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Publisher's Summary

As the ancient tradition of Bingtown's Old Traders slowly erodes under the cold new order of a corrupt ruler, the Vestrits anxiously await the return of their liveship - a rare magic ship carved from sentient wizardwood, which bonds the ships mystically with those who sail them. And Althea Vestrit waits even more avidly, living only to reclaim the ship as her lost inheritance and captain her on the high seas. But the Vivacia has been seized by the ruthless pirate captain Kennit, who holds Althea's nephew and his father hostage.
Althea and her onetime sea mate Brashen resolve to liberate the liveship - but their plan may prove more dangerous than leaving the Vivacia in Kennit's ambitious grasp.
©1999 Robin Hobb (P)2010 Tantor
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Critic Reviews

"The novel is tightly written, with few passages not devoted to characterization, world building or action. Again, Hobb gives high fantasy a salty nautical spin that will please a great many [listeners]." ( Publishers Weekly)
"Each volume in this series is a major undertaking, but those who enjoy original, epic fantasy, characters who grow and change believably, and fine writing will not want to miss The Liveship Traders. ( review)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

By Lore on 07-26-13

Book 2 starts to bring it all together.

In my review of Ship of Magic, I wrote that it was "80% set-up and 20% interesting fantasy." This book really springboards off of that set-up work and brings the interesting fantasy to the forefront. All of the various threads start to weave together and the connections keep the story moving.

Once again centered on the Vestrit family, this book skips most of the tiring squabbles that dominated book one and instead brings the fantasy world to life. The details of the Rain Wilds, the future of Bingtown, and the fate of the dragons dominate the story telling and keep things entertaining. Once the facts start to be revealed, you will not look at the liveships in the same way anymore.

All the main characters are back including Malta. Although she was selfish and immature in book one, she abruptly morphs into a young adult with a decent understanding of how the complex world around her works. I feel she changed far too abruptly, but it was a welcome change since the family fighting really dragged down the first book.

Anne Flosnik is once again the narrator and provides more of the same. Like her or not, I see no reason your opinion of her narration from book one will change with book two. If you finished Ship of Magic and wanted to know more about the characters, as well as the dragons, serpents, and liveships, then you should definitely pick this one up. Of course, being the middle book of a trilogy much is left unresolved at the end, so you will need to go one step further for true resolution.

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9 of 9 people found this review helpful

By artteacher on 01-13-14

listen to it at 1.25

Is there anything you would change about this book?

the narrator.

Would you be willing to try another book from Robin Hobb? Why or why not?

i will finish the series and try the rainwild one. i'd like best to hear tawny man, since i liked the assassin series. this series is greatly inferior, but i'm hanging in.

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

she sounds adenoidal. do try to listen at 1.25 speed, it's not nearly so bad then. this seems to be a series one has to get through in order to contine, so get through it quickly at 1.25speed!

Could you see Mad Ship being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

probably, but i won't watch.

Any additional comments?

i liked the farseer series, but found the soldiers son one unlistenable. apparently hobb only occasionally appeals. but there are huge and i like loooong listens, so i persist.

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2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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