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

The Mad Ship

(The Liveship Traders #2)

by
4.23  ·  Rating details ·  44,699 ratings  ·  1,348 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.

The Vestrit family’s liveship, Vivacia, has been taken by the pirate king, Kennit. Held captive on board, Wintrow Vestrit finds himself competing with Kennit for Vivacia’s love as the ship slowly acquires her own bloodlust.

Leagues
...more
Paperback, 906 pages
Published September 10th 2015 by Harper Voyager (first published March 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 The Mad Ship, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Jeff Just finished the Second book and it is better but only the last half of it. If the third book is as good as the end of the second it may redeem the…moreJust finished the Second book and it is better but only the last half of it. If the third book is as good as the end of the second it may redeem the series for me.(less)
Sarah Some would say otherwise, but yes, I would say that this trilogy is indispensable to be able to continue the Realm of the Elderlings. The first half…moreSome would say otherwise, but yes, I would say that this trilogy is indispensable to be able to continue the Realm of the Elderlings. The first half of almost all of Hobb's series are character-driven rather than action-driven. However, if you can stick through it, the Ship of Destiny (#3) was by far my favorite of that trilogy, and probably contains the most "action," if that's what you're looking for. Overall, Fitz's story is so much richer with this base knowledge, and if you really hate it this much, are you sure you will like Hobb's other books?(less)

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.23  · 
Rating details
 ·  44,699 ratings  ·  1,348 reviews


More filters
 | 
Sort order
Start your review of The Mad Ship (Liveship Traders, #2)
Petrik
Feb 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
A wonderful sequel filled with spectacular characters’ development but unfortunately, it had a few pacing issues.

Plot-wise, I honestly don’t have a lot of things to say about The Mad Ship. Same as the first book and pretty much all Hobb’s books that I’ve read so far, character developments and relationships took the utmost priority here. There is nothing wrong with it, in fact, I loved it most often than not. However, there are a few pacing issues with this book that made me deduct my rating.
...more
Em Lost In Books
The Mad Ship picked up right where Ship of Magic ended so I didn't have to wait much before I found myself between the action. And by action I didn't mean the pirate battles or some wars but the planning and plotting to win a LivShip's heart.

Hobb did a wonderful job with every story arc that she gave us in first book but here I will talk about my favorite ones i.e. Malta, Kennit, and Paragon.

Malta was the character I hate to love but she changed herself so much here that it was hard for almost
...more
Sean Barrs the Bookdragon
I’m really starting to like Captain Kennit; he’s such a rogue in a most fortuitous situation. He now has control of the ship Vivacia. Who would have though it? He just seemed to be full of false confidence with a heightened sense of unjustified arrogance. But, it turns out, he is actually quite skilful. He reminds me a little of Jack Sparrow in his deceptive uselessness. And now he finds himself competing with his young protégée, Wintrow, for the love and esteem of the vessel. What did you just ...more
Deborah Obida
Oct 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: adult, fantasy
Look forward, not back. Correct your course and go on. You can’t undo yesterday’s journey.

Even though almost nothing happened plotwise, I love it. This book focused mainly on character development and world building. I really love the way things are progressing for the characters even though not all are positive, I love that the characters just refused to give up.

You cannot simply discard parts of yourself because they are painful. Acknowledge them and go on.

The writing is awesome, Robin
...more
Kaitlin
Jun 22, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: my-sff-faves
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
...more
Kaora
Mar 01, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
...more
James Tivendale
Oct 27, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Review to follow soon. Amber = awesome
Choko
Jun 26, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, dragons
*** 4.44 ***

An amazing story, beautiful prose, complex characters, but I feel there could have been about a quarter edited out... At least. Sometimes I miss the brevity of the writing in the forties and fifties... I know the more detail the better chance for the reader to connect with the character, but sometimes less is more. Nevertheless, I am looking forward to reading the next book in the series:-)
ijeoma Agbaje
Jul 27, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition


I've put off writing this review for a while just cos it seemed almost impossible to write something coherent and basically befitting for the 2nd book of this marvellous series.
While i don't have many negative views on this book because awesome... i did feel it was long winded at times especially when it came to the serpents (Like i'm so eager to know what happened but lawd have mercy can we speed it up with all the secrecy?) or when someone was thinking about something, like a long ass never

...more
Kylie
Jun 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Goodness gracious, this is one of the best books that I’ve ever read in my life. I kept walking around my house last night repeating, “And THAT is how you freaking write a book.” Absolutely fantastic.
Emma
Nov 24, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wonderful. I actually enjoyed this even more than the first in the series. Robin Hobb weaves such a tale..I am completely caught up in the characters and the world she has created. I love the way her characters grow and develop over time.

Re read. April 2019. LOVED it! Amazing, the turn about in Malta through this book and how Wintrow is equally involved in the destiny of the serpents. I really felt for Paragon as he begins to remember who he really is. I was hardly breathing when the wizardwood
...more
Olivia
Mar 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
I enjoyed the second book in the Liveship Traders series, though the pacing was less satisfying than in Ship of Magic.

I very much enjoyed watching Malta's character unfold, and asked myself several times if I'll ever stop wanting to strangle her. Hobb created amazing characters for this trilogy and they all have a lot of depth and especially the villains are three dimensional and definitely the heroes of their own stories. None of the antagonists are doing anything just so for the sake of being
...more
Shelby M. (Read and Find Out)
Phenomenal. One of the best books I've read this year. I'm dying to start Ship of Destiny but I know I can't yet. :(
Natalie Monroe
Malta has the best character development I’ve seen since Sansa Stark. What a queen. We stan girls making mistakes, learning from them, and growing as a person because we’re not born into this world as perfect intelligent, open-minded, feminist warriors.
Victoria Rose
906 pages of pure joy.
David Sven
Apr 27, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
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.
...more
Veronica
Jul 04, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
This definitely felt like the middle book in a trilogy. With the exception of Malta, there wasn't really much character development to speak of. It pretty much felt like they were all just treading water, waiting for their cues in the final book to finally spring into action. While the author definitely has some writing skill and is able to create some layered and interesting characters, delving into the minutia of their every thought does not equate to character development. I don't need to ...more
Amy | shoutame
Jun 09, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: adult
This is the second book in the Liveship Trader's trilogy and I thought it was brilliant!

As I read more of Robin Hobb's work I am slowly falling more and more in love. This trilogy follows many characters and spans not only land but the ocean as well. We primarily follow a young lady called Althea as she attempts to save her families liveship (a liveship is a ship that has a living figurehead). Not only do we sail the sea with Althea, we also hear of pirates, dragons and magical tree-top cities.
...more
Katie Ziegler (Life Between Words)
Oh my goodness, SO GOOD. Despite taking me almost a full two months to read, I still found this book absolutely compelling. Plotted so well. Characters so, so strong - Robin Hobb's bread and butter is of course her characters. This series continues to blow Farseer out of the water (and I liked Farseer, but recognize its many weaknesses).
Lema
Nov 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites, fantasy
Wait what that’s it? Ah ok.. well, amazing..plot..character development, interactions and relationships growth.. feelings...more feelings.. heart-stopping events...motives that messes with your mind... Is he good? Is he bad?.. intrigue...ahh the feelings.. BADASSERY, did I get everything? Probably not even close.
There you go, you just have to create full sentences with these words and you’ll get the picture. Now excuse me while I run to start Ship of Destiny!
Jennifer
Sep 23, 2017 rated it really liked it
4.5 stars. Can’t get over how much I care about these characters, and how intricate and fascinating the politics of this world are. Hobb was the enemy of her own momentum towards the end, dragging scenes out that should’ve been breathtaking. But still, this series continues to be everything I want in fantasy, and more.
Mark Harrison
Jan 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Superb middle book of an amazing series. Excellent development of some of the major characters, particularly Malta from bitch to fave, sea battles, romance, political intrigue, revelations about where the River Wild Traders obtain wizardwood, betrayal and some sad losses. A brilliant series - right up there with the best I have read.
Emily
This is the most original take on dragons that I've ever read in fantasy, and I LOVE it. Apparently all it takes is 800 pages of setup for Hobb to get into her stride. All of the setup that she did in the first book pays off here, especially since the characters are coming together and there are fewer narrative threads to follow. I'm really glad I stuck with this series, because it's really original and full of interesting, nuanced female characters. The one exception to that rule is Amber, who ...more
Ron
Nov 07, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of Fantasy
Robin Hobb is an author that I savor. Her writing style is engaging. Her imagination is big-time. The quality of her stories is always consistent (most have said The Soldier’s Son Trilogy has been her weakest series to date – I’d probably agree, but to date I have only read the first of it). So far, The Liveship Trader’s series has wowed me.

Mad ship picks up where Ship of Magic had left off. The stories of Althea, Brashen, Wintrow, Malta, etc. continue forward towards a point that we can’t yet
...more
Scott  Hitchcock
Mar 18, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: epic-fantasy
Book 1: 4.5*
Book 2: 4.5*

As good if not a little better than book one simply because you're that much more involved in the characters and story. Also to reiterate from my book one review this series smokes Farseer where I hated Fitz. The characters are so much more robust and layered.

Looking forward book three to see how it all turns out.
Abbie | ab_reads
Feb 02, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4.5 stars, still epic, I just thought it has some second-book pacing issues! Hobb’s character development is literal magic though.
Claudia
Apr 26, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, z-to-a-hobb
The adventures of the Vestrits, the liveships and Kennit continue. The Rain Wild Traders came into focus and the mystery behind the sea snakes’ quest and liveships is revealed. And what a mystery! The characters’ personalities shift: some became more bold, some more likable, some more despiteful but they all grow one way or the other. The ending is apotheotic and I’m left dreaming of all the wonders :)
Gabi
Jun 27, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I guess these were the quickest 900 pages I ever read (well … listened to).

The second part of the Liveship trilogy was very much to my liking. The story gathered pace, the single plotlines from the first part were merged, everything felt well rounded. This is how I prefer a novel. Hobb's writing style was easily to follow and made for an enjoyable day with my earphones constantly on.


On to the concluding chapter of the Liveships.
Shari (colourmeread)
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
...more
C
Feb 09, 2010 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: for-fun
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
...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Holy Sister (Book of the Ancestor, #3)
  • A Little Hatred (The Age of Madness, #1)
  • The Burning White (Lightbringer #5)
  • Before They Are Hanged (The First Law, #2)
  • Grey Sister (Book of the Ancestor, #2)
  • Skyward (Skyward, #1)
  • The Blinding Knife (Lightbringer, #2)
  • Oathbringer (The Stormlight Archive, #3)
  • The Republic of Thieves (Gentleman Bastard, #3)
  • The Broken Eye (Lightbringer, #3)
  • A Fantasy Medley (Otherworld Stories, #9.2; Crown of Stars, #7.5; Realms of the Elderlings)
  • The Blood Mirror (Lightbringer, #4)
  • Spinning Silver
  • The Lies of Locke Lamora (Gentleman Bastard, #1)
  • Last Argument of Kings (The First Law, #3)
  • The Well of Ascension (Mistborn, #2)
  • Red Seas Under Red Skies (Gentleman Bastard, #2)
  • The Blade Itself (The First Law, #1)
See similar books…
77,138 followers
** 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 ...more

Other books in the series

The Liveship Traders (3 books)
  • Ship of Magic (Liveship Traders, #1)
  • Ship of Destiny (Liveship Traders, #3)
“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.”
311 likes
“Tomorrow owes you the sum of your yesterdays. No more than that. And no less.” 175 likes
More quotes…