Return to the "vivid and unusual" (Kirkus Reviews) world of Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle's The Burning City, where the fire god has retreated into myth, leaving the residents of Tep's Town unprotected for the first time in their history.
Unfortunately, a fiery fate isn't the only danger the town is facing. From out of the desert come monsters -- great birds with blades instead of wings, driven by some unknown force. Although they can be killed, the threat these terror birds pose is worse than death. Danger on the roads means no trade. No trade means that Tep's Town will be no more.
Sent by the Lords of Lordshills to discover the source of the terror birds, Lord Sandry and his beloved, Burning Tower, must travel into a world where magic is still strong -- and where someone or something waits to destroy them!
Filled with the sweeping adventure, memorable characters, and imaginative world-building that have defined the novels of Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle, Burning Tower is another triumph.
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September 26, 2006
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Excerpt from Burning Tower by Larry Niven
The hot wind was rising. Kinless called it a Devil Wind. Lord Regapisk had his doubts about devils, but any devil might have invented that wind. It was hot and dry and gusty and it was whipping fire into a frenzy. A dozen houses had already burned. They were only Bull Pizzle houses, not in the territory Regapisk was guarding, so they weren't his business. Five houses on the other side of the Darkman's Cup gorge were part of Serpent's Walk, but there was no way to save them. Regapisk's Firemen had tried, but no one would blame him for losing those houses.
They'd been able to loot the occupied houses before the fire got them. Gather, Regapisk thought, grinning. His Lordkin Firemen would call that "gathering." And if the Lords' Council asked him, Regapisk would say "salvage," but it was looting all the same.
Lord Regapisk coughed. The smoke was blowing across the canyon, thicker now, and the wind grew hotter. The fire was coming.
A chariot clattered up the road along the edge of the canyon. Regapisk turned with what he hoped was well disguised contempt. It wasn't that he didn't like his second cousin. Sandry was a likable boy. But he was younger than Regapisk, so recently a Younglord that he still answered to the lesser title, and yet he was put in charge here, while Lord Regapisk, fully a Lord for three years now, was assisting his young cousin.
He got lucky, Regapisk thought. I was busy at the Harbor when the Congregation of Lords Witness decided to organize these Lordkin as Firemen. Cousin Sandry was available and I had other work. One day it would be different; the Council would put Lord Regapisk in charge of all the fire brigades. Until then, Lord Regapisk nominally worked for his younger cousin --
"Hail, Lord Regapisk," Sandry said formally.