species on Ringworld (especially war and sex and more sex and even more sex; sex is the prime lubricator for interactions; it also became tediously annoying). Some developing of alien cultures (aside from the sex).

Louis Wu eventually shows up and is working again (reluctantly) with Hindmost and a strange Protector and a Kzin descendant.

Everybody seems to have a different agenda so there are a lot of trust issues so that th
Jan 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this third Ringworld book very much, but admit that it's probably not a very good novel on a lot of counts. I don't think it could stand alone at all, in that I don't believe much could be gotten from it without being familiar with much of Niven's Known Space groundwork. I believe Niven collected questions and criticism of his prior work and attempted to answer his critics and offer explanations in this book. He certainly did that quite well, but at the cost of a smooth narrative in ex ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
2020 Reading Chal...: This topic has been closed to new comments. The Ringworld Throne (Ringworld #3) 4 162 Jul 01, 2018 01:14PM  

Readers also enjoyed

  • The Stainless Steel Rat Saves the World (Stainless Steel Rat, #6)
  • The Stainless Steel Rat's Revenge (Stainless Steel Rat, #5)
  • The Garden of Rama (Rama, #3)
  • 3001: The Final Odyssey (Space Odyssey, #4)
  • Nemesis
  • Schild's Ladder
  • A Stainless Steel Rat is Born (Stainless Steel Rat, #1)
  • Rama II (Rama, #2)
  • Madwand
  • Changeling
  • The Stainless Steel Rat for President (Stainless Steel Rat, #8)
  • Killashandra (Crystal Singer #2)
  • The Stainless Steel Rat Gets Drafted (Stainless Steel Rat, #2)
  • The Stainless Steel Rat Wants You! (Stainless Steel Rat, #7)
  • Fossil Hunter (Quintaglio Ascension, #2)
  • Coyote Frontier (Coyote Trilogy, #3)
  • The Hidden City (The Tamuli, #3)
  • Exodus (Forgotten Starship, #1)
See similar books…
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

Other books in the series

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

Related Articles

You probably know coauthors Daniel Abraham and Ty Franck as James S.A. Corey—their shared pen name. And you probably know them from their wildly po...
149 likes · 20 comments
“Louis Wu, react."
Louis answered. "You've started something you can't stop. You've attacked two war fleets, three if you count the Fleet of Worlds. Political structures get old and die, Bram, but information never gets lost anymore. Storage is too good.”
“A sword could be used on oneself. Just turn it around. Jump from the top of a rock?” 0 likes
More quotes…