This story takes place 200 years before the Ringworld series. There is conjecture as to whether this or the Integral Trees is the first book in the Known World collection. They all seem to fit but in somewhat confusing order. This books leads with humans being trained as scouts by the Citizens aka Puppeteers.
Considering I read some of the books relating to this over 40 years ago, I am astounded I remember as much as I did. The humans (Colonists) in this book are the reconstructed remnant of a colonist ramscoop sent out by Earth. They aren't aware of their origins or even that they are humans. This is a coming of age story for a segment of humanity that was raised from a gene bank by the Puppeteers.
The story is good as is the plot. Kristen and Eric are protégés of Nessus, a Citizen. They discover how they have been lied to and rebel.
I recommend the book but you may want to check our a Niven book list and read others prior to this.
web site: http://www.larryniven.net/
This book may have been received free of charge from a publisher or a publicist. That will NEVER have a bearing on my recommendations.