The Mad Ship

The Mad Ship

Book - 1999
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This second volume in "The Liveship Traders" trilogy returns readers to the timeless city of Bingtown, where pirates plague the coasts. Althea Vestrit doesn't have time to be afraid, for her family's newly awakened Liveship has been seized by the ruthless pirate Kennit. She hatches a bold plan, but to carry it out, she must recruit a Liveship that already has slain two crews and is said to be insane.
Publisher: New York : Bantam Books, 1999.
ISBN: 9780553103335
0553103334
Characteristics: 647 pages : maps ; 25 cm.

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mellis5
Apr 20, 2020

For a sequel to be this much better than the first entry is one thing, but when the first entry was the marvelous Ship of Magic, you've got something very special. Mad Ship continues to dazzle as Hobb raises the stakes for her hauntingly empathetic characters. Her treatment of the POV characters is incisive and psychoanalytical, and her ability to have you rooting for a teenage brat you once despised or recoiling in horror at a gentleman pirate you once cheered is nothing short of masterful. Organic plotting and well-earned character development tie everything together, as every stunning happening and shocking twist feels like it was meant to be.

Like the Farseer Trilogy before it, the Liveship Traders trilogy trots out a couple of genre staples that ought to rightfully make any fantasy fan wary of schlock, but worry not: Hobb's take on a very popular mythical creature is unlike anything I've seen in the uncountable number of stories I've seen them in. The level of creativity at play in this trilogy is astounding, frankly. What's more, Hobb's prose is so impeccable that it's hard to understand her accomplishment until you tear yourself away from her books and trudge through your mass-market fantasy fare. She knows she has a good story to tell and she relates it without trying to overawe you with florid descriptions or blockbuster action sequences.

In all, a fantastic read, and if the conclusion is anywhere near as good, the Liveship Traders trilogy ought to rank as an all-time great of the genre.

k
kimimagination
Oct 11, 2009

The second book is just as interesting as the first!

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kimimagination
Oct 11, 2009

"An odd spark of amusement lit his eyes,"

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