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)
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.
Only to a dedicated fantasy reader.
It is a teensy little bit Pernlike because there are dragons and people dedicated to them.
This narrator just isn't my favorite.
No! I had periods of being sick of it.
I feel as if many of the characters started developing personalities they didn't have in the first two books. Kennit actually became pretty interesting. I still waiting on Althea.
This is another installment in this engrossing story... I thought it was the final of 3 books, but it's certainly not the end of the story, so I look forward to the next book? Trilogy? Still can't stand the narrator.
Fifty something, small business owner, married, no children. Love travel, beaches, tropical isles, classic cars and listening!
Kind of a slow starter with Book 1, but by the time I got to Books 2 and 3 I really didn't want it to end!
I'll admit to being apprehensive after reading some other reviews describe the narrator. I had GREAT difficulty during the first chapter. The cadence adopted by the reader seemed overly dramatic and best suited for children's material. Either the narrator changed her approach soon after starting the book or I became enamored by it, as within a chapter or two I was completely drawn into the story, and not at all distracted by the reading. In fact I'll even go so far as to say that the narrator excelled at giving voice to the characters in the story. This book was a memorable read, and a great start to a rewarding trilogy that expands on the world in the Farseer series.
I love the extended world series by Hobbs, and this whole trilogy is a good link in the chain. Very satisfying conclusion to the Mad Ship trilogy,
It wrapped up all of the complex story ones laid out in the earlier books and set the scene for the next trilogy. Love so many of the characters- Paragon, Althea and Brashen, Kennit, et al.
Good job with the various characters.
Kennet's death, Kyles death, I would like more detail about the changes in appearance because the association with the dragon and what does it mean for the person. Athea's affair with Brashen seems out of place. The Satrap he not to believable and very annoying.
Wintro I like his character
I love her, she is why I tried these books. Her voice hypnotizes me
I have not decided to read the other books yet I am not sure I want to know the direction the story is about to go
I got into the Liveship Traders trilogy after hearing the audio sample on the website, intrigued by Anne Flosnik's style and the unique feel of the world Robin Hobb had created. I was so drawn in by Robin's detailed creation, and could almost feel like this was the recounting of things that really happened somewhere, not something made up. So many characters' viewpoints are integrated to make a sweeping and absorbing whole, it is truly an awesome work. There are many frustrations and tragic turns, much like we all experience in life, and nothing seemed contrived or pointless, and the characters grew and learned as the story went along. I was riveted from start to finish. Fortunately, there are satisfying resolutions to many of the threads by the end of Ship of Destiny, but I did not want the story to end!
I thought Anne Flosnik's style was very appropriate for this set of books, and I thoroughly enjoyed her performance, though I must admit I used the 'faster' playback setting on my Ipod to get the pace up.
A great use of a credit!
Yes, it is one of the best trilogies I have read in a long time.
When Althea's ship fights her first sea monster.
I love Anne Flosnik. I heard her first in Kushiel's Dart and discovered this Trilogy looking for more books read by her. While her melodramatic style of reading can at times be over the top, it is perfect for most of the reading she does in this book, from pre-teen's Malta's agony over wearing old slippers to her presentation ball to Winthrow's shock of being tattooed.
I have read all three in the trilogy, so I am speaking for all three books when I write. The grandmother Ronica's strength is inspiring, and the dismissal of her as an 'old woman' by society is wrenching, but she always seems to come back. :)
I loved this Triology, though my co-worker warns you that the first few chapters start out very dark, so keep going.
The characters are amazingly well rounded and there are no purely evil villains. The Pirate King Kennit walks a razor's edge of good and evil that is wonderfully written, and his character would not be complete without Queen Etta. The Vestrit family is composed of strong women and thoughtful men, but they don't start out that way! You watch them all grow as you follow Ronica's children and grandchildren struggle to be, or try not to be, independent people.
On top of this, the adventure is rampant, with sea battles, wars, earthquakes and portents. The life cycle of the dragons is teased out slowly through the trilogy and you are left with a picture at the end that is startling. There is foreshadowing a plenty to keep you reading and delightful plot twists that are completely unexpected and yet merge seamlessly with the story.
A definite adventure story must read, on the level of Mary Brown, Patricia McPhillip, Zipha Keatley Snyder, Jane Yolen and even Phillip Pullman.
Robin Hobb tells a masterful story. I have to say, though, that this trilogy has mostly bad things happen. Even the good stuff is done for bad reasons, so I felt on edge for most of the series. So, I would hesitate to plunge in to another such. Her Assassins series is not so unrelentingly dour, or could it be that the narrator was better? At any rate, she captured me and I wanted to keep listening to find out what would happen to the characters. Her plots are interesting, and her characters well fleshed out - I cared about them, got to know them. And she created a whole world with cultures and mores that clashed just as ours do today. Good messages behind it all.
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