As Bingtown slides toward disaster, clan matriarch Ronica Vestrit, branded a traitor, searches for a way to bring the city's inhabitants together against the Chalcedean threat.
Meanwhile, Althea Vestrit, unaware of what has befallen Bingtown and her family, continues her perilous quest to track down and recover her liveship Vivacia from the ruthless pirate Kennit.
Bold though it is, her scheme may be in vain. For her beloved Vivacia will face the most terrible confrontation of all as the secret of the liveships is revealed. It is a truth so shattering, it may destroy Vivacia and all who love her, including the boy-priest Wintrow Vestrit, whose life already hangs in the balance.
Spend some more time with the Liveship Traders.
©1999 Robin Hobb (P)2010 Tantor
"One has to use a jeweler's loupe to find a flaw or a dull moment in this splendid conclusion to one of the finest fantasy sagas to bridge the millennium." (Publishers Weekly)
This is a fairly easy book to recommend because if you are reading this review then chances are you found the first 2 books entertaining. Know that this is the best of the three and you can pick it up without hesitation. If you haven't read the first 2 books then you should not start here as many things will not make sense to you.
Overall I enjoyed the series, especially the story surrounding the dragons, wizardwood, and the live ships. It was definitely interesting and unique fantasy fare. The first book started a little slow and introduced many disjointed story threads. The second book picked up the pace and started to bring the threads together. And finally, the third book converged all of the story lines to end an age and usher in a new one. It all concludes nicely at the end so continuing on to Robin Hobb's next series about the Rain Wilds is purely optional.
Anne Flosnik is still the narrator and her performance here is consistent with the first 2 books.
“Good friends, good books, and a sleepy conscience: this is the ideal life.” ¯ Mark Twain
I have read a lot of fantasy in my time and it is rare to come across a story that is truly original. The world Robin Hobb has created in this series is unlike any I've seen, the magic is subtle and the characters are alive. After reading the Farseer trilogy (also by Robin Hobb), I couldn't wait to get my hands on more of her books. This one was as good, if not better. The characters Robin creates are real people, they don't always behave the way you expect them to, they make mistakes and they evolve based on what has happened to them. None of the characters are completely good or completely evil, and they don't fit into classic stereotypes.
This series is actually placed in the same world as the Farseer trilogy and there are a few subtle ties to that story (which is fun if you've read it). If you find you like Robin Hobb's style, you should really consider listening to her works in order. Each trilogy stands alone, but is made better if read in the right order. Start with the Farseer trilogy, next is the Liveship Traders, then the Tawny Man, and finally the Rainwild chronicles. If on the other hand, you are only going to read one set...read this one. It is impossible to stop listening until you've reached the end.
Ann Flosnic continues the tale with consistency and is convincing in her portrayal of the various voices. The editorial performance had a couple of hitches.
In chapter 26 of the audiobook, chapter 9 in the book, a whole three sentence paragraph is missing. In my trade paperback it is page 351, fifth paragraph from the bottom.
Please fix it and provide an update.
Later in the narration the is a repeat, which isn't as jarring and distracting
At once a morality tale, a fanciful adventure, and a great escape from reality. Robin Hobbs doesn't skimp in building her characters who do not remain static but are allowed to learn and grow. Of course she contrasts these with a certain group who usually suffer from hubris and forces the story into unexpected consequences .
Hobb is a terrific author. Her romances in her novels however seem very uncomfortable and unnatural. They become over complicated for no apparent reason, and there are far too many. Not every female character needs a romance.
The pirate king's ensorcelment of everyone in sight, including two wizard wood ships
the pirate king, the charmer who gets away with murder and more
the mystique of the sea and its venomous denizons
Although this is book 3 of a triad, it is by far the most interesting of the series.
If you've stuck with the series this far then you'll definitely be rewarded! This conclusion to the trilogy ties up all of the loose threads woven in the previous two books with much satisfaction!
Entire series is a well woven well developed tale as all of her books have been. Highly recommend. Story does slow down and wallow at times but overall the few flaws are greatly overshadowed by it's multiple wondrous accomplishments
From a genius of characterization and development in an epic that spans not just these 3 books in the Live Ship series, but intertwines magnificently with her other trilogies: Farseer and Fitz and the Fool! Glorious!
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