Ship of Destiny (The Liveship Traders, Book 3): 3/3

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9780006498872: Ship of Destiny (The Liveship Traders, Book 3): 3/3

The triumphant conclusion to the magnificent Liveship Traders series.

The dragon, Tintaglia, has been released from her wizardwood coffin, only to find that the glories of her kingdom have passed into ancient memory.

Meanwhile, Malta Vestrit navigates the acid flow of the Rain Wild River in a decomposing boat, accompanied by the Satrap Cosgo and his Companion Kekki. Against hope, a ship appears in the alien waters, but does it mean rescue, or a further nightmare, for Malta?

In ruined Bingtown, the citizens are at war, against the Chalcedean mercenaries besieging the harbour, and also among themselves. If the city is to survive, Ronica Vestrit must unite all its peoples – both Trader and Tattooed – and liberate the city once and for all; but Companion Serilla has a different agenda, and is seeking to establish her own power base.

Althea and Brashen are finally at sea together, sailing the liveship Paragon into pirate waters in a last-ditch effort to rescue the Vestrit family liveship, Vivacia, stolen by the Pirate king, Kennit; but there is mutiny brewing in their rag-tag crew; and in the mind of the mad ship itself…

Wintrow has liberated She Who Remembers and she can at last fulfil her ancient purpose, but in doing so he has been terribly injured. If Wintrow dies, Kennit fears that Vivacia will lose her fragile sanity: a loss that will also threaten his dreams of power and glory. So he strikes a deal with the ship. And soon the waters around the Vivacia are seething with giant serpents, following the liveship as it sails to its destiny.

Majestic and sweeping, Ship of Destiny concludes the tale of the Vestrit family and their part in the history of The Liveship Traders with a soaring and triumphant finale to this unique series of epic fantasy.

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Review:

Robin Hobb's books combine heroic adventures by land and sea with a passionate urgency about the morality which underlies her character's deeds. Ship of Destiny, the third in The Liveship Traders trilogy, involves us further with the efforts of the Vestrit family to reclaim the fortunes which war and piracy have cost them, raising interesting questions about the sources of even an attractive family's wealth. It is clear that the liveships Vivacia and Paragon were carved from husks which should have hatched dragons; that the attractive personalities of the figureheads are only pale shadows of the autonomous beings they might have been. Malta Vestrit has freed the last of the real dragons from an underground prison, and he is not especially grateful. The slave-liberating pirate Kennit, one of Hobb's richest creations, is ever more drawn to the darker side of his flawed nature in an attempt to hide from the secrets of his past.

This is one of the most satisfying heroic fantasies of recent years, simply because it is about difficult choices and complex emotions, while Hobb's tight plotting and fast-moving storytelling are fascinating in their own right.--Roz Kaveney

Review:

'Even better than the Assassin books. I didn't think that was possible'
George R R Martin

‘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.’
BOOKLIST

‘A wonderful book, by a writer at the height of her abilities’
J V Jones

'Hobb is a remarkable storyteller.'
Guardian.

'Hobb is one of the great modern fantasy writers… what makes her novels as addictive as morphine is not just their imaginative brilliance but the way her characters are compromised and manipulated by politics.'
The Times

Praise for Robin Hobb:

Assassin's Apprentice:
'A gleaming debut'
Publishers Weekly

Assassin's Quest:
'Assassin's Quest achieves a bittersweet, powerful complexity rare in fantasy'
Locus

'Robin Hobb writes achingly well'
SFX

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