Mad Ship (The Liveship Traders, #2)
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Mad Ship (Liveship Traders #2)

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4.14 of 5 stars 4.14  ·  rating details  ·  17,505 ratings  ·  322 reviews
The second volume in this superb trilogy from the author of The Farseer trilogy continues the dramatic tale of piracy, serpents, love and magic.
Mass Market Paperback, 906 pages
Published 2008 by HarperVoyager (first published 1999)
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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...more
Hanne
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...more
Rob
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'...more
Mo
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...more
Jamie
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...more
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...more
Lisa
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...more
Andrew O
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.
Brittany
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
Catherine
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
Joshua Palmatier
I finished this book on my way back from Kansas City this past week. It's the second book in the Liveship Traders series by Robin Hobb, and yes, that means I'm woefully way behind in my Robin Hobb reading. But I'm making inroads.

This picks up the story from the first book, Ship of Magic, pretty much right after the ending of that book. Really, this isn't so much a trilogy as it is one long extended book, so I'll be doing a little bit of comparison between it and this one. First off, I felt that...more
Célia
Decorrido mais de um ano desde que li o primeiro volume desta trilogia, decidi aventurar-me no segundo. Optei por ouvi-lo em audiobook, pensando nas tarefas domésticas e nas caminhadas, mas depois de ter demorado quatro meses a terminá-lo cheguei à conclusão que o audiobook não foi a melhor opção. De facto, caminhei menos do que seria desejável e com um bebé não é fácil aproveitar as tarefas domésticas para ir lendo mais um pouco. E assim a leitura foi-se arrastando, arrastando... até que decidi...more
Caroline
Mad Ship, by Robin Hobb, continues the saga of the Vestrit family, impoverished merchants struggling to keep their heads above water. Their previous novel ended with them in a bad way. Their sentient “liveship,” Vivacia, had been stolen by the pirate Kennit, deriving the family of its livelihood and its future prospects and prosperity. Two family members remain aboard as hostages. A great deal of this novel is taken up with the preparations of the Vestrits to mount a rescue, which they do by ref...more
C
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...more
Maria M. Elmvang
I hadn't actually expected this, but I think I might like this series a teeny-tiny bit more than the Farseer trilogy. Mostly, I think, because I'm more interested about more characters in this one. In Farseer is was really only Fitz' story I cared about. Here I'm equally interested in Althea's, Malta's, Wintrow's and Kennit's.

I do think it's a good thing that I know what to expect of a Robin Hobb trilogy. This was very much a transitional novel, which would usually have bothered me, but because...more
Robin Wiley
Better than the first book! I really actually enjoyed this one.

Still following about 8 characters. Most of them I grew to like more than before. Malta, in particular, but she was so hatable in the first book she had nowhere to go but up.

More action, more political intrigue, and the liveship/serpent/dragon WTF cleared up considerably. I don't think it's going to blow anyone's mind, but it certainly gets more interesting.

We get to go up the river to the Rain Wild Forest and that's pretty cool. The...more
Richard Houchin
Captain Kennett is one of the most interesting ethical figures I've ever encountered in fiction. He embodies the consequentialist principle that intentions do not matter. Kennett's actions are motivated by the most self-serving, petty, revolting ambitions, but the consequences of his actions are almost universally saintly. If we did not have access to Kennett's inner monologue, we should think him a crusading superhero.

Great fantasy, this!
Katie
So many questions are finally getting (or getting close to) answered! And more information on mysteries left over from Farseer as well. This is becoming a tense read as I wait for everything that has been set up to come to a head. Also Hobb is very skilled at reeling me back in to feeling for characters that I thought myself without sympathy for. Oi!
Angus Mcfarlane
This was a forced march, as I recommended the series to my wife and had to finish this so she could continue reading the second uninterrupted. But it was hardly a drudge, and being holidays, made excellent company over the Christmas break alongside cricket and poolside relaxation. But why?

The plot is complex and while I guessed at a few twists, there were enough options available to ensure nothing was inevitable. The characters also intrigue: the irritatingly petulant but adaptable adolescent; t...more
Nathaniel Wells
With the beginning a little dry in this second novel, I was openly sceptical about where this one was headed. however, hobb's ability to build tension in the characters and then release it in a thrill ride of events that occur closer to the end of the novel left me in dazed wonder at her excellent writing. I never thought an author could redeem characters I hated from the beginning and yet hobb did it before the second book was over. possibly the best second book of a series I have ever had to p...more
Laura Fudge
I’m currently re-reading the Liveship trilogy, and after The Wilful Princess and the Piebald Prince this was top of my list to read next.

We follow on the story of the Vestrits, an old trader family in Bingtown, part of the Farseer world. As the original settlers to this part of the world they share secrets with the Rain Wilders, settlers who travelled further up the toxic river, to discover the secrets of the ancient Elderlings. One of the secrets is a magical wood like substance that liveships...more
Jennie
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jorge
La saga de los mercaderes de los barcos vivientes debe ser la historia de fantasía épica más original y fascinante desde El señor de los anillos. Sí, quizás esté exagerando, pero está claro que Robin Hobb es, cuando menos, la más digna sucesora de Tolkien, porque consigue dar un paso adelante en la fantasía épica, evitando un montón de tópicos que se habían vuelto cliché en el género como la rigidez moral, las batallas épicas, los hechiceros y los villanos con ansias de dominar el mundo.

Una de l...more
Julie
In this second installment of Hobb's "Liveship Traders" Trilogy we are returned to the Cursed Shores and learn even more about these mysterious Liveships. Althea and Brashen team up to form a dangerous plot to retrieve the Vestrit family Liveship that has been captured by the vicious pirate Captain Kennit. While they hatch their plans Wintrow, who has also been captured along with the Liveship is slowly slipping under the influence of the vivacious pirate as he too hatches his own scemes.

And whi...more
R. Michael Duttera
As I've read, and more depth has been added, I've been enjoying this series more and more. Sometimes I feel like the characters have been morphing from what they seemed to be personality-wise at the beginning till now at the end of the 2nd book, especially the pirate Kennit who now seems almost cuddly/father-like compared to the completely amoral rascal he was in the 1st book- I guess women and kid (surrogate Wintrow) perhaps do that, even to pirates. But I'm also suspecting the whole persona ch...more
Nicole Fergusson
Finished!

I will say, that some of this book was like reading through the middle books of A Song of Ice and Fire. You know that stunted period that the second book in a fantasy trilogy often sees? In Lord of the Rings, it's lots of hobbits walking places. In The Mad Ship, it's lots of people sailing places.

Don't get me wrong, there were some really amazing plot reveals. I had come into this series knowing that this worked as a backstory for the dragons that appear in Robin's Apprentice series. A...more
Tanabrus
Il titolo del libro, La nave pazza, si riferisce ovviamente alla liveship Paragon. Che però non è il protagonista del libro, e anche volendo dedicare i titoli della trilogia alle navi reputo più corretto, come ha fatto la Fanucci, dividere l’attenzione tra la pazzia di Paragon -la nave cieca che in passato ha perso misteriosamente i suoi equipaggi, lasciata alla deriva su una spiaggia dai suoi proprietari e dalla sua famiglia- e il fato della Vivacia, la nave dei Vestrit, catturata dal pirata Ke...more
Paul
Feb 17, 2012 Paul rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition Recommends it for: people who enjoyed the Farseer books
Bumped down to 4 stars after reading Book 3, reasons at bottom in spoiler block.

I thought this book was amazing, on first read. I liked the first book all right, but didn't love it; after finishing it, I decided this series was a step down from the Farseer (assassin) books. Then this book changed my outlook on the series: I thought it was amazing after this book. But then after the third book I realized I was right before: this one's not as good as farseer.

It would be hard to say much without ge...more
JonSnow
This book was good. Some people are complaining because, "It's too longgggg", or "There are too many points of viewwww"... or "There's too much politics"... These are all the things that make the book good. A decent Epic Fantasy novel should empasize the world and the characters in it. That includes politics, how the world runs. All this world building and shaping takes a fair quantity of pages. Really, the books may be long, but they aren't so long that they're a headache to read. One could eas...more
Tina
Aug 11, 2010 Tina rated it 5 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2010
ooh, what a book!

What a book!

I ate the book, ate it all. At one point I read 200pg a day..I read until I could read no more and then I found myself wishing I had an audio version so I could continue the story without having to use my eyes.
I started on the book a bit slow, dreading the 906pg long book. And expecting the slow pace in Ship of Magic. I couldn't be more wrong. The story was so exciting; full of action, blood and sacrifice.
My reasons for giving it 4 stars, started dripping away. The...more
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25307
** 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...
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)

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“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.

~Amber”
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