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Mad Ship (The Liveship Traders, Book 2) by…

Mad Ship (The Liveship Traders, Book 2) (original 1999; edition 2000)

by Robin Hobb

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
3,909452,053 (4.15)1 / 108
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)
Title:Mad Ship (The Liveship Traders, Book 2)
Authors:Robin Hobb
Info:Spectra (2000), Mass Market Paperback, 864 pages
Collections:Your library

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The Mad Ship by Robin Hobb (1999)



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English (41)  Dutch (2)  French (1)  All languages (44)
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100 points, 5 STARS!

"Everything in my life that I was sure I would do someday has always been snatched away when it was almost within my reach. Perhaps it will again."
The Mad Ship... Where to even start with this review? I'm not certain. So much happens in The Mad Ship. Without reading Ship of Magic, you would be able to follow along, but you wouldn't have the context. You wouldn't know how things are so absolutely brilliant. So many things happen, yet nothing is solved. And nothing will be the same as it was in the beginning by the end of the series.

If I couldn't say with certainty that the best thing Robin Hobb does is her characters, I would say it is her worldbuilding. The Realm of the Elderlings is absolutely unreal. At the start of the Farseer trilogy and Liveship Traders we knew nothing about the Elderlings. And because we knew nothing, I instantly wanted to know everything. The Mad Ship is the start to us learning more about them. Like, holy fucking shit the revelations in this book are unreal and I honestly hurt inside trying to contain my amazement.

The Liveships are without a doubt the most unique thing I have ever read in fantasy. I have never seen their like. I haven't even seen anything close to the Liveships before. The revelations about them throughout the book, the hints that we have seen since the start. I'm absolutely amazed at the brilliance of the writing of the Liveships.

Liveships are people, too. They are as much characters in this series as everyone else. I talked about Althea and Malta, my beloved Wintrow, and Kennit and motherfucking Kyle in the previous review. But the ships are amazing characters. Vivacia is a young, impressionable girl. She is desperate for validation. And Kennit is trying to turn her into a pirate ship, because Kennit is a fucking asshole. Kennit is charming her as a man charms a woman, and I hate him. Also, what is he doing to my poor Wintrow?!

Then there is Paragon, the Mad Ship. Beached for years, bitter as hell. Paragon has killed his family again and again before returning home. Yet, what is the real story? What happened? Why can't he remember what he did? Paragon is quite mad, in fact. He throws tantrums. He wants to be accepted but he fears it as much as he wants it. He is a scared little boy, just trying to die. And Liveships don't die easy. Yet Althea and Brashen, with help from Amber, convince him to go after Vivacia and rescue her from the pirates. I love Paragon.

Oh, and Amber. Amber isn't a new character. And I love her to pieces. And boy was I in for a shock when I put some very elaborate pieces together about Amber. I'm still shocked.

Robin Hobb just knows how to write. I almost kind of hate myself for not reading her sooner. I don't understand how anything can be so damn good. I'm about to start the third and final Liveship Traders book, and I'm scared, and I'm hopeful, but I just have to get to the end. ( )
  keikii | Jan 23, 2020 |
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 | Oct 18, 2019 |
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 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Robin Hobbprimary authorall editionscalculated
Howe, JohnCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Youll, StephenCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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