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Paperback The Berserker Throne Book

ISBN: 0671503871

ISBN13: 9780671503871

The Berserker Throne

(Book #7 in the Berserker Series)

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Format: Paperback

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Book Overview

Another episode in the Berserker wars of the far distant future when powerful machines continue trying to eradicate all life and the living battle back. Space opera, political intrigue, touches of... This description may be from another edition of this product.

Customer Reviews

4 ratings

Yes, reading is entertaining.

Fred Saberhagen writes with humility. He knows his science, and though Berserker Throne was published in 1985, his computer literacy is good enough for me in 2009. But he doesn't use fancy words, and he never bores me with long passages of description. His works are short. You won't feel the accomplishment of having read one of Tad Williams' 700-page volumes. This is only about 200 pages. His characters here are likeable, though unremarkable, except for the villains. The berserkers. They are remarkably villainous. Isaac Asimov's robots are built to serve humans. Saberhagen's machines are programmed to eliminate life, from microscopic bacteria to macroscopic dinosaurs. Everything must go, including us. Besides the humble prose that makes him as easy to read as any author I have read, Saberhagen's other forte is his ability to tell a story. Though some of his Berserker short stories are unexceptional, I think that's because short stories are a difficult medium for the development of a good story. Of about twenty novels of his that I have read, I don't remember a poor one. Berserker Throne is a typically good Saberhagen novel. You don't need to read any forerunners in the series. The focus is on the story at hand. The setting is imaginative. It's like a high-tech version of Edgar Rice Burroughs' hollow earth. The political intrigue is intricate and interesting. You feel compassion for unjustly maligned characters. The action is exciting and credible, and it is not overdone. Surprising twists and turns are plentiful, but believable. There is no sex, there is no foul language, but there is adult reading. And Saberhagen's endings are happy.

Very Entertaining

A convoluted plot in which the villain sells out to the Berserkers while trying to make it appear that the Prince had. In which intelligent machines try to learn about politics and intrigue human style. A Prince as Napoleon at Elba in exile does an Archaeological dig where he thinks he has discovered damaged a Berserker with an intact interstellar drive. The assassination of the Empress is part of the overall plot to entrap the prince even in exile...

Great Berserker Tale

The problem I have with Fred Saberhagen's Berserker series is that the stories are so uneven. Some of them, like _Berserker Man_ and _Brother Assasin_, are very good; others, like _Berserker Blue Death_, are just dreadful. _Berserker Throne_ stands as one of the better entries in the series, and is a great place for those who have not read a Berserker book before and are looking for someplace to start. The time is the distant future, and humanity's war with the Berserker machines still rages. When an assassination touches off a power struggle in the Empire of the Eight Worlds, Prince Harivarman, who has been unwillingly exiled to a space fortress known as the Templar Radiant, senses that his political enemies are moving against him and that his life is in imminent danger. He needs to escape his prison, but since he has no access to an interstellar spaceship and his Templar jailers seem unwilling to help him in his plight, things look desperate. Until, that is, he makes a surprising discovery: a Berserker war machine, damaged but still operable, hidden and forgotten in the Fortress's outer reaches. Then, most startlingly, he finds a way to control it. And so, a plan for escape begins to form. But can a human truly control a machine bent on destroying humanity, once it has been unleashed? The novel is sort of a cross between a political thriller and space opera. Prince Harivarman is actually a pretty likable main character, even though he knows he is taking a big risk and perhaps jeopardizing the lives of everyone around him. The writing here is very well done; Saberhagen keeps the story tight and flowing, with few distractions, and as a result the book is actually something of a quick read. The only real minus (and its a small one) is that Saberhagen does spend an awful long time setting things up, but once the action starts and Harivarman's plan is set in motion, the book becomes a page turner that you will not want to put down. This one would make a great movie. All in all, a very fun entry in the series.

Can Berserkers be controlled?

The plot is simple. Men have been trying to defeat Berserkers for thousands of years. Has one man, in trying to escape from his enemies, found the control code? Can he, instead of just saving his life, use the Berserkers to bring himself back into power?
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