Bingtown is a hub of exotic trade and home to a merchant nobility famed for its liveships---rare vessels carved from wizardwood, which ripens magically into sentient awareness. The fortunes of one of Bingtown's oldest families rest on the newly awakened liveship Vivacia. For Althea Vestrit, the ship is her rightful legacy unjustly denied her---a legacy she will risk anything to reclaim.
For Althea's young nephew Wintrow, wrenched from his religious studies and forced to serve aboard ship, Vivacia is a life sentence. But the fate of the Vestrit family---and the ship---may ultimately lie in the hands of an outsider. The ruthless pirate Kennit seeks a way to seize power over all the denizens of the Pirate Isles...and the first step of his plan requires him to capture his own liveship and bend it to his will.
©1999 Robin Hobb (P)2010 Tantor
“The characterizations are consistently superb.... Kudos to the author and encore!” (Booklist, Starred Review)
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.
I normally love Robin Hobb books, but this is by far the worst narrator I've ever listened to. I'd only make it 3-4 sentences before I'd be spacing out. I've started and given up on this book about 10 times... She draws out her words, speaks with NO emotion, completely monotone. This is definitely a book to read not listen to.
Very well written story that is easy to get into. Gets very interesting early on in the story and keeps you wanting more. That's the only problem. None of the story lines are resolved in this book so you have to wait until audible puts up book 2&3. Which is a difficult wait if you enjoy the story as much as I did!
I respect the efforts that the narrators put forward, but i agree that this narrator brought me to a halt. I devoured the farseer books and they werent short! Went through them all almost non stop.
This latest narrator halted my addiction on the first 5 minutes. Shes got an unnatural way to modulate her voice for a smoky dramatic effect that isnt needed or wanted. The genuine and honest way the other narrator read was part of what made things so enjoyable. Is satisfaction guaranteed? I'd like to put that credit toward another book, i cant seem to concentrate trying to make out what shes saying.
I read this trilogy a few years ago and it became my favorite series. My heart jumped when I saw it finally came to Audible. I couldnt download it fast enough. However; I can't listen to the narrator. I don't like it and I can't get very far without turning it off. I wish it was narrated by someone else. I am so disappointed.
I had never heard of this trilogy, but I like it so far. The reader is really bad. Her inflection is enough to drive you batty, but the book itself is REALLY GOOD.
I hope that they put the rest of these books on audible ... WITH A DIFFERENT READER!!!!!!!
A very nice tale, good character development and definately draws you into the story,,,
the book does not come to any conclusions. I imagine this happens in the next books in the series, which are not available on audible. Therefor, it might be best to wait. I found myself irritated that after listening for so long I must wait even longer to find out what happens.
I read this series in paperback a few years ago, and I fell in love with it then(So did my mom and sister!). Listening to the audio book has been equally as enjoyable. I am a big fan of fantasy, and for me this series ranks with The Wheel of Time. The narration is perfect! I look forward to seeing the rest of Robin Hobb's books on audio.
I've really enjoyed the Robin Hobb books and have been devouring them. I think I'd like this one but the reader is, I'm sorry to say, just awful. She has this weird way of stretching out words, even in fairly straightforward descriptive sections and her efforts to be dramatic just grate. I think I'll give up on the audio version and buy a paper copy of the book and see if I (probably) will like it as much as I have the rest of Hobb's books.
Eclectic is a verb
The story is excellent, many unique elements that keep driving little mysteries throughout the story. Interesting characters, no all of whom are human. The narration takes some getting used to, her voice is slow and occasionally ponderous, This is the first book that I listened to at 1.5 speed, and I found it didn't lose any comprehension at the faster speed. I'm looking forward to the next two in the series.
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