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The Mad Ship

(The Liveship Traders #2)

4.20  ·  Rating details ·  55,656 ratings  ·  1,716 reviews
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 away, Althea Vestrit has found a new home aboard the lives ...more
Mass Market Paperback, 906 pages
Published February 4th 2008 by Harper Voyager (first published March 1999)
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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 s…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)
Katalin Illés If you want to continue with the series, you should go back to the Farseer Trilogy. The third series (Tawny Man) has the same protagonist as the Farse…moreIf you want to continue with the series, you should go back to the Farseer Trilogy. The third series (Tawny Man) has the same protagonist as the Farseer books. The Tawny Man would be probably enjoyable without reading the prequels, but you'd miss out on the backstory.(less)
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Average rating 4.20  · 
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 ·  55,656 ratings  ·  1,716 reviews

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Muhtasin Oyshik
The Mad Ship (Liveship Traders,#2 Realm of the Elderlings,#3) by Robin Hobb
loved the writing style and the story. Book 2 in this series reinforced the idea for me that Hobb has no qualms with really putting her characters through some hardships. It seems like every time I think that things are really going to have to turn around, she manages to squeeze a little more pain into their lives.
Open your eyes. This horrible mess is your life. There is no sense in waiting for it to get better. Stop p
Feb 15, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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. Le
Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin
I’m really loving this trilogy!!

Mel 🖤🐶🐺🐾
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
Ashleigh (a frolic through fiction)
While I enjoyed the first one, I didn’t overly adore it and was a tad hesitant going into this one. But this ended up being the book that ensured Hobb’s title as “favourite author” for me, because the level of intricacies and complexity to this book just blew my mind. Seeing the varied plot lines weave together had me in awe, but even more so the character development. Hobb made me change my mind completely about half the cast, before I even realised it had happened because it was just so natura ...more
Jan 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy
This series has drawn me in. These books came along at a perfect time in my life. I have had a chunk of downtime from work, and I have become totally immersed in these characters and this world. I am surprised I didn’t discover this author long ago, but I am also glad. They say everything happens for a reason and maybe it’s true. The timing of my running across this series and the way it worked together with my life has been an amazing experience.

This author’s ability to create living and brea
Sean Barrs
Jan 22, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 4-star-reads, fantasy
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
Jun 22, 2015 rated it it was amazing
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 Fa
Mar 01, 2014 rated it it was amazing
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
James Tivendale
Oct 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
Review to follow soon. Amber = awesome
Jun 26, 2019 rated it really liked it
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:-)
Jun 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Nov 24, 2015 rated it it was amazing
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
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 e

Jun 08, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2020-read
An excellent continuation to a gloriously imaginative story.

Honestly, Hobb is amazingly creative and her character development for me ranks up with my all time favourite at characterization, Juliet Marillier. In the last book, Ship of Magic, I was left feeling slightly physically ill every time Malta made an appearance on the page. It's almost unbelievable to me that in The Mad Ship, Hobb managed a believable growth and shift in Malta, so that by the end I was left feeling like she might be a re
Mar 11, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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. :( ...more
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 rea ...more
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.
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. Havi
Amy | littledevonnook
Jun 09, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
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). ...more
Jennifer (Insert Lit Pun)
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.
It was comforting to return to the work of Robin Hobb, a writer whose work has moved and enchanted me in the first four books of her sprawling Realm of the Elderlings saga. It has also been difficult to concentrate on reading this book with any real sense of rhythm in these last tumultuous and stressful and disruptive weeks. But I’m very glad I was able to make my way through this lengthy middle entry in The Liveship Traders trilogy, even though I didn’t find it quite as emotionally rich or even ...more
Nov 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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!
Mark Harrison
Jan 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
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.
Robin Hobb knows how to keep a reader hooked, how to move a plot along at a frisky pace, and how to make you care about even her most unpleasant characters. She pushes her creations well past where they are comfortable and lets them expand to fill her expectations of them. Don't let anyone tell you that only George R.R. Martin can effectively use multiple points of view on all sides of the many conflicts, big and small—Hobb is every bit as skillful, if somewhat less murderous.

If you're like me,
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
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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

Other books in the series

The Liveship Traders (3 books)
  • Ship of Magic (Liveship Traders, #1)
  • Ship of Destiny (Liveship Traders, #3)

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