cover image Betrayer of Worlds

Betrayer of Worlds

Larry Niven and Edward M. Lerner, Tor, $25.99 (320p) ISBN 978-0-7653-2608-9

The fourth installment of the Ringworld prequel Fleet of Worlds series (after 2009's Destroyer of Worlds) continues to invent new crises in the path of the alien Puppeteers' flight from a cataclysmic explosion at the galactic core. Within the Fleet of Worlds, Puppeteer politics roil as the highly paranoid race deals with perceived threats from the genocidal Pak and the ambitious hyper-computing group-mind Gw'oth. The insane puppeteer Nessus asks Louis Wu (stepson of interstellar daredevil Beowulf Shaeffer) to help him suss out the Gw'oth, who are in the middle of a civil war. Meanwhile, rival Puppeteer Achilles will do anything to become Hindmost, leader of his race, even if it means causing interstellar war by secretly inciting the Gw'oth to attack. There's a clear feeling of the authors marking time as they maneuver pawns into place for the next installment of this increasingly unwieldy series. (Oct. 12)