Copyright 2005 by
Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle
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
Loaded on the 23rd June 2007.