Ship of Magic

Ship of Magic

by Robin Hobb


$17.75 View All Available Formats & Editions


Demonstrating world-building finesse, Robin Hobb begins the climatic story of a seafaring clan and its tangled destiny.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780007459728
Publisher: Harper Voyager
Publication date: 04/28/2012

About the Author

Robin Hobb is a pseudonym of Margaret Astrid Lindholm Ogden (who also writes as Megan Lindholm). She is best known for the books set in the Realm of the Elderlings, which started with the books in the Farseer trilogy—Assassin's Apprentice, Royal Assassin, and Assassin's Quest. This led to three additional trilogies, as well as the Rain Wild Chronicles (including Dragon Keeper & Blood of Dragons). She has been a finalist for both the Nebula and Hugo awards.

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Ship of Magic (Liveship Traders Series #1) 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 133 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
To be honest, I was originally going to read straight from the Assassin's series to Tawny Man series but after researching, I discovered to fully understand Tawny, it was strongly recommended to read the Liveship series. One word. Amazing. I was stunned how the story enraptured me with its layered plots and settings. It was also great to understand and feel familiar with the lands, considering it is part of the same lands from Assassin's trilogy. Strongly recommend yet realize the book is not an actual continuation of Assassin's but an individual story that complements the whole series from different aspects and timelines.
vwhis More than 1 year ago
I throughly enjoyed this book...I liked it much better than it's predecessors. This trilogy was well written, held my interest and couldn't wait to find out how it all ended. The characters were well defined and interesting. I most heartily reccommend this series. I had picked this series up because I couldn't find anything else.. I was tired of Robin Hobb after reading the first six books of this saga. She changed gears in the Liveship Traders, not tragedy after tragedy, bleakness or stubborn stupidity in her characters. She brought to life characters that are real, people you could actually relate to. So, well done Robin Hobb.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Robin Hobb has a gift of transforming you into a completely different world. In Ship of Magic, Robin describes a world of magic and intrique, where an animal fights to find She-Who-Remembers and a family fights to recover after their world is shattered by a death. Wonderfully written. One hundred thumbs up. I recommend this book to anyone wishing to get away from this world. CAUTION: This book is addicting. I could not wait to get my hands on the second!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
after having read the farseer trilogy and the tawny man trilogy, i was happy to start in on this one. i thoroughly enjoyed this series as well, it seemed to have a bit less of the dark emotionality of the other trilogies. I would say this series is more of a simple "fun read" than the other books were.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is an excellent book. Interesting, exciting and magical. Unique characters. I couldn't put it down until it was finished.
RVTRAVELER More than 1 year ago
A wonderful beginning to the second series of books by Robin Hobb both my husband and I are reading. The most unusual part is we are both reading them and find them fascinating. The writing and characterizations are very good in all of the books we have read in the Assassin Series and in these as well. Looking forward to reading more.
drachin8 More than 1 year ago
Althea Vestrit has always considered herself heir to the family liveship, Vivacia. So when her father dies, awakening the ship at last, Althea is shocked at the string of family politics which rips her legacy from her, handing it to her unwilling nephew, Wintrow, instead. Of course, Wintrow is displeased with events as well since his family has taken him from the priesthood where he was happy and forced him to sail the ship with his father until it can be completely handed over to him. The newly awakened liveship, Vivacia, of course detects all this anguish and pain and must struggle to discover who she is through the division of desire without going insane. And on top of all of this, the rather unlovable pirate Kennit is trying to capture a liveship of his own to boost his plans of seizing control of the Pirate Isles. Pros: This book starts a bit slow, but once the Vivacia awakens, Althea's family members turn against each other with a viciousness that is both unsettling and exhilarating to read. Characters who seemed rather set in their courses must shift with the violent winds that now mark their path in order to salvage anything of what they once dreamed. Watching the pirate Kennit do his vile work while everyone around him ascribes more virtuous motives to his actions also begins to draw you in, waiting on somebody to finally figure out that this man is not anybody's friend (and his perceived kindness is more often the result of the manipulative awakened wooden charm at his wrist than any words of Kennit's). The worldbuilding is also quite fabulous-poisonous sea serpents trailing slave ships like dogs waiting for scraps, the mysterious and malformed Rain Wild Traders and their connections to the trade of objects that seem to have souls of their own, the original Bingtown Trader families and their struggle to hold on to the promises made generations ago. So much wonderful worldbuilding and politicking here. Cons: Unfortunately, this is the sort of trilogy in which the first book does not end with a feeling of any sort of completeness. So many threads are left hanging, that it is not possible to read this book alone and feel satisfied. This isn't a bad thing if you have the time to immediately read all three (and as a note, I have not read books 2 and 3, so I cannot speak for how well they complete their stories and the overarching story), but if you are looking for a book that you can occasionally just pick up and enjoy for itself, this is probably not going to work out in the end.
Guest More than 1 year ago
most fantasy novels don't have ships as one of the important settings, so this was an interesting change. the characters are good, and develop well throughout the series.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This was an excellent book. I loved all the scenes on Vivacia, and all of the other ships. I love sailing myself, and felt a personal connection there. There was no part that I didn't enjoy. The story unfolded in many new layers and twists, but it was easy to follow. I read it in a short period of time, since I just couldn't put it down (I was on a very long plane ride). Definitly read this book as soon as possible!
Guest More than 1 year ago
While at first, this book is hard to get into, with all the new names, and the whole background story, however, it'll soon have you hooked. The emotions within this story are very well written, enough that you'd want to cry out for the injustices, or strangle the characters for their idiocy. If you're looking for a story full of witty sarcasm, emotion, and enchanting histories of living ships, this is an excellent book to try. -also, Robin Hobb does a good job at keeping her character's story straight, unlike so many authors out there that have hard times transitioning from one character to another.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This was the first true 'couldn't put it down' book I've read in months. Of course, it took me a week to read even though I didn't want to put it down because it is LONG! Otherwise, the characters were three-dimensional and unique, the story was fascinating, and the action was often enough to keep you reading on into the night. I rolled right into Book 2 as soon as I finished this one. I already have Book 3 waiting for me too.
Guest More than 1 year ago
An absolutely brilliant book with great ideas and lots of characters interweaving. I've read all of Hobb's books, so there, I suppose I'm a fan!
TheLiteraryPhoenix More than 1 year ago
I’m very apprehensive when it comes to adult fantasy. It’s a genre that takes itself really seriously, and inevitably there are graphic, unnecessary sex scenes. While this is all well and good for people who enjoy that, I personally prefer books that are a little lighter and skip the sex scenes. I mention this, because Ship of Magic is adult fantasy and I was really nervous going in because… you never know. Here’s the thing, though. Ship of Magic also promised me pirates and I have a weakness for pirates. Give me a story with pirates and I am 150% in to read it. And loves, I was not disappointed. This novel has the best nautical aesthetic. Most the book takes place aboard one ship or another. There’s your standard wooden ships, sure, but there are also ship made of wizard wood that can be “quickened” and come to life and that’s so cool. The source of all peculiar, magical items here is a mysterious place called the Rainwild, a place we hear about but don’t see. What we know about magic and the Rainwild is that they come at a terrible price. So there’s a lot at stake there. Ship of Magic has a lot of POVs. Most of the POVs come from the Vestrit family, and some POVs are better than others. I loved Althea because of her spirit, and I enjoyed Winthow because of his deep moral dilemmas. Kyle made me so so angry – he was a selfish, sexist pig who constantly made unforgivable choices. So the characters run the gamut. I also really loved the POVs coming from the Liveships – Vivacia and Paragorn are primaries here, but Ophelia enters near the end of the book. I think my favorie part of the characters in general is that you know that we’ve only skimmed the surface and there’s so much more to come. A book of this length can be a challenge, because the story can drag. Not the case here. Like The Name of the Wind, I found that Ship of Magic flowed so easily that I didn’t realize that I was listening to a 35 hour book. Loves, I finished this in five days, making it seven hours of listening a day, and I breezed through. The pacing is great, and the POVs switch at just the right time to maintain interest. This book has the start of so may journeys, and I want to see where it all goes. Honestly, even the bad POVs? I just want to see justice served upon these horrible individuals. So I’m here for it. Some last minute standard warnings? There’s a couple of quick, graphic sex scenes. Kyle, as I mentioned, is sexist… Kennit is too, though not to the same extent. There’s also conversations about slavery and keeping women at home “where they belong”. I do want to make it clear – the problematic views are kept by the villains. But they are POVs and the content is there, and it’s worth mentioning. Honestly, as a whole, I’m so intrigued and impressed. I loved the themes of good and evil, right and wrong, and if it’s worth crossing moral lines to survive. I’m here for the variety of characters and creepy serpents chasing liveships and the storms that threaten to run ships aground and pirate vibes and all of it. Sure, there were moments I didn’t like, but they comprised less than 1% of the novel. I will absolutely be continuing the series, and I’ll most likely check out more of Hobb’s books. If you like fantasy and pirates you’ve got to add Ship of Magic to your TBR.
Narilka on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
It took me a little while to get into this book. Hobb takes her time setting up the background before things get going. They finally do and it was an enjoyable read. The story follows one Trader family and their liveship. There are many threads being woven together between the family members and how they relate to each other. I'm looking forward to picking up where this one leaves off in the second book.
willowcove on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
In the same universe as the 'Farseer' books, and just as good. A unique twist of where the ships' powers come from.
booklad on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Wonderfully entertaining series about sentient ships, pirates, high court plotting, sea serpents, and a mysterious elder race. Battles, magic, intrigue, finely drawn characters, multiple plot lines all coming together to a very satisfying ending.
monado on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
not bad¿interesting concept. Ends with several issues unresolved.
abatishko on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is an outstanding book. The setting is definitely something refreshingly different from your typical fantasy. As you might guess from the title, everything is very centered around ships and sailing.As is typical for many books, the author flips back and forth between a couple major story lines and a few minor ones. However, unlike most books where there are some story lines you just have to read through in order to get back to the "good stuff", in this book you can't wait to get back to all of the story lines. They're ALL "good stuff".Hobb develops some interesting characters, and presents them with some situations that develop very nicely, and there seem to be many places where the plot has a lot of potential, but goes a slightly different direction than you expected, but is still better off for taking the different route.This book actually brought me to the stage of being unable to put it down when I was only about a quarter of the way through (leaving me with a couple late nights). Usually with a good book that happens when I have about a quarter of the book left. I'm very much looking forward to reading the next two books in the series, although perhaps I should get some sleep first... 5/5
xicanti on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A seafaring tale centering around a merchant family and their sentient ship.While set in the same world as Hobb's first trilogy, (The Farseer), this series stands on its own. (Though there is a suspiciously familiar character lurking in Bingtown...) I enjoyed the story quite a bit. It's mostly setup, but Hobb does a great job of weaving all the varied storylines together. As another reviewer mentioned, there was never a point at which I was waiting to get back to a good bit, because everything was good. I liked the characters, I appreciated the situations they found themselves in, and I absolutely loved all the seafaring stuff. (And how cool would it be to sail on a liveship?) I'm eager to dive into the next volume.But, that said, I was a little disappointed in the book. Having read (and loved) The Farseer earlier this year, I don't feel that this book quite stands up to the high standards the previous series set. Partly, I think Hobb works better in first person than third; I liked these characters a lot, but I never came to care for them in the same way I did for Fitz. It seems that her editor really stepped back here, too; there were many places where the writing could have been tighter, and with Wintrow in particular I wished there had been less telling and more showing. I think I would've felt a lot more for him had I been able to piece together some of his story for myself.Overall, though, this was very good. Recommended for fantasy fans who also like sea tales and don't mind plots that unfold slowly.
bluesalamanders on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I mostly liked it. There were some things I had trouble with - for example, it often takes a sentence or two for there to be a clue who each section is talking about (between the 6 or 8 or whatever main characters the book flipped between). As in, it's something like "He walked down the street..." Ok, which he? It could be any of three or four or five male characters, mostly in different cities. It's a little frustrating to have to go back and reread the first sentence(s) of the section to understand what was going on, because it started with "He" instead of the character's name and oh, now I know how it's talking about, so what was that again?Other than that stylistic quirk, I liked it. I enjoyed most of the storylines, I cared about many of the characters, and I want to know what happens enough to go get the next books out of the library. I was surprised when some of the stories intersected and with some twists (not all - most I saw far in advance - but some).
anne_jindra More than 1 year ago
Wander from normal into a world where a pirate fights to become king, where sea monsters seek their lost secrets in their own legends and where ships speak through the magic of the coffins from which they are made. The seasons of mystery have stopped turning and the wheel struggles to move, and a rich merchant house is about to see its fortunes turn in time with the workings of a new world. Bingtown is the home of liveships and the center of all commerce as a result. Each of it's ruling class owns a ship and trades in the magical items that were brought out of the rain wilds by the cursed people who lived within. They always appeared veiled and clothed from head to foot, but rumor preceded them and everyone knew the became hideous disfigured as they unearthed the objects they sold. The Vestrit family was the oldest in Bingtown and its children were spoiled beyond belief. Their oldest daughter began accepting courting gifts from the Rain Wilds when she was denied a place on their new liveship, Vivacia. Her brother, a priest, was forced to serve in her place and the ship was stolen. The Vestrits were to big to fall, but their children were bringing the world down upon them, and all of its miseries with it. Magic was a toy to the people outside of the Wilds, and they felt it could fix anything- it was something to be played with and then ignored- wasn't it? One spoiled little girl, her clueless mother, and a sheltered son were about to find out. Tatianna Anne Jindra On YouTube BadFantasyRx
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I thoroughly enjoyed the Farseer series and looked forward to this. So far I've made it to page 91, and have encountered least half a dozen points of view and most of the pages are on characters I don't care about. I'm wondering if the book is ever going to make any progress. I might pick it up sometime in the future if I get really desparate, but for now, I'm done.