Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Mad Ship (Liveship Traders, #2)” as Want to Read:
Mad Ship (Liveship Traders, #2)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Mad Ship (Liveship Traders #2)

4.16 of 5 stars 4.16  ·  rating details  ·  23,181 ratings  ·  449 reviews
In Ship of Magic, the breathtaking first volume in her new fantasy trilogy, Robin Hobb wrote of the Liveship Traders of Bingtown. Now a new tide of glory and terror sweeps forward the story of the proud Vestrit clan, their priceless liveship Vivacia, and all who strive to possess her.
"If Patrick O'Brian were to turn to writing fantasy, he might produce something like this,
Hardcover, 647 pages
Published April 6th 1999 by Spectra (first published 1999)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Mad Ship, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Mad Ship

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Another 5 stars for a book by Robin Hobb.

Shocker I know!

The Mad Ship is the sequel to Ship of Magic. The Vestrit family liveship, Vivacia has been taken by the self proclaimed pirate King, Kennit. When Althea discovers that the ship that she should have inherited has been captured, she sets out with Brashen Trell and the Paragon, a ship who has lost 2 crews previously and been beached ever since.

There are so many story lines running through this book I'm not sure how Robin Hobb keeps them strai
If I could give this 10 stars, I would. I love everything about this book. The writing is superb. The characters are vibrant. The world is fully realized. I've fallen head over heels in love with this story.

Mad Ship picks up shortly after the events of Ship of Magic. I adored Ship of Magic so jumping into Mad Ship was like curling up in a warm blanket. It felt so good to be back in this world. I missed Althea, Brashen, Wintrow, Ronica, Amber, and yes, even Malta and Kennit.

Robin Hobb's writing i
David Sven
Excellent character development, evenly paced plot, interesting world building and some jaw dropping revelations. As a storyteller, Robin Hobb really knows how to engage the reader and make them care deeply for her characters.

This book continues straight on from the previous without missing a beat. Its the second book of a unified trilogy so in that regard it does suffer a little from being the middle book in that it doesn't have the same novelty as the first nor the resolution of the last. Havi
Let’s rescue the poor bugs!
That seems to be a recurring theme in this book with the identity of those ‘bugs’ varying immensely. There are plenty of people and other creatues at the edge of their existence, or just at the edge of life as they knew it.

Second books in trilogies are always a bit weird. They don’t have the big rush to the finish the last book has, but neither do they have the excitement of a new world. Once in a while there is an exception though, and this is one of them: this book b
...that problematic moment you realize that your 5 star rating doesn't even begin to cover it.
Executive Summary: I really enjoyed this book. I rated book 1 in this trilogy as a 4 as well, but on a scale of 10 book 1 would be an 8 and this would be a 9. There was a lot of setup in the first book that wasn't necessary in this one so the over-reaching story really started to pick up steam.

Full Review

This book does suffer a bit from "middle book syndrome", but not that much for me to mind. The ending of the book seems reasonable for a book boundary, but would leave me frustrated if I didn
This review is really for the whole trilogy, which I read back-to-back, and so think of as one longer story than three individual books.

So-so at best. In the Farseer and Tawny Man trilogies, Hobb had created not only a great, realistic world, but a fantastic narrator in the protagonist. In this new series, she went from first person to third, which I have no problem with, but also shifted from having just on point of view, to having far, far, far too many! There were AT LEAST SEVEN different reg
A very good second book in a wonderfully inventive series. I've read Ship of Magic and this one in one go, so I find it hard to review them separately. Hence, a copy of my review for 'Ship of Magic' also applies to Mad Ship:

I've read this series before, but after watching some movies with ships in them I suddenly felt the need to read books about ships. These came to mind, so I picked them up again.

The first time I read them, I was a bit disappointed because they are quite different from the Far
The continuing adventures of the pirate who would be a king; the girl who would be a ship's captain; the ship's boy who would be a priest; the wicked spoiled daughter who is forced to grow up; the sea serpents and magical living ships with provocative memories of incredible former lives.

I am most intrigued by the pirate's story. He's a ruthless, cold-hearted bastard but for reasons of ambition he spends this book doing good works. He frees slaves, helps people re-build their lives after disaster
Andrew Obrigewitsch
Hobb's stories a a little on the slow side, but her character development is quite good. In fact she has some of the best characters you will encounter in fantasy. As I've said before, the more I read her books the more I like them. Too bad the Tawny Man is not available in Audio format, a real shame, as I finish this I want more, and that is the next series in the sequence.
This is the second book in the Liveship Traders trilogy and the story is really starting to come together now. There are so many different threads running at the same time and so many established characters but somehow it all seems to make perfect sense, things don't get overly complicated or perhaps it's because this is my third time of reading the series. There are little nuggets of information (essential for future books!) hidden away in the Liveship series and I really believe it's essential ...more
What a terrific book! I was spellbound the entire time. From the characters to the settings to the drama, it was all amazing. There was not once that I found myself bored and not once did I want the adventure to end.

What I really loved was that the book didn't have to rely on action scenes to drive it forward like in some other books I've read. In fact, there were but a handful of fight scenes through out the entire book. What really drove the book was the character development. Like in the Far
Barbara ★
I must say that I'm liking these huge books more and more. I love getting to know in depth all these characters and anticipating how they will react to certain circumstances (usually I'm wrong). I find myself cringing when bad things happen and cheering when they prevail. To me that is the mark of an excellent book, and author. A book that keeps you reading 6-7-800 pages at a clip and keeps bringing you back for the next monstrous installment, yup that says it all!

I love the intertwined plots. F
Brilliant, for all of the reasons why I loved the first so much, and then some.

Captain Kennit finally has his hands on a liveship, and though Wintrow has his doubts Vivacia is both thrilled and enamoured with her new captain, while at home Althea embarks on a rescue mission on our other favourite liveship, and Malta is forced to grow up.

As engrossing, compelling and emotional as its predecessor (including one part where I nearly threw the book across the room), this entry also gives us more of
This trilogy is getting better and better, even though it's been incredible ever since the start. I love that we got to see Amber more in this book. Such an amazing character! And I love that Malta is finally starting to grow up and mature. Althea is even more badass in this book and Brashen is also getting better. Robin Hobb can really write complex characters with flaws who are still very lovable. Can't wait to read the third and last book.
Towards the end of the previous book I was completely hooked, and when I started this one the story just kept getting better. The characters got more interesting, and even the ones I hated eventually grew on me.
It's astonishing how the world keeps expanding in this book, and we now realize how little the Six Duchies' people knew about this land, its history and its magic. I find it fascinating that as we learn more about the Elderlings, we realize how wrongly some of the characters have interpre
Malta's character arc on fleek. (Jokes aside, this is definitely her book and Hobb indulges less in the confusing—but becoming ever more clear—serpent sections.)
Kat  Hooper
This review refers to the whole Liveship Traders Trilogy:

I would never have picked up Liveship Traders if I hadn’t already read been a Robin Hobb fan. The thought of sentient ships just didn’t appeal to me. However, I really enjoyed this series for the same reason as I like her other works. Some of the characters overlap, also, which is nice. I had become attached to the characters in The Farseer Saga and Tawny Man Trilogy, so it was nice to see them again!

Read more Robin Hobb book reviews at
Tom Whalley
Middlebookitis is a pretty serious disease that can strike a lot of novelists. It's insidious; at first, everything seems fine. Book one sets up an amazing stack of story possibilities. The short term and long term story seeds are sowed far and wide; come the end of the first book, resolutions are happening, longer term seeds are sprouting, and narrative promises are being kept and broken at the most dramatic. Everything is good, until book two, when everything stays the same, or worse, is entir ...more
This series just gets better and better. It is so addictive and wonderfully written. I am drained - the lives of this book have followed me in waking and in sleep., I feel that I may too be drowning in memories. Off for a short easy read break to give my mind a break, but cannot wait to delve into the third book. Frigging awesome!
I feel odd rating this 3 stars, considering most of the reviews here are 4 and 5 stars, but it's how I felt to be honest.

Mad Ship refers to Paragon, the stranded liveship on the shores of Bingtown. Amber, the wood jeweler, feels compassion for him and wants to help him be restored to his former self. Amber takes on a much larger role in the story than she has previously. The Vestrit family decide to take a change on Paragon and use him to rescue Vivacia.

Up until the end of the book, it's busin
Ninguna historia se sostiene si no tiene unos personajes dignos de seguir, lo suficientemente parecidos a lo que vemos a nuestro alrededor en la realidad como para que los creamos reales. Y estos que ha creado Robin Hobb son uno de los mejores que he leído nunca.
Being the second book in the series, The Mad Ship does not contain as many surprises as the first one but it still manages to hold its own against so many fantasy books out there.

Continuing from the first book, we follow the lives of Althea, Kennit and Wintrow. Hobb reveals more about the world of liveships, their secrets and origins. With delightful twists the book manages to hold the attention of the reader for the most part.

The characters have evolved in the second book, exploring their own
Full Review:

As much as I love all of the Fitz books, I have to admit, this series feels more ‘epic’. I love love the world building in this in a way I never quite did with her other books. Not that I missed it in them, I actually quite liked the world in the other books, but in these, it seems to be more front and center and it is just something unexpected.

And the number of strong female characters is applaudable! I love that their is such an array of “st
James 'Eagle'
A fantastic middle section of what is an increasingly impressive trilogy. Robin Hobb writes to a mature audience in a world filled to the brim with believable, complex, and vivid characters. The stakes get substantially higher as war brims, sea serpents seek their identities, and dragons haunt dreams with a vengeance.

This is the first time I've rated a Hobb five stars. People who know me might think that rather surprising after the amount of times I have raved about the brilliance of this autho
Matt Schraeder
The Ship of Magic was a great book, but this was far better. It felt like it told more of a full story, and the various plots seemed more cohesive and came together much better than in the first book. It's not often I like a second book in a series more than I like the first/last. The character growth throughout the book was amazing. I thought I knew the characters after the first book, but now it feels like the first book was just the introduction and that this really showed who they are.

That w
I'll start out by saying that the second book in the Liveship Traders trilogy was very well-written. Hobb's story-telling ability has very few equals - Goodkind and Martin are really the only two epic authors that come to mind when I think of ways to explain Hobb's ability to weave stories in and out of overarching plot lines so elegantly. This series, as said before, is reminiscent of ASoIaF mainly due to the fact that there are multiple POVs from the various characters. A main difference, agai ...more
Quite a bit better than the first book. The plot is more solid, without the many draggy sections of the first. Hobb also takes advantage of the characters she has so carefully built up. Similarly, the world she has constructed has benefitted from the slow but steady expansion. Perspective characters from outside of Bingtown were a welcome addition. Some of the plot twists were predictable, but even they were often well-written enough that I didn't mind. One of Hobb's strengths, I think, is in he ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
  • The Windsingers (Windsingers, #2)
  • Hidden Warrior (The Tamír Triad, #2)
  • The Fire Dragon (Deverry, #11; Dragon Mage, #3)
  • Restoration (Rai-Kirah, #3)
  • Watcher of the Dead (Sword of Shadows, #4)
  • Child of Flame (Crown of Stars, #4)
  • The Way Between the Worlds (The View from the Mirror, #4)
  • Legacy of Kings (The Magister Trilogy, #3)
  • A Betrayal in Winter (Long Price Quartet, #2)
** I am shocked to find that some people think a 2 star 'I liked it' rating is a bad rating. What? I liked it. I LIKED it! That means I read the whole thing, to the last page, in spite of my life raining comets on me. It's a good book that survives the reading process with me. If a book is so-so, it ends up under the bed somewhere, or maybe under a stinky judo bag in the back of the van. So a 2 st ...more
More about Robin Hobb...

Other Books in the Series

Liveship Traders (3 books)
  • Ship of Magic (Liveship Traders, #1)
  • Ship of Destiny (Liveship Traders, #3)
Assassin's Apprentice (Farseer Trilogy, #1) Royal Assassin (Farseer Trilogy, #2) Assassin's Quest (Farseer Trilogy, #3) Fool's Errand (Tawny Man, #1) Fool's Fate (Tawny Man, #3)

Share This Book

“Everyone thinks that courage is about facing death without flinching. But almost anyone can do that. Almost anyone can hold their breath and not scream for as long as it takes to die.

True courage is about facing life without flinching. I don't mean the times when the right path is hard, but glorious at the end. I'm talking about enduring the boredom, the messiness, and the inconvenience of doing what is right.

“Tomorrow owes you the sum of your yesterdays. No more than that. And no less.” 79 likes
More quotes…