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Liveship Traders, The by Robin Hobb

(16 ratings)

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Submitted by Ben 
(Apr 27, 2010)

This series was highly recommended to me by friends. Unfortunately it was incredibly boring. There are no interesting characters and no one does anything special. There isn't much of a plot. If you don't like much action and are looking for something to put you to sleep, this is the series for you.

Submitted by Nora 
(Jul 02, 2008)

I bought Ship of Magic almost randomly out of a huge array of other fantasy books in the store, and I'm so lucky I did because I couldn't put these books down. The characters are so real, there are real, human passions involved, well, everyone and everything from the ship, people, places, culture, have a real animated quality to them. It's really like plunging into another world. She's just a great writer in general; stylistically there's nothing at all to improve on. I can't wait to read the rest of her trilogies.

Submitted by Amy 
(Jun 12, 2006)

I fell for Robin Hobb after reading the Liveship series, which are definitely among the best books I have ever read, certainly the best fantasy. Though I love reading fantasy, it can be frustrating, as many books get by on beautiful concepts rather than quality of writing or an original plot.

The Liveship Trader books manage all three. Original ideas, with far less borrowing (I thought) from previous writers in the genre. The quality of writing was almost peerless for modern fantasy, with beautiful description and convincing dialogue. And the plot was different, not the typical 2D quest. Characters were convincing and well developed, and changed throughout the book. It was written from many different perspectives, with many apparently parallel stories which tied up together at the end. They all had flaws as well as good points, and avoided stereotyping- Hobb is possibly the only fantasy writer who manages to bring depth to male AND FEMALE characters!

It's a wonderful series, and an absolute must-read, not only for fantasy lovers, but anyone who enjoys a good book.

Submitted by David James 
(Apr 05, 2006)

Having been introduced to Robin Hobb stories by my son I started from the beginning and read the Farseer Trilogy and Tawny Mann series, enthralling stories followed by the Live ship traders.

For me the Live Ship traders never took off. There were times when I thought there would be a link with the Dragon in the Golden Fool but it did not happen. I ploughed through the Ship of Magic and the Mad Ship and was pleased to meet ‘The Fool’ again and then I got to The Ship of Destiny and then started to struggle, there were so many characters all pulling in different direction I did not know whether I was coming or going (It made an Agatha Christie story appear quite straightforward). After a while I started to like Malta but got into quite a tangle with the Tangle. In the Tawny Man series, which chronologically must have occurred before the Liveship Traders, Tintaglia rose with the Black Dragon yet in this book she was in her cocoon.

The story ends with Paragon taking Brashen to Igrots treasure and also advising Amber to go North, this tends to leave the ending up in the air unless there is to be a sequel to the series story. I normally settle down and read a book in a couple of evenings; the Ship of Destiny took three weeks. I am going to have to sit down and read all three books again to see if I can make some sort of sense out of them.

Submitted by Steven A. McKay 
(Oct 05, 2005)

While I've enjoyed this book, as it nears the end I find it getting harder and harder. It seems the characters in the book are destined to suffer misfortune after misfortune, with little light relief to cheer things up again. It is a very depressing story, despite the fact that I guess everything "turns out alright" further on in the series.
I enjoy the writing style and the characters, but the incessant bad luck (and stupidity) suffered by everyone could do with toning down.
Does anyone ever smile in this world?!
Good story overall though, I look forward to reading the rest of the series and getting to the "happy" bits!

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