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Biased and superficial Science Fiction reviews

Burning Tower

Copyright 2005 by Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle

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SOJALS rating:     
one SOJALS point no SOJALS point no SOJALS point no SOJALS point no SOJALS point    Awful (1/5)

I first read this on the 15th June 2007.

The beautiful young lady Burning Tower, daughter of the famous and respected Whandall Placehold, is going to get married. She knows whom she wants to marry, it's Lord Sandry. However, her future husband is not so sure. There are some strong political reasons why they shouldn't get married. But what the neck, he'll marry her anyway. Of course, he can't do it until they've been on an epic wagon train halfway across the continent, slaughtered thousand of terror-birds, defeated an emperor, and scared the stuffing out of a god. They don't do that by themselves of course. That would be dangerous. No, in this case they have the help of several guardsmen, some useful weapons and the dubious help of Lord Regapisk and Ashur, who would be king.

It took two years from when this book was published for me to see a paperback edition in the UK. That tells me the paperback was quite simply embarrassed to be seen on the bookshelves with the other Niven and Pournelle books. It really is a very disappointing book. It's all about Burning Tower doing some shopping and getting married, but with a few fights thrown in for the boys. Alternatively it's all about succeeding in a market economy by being more clever than your rivals and by winning a few fights, and there's a wedding thrown in for the girls.

Also thrown in is a lot of South American culture. unfortunately it comes across as derivative rather than illustrative.

Now I have to say I rather enjoyed "The Burning City" but this is frankly (and I'm known for being frank and ernest) a dreadfully weak sequel. I shall write no more about it.

Loaded on the 23rd June 2007.
Cover of Burning Tower
Cover art by Steve Stone

Reviews of other works by Jerry Pournelle:
High Justice
The Mercenary
King David's Spaceship
Exiles To Glory

Reviews of other works by Larry Niven:
A Gift From Earth
Neutron Star
Inconstant Moon
A Hole In Space
The Flight Of The Horse
Tales Of Known Space
A World Out Of Time
The Magic Goes Away
Convergent Series
The Patchwork Girl
The Ringworld Engineers
Ringworld's Children

Reviews of other works by Larry Niven and Brenda Cooper:
Building Harlequin's Moon

Reviews of other works by Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle:
The Mote in God's Eye
Lucifer's Hammer
Oath Of Fealty
The Moat Around Murcheson's Eye
The Gripping Hand
The Burning City

Reviews of other works by Larry Niven and Steven Barnes:
Dream Park
The Descent Of Anansi
The Barsoom Project
Achilles Choice
Saturn's Race

Reviews of other works by Larry Niven, Jerry Pournelle and Michael Flynn:
Fallen Angels

Reviews of other works by Larry Niven, Jerry Pournelle and Steven Barnes:
The Legacy Of Heorot
Beowolf's Children
The Dragons Of Heorot

Reviews of other works by Larry Niven, Poul Anderson and Dean Ing:
The Man-Kzin Wards

Reviews of other works with covers by Steve Stone:
Mappa Mundi
Seeds of Earth
Magician's Guild