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Publisher's Summary

The second volume in this superb trilogy from the author of The Farseer trilogy continues the dramatic tale of piracy, serpents, love, and magic.

Althea Vestrit has found a new home aboard the liveship Ophelia, but lives only to reclaim the Vivacia as her rightful inheritance. However, Vivacia has been captured by the pirate ‘King’ Kennit and is acquiring a keen bloodlust. Bingtown becomes embroiled in a violent political upheaval against the corrupt Jamaillian leader, while the fading fortunes of the Vestrit family lead Malta deeper into the magical secrets of the mysterious Rain Wilds Traders.

Beyond Bingtown, enigmatic wood-carver Amber dreams of re-launching the Paragon, The Mad Ship, despite the history of death and despair that surrounds him. Secrets will be revealed - secrets forgotten by sea serpents, hidden by the disfigured Wild Rain Traders, buried deep in wizardwood coffins - secrets with startling, dramatic consequences.

©2012 Robin Hobb (P)2012 HarperCollins Publishers Limited

Critic Reviews

“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)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.6 out of 5.0
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  • marilyn
  • Kentucky. NSW Australia
  • 03-02-13

Just love Robin Hobbs work but not this narrator

This narrator seems to hang onto words particularly at the end of sentences. I will certainly
listen to series 2 but could wish for a different narrator.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Great book, great narration

Thank you both Robin and Anne. A great story with excellent narration. I can't imagine anyone else narrating this story in such a wonderfully compelling way.

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Brilliant story horrendous narrator

I am amazed that Robin Hobb would agree to Anne Flosnik being the narrator again after the disastrous narration of the first book! Beyond the narration this is a 5 star book! Robin Hobb has weaved a magnificent world that it is a privilege to get lost in. She is one of the best writers of our time.

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The Epic Continues

What did you love best about The Mad Ship?

The Restoration of the Paragon.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

No it is too big

Any additional comments?

Just as good as Ship of magic

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  • Kusameh
  • 04-13-13

Love the story, not sure about the narration

I knew I would enjoy the context of the story from looking at the description, reading other reviews and talking to a friend. What I found particularly enjoyable was the complexity of the characters in this fantasy novel, the way that all characters have depth and mixtures of pleasant/interesting/unpleasant characteristics. I found the narration difficult. When I first started listening it sounded like 'text to speech' with perfect diction and monotony. I still enjoyed listening but I would have greatly preferred a more natural speech rhythm with more lively inflection.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Colin
  • 08-23-17

Cracking stuff!

And great narration too, despite lots of adverse comments on line

Can't write more, need to download the next book in the series!

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  • Michael C
  • 07-10-17

A great listen.

A good continuation from the first but which see the story progress at a good pace.

The narration seemed a bit wooden and disjointed to begin with. But after the first hour it settled in to a nice rythm which matched the story well and had a diverse range of character voices.

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  • B W M GASCOYNE
  • 07-03-17

The series come together

This book you really start to feel the tales of the other Robin Hobb series link together. Cross book and cross trilogy references start to appear and really help you to appreciate the world that is being created around you.

Not my favourite Narrator overall, range of voices and accents not as strong or consistent as other narrators but still tells the story well overall.

Very happy with this series and glad I have another book to go now

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  • Dave Watts
  • 04-21-17

Epic and absorbing story

I've read the book previously but the audio version has brought this to life and made me realise what an accomplished piece of work this is. The scale of the story is immense, the characters are diverse and real, but the dialogue is what really makes this so engaging. Loved it!

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  • Martha Alice Wolfgang
  • 04-11-17

Fabulous

Robin Hobb at her best - narrator delivers the story brilliantly - couldn't stop listening - totally enjoyed - definitely recommend

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  • M. J. Curran
  • 03-30-17

Slow but ok

not as good as the farseer trilogies and very slow going sometimes but ok story

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  • Anthony
  • 12-14-16

brilliant

I love Paragon! Am totally intrigued and can't wait to start the next book now

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  • Mrs T T
  • 09-30-16

Riveting

I read the first book and thoroughly enjoyed catching up with the lives of the characters. I can't wait to start the 3rd book

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  • Nell
  • 09-21-16

Fantastic gritty series

A real treasure of fantasy this series is a gripping tale of human endurance through austerity with eerie and compelling machinations of non-human relics. Narrator's intonation is a bit odd at times but well done.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 08-29-17

reading

the reading was appalling. id rather listen to my mother read it to me, sorry

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  • Gabrielle
  • 06-22-17

Narrator

When I first started listening to the first book, I didn't like the narration at all. Possibly because it was disorienting after listening to the Assassin series. Now, at the end of the second book, I love the narration. Exceptional voices and brings the story to life. I'm glad I persisted!

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  • donnelle
  • 12-07-16

amazing book

I normally listen to audiobooks to help me sleep, but this was so riveting it kept me awake.

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  • J. Allsopp
  • 02-16-16

Much better than Ship of Magic - interesting story

What didn’t you like about Anne Flosnik’s performance?

I have great difficulty enjoying her narrations. It is obviously a personal preference, however the Robin Hobb stories she narrates are worth listening to as they add greatly to the overall storyline. I did eventually become used to her style of narration and could immerse myself in the story. Still at times her unusual style distracts.

Any additional comments?

A great yarn. I originally skipped the Mad Ship & Rainwild trilogies, choosing to follow Fitz and The Fool through all the stories they appeared in. So the Mad Ship trilogy was a step back in sequence for me. I've really enjoyed the added knowledge they have given me. Some of the characters are excellent and the story itself is fascinating.

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  • Damon
  • 12-10-15

Wow

I don't know how Robin Hobbs came up with the concept of the dragons and the serpents but it is amazing. my mind is blown.

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  • Rachel
  • 11-01-15

Very enjoyable

I love this story. Robin Hobb is an amazing storyteller with vivid settings and multifaceted characters.

I know some people don't like this narrator but I liked her lilting accent and calm voice. Her character voices were excellent and she made each one unique and recognisable.

I highly recommend this one!