This site uses cookies to deliver our services, improve performance, for analytics, and (if not signed in) for advertising. By using LibraryThing you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your use of the site and services is subject to these policies and terms.
Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

Ship of Magic (Liveship Traders Trilogy Book…

Ship of Magic (Liveship Traders Trilogy Book 1) (original 1998; edition 2003)

by Robin Hobb (Author), Stephen Youll (Illustrator)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
4,541701,589 (4.07)1 / 148
Title:Ship of Magic (Liveship Traders Trilogy Book 1)
Authors:Robin Hobb (Author)
Other authors:Stephen Youll (Illustrator)
Info:Spectra (2003), Edition: Reprint, 832 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:fiction, eb

Work details

Ship of Magic by Robin Hobb (1998)



Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

English (64)  Dutch (3)  French (2)  Spanish (1)  All languages (70)
Showing 1-5 of 64 (next | show all)
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. ( )
  Morteana | Jun 28, 2019 |
I enjoyed the Farseer trilogy so much I decided that I wanted to work my way through the other books by Robin Hobb. This series is from multiple view points. Initially I was not sure I would be able to get into it because of the nautical setting and the premise seemed iffy. However, Hobbs manages to make the culture, port towns, merchant families, and the action onboard ship interesting. The sympathetic characters are more interesting than the villans because the are less predictable and better developed. The villans are one dimensional but they serve their purpose.

I listed to the audio book version from Audible and found the narrator, Anne Flosnik, horrible and annoying. For example, the way Flosnik would draw out words got to be like nails on a chalkboard. I am reading the second book in the series in hardcover. ( )
  KateSavage | Mar 29, 2019 |
When I want to be whisked out of this world and into fantasy land, I go to Robin Hobb. So far I've read the Assassin's Apprentice trilogy, and now this book, the first of a trilogy that takes place in a different corner of the same world as the Assassin series.

I think this book is nearly the equal of the Game of Thrones series in creative world-building, complex characters and inventive plotting. I hope the rest of the trilogy is as strong. I liked it a bit better than the Assassin series - the pacing feels faster, and women had more interesting roles. She does a pretty good job of downplaying the alpha male and alpha female trope, although it's hard to get rid of them entirely in a fantasy novel. Group consensus decision making doesn't make for a thrilling fantasy reading experience. Although I'd be interesting in finding some fantasy writing that does try to dispense with alpha heroes completely. ( )
  badube | Mar 6, 2019 |
The second start of the The Realm of the Elderlings series has very little to do with the first trilogy. The story focuses on a different area of the world on the sea and a port-town with magical ships called Liveships. The Ship of Magic starts off the series really well. Robin Hobb does a great job of creating characters that are unique and interesting, but also grow and change throughout the book. The plot is good with a lot of developments and worldbuilding introduced that I'm sure the following book will expand on. It is a well written book filled with characters you will care about. ( )
  renbedell | Mar 3, 2019 |
The Bingtown traders make ships from a special substance - wizardwood. When certain conditions are met, those ships quicken and become liveships - sentient vessels who practically sail themselves, including where no other ships can sail, making their owners very wealthy in the process.

But times are changing, new traders are colonizing the area after the Satrap eats his promise to the original settlers, without knowing what they're getting themselves into.

A highly readable drama about sea-faring, the frontier, trade, piracy, spiced with the usual mixture of romance, family affairs and politics.

The biggest downside is that it is not a well rounded story - all of the plots remain unresolved and are just a set up for the following books of the trilogy. Minus in my book. ( )
  matija2019 | Jan 8, 2019 |
Showing 1-5 of 64 (next | show all)
no reviews | add a review

» Add other authors (7 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Robin Hobbprimary authorall editionscalculated
Howe, JohnCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Youll, StephenCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
This one is for
The Devil's Paw
The Totem
The EJ Bruce
The Free Lunch
The Labrador (Scales! Scales!)
The (aptly named) Massacre Bay
The Faithful (Gummi Bears Ahoy!)
The Entrance Point
The Cape St John
The American Patriot (and Cap'n Wookie)
The Lesbian Warmonger
The Anita J and the Marcy J
The Tarpon
The Capelin
The Dolphin
The (not very) Good News Bay
And even the Chicken Little
But especially for Rain Lady, wherever she may be now.
First words
Maulkin abruptly heaved himself out of his wallow with a wild thrash that left the atmosphere hanging thick with particles.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
In the french edition, the book was divided in 3 volumes.
Publisher's editors
Publisher series
Original language
Canonical DDC/MDS

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (2)

Book description
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0553575635, Mass Market Paperback)

Robin Hobb, author of the Farseer trilogy, has returned to that world for a new series. Ship of Magic is a sea tale, reminiscent of Moby Dick and Patrick O'Brian's Aubrey/Maturin series in its details of shipboard life. It is also a fantasy adventure with sea serpents, pirates, and all sorts of magic. The liveships have distinct personalities and partner with specific people, somewhat like Anne McCaffrey's Brain ships and their Brawns, though these are trading ships and have full crews.

Hobb has peopled the book with many wonderfully developed characters. Most of the primary ones are members of the Vestritts, an Old Trader family which owns the liveship Vivacia. Their stories are intercut with those of Kennit, the ambitious pirate Brashen, the disinherited scion of another family who served on the Vestritt's ship, and Paragon, an old liveship abandoned and believed mad. The sentient sea serpents have their own story hinted at, as well.

Though Ship of Magic is full of action, none of the plotlines get resolved in this book. Readers who resent being left with many questions and few answers after almost 700 pages should think twice before starting, or wait until the rest of the series is out so that their suspense won't be too prolonged. But Hobb's writing draws you in and makes you care desperately about what will happen next, the mark of a terrific storyteller. --Nona Vero

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:09:31 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

The heroine is a living ship which has feelings and can talk. On the death of its master it is inherited by a man who wants to use it for transporting slaves. The ship is against this and forms an alliance with the man's sister who had hoped to inherit it and now plots to get it.

» see all 6 descriptions

Quick Links

Popular covers


Average: (4.07)
0.5 2
1 13
1.5 6
2 44
2.5 11
3 163
3.5 51
4 468
4.5 74
5 404

Tantor Media

An edition of this book was published by Tantor Media.

» Publisher information page

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.


About | Contact | Privacy/Terms | Help/FAQs | Blog | Store | APIs | TinyCat | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | Common Knowledge | 137,315,557 books! | Top bar: Always visible