Customer Reviews for

Ship of Magic (Liveship Traders Series #1)

Average Rating 4
( 122 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(60)

4 Star

(40)

3 Star

(14)

2 Star

(6)

1 Star

(2)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

What A Surprise...

To be honest, I was originally going to read straight from the Assassin's series to Tawny Man series but after researching, I discovered to fully understand Tawny, it was strongly recommended to read the Liveship series. One word. Amazing. I was stunned how the story en...
To be honest, I was originally going to read straight from the Assassin's series to Tawny Man series but after researching, I discovered to fully understand Tawny, it was strongly recommended to read the Liveship series. One word. Amazing. I was stunned how the story enraptured me with its layered plots and settings. It was also great to understand and feel familiar with the lands, considering it is part of the same lands from Assassin's trilogy. Strongly recommend yet realize the book is not an actual continuation of Assassin's but an individual story that complements the whole series from different aspects and timelines.

posted by Anonymous on June 30, 2008

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Most Helpful Critical Review

1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

Liveships were not the only wooden characters...

After the wonderful Farseer Trilogy - perhaps the best story in 2 decades, I was eager to read more books by Robin Hobb. Unfortunately, this book - and the 2nd - bordered on boilerplate. Even after investing the time to read the first two books - hoping for improvemen...
After the wonderful Farseer Trilogy - perhaps the best story in 2 decades, I was eager to read more books by Robin Hobb. Unfortunately, this book - and the 2nd - bordered on boilerplate. Even after investing the time to read the first two books - hoping for improvement - I wasn't inclined to read the 3rd - that's how bad they were. The author failed to convince me to care about any of the characters and their troubles were merely depressing. Better by far to skip this series and read the Tawny Man series instead. Barnes & Noble's recommendation must be considered suspect when the Annotation in the Overview clearly belongs to 'Assassin's Quest', not 'Ship of Magic'. Perhaps they will have corrected this by the time you read this review.

posted by Anonymous on August 5, 2008

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 30, 2008

    What A Surprise...

    To be honest, I was originally going to read straight from the Assassin's series to Tawny Man series but after researching, I discovered to fully understand Tawny, it was strongly recommended to read the Liveship series. One word. Amazing. I was stunned how the story enraptured me with its layered plots and settings. It was also great to understand and feel familiar with the lands, considering it is part of the same lands from Assassin's trilogy. Strongly recommend yet realize the book is not an actual continuation of Assassin's but an individual story that complements the whole series from different aspects and timelines.

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 24, 2000

    Exquisitly Imaginative

    Robin Hobb has a gift of transforming you into a completely different world. In Ship of Magic, Robin describes a world of magic and intrique, where an animal fights to find She-Who-Remembers and a family fights to recover after their world is shattered by a death. Wonderfully written. One hundred thumbs up. I recommend this book to anyone wishing to get away from this world. CAUTION: This book is addicting. I could not wait to get my hands on the second!

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 8, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Ship of Magic....it is just that...Magic

    I throughly enjoyed this book...I liked it much better than it's predecessors. This trilogy was well written, held my interest and couldn't wait to find out how it all ended. The characters were well defined and interesting. I most heartily reccommend this series. I had picked this series up because I couldn't find anything else.. I was tired of Robin Hobb after reading the first six books of this saga. She changed gears in the Liveship Traders, not tragedy after tragedy, bleakness or stubborn stupidity in her characters. She brought to life characters that are real, people you could actually relate to. So, well done Robin Hobb.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 23, 2011

    great series

    after having read the farseer trilogy and the tawny man trilogy, i was happy to start in on this one. i thoroughly enjoyed this series as well, it seemed to have a bit less of the dark emotionality of the other trilogies. I would say this series is more of a simple "fun read" than the other books were.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 27, 2000

    Excellent Reading

    This is an excellent book. Interesting, exciting and magical. Unique characters. I couldn't put it down until it was finished.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 16, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Don't normally read Fantasy books

    I'm not sure why I picked this book up except that I love the sea, ships and stories of Pirates. I normally read suspence novels and wasn't sure at all that I would like this. Well, I LOVED it. I have purchased the second book in the trilogy and can't wait to start it. This author really reels you in. I admit it took a few chapters before I got the swing of things, but after that I was enthralled. I love and admire Althea and hate her brother-n-law that practically stole the ship from her. Paragon -the ship is one of my favorite characters. The individual liveships have their own unique personalities and you start to see them as humans with feelings. I'm anxious to see what happens to Malta-Althea's niece as she is young and reckless for this day and time. The descriptions of the serpents are amazing and you can feel the fear of the sailors when one is spotted. Please give this book a try. I know you will get hooked as I did!

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 16, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Ships that are "alive"!

    A wonderful beginning to the second series of books by Robin Hobb both my husband and I are reading. The most unusual part is we are both reading them and find them fascinating. The writing and characterizations are very good in all of the books we have read in the Assassin Series and in these as well. Looking forward to reading more.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 5, 2008

    Liveships were not the only wooden characters...

    After the wonderful Farseer Trilogy - perhaps the best story in 2 decades, I was eager to read more books by Robin Hobb. Unfortunately, this book - and the 2nd - bordered on boilerplate. Even after investing the time to read the first two books - hoping for improvement - I wasn't inclined to read the 3rd - that's how bad they were. The author failed to convince me to care about any of the characters and their troubles were merely depressing. Better by far to skip this series and read the Tawny Man series instead. Barnes & Noble's recommendation must be considered suspect when the Annotation in the Overview clearly belongs to 'Assassin's Quest', not 'Ship of Magic'. Perhaps they will have corrected this by the time you read this review.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 30, 2005

    good

    most fantasy novels don't have ships as one of the important settings, so this was an interesting change. the characters are good, and develop well throughout the series.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 28, 2005

    Magical Story Filled with Adventure and Suspence

    This was an excellent book. I loved all the scenes on Vivacia, and all of the other ships. I love sailing myself, and felt a personal connection there. There was no part that I didn't enjoy. The story unfolded in many new layers and twists, but it was easy to follow. I read it in a short period of time, since I just couldn't put it down (I was on a very long plane ride). Definitly read this book as soon as possible!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 6, 2005

    entertaining

    While at first, this book is hard to get into, with all the new names, and the whole background story, however, it'll soon have you hooked. The emotions within this story are very well written, enough that you'd want to cry out for the injustices, or strangle the characters for their idiocy. If you're looking for a story full of witty sarcasm, emotion, and enchanting histories of living ships, this is an excellent book to try. -also, Robin Hobb does a good job at keeping her character's story straight, unlike so many authors out there that have hard times transitioning from one character to another.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 1, 2001

    Wonderful saga

    This was the first true 'couldn't put it down' book I've read in months. Of course, it took me a week to read even though I didn't want to put it down because it is LONG! Otherwise, the characters were three-dimensional and unique, the story was fascinating, and the action was often enough to keep you reading on into the night. I rolled right into Book 2 as soon as I finished this one. I already have Book 3 waiting for me too.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 14, 2000

    WOW!

    An absolutely brilliant book with great ideas and lots of characters interweaving. I've read all of Hobb's books, so there, I suppose I'm a fan!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 19, 2014

    I thoroughly enjoyed the Farseer series and looked forward to th

    I thoroughly enjoyed the Farseer series and looked forward to this. So far I've made it to page 91, and have encountered least half a dozen points of view and most of the pages are on characters I don't care about. I'm wondering if the book is ever going to make any progress. I might pick it up sometime in the future if I get really desparate, but for now, I'm done.

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  • Posted August 23, 2013

    Great read!

    I read the follow up series first and enjoyed them enough to want more from Robin Hobb, so I found this series. I would highly recommend these books to all fantasy/dragon story readers.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 3, 2013

    Ship of Magic Book 1

    It was hard getting into the first few chapters, but perseverance won out! After getting to know the characters and getting into the story, I couldn't put the book down. Can't wait for Books 2 & 3

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 8, 2013

    A great read!!

    Another thread to the Apprentice and Fool series. Enjoyable!

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  • Posted July 20, 2012

    Misery

    Painful. Written for masochists. If you are looking for a triumph of Good over Evil, look elsewhere. You won't find it in this book. The hapless characters stumble from one calamity to another, never learning from their mistakes, never heeding the advice of those wiser than themselves. Misery abounds. The ending is abrupt, with numerous loose ends untied.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 29, 2012

    Very Bored

    While I don't mind a lot of discriptions in books I usually expect the plot to move along fast enough to reach some sort of conclusion by the end. None of the plot lines were wrapped up by the end and I am not invested enough to read the next book.

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 15, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    An interesting read...

    Althea Vestrit has always considered herself heir to the family liveship, Vivacia. So when her father dies, awakening the ship at last, Althea is shocked at the string of family politics which rips her legacy from her, handing it to her unwilling nephew, Wintrow, instead. Of course, Wintrow is displeased with events as well since his family has taken him from the priesthood where he was happy and forced him to sail the ship with his father until it can be completely handed over to him. The newly awakened liveship, Vivacia, of course detects all this anguish and pain and must struggle to discover who she is through the division of desire without going insane. And on top of all of this, the rather unlovable pirate Kennit is trying to capture a liveship of his own to boost his plans of seizing control of the Pirate Isles.

    Pros:
    This book starts a bit slow, but once the Vivacia awakens, Althea's family members turn against each other with a viciousness that is both unsettling and exhilarating to read. Characters who seemed rather set in their courses must shift with the violent winds that now mark their path in order to salvage anything of what they once dreamed. Watching the pirate Kennit do his vile work while everyone around him ascribes more virtuous motives to his actions also begins to draw you in, waiting on somebody to finally figure out that this man is not anybody's friend (and his perceived kindness is more often the result of the manipulative awakened wooden charm at his wrist than any words of Kennit's).

    The worldbuilding is also quite fabulous-poisonous sea serpents trailing slave ships like dogs waiting for scraps, the mysterious and malformed Rain Wild Traders and their connections to the trade of objects that seem to have souls of their own, the original Bingtown Trader families and their struggle to hold on to the promises made generations ago. So much wonderful worldbuilding and politicking here.


    Cons:

    Unfortunately, this is the sort of trilogy in which the first book does not end with a feeling of any sort of completeness. So many threads are left hanging, that it is not possible to read this book alone and feel satisfied. This isn't a bad thing if you have the time to immediately read all three (and as a note, I have not read books 2 and 3, so I cannot speak for how well they complete their stories and the overarching story), but if you are looking for a book that you can occasionally just pick up and enjoy for itself, this is probably not going to work out in the end.

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