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

4.17 of 5 stars 4.17  ·  rating details  ·  24,627 ratings  ·  489 reviews
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 inheritanc ...more
ebook, 720 pages
Published December 30th 2003 by Spectra (first published 1999)
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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
Honestly, this is one of the best books I have ever read and certainly will be one of the top books of this year so far for me. I am so happy that after disliking the final Farseer book I continued on with Hobb's work because this book has sealed her as a fabulous and key writer in the Fantasy genre for me. She's a fantastic writer, and I think that the progression between the first trilogy and this one is utterly incredible in the difference.

This is once more the continuation of the Vestrit Fa
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
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
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
It's ridiculous that as a sedate middle-aged woman I find myself in the role of a twirling and fluttering fangirl, yet, here I am, ensorcelled by Robin Hobb's imagination to the point of wanting to shout out my adoration in forms that belong to readers far younger than I am -- gifs, OMGs and WTFs, and 'I just can't', and lots emoticons. If I believed it would make anyone read these books -- assuming I ever figured out how to find and insert a gif into a review -- I would do it. Just pretend they ...more
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 is the second book in the Liveship Trillogy and is even better than the first, which was really good. This could be one of my favorite Robin Hobb books. I can’t go too much into the plot but I will say that one of things which stood out to me while reading this book was how centered around the women it was. There are both prominent male and female characters however to me this book feels very female lead and I really enjoyed that because even though most of the fantasy books I enjoy do have ...more
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
When you read a 900-page book like The Mad Ship, writing a review like this seems so inadequate in capturing the essence of the book. If you love rich high fantasy novels, I highly suggest adding Robin Hobb's books to your to-be-read pile. It may be daunting because they're so long, but they are well worth it.

The Mad Ship is the second book in the Liveship Traders Trilogy. It's a direct continuation of the first book, Ship of Magic, and it provides us with answers to questions we were left with
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
Alexis Hall
I've kind of said everything about this series in my comments on the first book.

Even more than the Assassin's Blah series these have blurred for me, which is partially a consequence of the multiple-character viewpoint thingy that GRRM also uses so effectively in GoT.

It just feels like reading one inordinately long book.

On the other hand, I do know I was, at this point, thoroughly hooked.

I just can't remember exactly why.

Only that my love for pirates and dragons and Hobb's writing swept me throu
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
Review from
Video review:

Plot – 5(Very Strong)

Characters – 5(Very Strong)

World Building – 5(Very Strong)

Writing Style – 5(Very Strong)

Heart & Mind Aspect – 5(Very Strong)

25/25 Possible Score

Well it was bound to happen eventually, the first perfectly scored book here on Common Touch of Fantasy, since I implemented the individual categories into the review.

You should read Mad Ship and The Liveship Trader series if you want characters
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
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
Rebecka (is hilarious, shut up)
This is probably, according to me at least, as close to perfection you can get.

The complexity, characters and plot-twists in this book was simply amazing. I especially love how characters I hated in the first book *cough* Malta *cough* became my favorites in this one and vice versa.

Dear fantasy authors: I hereby challenge you to write a better book than this one.

It's on.
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
Another brilliant Robin Hobb book.

The plot in this book continues fluently from the Ship of Magic. As in the previous book, the plot is captivating and paced well.

One of the most wonderful things about Robin Hobb's writing is how real and believable her characters are. Her characters keep growing, changing, making mistakes and overcoming incredible obstacles that life throws at them. None of the characters ever feels flat or half finished. Even the villains are completely believable and have dee
Mad Ship takes off from where the first book ended, expanding and deepening the multitude of plotlines and characters. The epic subplot that stayed under the surface finally explodes into limelight, and events spin out of control more and more, culminating in a rip-roaring finale that left me scrambling for the next book. Many small things seeded earlier in the story become pieces of a larger puzzle, and they now begin to hazily fit in place.

That's not to say it's perfect though. The pacing is
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** 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)

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