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The Mad Ship by Robin Hobb

The Mad Ship (1999)

by Robin Hobb

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3,832442,052 (4.14)1 / 105
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.… (more)



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English (41)  Dutch (2)  French (1)  All languages (44)
Showing 1-5 of 41 (next | show all)
A fantastic follow up to Ship of Magic. The story continues where the last book left off. The characters continue to be well-written and exciting to read about. The story develops wonderfully and leads on well to the next book but holds its own as well. Robin Hobb writes fantastic characters that are unique and show growth throughout the story. ( )
  renbedell | Apr 27, 2019 |
I am taking a few minutes to write that I throughly enjoyed the second book in the Liveship Traders Trilogy. There is great character and plot development. Many problems come to a head. The logic in the plot may not be perfect but Hobb's skill is such that it didn't matter much to me,

Note: There are a number of key plot points that are not resolved in this book, so it is worth investing up front in the last book of the series for those who enjoyed the first book or the first third of this one. Luckily I have the final book in the series next to my easy chair. ( )
  KateSavage | Mar 29, 2019 |
In this second part of the liveship traders trilogy, the story continues exactly as it left off before. Kennit's infected leg is soon amputated by Wintrow, saving his life. Either his infection also with Vivacia's personality, or some life triggers somehow turn Kennit's life around, and he becomes far more benevolent, warm, protective, even honourable. Wintrow in turn learns to admire him, as he strives to improve the lives of towns he is connected to, as well as continue to rescue slaves from their prisons inside slave ships.

Back at Bingtown, politics is boiling over with tensions created by the Satrap coming to a head, Malta is forced to grow up very quickly, with two suitors, and the knowledge that her own father and brother are probably captured by pirates. Althea organises to take over the Paragon, the mad ship of the title, to go in seach of them with Brashen, as well as Amber, her mysterious word-carving friend, who has formed a particularly close attachment to the ship.

And, in the middle of all this there are are the Rain Wild traders, who make the live ships out of the mysterious wizardwood, the dragon and buried kingdom they guard, and the huge, old, wise sea serpents, who seem connected to everything.

Needless to say the above only scratches the surface in this enormous, sprawling novel, which has an enormous amount of plot in it, with at least three parallel streams.

As last time, the novel ends almost in the middle of a scene, as if this is very much just the end of a chapter, rather than a suitable endpoint for a book. The whole trilogy may as well be seen as just a single incredibly long book (about as long as In Search of Lost Time!). It is enthralling and intricate, with so many unexpected twists and turns, and deep characters that change as time goes on. But it is also so so long! And I did wish at times, that however immersive it is to hear so many details of the politics of these interconnected towns and regions, this would have been heavily shortened to make the novel more punchy. Though having said this, as soon as I finished this novel, I started the next! ( )
  RachDan | Jan 27, 2019 |
Mad Ship is the second book in the Liveship Traders trilogy, which is the second subseries in Robin Hobb’s larger Realms of the Elderlings series. As with the previous books, this was a re-read for me, and I continue to enjoy the process of re-reading them very much. Especially the parts that are more meaningful when you know a bit more about what’s yet to come.

I did find this book a little bit slower than the first. This was mainly due to a storyline that sometimes felt tedious. I was much more interested in the other storylines. The less-interesting storyline seemed to take up less page time toward the end which helped. I’m going to give this 4.5 stars, same as I did with the first book, but this time I’m going to round down to 4 on Goodreads instead of rounding up like I did before.

The below spoiler tags contain spoilers for this book.
The less-interesting storyline for me was the one that focused on Kennit, Wintrow, Etta, and Vivacia. I just got a little tired of all the angst and misconceptions. This may have been exacerbated by the fact that I remembered a lot of this storyline from my last time reading this.

I enjoyed all the other storylines though, aside from tiny annoyances here and there, like Brashen and his cindin. A lot of answers were provided to the underlying plot with the serpents and the liveships. I had remembered bits and pieces of it, but I couldn’t quite remember how it all connected, so now that picture is much more clear in my head. The section where Wintrow helped free She Who Remembers was one of the few Wintrow sections that I did really enjoy.

Malta, who I thought was just completely annoying in the first book, became more interesting in this one. Throughout most of this book I still didn’t like her, but I was interested in her part of the story and her behavior was less annoying. Toward the end, she finally started to show some sign of growing maturity and the ability to take actions that would benefit others even at risk to herself. When she started making more intelligent decisions for the sake of her father, I still didn’t consider that to be a personality improvement. She was still acting selfishly because she wanted to rescue her father for her own sake so he could make everything better in her life. But when she went to the cocooned dragon and made a bargain with her partly for Reyn’s sake, that was when I started to give her a little respect. I also enjoyed seeing her compare the Satrap's behavior with her own past behavior. I don’t remember her storyline that well, so it will be interesting to see how she develops in the final book.
( )
2 vote YouKneeK | Oct 21, 2018 |
Het Dolende Schip s het vervolg op [b:Het Magische Schip|2933293|Het Magische Schip (De Boeken van de Levende Schepen, #1)|Robin Hobb|https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1204552056s/2933293.jpg|1476156]. Het levende schip 'Vivacia' van de Vestrit familie, is door de zelfbenoemde Koning der Piraten, Kennit, ingenomen.
Wanneer Althea ontdekt dat het schip dat ze had geërfd is veroverd, vertrekt ze met Bresser Trell en het levende schip Paragon om het terug te veroveren van de piraten.

Er lopen meerdere verhaallijnen tegelijk door dit boek, waardoor het soms even warrig om te lezen is. Er is de verhaallijn van Vivacia, Wintrow, Althea, haar zus en nicht, en nog meer.
Langzaam begin ik de haat die ik in het vorig deel had ten opzichte van het meisje Malta om te zetten in bewondering. ( )
  EdwinKort | Jul 4, 2018 |
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» Add other authors (7 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Robin Hobbprimary authorall editionscalculated
Howe, JohnCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Youll, StephenCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Below the serpents, the beds of weeds swayed gently in the changing tide.
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