Ship of Magic by Robin Hobb

  (55 ratings)

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Book Information  
AuthorRobin Hobb
TitleShip of Magic
SeriesLiveship Traders, The
Book Reviews / Comments (submitted by readers)
Submitted by Ms. Holland
(Apr 25, 2000)

The Liveship Traders attracted my attention, the cover was glorious, a friend loaned it. I purchased it later, along with Mad Ship.

I was marvelled at how the author developed each character. My feeling was Althea was the main character, along with Wintrow as a secondary character.  It seems they were both looking to be elsewhere.

Althea wanted to go against tradition, and prove herself worthy not only to herself but others. There are many twists and turns, with quite a bit of suspense on her true objectives.

Wintrow on the other hand liked where he was, but could not remain, destined to be away from the place he loved best, or so he thought?

Both characters are intertwined with others making the story very interesting, with many points of view.

There is quite a hint of a magical place, that the author does not seem to quite divulge, as well as mythical aspects that encourage us to keep reading...and reading...

I found this an excellent book, and appreciated the knowledge of Sail that the author referenced. In Ship of Magic there are many mysteries to be unfolded, and many tales to be told.

Thank you Ms Hobb, for hours of enjoyment..awaiting release of the Ship of Destiny.

Submitted by Blake Hyde
(Jun 23, 1999)

There are, in the fantasy genre, very few books which break through the
stereotypical molds of "travel far and kill the bad god," "rescue magic,"
"kill the bad king," et cetera. Thankfully, this book (which weighs in
at a hefty 809 pages, all of which are used well) breaks through all of
those molds to give us more of Hobb's wonderful, character-driven writing.
I cannot say the book is perfect; it has its boring spots, as do all
books. However, I will say that even the boring spots are used to further
the characters along in their very believable lives.
As others have noted, Robin Hobb seems to have some sort of complex that
makes her WANT to write about misery. Once again, in Ship of Magic, we
have a main character (one of many, thankfully) whose every movement seems
to bring him bad luck: Wintrow Vestrit. We watch as he is pulled from
priesthood to serve aboard the liveship Vivacia, where he is miserable,
having sought to be a priest of Sa. Various other bad things happen to
him, each one hammering him into a different person from the naive (and
rather intelligent) priest who came from the monastaries of Marrow.
The other characters, such as Althea, Brashen, Kinnet, Ronica, and the
unlikable Captain Kyle, are all developed to a point where you will feel
that you know them as your neighbor; at about page 600, you begin to dread
the end of this book, simply because it will sever your ties, for a time,
with the Vestrits and their friends/enemies/connections/worm food.

I most heartily recommend this book to ANYONE who enjoys a nice, atypical
fantasy read. Rating: 16/20. Keep up the good work, Ms. Hobb!

Submitted by Rodney Powell
(May 18, 1999)

Sea Serpents, Magical ships that have intelligences, pirates and merchant families. These
are ingredients of this epic fantasy novel.This is the story of merchant family: Vestrit and their
liveship: Vivacia and all those who want to possess her. Althea Vestrit-headstrong daughter of the dead
captain who is determine to wrestle Vivacia from her brother-in law Kyle Haven. Winnstrow Haven-kyle's
son who wants to become a priest but is forced to become a sailor on Vivacia.Kennit:the ruthless but
charismatic pirate who wants to rule pirate isle and must capture a liveship to do it.

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