To get the free app, enter your email address or mobile phone number.
Ship of Magic (The Liveship Traders, Book 1) Mass Market Paperback – February 2, 1999
|New from||Used from|
Top 20 lists in Books
View the top 20 best sellers of all time, the most reviewed books of all time and some of our editors' favorite picks. Learn more
Frequently Bought Together
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
Hobb has peopled the book with many wonderfully developed characters. Most of the primary ones are members of the Vestritts, an Old Trader family which owns the liveship Vivacia. Their stories are intercut with those of Kennit, the ambitious pirate Brashen, the disinherited scion of another family who served on the Vestritt's ship, and Paragon, an old liveship abandoned and believed mad. The sentient sea serpents have their own story hinted at, as well.
Though Ship of Magic is full of action, none of the plotlines get resolved in this book. Readers who resent being left with many questions and few answers after almost 700 pages should think twice before starting, or wait until the rest of the series is out so that their suspense won't be too prolonged. But Hobb's writing draws you in and makes you care desperately about what will happen next, the mark of a terrific storyteller. --Nona Vero --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Library Journal
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
More About the Author
Born in Oakland, California, she sampled life in Berkeley and then in suburban San Rafael before her family moved to Fairbanks, Alaska in the '60's. She graduated from Lathrop High School in Fairbanks in 1969, and went on to attend College at the University of Denver in Denver Colorado. In 1970, she married Fred Ogden and moved with him to his home town of Kodiak Alaska. After a brief stint in Hawaii, they moved to Washington State. They live in Tacoma, with brief stints down to a pocket farm in Roy, Washington, where they raise chickens, ducks, geese, vegetables and random children.
Robin began her writing career as Megan Lindholm. Her stories under that name were finalists for both the Nebula and Hugo awards. Both "Silver Lady and the Fortyish Man" and "A Touch of Lavender" were Asimov's Reader Award winners. Perhaps her best known novel as Megan Lindholm is Wizard of the Pigeons, an urban fantasy set in Seattle Washington.
When she began writing in a different slice of the fantasy genre, she adopted the pen name of Robin Hobb. Robin is best known as the author of the Farseer Trilogy (Assassin's Apprentice, Royal Assassin and Assassin's Quest.) Other works include The Liveship Traders Trilogy, the Tawny Man Trilogy, and the Soldier Son trilogy. The Rain Wilds Chronicles is a four part tale consisting of Dragon Keeper, Dragon Haven, City of Dragons and Blood of Dragons. A story collection, The Inheritance, showcases her work as both Robin Hobb and Megan Lindholm.
A short story, Words Like Coin, is available as an illustrated e-book from Subterranean Books. A Six Duchies novella, The Wilful Princess and the Piebald Prince, was also published by Subterranean Press.
In 2013, she announced that she would be returning to Buckkeep, and two of her favorite characters, Fitz and the Fool. The first volume of the new trilogy, The Fool's Assassin, is scheduled to be published in August 2014.
Top Customer Reviews
I've also read this author's 'Farseer Trilogy,' and once settled into one of her books, it is very hard to put down until the last page is read. I'm kicking myself because I didn't immediately order the two concluding books of this trilogy as soon as I started "Ship of Magic." If Patrick O'Brien had collaborated with Charles Dickens and written "Oliver Twist Goes to Sea in a Magical Ship," this book might have been the outcome.
All of the characters are minutely detailed and believable, even the would-be pirate king, who is a much nastier man than Gilbert and Sullivan would have him. He ends up performing glorious deeds by accident, and I wouldn't be surprised if his title turns out to be 'the Great Liberator' rather than 'King' by the end of this trilogy.
The man who does the most evil in this book is a merchant captain who believes that he alone knows the right course to steer, both for his liveship and his family. In fact, I wonder if "Billy Budd" was also an inspiration for "Ship of Magic." The relationships between the self-righteous captain, his unworldly son, and an evil Claggart-like second mate are almost pure Melville. The innocent boy is even accidentally responsible for the deaths of his shipmates, brought about when he tries to comfort a dying slave.Read more ›
There are several stories going on in this book: Althea's quest to regain her ship, Kennit's quest to become a king of pirates, Ronica's quest to keep her family together, the serpents' quest for who-knows-what, the mystery of Paragon, the political intrigue surrounding Bingtown and, most compelling of all, Wintrow's story. All of these narratives are interwoven into one big,compelling, un-put-downable, can't-wait-for-the-next-volume, story.
Although it would appear that Althea's is the main story, I found the saga of Wintrow and Wintrow himself the most involving aspect of this book. Ms. Hobb has created in Wintrow a likeable, tortured young man who undergoes a tempering that is wonderful and sometimes painful to watch.
I enjoyed how such unsypat! hetic characters as Kyle and Kennit were not created as simple cardboard villains, instead one is a man who truly thinks he is trying to do right for his family (no matter how obnoxious or wrongheaded he really is) and the other a man who is consumed by ambition and not a little bit of self hate.
I highly recommend this book and look forward to the rest of the series with great anticipation. I also plan to seek out Ms. Hobb's other series of books.
Hobb is not big on the action scenes, with few of her characters out for a brawl, but that matters little. The characters are the driving force of her novels, marvellously detailed and made completely believeable with their very human flaws and desires. Althea, the strongwilled young woman who walks away from the comfortable life she has known in order to win back her ship, Brashen, the essentially kind hearted sailor who seeks a better life, the mysterious carver Amber, Wintrow the young priest-in-training who is ripped away from his desired path, Kyle the ignorant and controlling captain of the Vivacia, and Vivacia herself. Hobb portrays the world around them with a wonderfully descriptive and vivid style...closing my eyes I can see the setting sun illuminating the lonely Paragon's profile, the coarse and seedy surroundings that are a sailors world, the sheer beauty and gracefulness of Vivacia...There are so many things happening within this world, and Hobb works the intricate subplots with the skill of a master weaver. 'Nuff said. If you like fantasy that is based on wonderfully real characters and compelling plot...go and get this novel. As for me, I can't wait to read the next volume of this series.
The characters are so well defined that you empathize with them and share all that they go through. This is even more amazing because although the story is told from the point of view of several characters, you are never lost nor do you struggle with the different viewpoint. You sink right into the reality of each individual, whether it is the strong and fierce heroine or the Satrap's (ruler's) courtesan who gambles her life on her political abilities in order to create a life of her own.
The world is brilliant, with a complex social system and political intrigue that is missing from most fantasy novels. The trials and the sacrifices that the Vestrit family endure in order to hold fast to their values and their way of life is to the point of heartbreaking. However, what they achieve through their perserverence is something that fills you with wonder and awe.
This book is a must read. I have given copies to all of my friends, and their reaction is the same as mine was after finishing each book, and the series: "wow."
Most Recent Customer Reviews
For such a long book, the beginning was really not that great. As we worked our way through character introductions, there was only one character that actually interested me, the... Read morePublished 13 days ago by BookWyrm
A very enjoyable read with fantastic world building and complex characters.Published 1 month ago by Pens up pens down
Ship of Magic is not just one of the best fantasy books I've read but one of the best fiction books I've ever read. I was reluctant to leave Fitz after finishing the first trilogy. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Dr. Wigglesworth
Robin Hobb is wonderful. I love all of her books. If you like fantasy novels give her a try.Published 3 months ago by R Camille L
As a big fan of the Farseer trilogy, I looked forward to reading Ship of Magic, the first volume of the Liveship Traders trilogy, especially since many claim that the Liveship... Read morePublished 4 months ago by SockPuppet
This is a very well written book. The world created is real enough to understand yet fantasy enough to be exciting.Published 4 months ago by Charles Chapman
Robin Hobb has definitely made it my list of favorite authors - love her. Ship of Magic took a little bit for me to get into, but once the story picked up, I couldn't put the book... Read morePublished 5 months ago by BellaGrace
It was a slow read at the start, but it gradually and steadily picked up the pace. A good beginning to this trilogy.Published 5 months ago by Adam