• Ship of Destiny

  • The Liveship Traders, Book 3
  • By: Robin Hobb
  • Narrated by: Anne Flosnik
  • Length: 33 hrs and 39 mins
  • 4.6 out of 5 stars (2,936 ratings)

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Ship of Destiny  By  cover art

Ship of Destiny

By: Robin Hobb
Narrated by: Anne Flosnik
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Publisher's summary

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

Critic reviews

"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)

Featured Article: 16 of the Best Fantasy Authors Ever


There is no feeling quite like falling in love with a great fantasy listen, doing a little digging, and joyfully discovering that the author has an extensive catalog of audiobooks for you to dive right into. Fantasy as a genre is particularly blessed with a wealth of diverse authors writing all different kinds of stories. From classic epics to standalone novels that were published in the last few years, it's the perfect genre for losing yourself in a full day’s worth of listening. These brilliant fantasy authors will transport you to another world—whether a parallel universe or a post-apocalyptic version of Earth.

What listeners say about Ship of Destiny

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Wraps it all up nicely.

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.

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7 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Something altogether new

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.

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7 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

I knew better

*SPOILER AHEAD*

Repetitive terms, she wouldn't have used a word for hundreds of pages, then she would use that word twice in 2 consecutive sentences. I make an effort to not do that in a simple text. Pointless, meandering chapters that do nothing to further the plot. Just a pile of pointless words. EXTREMELY annoying characters I couldn't wait to get away from. I think there was one character I liked but then she was raped and we spent hours and hours of a fantasy novel dealing with that instead of flying on dragons and slaying bad guys. As if there isn't enough literature out there to depress us. If you're gonna tackle heavy subjects like that, at least have the honesty to let us know. Maybe name the book something like, "ship of destiny / how to emotionally deal with rape through magic" . I hate that I felt like I had to finish this series. I swear this is the last time I read Hobb. There was a paragraph or two somewhere in there that overused the word "her". That would have been annoying enough in print, and not disparaging this narrator too much, but I can't get her repetitive pronunciation of "her" out of my head. Her her her her her..... In summary, I strongly recommend giving this book a pass. If you want dragons, go read the first half dozen Pern books. Look to the classics if you want ships and pirates. Sorry Robin. I'm sure you're a lovely person and worked very hard on these books, but they just weren't for me.

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6 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Disappointing end to an intriguing trilogy

After sitting through 2 and 1/2 books, I was expecting a better ending. All the pain and suffering the characters went through -- and suddenly, poof, the bad guys are dead (with no effort from the good guys) and everyone is happy. It zoomed by so fast that I went back to make sure I didn't skip a couple chapters by mistake. Some story-lines were tied up with 1-2 sentences. Some were left pretty vague. I guess the author was in a hurry to either get to another book, or procrastinated too long and had to rush it too quickly to meet the publisher's deadline. Or maybe, after all these years of writing, she just ran out of creative juices and couldn't find any way to give the readers a satisfying ending .

Very sad. Those are a hundred hours of my life I will never get back.

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4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

I’m done

Due to my stubborn, completionist nature I’ve wasted many hours struggling through to the ending of this trilogy. Subjecting my mind to auditory torture as I forced myself to endure the story much like the female characters endured their “hardships” at the hands of domineering pirates. Despite the [forced and inconsistent] character development, I still found it difficult to like any of the main protagonists. And for those of you that say Kennit was your favorite, you need to read more books (and probably see a therapist).

I have little to say in addition to my previous reviews of the first two books so I will simply conclude that the author is a wonderful writer, but a dreadfully inadequate storyteller.

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2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Enjoyable but slightly technically flawed

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

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  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

I don't get it.....

What disappointed you about Ship of Destiny?

It was boring and uninteresting.

What do you think your next listen will be?

Something in Space Opera. Fantasy has been a big disappointment the last few new tries.

What three words best describe Anne Flosnik’s voice?

Emotes, energy, pleasant

If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from Ship of Destiny?

The entire book. Didn't listen to it all but everything I heard was boring.

Any additional comments?

Bought this with a valuable credit as I've been hearing the author compared to Briggs and Bujold. What a crock. Don't listen to others when they compare authors, it's subjective.

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2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Amazing conclusion

This is an amazing conclusion to an amazing series!

I hated to watch Kennit become the man he hated, but it did bring the story full circle. I also loved how Paragon changes throughout the story!

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1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Entertains on so many levels

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 .

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Pirates, Serpents, Dragons and Talking Ships

Every book in the Realm of the Elderlings series is a treasure to me. Like a white profit, this series found me when I needed it.
The character development in this series is unparalleled. The world building, doesn't feel like world building. It feels like history.
This third book is a lovely (and devastating) wrap up for Brashen, Althea, Paragon, Wintrow, Etta, Vivacia and Reyn. (And I guess Malta, who gets better, but I'm still generally annoyed by.)

This book makes me want to be a pirate.

SPOILER ALERT:
Everytime I listen to this story or reread these books, I find something else Kennit's charm said (or did) that I assumed was Kennit. Every time I revisit this story, I hate Kennit more and more. All of his redeeming qualities are actually actions of someone else.

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