The magic and mayhem continue in this thrilling second instalment of Hobb’s new series.
The Vivacia is now under new ownership, but the struggle for power between her two ‘captains’ is postponed while they both recover from near-fatal injuries. Kennit lies on the verge of death, secreted away belowdecks in his cabin. Will Wintrow succeed in performing the life-threatening amputation on Kennit’s leg? Both Wintrow and Kennit know that their lives hang in the balance: if Wintrow fails, Kennit will surely die and the young priest faces certain death at the hands of the formidable Etta. Meanwhile Wintrow’s relationship with his ailing father can only go from bad to worse.
Althea has found a new home aboard the liveship Ophelia, in whom she has found a dependable friend. Together will they manage to reclaim Althea’s rightful position aboard Vivacia?
The Vestrit family who remain at home continue to fight to keep their family from bankruptcy; Malta finds herself unwillingly embroiled with the Khuprus family – but it is surely a situation she will turn to her advantage…
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High heroic fantasy has rarely paid enough attention to ships and sailors, the lifeblood, after all, of trade and survival in a non-technological world. In her Liveship Traders series, Robin Hobb more than makes up for this with a sequence in which economic survival is the principal objective of the merchant family, the Vestrits, who provide most of her viewpoint characters. The Mad Ship takes up their adventures where Ship of Magic left off, with young would-be priest Wintrow the captive of the pirate Kennit and bonded to the living figurehead of the family ship Vivacia; and his sister Malta caught up in the affairs of the changeling traders of the Rain Wild. Their aunt Althea, who feels she should have had command of Vivacia, is off having adventures as a sailor, and the mysterious Amber is trying to heal and repair the shattered mad hulk Paragon, who killed his crew and lies abandoned in the sand dunes. All this and war and conspiracy too--Hobb gives us a rich portrait of a world and a family in turmoil and raises some interesting questions about what it is to be used and make use of. -- Roz KaveneyReview:
Praise for Robin Hobb’s:
Ship of Magic
‘Promises to be a truly extraordinary saga… the characterizations are consistently superb, and [Hobb] animates everything with love for and knowledge of the sea. If Patrick O’Brian were to turn to writing high fantasy, he might produce something like this.’
‘A wonderful book, written by a writer at the height of her abilities’
J V JONES
‘A gleaming debut’
‘Hobb continues to revitalize a genre that often seems all too generic, making it new in ways that range from the subtle to the deeply shocking…’
‘Assassin’s Quest achieves a bittersweet, powerful complexity rare in fantasy’
‘An enthralling conclusion to this superb trilogy, displaying an exceptional combination of originality, magic, adventure, character, and drama’
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