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2016 - ARCHIVED > Ship of Magic - Chapters 16-20

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message 1: by Jenni (new)

Jenni (jennikreads) | 2 comments I am SUPER curious about Amber's part in this... especially after her conversation with the Paragon. Definitely find the two of them most interesting. Though I am definitely a fan of Althea. It seems like her character is definitely growing. Also I'm was just sitting there shaking my head over the part with her and Brashin. SIGH.

So far I think I like the two series equally... but we'll definitely see how I feel as it progresses!


message 2: by John (last edited Jul 09, 2016 07:24PM) (new)

John | 219 comments Jenni wrote: "I am SUPER curious about Amber's part in this... especially after her conversation with the Paragon. Definitely find the two of them most interesting. Though I am definitely a fan of Althea. It see..."

What I'd like to see more of in Althea are situations like her skinning experiences( which she accomplished without Brachen's help), but on board a ship in a sailor's or first mates capacities, where she can show she can succeed without having her late father or Brashen there to bail her out if she gets in trouble. Earlier in the book she was doing immature things like leave before her father was buried at sea, or run away from home. Maybe she is starting to grow up and take responsibility without supervision.


message 3: by John (new)

John | 219 comments I found myself rooting for Malta to get that green dress and go to the ball, mainly because it sends the message to the adults in her life that they aren't getting the job done!

The way that household works is that when Keffria was growing up, she was a model child, and Ronica didn't have much trouble with her; Althea, however, was headstrong and impulsive, and Ronica left much of her discipline up to the often absent Ephron, who spoiled her.

Keffria raised her children in what was Ronica's household, but was so deferential to the other adults (Kyle, Ephron and Ronica), that she has never properly asserted herself as a strong parent.

Generally speaking, children growing up often feel unsure of themselves and helpless, and are usually eager to respond to their parent's sense of right and wrong if consistently reinforced. Wintrow thrived at the monastery given a strong, thoroughgoing moral discipline to follow. Malta has not been instilled with much sense of right and wrong because of the lackluster parental discipline in her home (the strong-willed Kyle being often away at sea) ; and since she therefore can't respect the moral authority there, her insecurity will encourage her to choose the next best thing: power, or control over her personal circumstances.

Having that green dress made and going to the ball behind Keffria's back gives Malta a sense she controls her own destiny, and represents a challenge to Keffria to assert herself as a parent, if she dares, once the misdeed becomes known ( as it being a public event, Malta knows her actions will eventually get back to her mother). And if Keffria fails to discipline her effectively, Malta will count the whole affair as a victory over her mother, and become even more unmanageable.

By the way, why did Davad Restart take the action of seizing Malta out of the ball right when the River Wild Traders arrived? I suspect that he has some business scheme in the works to try and arrange a marriage or other arrangement between the Vestrits and a prominent Rain Wild Trader family, and doesn't want a scandal!


message 4: by Abner (last edited Jul 13, 2016 08:06PM) (new)

Abner | 90 comments Althea bragged that she could do any job on the ship, now she is disguised as a ship boy, and now she is just getting thrown around like a rag doll on the deck of the ship. She sucks at sailing, we didn't see her in action until this, and o man, she might love the Vivacia, but she ain't fit to sail her as a Captain, not even first mate!

Amber was an actress and played roles as both sexes and teacher to Althea how to act as a boy. So we are dealing with someone expert in disguise and someone who can be seen as androgynous, if she can play both sexes in a credible way.

Pretty graphic scenes with the hunting and skinning of the beasts, Hobb really lets her descriptions run wild with this one, at least it shows that Althea is maturing and growing even if she is 24 already shes showing progress in her skills. One of the sailors saw Verity's dragons on the coasts of the six duchies, I thought this was interesting reference of events.

So the Vivacia can "bond" with someone and show them visions or memories, this seems cool, I wonder what kind of magic they use for this, Skill? Wit? Sounds more like the mind linking from the Skill than anything else of course Vivacia has no idea what she's doing, nor everyone else for that matter.

That man and his bear, they must be Old Blood and scamming people haha, it took me a while to realize this, but I though it was a nice tidbit if yo read the Farseer trilogy, you know what's up.
Kennit is turning the ex-slaves into new pirates and the old pirates are getting mad at him, but his crew welcomed the competition and are willing to sail with him. Remember that he is cutting the profit of the salve traders and this is one other enemy that will come after him, somehow I see this to his benefit, but we will see how that happens. When they tried to kill him in the whore house I guess that they are starting to see him as a real threat. Hobb describes Etta as standing straight as a queen, I see this a a little foreshadowing, let's see what happens, I mean if Kennit wants to be king he will need a queen, so far the only woman he seems to tolerate is Etta so...

Althea was so good at the hunt that she got invited to join them but she refused saying that she wanted to remain a sailor, could it be that she is a better
hunter than a sailor and refuses to acknowledge this? She wants to be a sailor no matter what even if she sucks at it...

Althea and Brashen.... I shipped them since the chapters where she got drunk in town, but I think this was more effects of the cindin and her grieving!
Pretty descriptive dancing between she sheets haha they churned the butter, twice!

List of observations on amber (ever-growing):
1. She wants to guide Althea on her fate
2. Shes not from Bingtown
3. She is a master wood worker/carver
4. She has honey skin and golden eyes
5. Amber is not her real name, so we are dealing with someone who changed her identity.
6. Amber was an actress


message 5: by John (last edited Jul 12, 2016 08:24PM) (new)

John | 219 comments Abner wrote: "Althea bragged that she could do any job on the ship, now she is disguised as a ship boy, and now she is just getting thrown around like a rag doll on the deck of the ship. She sucks at sailing, we..."

Yeah, I think in her zeal to make her case against Kyle at the beginning of the book, Althea somewhat overstated her credentials as a sailor( although I think she has basic competency, the demands on crewmen on these slaughter ships in terms of physical rigor and long, dangerous hours is a step up from what she saw on a trader ship).

I got spoiled over the weekend on the Amber secret, so it will be interesting if it makes any difference in how I read into Amber's actions from now on.But if I hadn't been spoiled, I bet I would have read all the way through the trilogy without knowing.

Since we are only at winter after the summer in which the book starts, I have Althea at nineteen years old( Ch.3 Ronica is pregnant with her during the blood plague "nearly twenty years ago"; and there is another reference in Ch.2 that works out to her being eighteen going on nineteen). Brashen, though, is twenty-four at the beginning of Ch.2.

I didn't even think of the bear act as being Old Blood while I was reading it, but I think you're right!


message 6: by John (last edited Jul 14, 2016 12:44AM) (new)

John | 219 comments It's incredibly courageous for Wintrow to take responsibility for getting his infected finger amputated, but he exhibits some petty behaviors here as well( understandably, given the high stress of the situation).

He tries to make Kyle do the amputation himself because he wants Kyle to face the damage and ultimate mutilation that Wintrow will hold him accountable for in forcing Wintrow to serve on this ship. Then if Kyle refuses to do the operation, Wintrow wants to show Kyle up as a coward.

But surely any sea captain with no experience in surgical procedure would delegate the task to whatever designated seaman tends to do the medical patchwork on the ship; so Kyle rightly refuses to do the amputation himself( Kyle does too many despicable things to accuse him of unnecessary false claims as well).

Wintrow also uses this occasion to demonstrate to his crewmates that he is not the coward they took him to be at Claw Island with the bear incident, by showing his stoic mettle during the operation.

Afterwards, he feels some elation at his giving both Kyle and the crew their comeuppance, and basks in a certain prideful sense of superiority in accomplishing this. But I don't think Sa would approve ( or what Wintrow thinks Sa would not approve) of some of the more vindictive and vain motivations that got Wintrow through this admittedly, excruciatingly painful and traumatic ordeal. A period of regret and self-reproach may follow, as it often does with Wintrow.


message 7: by Abner (new)

Abner | 90 comments John wrote: "It's incredibly courageous for Kyle to take responsibly for getting his infected finger amputated, but he exhibits some petty behaviors here as well( understandably, given the high stress of the si..."

I really like how Wintrow managed this situation. But I'll like to add that the one who amputated his finger didn't know what to do exactly as Wintrow told him what to do every step of the way, which makes me feel Kyle could have done it, but he didn't because he was a coward or he couldn't stomach it or whatever reason, it made him look bad. Either way I think it's a win for Wintrow and a loss for Kyle.


message 8: by John (last edited Jul 13, 2016 09:10PM) (new)

John | 219 comments Abner wrote: "John wrote: "It's incredibly courageous for to take responsibly for getting his infected finger amputated, but he exhibits some petty behaviors here as well( understandably, given the high str..."

Whoops! I meant "It's incredibly courageous for WINTROW!!!" I just went back and changed it! Sorry for the confusion!!!


message 9: by John (last edited Jul 14, 2016 05:41AM) (new)

John | 219 comments My comment on Wintrow's finger in message 7 was supposed to start " It's incredibly courageous for Wintrow to take responsibility" and I have since changed it to reflect this.


message 10: by Michelle (new)

Michelle (topaz6) | 26 comments Wintrow's amputation was amazing! I loved how he played the situation, too! And good job, Althea, for managing the situation with the crimpers and getting back to the ship with Brashen in one piece!

I'll admit, I'm holding out for some romance between Althea and Amber, but I'm very intrigued as to who Amber is and what her past is like.

Malta doesn't seem to realize the implications of her stunt at the Harvest Ball, I'm just glad Davad got to her when he did and saved her reputation.


message 11: by Sarah (new)

Sarah | 52 comments I really liked the way the story developed in the last few chapters.
I think it's good that Althea now knows what she can and can't do, it made her a lot more likeable.
I just love Brashen. He is the first character in Robin Hobb's books that I truly and honestly adore. And I am definitely rooting for him and Althea.

Malta is worse than her father, she is going to be a problem for everyone.

I don't understand why it seems like every sailor is just incredibly stupid. I understand that the might not be the best at math but not fighting a bear seems like common sense and I imagine tp suvive out at sea you'd need a good measure of that. And even if they were drunk they should stop blaming Wintrow when the're sober again.


message 12: by John (new)

John | 219 comments Sarah wrote: "I really liked the way the story developed in the last few chapters.
I think it's good that Althea now knows what she can and can't do, it made her a lot more likeable.
I just love Brashen. He is ..."


Yea, Sarah! Brashen is one my favorite characters as well! You can see why Ephron originally intended him to replace himself as captain of the Vivacia( then got talked out of it by Ronica) I think eventually if Althea and he get together, he'll end up being her first mate( no pun intended!) with Althea captaining the Vivacia ( after a few more years to mature).

Raw intelligence may not be the key to common sense for a sailor, just not having a lot of bad character traits. Tendencies toward risk-taking behavior, adventure seeking, alcoholism, anti-social thinking and acting are probably higher in sailors(particularly in the type of historically derived fictional context we see here) than in the general population.

Most people with common sense might choose a different career path ( I'm not talking about modern sailors here), And as far as the ability of survive at sea goes, the attrition and body counts in this book speak for themselves( and who with common sense wouldn't avoid putting themselves in a position where they might have to battle giant acid-spewing sea serpents)!


message 13: by Amy (new)

Amy Welham Wintrow is the character that interests me the most so far. I didn't think much of him at first but he has developed a great deal over this last block of chapters.
I'm intrigued by Amber, I don't know what he thoughts are regarding Paragon and how she really fits in with everything yet. Tonics is also starting to grow on me, seeing how she handles the representative from the Rain wilds and all the responsibilities she has.

I don't know if I like this more than the farseer trilogy but I can saw that I am absolutely loving this book.


message 14: by Amy (new)

Amy Welham Ronica not Tonics (autocorrect).
The chapter with Wintrow standing up to his father and getting his finger amputated whilst connected with Vivacia was my favourite chapter so far. There was just so much development. The strength of the relationship between wintrow and Vivacia is also something I'm really interested in seeing develop further.


message 15: by John (new)

John | 219 comments Amy wrote: "Wintrow is the character that interests me the most so far. I didn't think much of him at first but he has developed a great deal over this last block of chapters.
I'm intrigued by Amber, I don't ..."


Ronica is Hobb's main character for dialogue and morality heavy chapters, which help counterbalance the more action laden passages. Given that she represents more of an austere persona, I wonder if it wouldn't have been better to call her character Veronica, because it appears they are using the shorter nickname for that instead, which makes it seem too informal than a mature adult's name.


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