From the author of the classic Farseer trilogy, Ship of Magic is the first part of the Liveship Traders. Set in a land bordering the Six Duchies, Robin Hobb begins her epic of pirates, talking ships, magic, sea serpents, slave revolts, dashing heroes and bloody battles.
Wizardwood, a sentient wood. The most precious commodity in the world. Like many legendary wares, it comes only from the Rain River Wilds. But how can one trade with the Rain Wilders, when only a liveship, fashioned from wizardwood, can negotiate the perilous waters of the Rain River? Rare and valuable, a liveship will quicken only when three members, from successive generations, have died on board. The liveship Vivacia is about to undergo her quickening, as Althea Vestrit’s father is carried on deck in his death-throes.
Althea waits for the ship that she loves more than anything else in the world to awaken. Only to discover that the Vivacia has been signed away in her father’s will to her brutal brother-in-law, Kyle Haven.
Others plot to win, or steal, a liveship. The Paragon, known by many as the Pariah, went mad, turned turtle and drowned his crew. Now he lies, blind, lonely and broken on a deserted beach. But greedy men have designs to restore him, to sail the waters of the Rain Wild River once more.
©2012 Robin Hobb (P)2012 HarperCollins Publishers Limited
“Hobb is one of the great modern fantasy writers … what makes her novels as addictive as morphine is not just their imaginative brilliance but the way her characters are compromised and manipulated by politics.” (The Times)
“Assassin's Apprentice:A gleaming debut” (Publishers Weekly)
“Assassin's Quest: 'Assassin's Quest achieves a bittersweet, powerful complexity rare in fantasy” (Locus)
“Robin Hobb writes achingly well” (SFX)
“Praise for The Liveship Traders series: 'Even better than the Assassin books. I didn't think that was possible” (George R R Martin)
“Hobb is a remarkable storyteller.” (Guardian)
After reading the Farseer trilogy, I really wanted to skip The Liveship Traders and go on to the Tawny Man Series but all the reviews I read indicated these books should be read in the order they were written because some of the characters from here are brought into the Tawny Man. While not directly connected to the Farseer story, it is set just outside the boarders of the Six Dutchies.
I liked the characters and the idea of the liveships but dont understand what is going on with the sea serpents. It has taken quite a long time to start enjoying the story as I don't care for the narrator's voice/accent. We have Trader families in debt to RainWild families for their liveships, children used as bargaining chips, pirates, slaves and politics and an interesting mix up of characters.
The story is engaging, however the recording skips words continually...
It looses meaning in some sentences
Great book, Great Story, Great Writer, Pity about the narrator. It would be nice if they stuck to one Narrator for an author, I would have been very pleased to continue with Paul Bohemer, and I am disappointed with the change, I will make sure I listen to samples before I buy any more books from audible.
Anne Flosnik has an incredibly annoying voice, she seems to lisp, slur, speaks her words around the sides of her tongue and is almost sounds like she is trying to cast a spell with every sentence. I had intended to work my way through the Liveship traders series before I started the Tawny man series, but I have decided that since I read the series about 10 years ago, I will pass on buying the other two books and skip forward.
It has just occurred to me that there are other sites that do audiobooks, I have been happy having Audible as my sole provider, but I really don't want to listen to Anne Flosnik butchering any more of these books so I will have to look to see if this book is availiable from anyone else with a better Narrator.
The scale of the story is vast and it is one of those books that is impossible to put down once you pick it up.
The introduction of the live ships
This was the first performance by Anne Flosnik I heard
Stick with this one, you wont regret it!
I am sure the book is quite good but I will be asking for a refund for this one. The Narration is just terrible. I am really sorry Anne Flosnik but this is not your calling.
There is no depth to the characters, she is incredibly slow even at 1.25 times the speed. its very mono tone so the book doesn't develop any real feeling as to what is going on. The spacing between sections in chapters is almost non existent and its really hard to follow from one part to the next. And all the characters sound the same boy or girl, old or young.
Looking at other reviews of this narrator this is a common feeling so its really disappointing that the entire series is read by this one lady. She just doesn't give the book justice.
Will be reading this one myself thanks!
I'd certainly read a book from the same author, but not the narrator unless for a very specific reason.
The story is good, the narrator almost made me give up.
Talking ships, Sea Serpents, Pirates....
This book is not my cup of tea, but it has enough elements to intrigue me and get me to consider buying the next book.
"Good book, poor narration"
Like the previous reviewer, I like Robin Hobb's books. Her style is flowing and characters accessible. However, the narrator is not a good match. There is little emotion in her reading, which sounds like a newsreader at times. I've not finished yet, and I'm open to her style growing on me, but at the moment it's actually getting in the way of the words. I suggest starting with one of Hobb's other series on this site.
"great story, disappointing narration"
I love Robin Hobbs books, I have read them all and Ship of magic is no exception. However, the narrator does not do it justice. Maybe its a technical flaw in the recording or she simply swallow the ending of words but repeatedly through the reading the last letters in a word just disappears. Also, the "voices" she uses leaves me untouched, and sometimes annoyed. But the story is great and because of that i give it 3 stars; 1 for narrator and 4 for the story.
"Good book but the ends of words are clipped off"
I love Robin Hobb's writing and the story in this book is as good as others I have read, but I agree with previous reviewers that a good book is let down by the narration. I am not keen on the reading style or the character voices, but that is a matter of personal taste and you can get a flavour of that from the sample, what caused me to stop listening after several hours is the way the ends of words are missing, you forgive the first few as a technical glitch, but it keeps on happening and each time it is more grating. Where have the ends of the words gone? I tried downloading the full quality version but the problem was the same. This is a poor quality audiobook for a good quality site such as Audible, wish I had read the reviews before buying.
my god. i love robin hobbs writing. shes a genius. just finished the entire farseer tilogy. but the narrator is horrific in this book! why change! it sounds like someone doing silly voices to mimic someone like children. please god audible take this book away from me. ill read it i swear but dont make me listen to another word from Anne Flosnik. thank god for the returns policy as i bought the entire liveship tilogy in one go! such a bad idea.
Having enjoyed the Farseer trilogy audiobooks I was shocked at the quality of narration. The narrator has a very odd and distracting cadence and the character voices are not great either. It made it completely impossible for me to get beyond the 1 hour mark in a book I know I like.
I will definitely avoid anything from the same narrator in future. Its the first thing I've regretted purchasing from audible and the first time I've felt driven to post a review.
"Maybe the paperback is better?"
This was my first contact with the Liveship Traders and sadly, it's probably going to be my last. The narration was awful - I just couldn't follow the scene breaks and was horribly confused within the prologue alone. I also found the narrator's tone and pronunciation odd (at best)
I am so frustrated with the narration that I didn't get very far through the book at all. Robin Hobb has always been someone I wanted to try, but this experience has really put me off trying other books.
"If only they had a better reader"
These books are great stories but this reader is the worst I have ever heard. She needs to be sacked, her voice seems to be on slow speed and in an effect voice that you can not tell the difference between the different people. Cone on Audible you have mush better readers than this....Just look at the other books by Robin Hobb.
"Truly awful narration. Such a shame."
I've just finished listening to the farseer trilogy which were brilliantly written and well read by Paul Boehmer. I was therefore really looking forward to the next trilogy by Robin Hobb. Unfortunately after only 45 mins of attempting to listen to 'Ship Of Magic' I found myself forced to return this audio book. At first I thought I was listening at the wrong speed - but no! I spent the next 20 mins trying to decipher if the narrator was a real person or a computer generated voice. I was so fixated on the narrators lifeless delivery and in some instances bizarre pronunciation, that I was completely unable to follow the story. By far the worst narration I have encountered from Audible (and I have downloaded a lot of books). Robin Hobb deserves better. Mystifying decision to change narrators, and even more mystifying to allow this narration to be put into production.
"An amazing story with a voice that takes a while"
I love books that have depth and length, I listen to them while working, this and the 2nd and 3rd books certainly provide that, its slow to start but enjoyable.
Oh yes, I have now done six and look forward to the others.
Hmmmmmmm. very hard to get past her way of presenting, not sure if reading other peoples dislike for her way of presenting, tainted mine. The story is what took me past that and now I kind of like it.
Yes and in the other books, there always seemed to be some one liners that made me think and I have used them my self while chatting
If you can enjoy the story then there's plenty, these books are long, I've just started the third book which will take it to over 90 hours, very good.
"Good old Robin Hobb..."
........always has very human characters you want to shake sense into as things fall apart and they remain passive or difficult. I enjoyed the book. I am keen to experience the next instalment in the series, but to be honest do not look forward to listening to this narrator again. As the parent of an actress who has done voice work, I have an idea how difficult this business is and am therefore reluctant to be harshly critical. Ms Flosnik speaks clearly, and some of her characters do have distinctive voices, but her delivery and tone frequently sound odd and mannered. I am sure she could do better. Might I respectfully suggest she listen to someone like Martin Jarvis doing any Dickens narration to see how a complex and sprawling novel like this one is dealt with?.
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