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Robin Hobb, author of the Farseer trilogy, has returned to that world for a new series. Ship of Magic is a sea tale, reminiscent of Moby Dick and Patrick O'Brian's Aubrey/Maturin series in its details of shipboard life. It is also a fantasy adventure with sea serpents, pirates, and all sorts of magic. The liveships have distinct personalities and partner with specific people, somewhat like Anne McCaffrey's Brain ships and their Brawns, though these are trading ships and have full crews.
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 the Hardcover edition.
The untimely death of Old Trader Ephron Vestrit deprives his daughter Althea of her inheritance and places her ambitious brother-in-law Kyle in command of the live ship Viveca and the family fortunes. The author of the Farseer trilogy (Assassin's Apprentice, LJ 3/15/95; Royal Assassin, Bantam, 1996; Assassin's Quest, Bantam, 1997) launches a new series set in a world of sentient ships, merchant traders, ruthless pirates, dangerous treasures, seagoing dragons, and a mysterious elder race. Hobb excels in depicting complex characters; even her villains command respect, if not sympathy, for their actions. Most libraries should purchase this exotic, nonstandard fantasy.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
This book was the least satisfying I have read in a long, long time. It disappointed me in just about every way: the characters were dull and static, the plot - although often... Read morePublished on Dec 3 2010 by Hannah Sherlock
Excellent work of fantasy. Exciting and engaging. A must read. Just put it down and wow!
**A book I would also recommend is The Unsuspecting Mage by Brian S. Pratt. Read more
Never have I been as frustrated with a book, which I suppose is a testament to its quality. If it sucked, I couldn't care less what happened next, right? Read morePublished on June 20 2004 by Michael J. Vuolo
It is a little difficult to come up with something original in the Fantasy genre, I think, at the moment. Most of the themes have been done over and over. Read morePublished on June 11 2004 by Doc
If you like your characters to have depth, reasons for what they do and to be like real people, no one's pure evil and no one's pure good, then these are for you. Read morePublished on May 20 2004
I was reading another fantasy novel that just had to be put down! I then picked up this novel, after having recently read her excellent 'Assassin' series. Read morePublished on April 24 2004 by Daffydd
Sea serpents, pirates, sailing ships that are alive, a feisty female heroine who is bereft of her rightful inheritance by a cold, calculating brother-in-law, a young priest torn... Read morePublished on March 8 2004 by Anna Stanford