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The Mad Ship (Liveship Traders, #2)
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2016 - ARCHIVED > The Mad Ship -Chapter 5-10

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Sarah | 52 comments I just love how this world is expanding.

I want to know more about Serilla. I think she could play a vital role in the plot of this book. I also think tje concept of a companion of the heart is so interesting and I want to know more about it.

Wintrow's chapters are the ones I read the fastest. I think he will learn a lot from Kennit and the other way around. I also like Etta a lot more now.

After Paragon's and Ambers converstion I am pretty sure that the dragons in this book won't be the Elderlings and at the same time I think they might be connected, Reyn talked about the Elder folk a lot after all.

Malta and Davad must be the most horrible characters ever I just can't find anything good about them. And I don't understand why Ronica let's Davad do as he pleases. I understand that sve doesn't want to cut him loose and I probably wouldn't as well but that doesn't mean that she has to allow him to ruin her and her family's life.


message 2: by John (last edited Jul 27, 2016 10:41AM) (new)

John | 219 comments Sarah wrote: "I just love how this world is expanding.

I want to know more about Serilla. I think she could play a vital role in the plot of this book. I also think tje concept of a companion of the heart is so..."


I couldn't agree with you more, Sarah! Malta and Davad are just dreadful!

Perhaps in the fullness of time Malta might inculcate some of Ronica and Keffria's values( particularly the less she is exposed to her father); she is after all only thirteen years old. Developmental psychologists have not found a strong correlation to how an adolescent's bad behavior will predict how they will act when they are adults( but at the pace this trilogy is proceeding, Malta isn't likely to reach her majority before it concludes, so we may never see her as an adult).

Davad, however, is just a lost cause! He is supposed to be a ridiculously comic buffoon you might see in Dickens or Austin, but he lacks the endearingly human qualities that make those characters forgivable.

He is clearly acting against Ronica's and Bingtown's best interests by supporting the New Trader demands, and his moral indifference to slavery shows how totally venal he is at heart. Ronica's devotion to honor and loyalty is being taken advantage of here, and Davad seriously needs to be checked and perhaps expelled from their company.


Abner | 90 comments Man, the more I read the more I suspect Davad and Rache, it may be nothing but I think they will be key in the story and the downfall of the old trader families (or at least this is his goal, to destroy everyone that has turned their back to him after his tragedy), as we get revealed that he is working with the people that are trying to buy the Paragon which are Chalcedean, he may seem oblivious but I think he does this on purpose he is playing the long game.

Somehow I get vibes that Kennit and Wintrow are catching feelings for each other? There's a weird tension between them in those scenes, whether it comes from them or the connection they have to Vivacia I can't figure it out but I think something may be going on here.

I'm also disappointed that at this point we don't really know many trader families and which ship each one has, for example we only know Ophelia which is the liveship of the Tenira family, we know Paragon (out of comission) which is the liveship of the Ludluck family, we don't know the liveship who belongs to the Trell family, nor the Restart family, which the only remaining member is Davad so he did they ever had a ship? (maybe I missed this), I would have liked to see more defined and explained families and their liveships, and what their relationships with their ships are like.


message 4: by John (new)

John | 219 comments The Ophelia being effectively pirated by a Chalcedean war galley flying the Jamaillian Satrap's colors just goes to show how complicated the politics of the Cursed Shores are.

Originally, the early Traders, by chartered agreement with the Satrapy in Jamaillia, were allowed to settle in the Rain Wild river area and around Bingtown Bay, in exchange for a substantial take of the proceeds generated by the trade and resources of the region. The Rain Wild Traders provided the magical goods that the Bingtown Traders would ship to destinations largely to the south. The Jamaillian navy was to protect them from the Chalcid States up north, who wanted to take over this trade and expand slavery into the region under the Chalcedean flag.

Slavery was prohibited in Jamaillia and the Bingtown region for moral reasons but also that Bingtown could act as a bulwark against Chalcedean ambitions and keep the slave trade out of the inner channel and southward( which, as we have seen, attracts both pirate activity and sea serpents).

What has exacerbated the political situation for Bingtown is the incredibly inane and short-sighted policies of the new Satrap. He has embraced slavery in Jamaillia as a quick source of revenue to fund his decadently wasteful regime, and furthermore ignored the Old Trader's agreement provisions and allowed New Traders to encroach on Bingtown by expanding the slave trade and instituting some degree of de facto slave labor in Bingtown. This at least indirectly aligns New Trader interests with the pro-slavery Chalcedeans and leaves the Old Traders with effectively no ally.

The Satrap, in a cost cutting move, has made this situation worse by using the Chalcedean navy instead of his own in the north, ostensibly to patrol for pirates; in effect, he's letting the cat guard the canary, because it is only a matter of time before the Chalcid States will take advantage of the Satrap's stupidity and annex Bingtown.


message 5: by John (last edited Jul 29, 2016 11:01AM) (new)

John | 219 comments When Ronica and Keffria agreed to allow Reyn to start courting Malta, they did so with the understanding that there be no gifts to tempt or unduly sway the girl; but the over the top flowers and wine extravaganza the Khuprus's ended up bringing to the chaperoned affair clearly defeats the spirit of that agreement. Malta for her part realizes a major play for her favors when she sees one, and milks it for all it's worth, acting the part of the flattered queen.

The courtship is meant to mimic a real world historical context from the Middle Ages or Victorian period involving arranged marriages, with the one novel modern element being that Ronica has insisted that she won't force Malta to marry anyone if she doesn't want to. The problem with this though, is that Ronica has permitted the courtship even though Reyn is an adult of twenty and Malta is still a child of thirteen.

The modern idea of not treating women as second-class citizens requires that girls not be exposed to marital arrangements that exploit their youthful immaturity, nor favor a patriarchal set-up where a child-bride is bonded to a much older male before a girl is old enough to know her own mind; putting her at great disadvantage in terms of parity within the relationship.

What Ronica should also insist upon for Malta's sake is postponing the courtship until Malta is much nearer adulthood. After all, her mother, Keffria, didn't marry until after she turned seventeen, so that serves as family precedent; Jani Khuprus would have to respect that.

P.S. Once again, Davad Restart has insinuated himself into another situation where he doesn't belong, trying to ingratiate himself with Rain Wild Traders that he used to blame for exporting the Blood Plague to Bingtown and killing his family. If there is financial opportunity involved, nothing else matters to him. She should have sent him home straightaway, but Ronica is loyal to a fault!


message 6: by [deleted user] (last edited Aug 01, 2016 07:29PM) (new)

Did anyone else find the exchange between Etta and Wintrow in Chp. 8 to be pretty profound? I thought Hobb was making some excellent philosophical points here about how one approaches life.

It was also not lost on me that Hobb chose to use a whore to make these observations that were so grounded in common sense and survival instinct. I thought it made a great statement about how easy it is to follow religious precepts when cloistered away from the horrors of the world, but how one's faith must adapt and mature when facing the challenges of the REAL world.

I think Etta's statements about accepting that a part of one's life is over so that you can begin to embrace the life you now have was so poignant. How many of us are stuck obsessing over an old job, significant other, friendship, or even time period? We wish heartily to re-create that feeling and so we stay in the past. But what are we missing in the now by chasing a ghost?

I have enjoyed reading the Liveship Trader books so much because, besides the superb characters, world building, and magic system, I have found so many messages that resonate with me.


message 7: by John (last edited Aug 02, 2016 07:05PM) (new)

John | 219 comments FrankieReads wrote: "Did anyone else find the exchange between Etta and Wintrow in Chp. 8 to be pretty profound? I thought Hobb was making some excellent philosophical points here about how one approaches life.

It wa..."


It resonates with me too, Frankie! I do wonder how much a fourteen-year old can really fathom the depths of it all until they've lived a few more years. It really takes an adult perspective to fully appreciate what's being said here.


message 8: by John (new)

John | 219 comments You know, Wintrow was awfully quick to take the life advice from Etta to heart given the fact that she had been murderously antagonistic toward him up to this point( especially worrisome given that she has recently mutilated and tortured captured crew members from a slaver; and in front of Wintrow, came pretty close to deboning Sa'Adar alive over that missing medicine chest ), and in fact would have surely cut Wintrow's throat (per Kennit's advance directive) if Kennit had failed to survive his leg surgery.

Part of that has to be the intense relief and gratitude he must have felt to realize that they weren't going to kill him now. But also I think we may be seeing a glimpse into his vulnerable side. Before, he dug in his heels tenaciously into his core values revolving around the teachings of Sa, which gave him protection against Kyle's physical and psychological abuse, and Kyle never broke him.

As young and impressionable as he is though, his softer side may give ground to people who would treat him with kindness and respect( like Etta does with good intentions here); but possibly also to someone who would use kindness as a weapon, and manipulate Wintrow into becoming a tool for nefarious ends. That someone could be Kennit!


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