Ship of Destiny

( 86 )

Overview

Demonstrating world-building finesse, Robin Hobb begins the climatic story of a seafaring clan and its tangled destiny. Though expected to inherit her family's newly quickened liveship, Althea Vestrit loses the honor to her scheming brother-in-law, who plans to use it as a slave ship. The ruthless pirate Captain Kennit also sees a captured liveship as his key to success. Soon Althea is forced to fight both men to regain the animate, intelligent liveship, her family's most ...
See more details below
Available through our Marketplace sellers.
Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (12) from $9.24   
  • New (5) from $9.24   
  • Used (7) from $15.96   
Close
Sort by
Page 1 of 1
Showing All
Note: Marketplace items are not eligible for any BN.com coupons and promotions
$9.24
Seller since 2008

Feedback rating:

(4463)

Condition:

New — never opened or used in original packaging.

Like New — packaging may have been opened. A "Like New" item is suitable to give as a gift.

Very Good — may have minor signs of wear on packaging but item works perfectly and has no damage.

Good — item is in good condition but packaging may have signs of shelf wear/aging or torn packaging. All specific defects should be noted in the Comments section associated with each item.

Acceptable — item is in working order but may show signs of wear such as scratches or torn packaging. All specific defects should be noted in the Comments section associated with each item.

Used — An item that has been opened and may show signs of wear. All specific defects should be noted in the Comments section associated with each item.

Refurbished — A used item that has been renewed or updated and verified to be in proper working condition. Not necessarily completed by the original manufacturer.

New
New Book. Shipped from UK within 4 to 14 business days. Established seller since 2000.

Ships from: Horcott Rd, Fairford, United Kingdom

Usually ships in 1-2 business days

  • Standard, 48 States
  • Standard (AK, HI)
$15.96
Seller since 2008

Feedback rating:

(17554)

Condition: New
Brand New, Perfect Condition, Please allow 4-14 business days for delivery. 100% Money Back Guarantee, Over 1,000,000 customers served.

Ships from: Westminster, MD

Usually ships in 1-2 business days

  • Canadian
  • International
  • Standard, 48 States
  • Standard (AK, HI)
$20.10
Seller since 2014

Feedback rating:

(0)

Condition: New
2012 Paperback Brand new book. Fast shipping form our UK warehouse in eco-friendly packaging. Fast, efficient and friendly customer service. Please note that this item is being ... sent from United Kingdom, allow 4-14 days for delivery. All the orders are shipped same or next working day. Fast and friendly customer service. *****PLEASE NOTE: This item is shipping from an authorized seller in Europe. In the event that a return is necessary, you will be able to return your item within the US. To learn more about our European sellers and policies see the BookQuest FAQ section***** Read more Show Less

Ships from: Hemel Hempstead, United Kingdom

Usually ships in 1-2 business days

  • Canadian
  • International
  • Standard, 48 States
  • Standard (AK, HI)
  • Express, 48 States
  • Express (AK, HI)
$20.98
Seller since 2010

Feedback rating:

(1)

Condition: New
23/04/2012 Softcover New Book In Stock, All orders dispatched same day from our UK warehouse, book cover may vary. Trusted Bucks Retailer, Est 2000. Remember to check our ... Alibris Store. Happy reading: ) *****PLEASE NOTE: This item is shipping from an authorized seller in Europe. In the event that a return is necessary, you will be able to return your item within the US. To learn more about our European sellers and policies see the BookQuest FAQ section***** Read more Show Less

Ships from: Milton Keynes, United Kingdom

Usually ships in 1-2 business days

  • Canadian
  • International
  • Standard, 48 States
  • Standard (AK, HI)
$31.24
Seller since 2011

Feedback rating:

(7)

Condition: New
2012 Paperback New Book New and in stock. 23/04/2012. *****PLEASE NOTE: This item is shipping from an authorized seller in Europe. In the event that a return is necessary, you ... will be able to return your item within the US. To learn more about our European sellers and policies see the BookQuest FAQ section***** Read more Show Less

Ships from: Morden, United Kingdom

Usually ships in 1-2 business days

  • Canadian
  • International
  • Standard, 48 States
  • Standard (AK, HI)
Page 1 of 1
Showing All
Close
Sort by
Ship of Destiny (Liveship Traders Series #3)

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK
  • NOOK HD/HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK
  • NOOK Color
  • NOOK Tablet
  • Tablet/Phone
  • NOOK for Windows 8 Tablet
  • NOOK for iOS
  • NOOK for Android
  • NOOK Kids for iPad
  • PC/Mac
  • NOOK for Windows 8
  • NOOK for PC
  • NOOK for Mac
  • NOOK for Web

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (eBook)
$7.99
BN.com price
This digital version does not exactly match the physical book displayed here.

Overview

Demonstrating world-building finesse, Robin Hobb begins the climatic story of a seafaring clan and its tangled destiny. Though expected to inherit her family's newly quickened liveship, Althea Vestrit loses the honor to her scheming brother-in-law, who plans to use it as a slave ship. The ruthless pirate Captain Kennit also sees a captured liveship as his key to success. Soon Althea is forced to fight both men to regain the animate, intelligent liveship, her family's most treasured possession.
Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
One of the bright new faces in fantasy, Robin Hobb now provides the capstone of her epic Liveship series. At the onset, everything seems to be tumbling down: Bingtown has been torched; Althea and Brashen struggle to keep the Paragon under control; and Vivacia falls prey to a dark force within. One to watch.
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
One has to use a jeweler's loupe to find a flaw or a dull moment in this splendid conclusion to one of the finest fantasy sagas to bridge the millennium. True, there are moments in this third novel of the Liveship Traders Trilogy (Mad Ship; Ship of Magic) when things progress too easily--the folk of Bingtown, for example, seem to embrace diversity, equality and female empowerment too quickly to be believed. But otherwise, this book soars. Hobb weaves together multiple storylines: there's Althea Vestrit's quest for her family's liveship, Vivacia; the awakening of Paragon (the eponymous "ship of destiny"); the establishing of links between the liveships made of wizardwood and the sea serpents who, cocooned in wizardwood, mature into dragons; the appearance of the dragon Tintaglia; and the maturing of Malta Haven through rescuing the Satrap. Such a profusion of plotlines could have overwhelmed or slowed down the book, but Hobb handles them with such agility that the reader is likely to want not fewer but more stories. The most absorbing theme continues to revolve around Captain Kennit, his mistress, Etta (now carrying his child), and the conversion of Wintrow Haven into Kennit's heir as king of the Pirate Isles. (Kennit, perhaps the most interesting character in the trilogy, clearly was developed with a good deal of scholarship about the history of piracy.) This installment leaves nothing to be desired: the subplots advance in parallel; the nautical themes are handled splendidly; and the characters (including one of the more engaging and terrifying dragons in current fantasy) and world-building are of the very highest standard. Like its predecessors, this is a masterful achievement. Major ad/promo. (Aug.) Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.
VOYA
Hobb concludes her Liveship Traders trilogy with this epic work that follows Mad Ship (Bantam, 1999/VOYA December 1999) and Ship of Magic (Bantam, 1998/VOYA October 1998). It takes the entire novel for the various story lines to converge. Sea serpents struggle to follow their instincts to migrate somewhere, a mighty dragon will do anything to preserve her lineage, and the once-thriving port of Bingtown nearly is ruined by war and dissention among the Trader families. Stuck with rescuing the spoiled leader referred to as Satrap, Malta Vestrit nearly loses her own life but ultimately comes into her own as a shrewd negotiator and the beloved of Reyn of the Rain Wild Traders. Piloting the "mad ship" Paragon, Althea Vestrit and Brashen continue their quest to recover Vivacia, the stolen Vestrit liveship, which is under the command of the complex pirate king, Kennit. Readers finally learn the secret behind wizardwood, the material from which liveships are constructed, and come to understand the painful connections between the ships, the serpents, and the dragons. The source of Paragon's insanity also is discovered in conjunction with revelations of Kennit's sexually abusive childhood and subsequent ruthless behavior. This amazing trilogy captures myth and swashbuckling nautical action along with political intrigue and love. Magic and heroics abound, but the characterizations are still realistic enough to believe. Although some might argue that Hobb ties up loose ends too rapidly toward the end, she also leaves some intriguing threads dangling—perhaps for a follow-up series? One can only hope! VOYA CODES: 4Q 4P S A/YA (Better than most, marred only by occasional lapses; Broad general YAappeal; Senior High, defined as grades 10 to 12; Adult and Young Adult). 2000, Bantam Spectra, 592p. Ages 16 to Adult. Reviewer: Bette Ammon VOYA, February 2001 (Vol. 23, No.6)
Library Journal
Unaware of the war that threatens the trading families of Bingtown, Althea Vestrit searches the sea lanes for her stolen liveship--only to discover the truth behind the origin of the sentient vessels. Hobb combines a unique fantasy vision with themes of devotion and selflessness to produce a powerful conclusion to an innovative saga. Highly recommended, along with series predecessors Ship of Magic and Mad Ship, for all fantasy collections. Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.\
Kirkus Reviews
Final installment—each entry independently intelligible—of Hobb's stunning fantasy trilogy (Royal Assassin, 1996; Assassin's Apprentice, 1995) about the beleaguered Six Duchies and their Farseer kings. Months ago, King Verity vanished into the far mountains in search of the semi-mythical Elderlings, whose help he must have in order to defeat the rampaging Red Ship Raiders, leaving his murderous, venal, and insanely ambitious brother, Prince Regal, to dispose of Verity's last few loyalists at his leisure—including narrator, spy, and assassin FitzChivalry. Poor Fitz, unable to contact his beloved Molly (she thinks he's dead) and daughter (by Molly) for fear of exposing them to Regal's attentions, uses his magic Skill to locate Verity and receives an imperious summons: "COME TO ME!" So, abandoning his plan to assassinate Regal, Fitz enters the mountains with a small band of helpers. Eventually, having evaded Regal's minions, Fitz comes upon Verity Skill-carving a huge dragon out of black rock; nearby stand other lifelike dragon-sculptures that, to Fitz's animal-magic Wit, seem somehow alive. Are these eerie sculptures what remain of the Elderlings? Yet, for all his Skill, Verity cannot bring the dragons to life; and soon Regal will arrive with his armies and his Skilled coterie.

An enthralling conclusion to this superb trilogy, displaying an exceptional combination of originality, magic, adventure, character, and drama.

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780007459742
  • Publisher: Harper Voyager
  • Publication date: 4/28/2012

Read an Excerpt

Chapter One
The Rain Wilds

Malta dug her makeshift paddle into the gleaming water and pushed hard. The little boat edged forward through the water. Swiftly she transferred the cedar plank to the other side of the craft, frowning at the beads of water that dripped from it into the boat when she did so. It couldn’t be helped. The plank was all she had for an oar, and rowing on one side of the boat would only spin them in circles. She refused to imagine that the acid drops were even now eating into the planking underfoot. Surely, a tiny bit of Rain Wild River water could not do much damage. She trusted that the powdery white metal on the outside of the boat would keep the river from devouring it, but there was no guarantee of that, either. She pushed the thought from her mind. They had not far to go.

She ached in every limb. She had worked the night through, trying to make their way back to Trehaug. Her exhausted muscles trembled with every effort she demanded of them. Not far to go, she told herself yet again. Their progress had been agonizingly slow. Her head ached abominably but worst was the itching of the healing injury on her forehead. Why must it always itch the worst when she could not spare a hand to scratch?

She maneuvered the tiny rowboat among the immense trunks and spidering roots of the trees that banked the Rain Wild River. Here, beneath the canopy of rain forest, the night sky and its stars were a myth rarely glimpsed; yet a fitful twinkling beckoned her in between the trunks and branches. The lights of the tree-borne city of Trehaug guided her to warmth, safety, and most of all, rest. Shadows were still thick all around her, yet thecalls of birds in the high treetops told her that in the east, dawn was lightening the sky. Sunlight would not pierce the thick canopy until later, and when it came, it would be as shafts of light amidst a watery green mockery of sunshine. Where the river sliced a path through the thick trees, day would glitter silver on the milky water of the wide channel.

The nose of the rowboat snagged suddenly on top of a hidden root. Again. Malta bit her tongue to keep from screaming her frustration. Making her way through the forested shallows was like threading the craft through a sunken maze. Time and time again, drifts of debris or concealed roots had turned her aside from her intended path. The fading lights ahead seemed little closer than when they had set out. Malta shifted her weight and leaned over the side to probe the offending obstacle with her plank. With a grunt, she pushed the boat free. She dipped her paddle again and the boat moved around the hidden barrier.

“Why don’t you paddle us over there, where the trees are thinner?” demanded the Satrap. The erstwhile ruler of all Jamaillia sat in the stern, his knees drawn nearly to his chin, while his Companion Kekki huddled fearfully in the bow. Malta didn’t turn her head. She spoke in a cold voice. “When you’re willing to pick up a plank and help with the paddling or steering, you can have a say in where we go. Until then, shut up.” She was sick of the boy-Satrap’s imperious posturing and total uselessness for any practical task.

“Any fool can see that there are fewer obstacles there. We could go much faster.”

“Oh, much faster,” Malta agreed sarcastically. “Especially if the current catches us and sweeps us out into the main part of the river.”

The Satrap took an exasperated breath. “As we are upriver of the city, it seems to me that the current is with us. We could take advantage of it and let it carry us where I want to go, and arrive much more swiftly.”

“We could also lose control of the boat completely, and shoot right past the city.”

“Is it much farther?” Kekki whined pathetically.

“You can see as well as I can,” Malta retorted. A drop of the river water fell on her knee as she shifted the paddle to the other side. It tickled, then itched and stung. She took a moment to dab at it with the ragged hem of her robe. The fabric left grit in its wake. It was filthy from her long struggle through the halls and corridors of the buried Elderling city the previous night. So much had happened since then, it seemed more like a thousand nights. When she tried to recall it, the events jumbled in her mind. She had gone into the tunnels to confront the dragon, to make her leave Reyn in peace. But there had been the earthquake, and then when she had found the dragon ... The threads of her recall snarled hopelessly at that point. The cocooned dragon had opened Malta’s mind to all the memories stored in that chamber of the city. She had been inundated with the lives of those who had dwelt there, drowned in their recollections. From that point until the time when she had led the Satrap and his Companion out of the buried labyrinth, all was misty and dreamlike. Only now was she piecing together that the Rain Wild Traders had hid the Satrap and Kekki away for their own protection.

Or had they? Her gaze flicked briefly to Kekki cowering in the bow. Had they been protected guests, or hostages? Perhaps a little of both. She found that her own sympathies were entirely with the Rain Wilders. The sooner she returned Satrap Cosgo and Kekki to their custody, the better. They were valuable commodities, to be employed against the Jamaillian nobles, the New Traders and the Chalcedeans. When she had first met the Satrap at the ball, she had been briefly dazzled by the illusion of his power. Now she knew his elegant garb and aristocratic manners were only a veneer over a useless, venal boy. The sooner she was rid of him, the better.

She focused her eyes on the lights ahead. When she had led the Satrap and his Companion out of the buried Elderling city, they had found themselves far from where Malta had originally entered the underground ruins. A large stretch of quagmire and marshy river shallows separated them from the city. Malta had waited for dark and the guiding lights of the city before they set out in their ancient salvaged boat. Now dawn threatened and she still poled toward the beckoning lanterns of Trehaug. She fervently hoped that her ill-conceived adventure was close to an end.

The city of Trehaug was located amongst the branches of the huge-bold trees. Smaller chambers dangled and swung in the uppermost branches, while the grander family halls spanned trunk to trunk. Great staircases wound up the trunks, and their landings provided space for merchants, minstrels and beggars. The earth beneath the city was doubly cursed with marshiness and the instability of this quake-prone region. The few completely dry pieces of land were mostly small islands around the bases of trees.

Steering her little boat amongst the towering trees toward the city was like maneuvering around the immense columns in a forgotten god’s temple. The boat again fetched up against something and lodged. Water lapped against it. It did not feel like a root. “What are we snagged against?” Malta asked, peering forward.

Kekki did not even turn to look, but remained hunched over her folded knees. She seemed afraid to put her feet on the boat’s floorboards. Malta sighed. She was beginning to think something was wrong with the Companion’s mind. Either the experiences of the past day had turned her senses or, Malta reflected wryly, she had always been stupid and it took only adversity to manifest it. Malta set her plank down and, crouching low, moved forward in the boat. The rocking this created caused both the Satrap and Kekki to cry out in alarm. She ignored them. At close range, she was able to see that the boat had nosed into a dense mat of twigs, branches and other river debris, but in the gloom, it was hard to see the extent of it. She supposed some trick of the current had carried it here and packed it into this floating morass. It was too thick to force the small boat through it. “We’ll have to go around it,” she announced to the others. She bit her lip. That meant venturing closer to the main flow of the river. Well, as the Satrap had said, any current they encountered would carry them downriver to Trehaug, not away from it. It might even make her thankless task easier. She pushed aside her fears. Awkwardly she turned their rowboat away from the raft of debris and toward the main channel.

“This is intolerable!” Satrap Cosgo suddenly exclaimed. “I am dirty, bitten by insects, hungry and thirsty. And it is all the fault of these miserable Rain Wild settlers. They pretended that they brought me here to protect me. But since they have had me in their power, I have suffered nothing but abuse. They have affronted my dignity, compromised my health, and endangered my very life. No doubt they intend to break me, but I shall not give way to their mistreatment of me. The full weight of my wrath will descend upon these Rain Wild Traders. Who, it occurs to me, have settled here with no official recognition of their status at all! They have no legal claims to the treasures they have been digging up and selling. They are no better than the pirates that infest the Inside Passage and should be dealt with accordingly.”

Malta found breath to snort derisively. “You are scarcely in a position to bark at anyone. In reality, you are relying on their goodwill far more than they are relying on yours. How easy it would be for them to sell you off to the highest bidder, regardless of whether the buyer would assassinate you, hold you hostage or restore you to your throne! As for their claim to these lands, that came directly from the hand of Satrap Esclepius, your ancestor. The original charter for the Bingtown Traders specified only how many leffers of land each settler could claim, not where. The Rain Wild Traders staked their claims here; the Bingtown Traders took theirs by Bingtown Bay. Their claims are both ancient and honorable, and well documented under Jamaillian law. Unlike those of the New Traders you have foisted off on us.”

For a moment, shocked silence greeted her words. Then the Satrap forced a brittle laugh. “How amusing to hear you defend them! Such a benighted little bumpkin you are. Look at yourself, dressed in rags and covered with filth, your face forever disfigured by these renegades! Yet you defend them. Why? Ah, let me guess. It is because you know that no whole man would ever want you now. Your only hope is to marry into a family in which your kin are as misshapen as yourself, where you can hide behind a veil and no one will stare at your frightfulness. Pathetic! But for the actions of these rebels, I might have chosen you as a Companion. Davad Restart had spoken out on your behalf, and I found your clumsy attempts at dancing and conversation endearingly provincial. But now? Faugh!” The boat rocked minutely with the disdainful flip of his hand. “There is nothing more freakish than a beautiful woman whose face has been spoiled. The finer families of Jamaillia would not even take you as a household slave. Such disharmony has no place in an aristocratic household.”

Malta refused to look back at him, but she could imagine how his lips curled with contempt. She tried to be angry at his arrogance; she told herself he was an ignorant prig of a boy. But she had not seen her own face since the night she had nearly been killed in the overturning coach. When she had been convalescing in Trehaug, they had not permitted her a mirror. Her mother and even Reyn had seemed to dismiss the injuries to her face. But they would, her traitor heart told her. They would have to, her mother because she was her mother, and Reyn because he felt responsible for the coach accident. How bad was the scar? The cut down her forehead had felt long and jagged to her questing fingers. Now she wondered: did it pucker, did it pull her face to one side? She gripped the plank tightly in both her hands as she dug into the water with it. She would not set it down; she would not give him the satisfaction of seeing her fingers grope over her scar. She set her teeth grimly and paddled on.

A dozen more strokes and suddenly the little vessel picked up speed. It gave a small sideways lurch in the water, and then spun once as Malta dug her plank into the water in a desperate effort to steer back into the shallows. She shipped her makeshift oar, and seized the extra plank from the bottom of the rowboat. “You’ll have to steer while I paddle,” she told the Satrap breathlessly. “Otherwise we’ll be swept out into the middle of the river.”

He looked at the plank she thrust toward him. “Steer?” he asked her, taking the board reluctantly.

Malta tried to keep her voice calm. “Stick that plank into the water behind us. Hold onto one end of it and use it as a drag to turn us back toward the shallows while I paddle in that direction.”

The Satrap held the board in his fine-boned hands as if he had never seen a piece of wood before. Malta seized her own plank, thrust it back into the water, and was amazed at the sudden strength of the current. She clutched the end awkwardly as she tried to oppose the flow of water that was sweeping them away from the shore. Morning light touched them as they emerged from the shelter of the overhanging trees. Suddenly the sunlight illuminated the water, making it unbearably bright after the dimness. Behind her, an annoyed exclamation coincided with a splash. She swiveled her head to see what had happened. The Satrap was empty-handed.

“The river snatched it right out of my hands!” he complained.

“You fool!” Malta cried out. “How can we steer now?”

The Satrap’s face darkened with fury. “How dare you speak to me so! You are the fool, to think it could have done us any good in the first place. It wasn’t even shaped like an oar. Besides, even if it would have worked, we do not need it. Use your eyes, wench. We’ve nothing to fear. There’s the city now! The river will carry us right to it.”

Copyright 2001 by Robin Hobb
Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

Read More Show Less

First Chapter

Althea longed for a fresh-water bath. As she toiled up the companionway to the deck, every muscle in her body ached, and her head pounded from the thick air of the aft hold. At least her task was done. She'd go to her stateroom, wash with a wet towel, change her clothes and perhaps even nap for a bit. And then she'd go to confront Kyle. She'd put it off long enough, and the longer she waited, the more uncomfortable she became. She'd get it over with and then damn well live with whatever it brought down on her.

"Mistress Althea." She had no more than gained the deck before Mild confronted her. "Cap'n requires you." The ship's boy grinned at her, half-apologetic, half-relishing being the bearer of such tidings.

"Very well, Mild," she said quietly. Very well, her thoughts echoed to herself. No wash, no clean clothes and no nap before the confrontation. Very well. She took a moment to smooth her hair back from her face and to tuck her blouse back into her trousers. Prior to her task, they had been her cleanest work clothes. Now the coarse cotton of the blouse stuck to her back and neck with her own sweat, while the trousers were smudged with oakum and tar from working in the close quarters of the hold. She knew her face was dirty, too. Well. She hoped Kyle would enjoy his advantage. She stooped down as if to re-fasten her shoe, but instead placed her hand flat on the wood of the deck. For an instant she closed her eyes and let the strength of the Vivacia flow through her palm. "Oh, ship," she whispered as softly as if she prayed. "Help me stand up to him." Then she stood, her resolve firm once more.

As she crossed the twilit deck to the captain's quarters, not an eye would meet hers. Every hand was suddenly very busy or simply looking off in another direction. She refused to glance back to see if they watched after her. Instead she kept her shoulders squared and her head up as she marched to her doom.

She rapped sharply at the door of the captain's quarters and waited for his gruff reply. When it came she entered, and then stood still, letting her eyes adjust to the yellow lantern light. In that instant, she felt a sudden wash of homesickness. The intense longing was not for any shoreside house, but rather for this room as it once had been. Memories dizzied her. Her father's oilskins had hung on that hook, and the smell of his favorite rum had flavored the air. Her own hammock he had rigged in that corner when he had first allowed her to start living aboard the Vivacia, that he might better watch over her. She knew a moment of anger as her eyes took in Kyle's clutter overlaying the familiar hominess of these quarters. A nail in his boot had left a pattern of scars across the polished floorboards. Ephron Vestrit had never left charts out, and would never have tolerated the soiled shirt flung across the chair back. He did not approve of an untidy deck anywhere on his ship, and that included his own quarters. His son-in-law Kyle apparently did not share those values.

Althea pointedly stepped over a discarded pair of trousers to stand before the captain at his table. Kyle let her stand there for a few moments while he continued to peruse some notation on the chart. A notation in her father's own precise hand, Althea noticed, and took strength from that even as her anger burned at the thought that he had access to the family's charts. A Trader family's charts were among their most guarded possessions. How else could one safeguard one's swiftest routes through the Inside Passage, and one's trading ports in lesser-known villages? Still, her father had entrusted these charts to Kyle; it was not up to her to question his decision.

Kyle continued to ignore her, but she refused to rise to his bait. She stood silent and patient, but did not let his apparent disinterest fluster her. After a time he lifted his eyes to regard her. Their blueness was as unlike her father's steady black eyes as his unruly blond hair was unlike her father's smooth black queue. Once more she wondered with distaste what had ever possessed her older sister to desire such a man. His Chalcedean blood showed in his ways as much as in his body. She tried to keep her disdain from showing on her face, but her control was wearing thin. She'd been too long at sea with this man.

This last voyage had been interminable. Kyle had muddled what should have been a simple two-month turnaround trip along Chalced's coast into a five-month trading trek full of unnecessary stops and marginally profitable trade runs. She was convinced all of it was an effort on his part to show her father what a sly trader he could be. For herself, she had not been impressed. At Tusk he had stopped and taken on pickled sea-duck eggs, always an uncertain cargo, and barely made dock in Brigtown in time to sell them off before they went rotten. In Brigtown, he'd taken on bales of cotton, not just enough to fill the empty space in the holds but enough to make a partial deck load as well. Althea had had to bite her tongue and watch her crew take their chances as they scrambled over and around the heavy bales, and then they'd had a late gale that had soaked and most likely ruined the portion of the load on deck. She hadn't even asked him what the profit had been, if any, when he'd stopped to auction it off in Dursay. Dursay had been their last port. The wine casks had yet again been shifted about to allow for a whim cargo. Now, in addition to the wines and brandies that had comprised their original cargo, the hold was stuffed with crates of comfer nuts. Kyle had held forth endlessly on the good price they'd bring, both for the fragrant oil from their kernels for soap and the lovely yellow dye that could be made from their husks. Althea thought that if he crowed once more about the extra profit this would wring from the voyage, she'd throttle him. But self-congratulation was not in the gaze he turned on her. It was cold as seawater, lit with tiny glints of anger.

He neither smiled nor bid her be seated. Instead he simply demanded. "What were you doing in the aft hold?"

Someone had run to the captain and tattled. She kept her voice steady. "I re-stowed the cargo."

"You did."

It was a statement, almost an accusation. But it was not a question, so she did not need to make any answer. Instead, she stood very straight under that piercing gaze. She knew he expected her to babble out explanations and excuses, as Keffria would have. But she was not her sister, nor his wife. He suddenly slammed his palm down on the table before him, and though the sudden impact made her flinch, she still did not speak. She watched him waiting for her to say something, and then felt an odd sense of victory when his temper snapped.

"Did you presume to tell the men to change how that cargo was stowed?"

She spoke very softly, very calmly. "No. I did not. I did the work myself. My father has taught me that aboard a ship, one must see what needs doing, and do it. That is what I have done. I arranged the casks as father would have had them done, were he here. Those casks are now as every shipment of wine has been stowed since I was ten years old, bung up and bilge free, fore and aft, ends wedged off in the wings. They are secure, and if they have not already been spoiled by jostling, they will be marketable when we get to Bingtown."

His cheeks grew pink. Althea wondered how Keffria could stand a man whose cheeks turned pink when he was angry. She braced herself. When Kyle spoke, his voice was not raised, but the longing to shout the words was clear in his clipped accent.

"Your father is not here, Althea. That is precisely the point. I am the master of this vessel, and I gave commands as to how I wanted that cargo stowed. Yet again you have gone behind my back and countermanded those orders. I can't have this interference between me and my crew. You sow discord."

She spoke quietly. "I acted on my own, by myself. I gave the crew no orders at all, nor did I even speak of what I intended to do. I have done nothing to come between you and the crew." She clamped her jaws shut before she could say more. She would not tell him that what stood between him and his crew was his own lack of expertise. The sailors who would have gone to their deaths willingly for her father now spoke openly in the forecastle of finding another vessel when next they shipped out. Kyle was in danger of destroying the hand-picked crew that her father had spent the last decade assembling.

Kyle looked furious that she would contradict him. "It is enough that you went against my orders. That is all it takes to challenge my authority. Your bad example on this ship makes the crew restless. Then I am forced to clamp down the discipline. You should be ashamed for what you bring down on them. But no. You don't care one whit for that. You're above the captain. Althea Vestrit is probably above almighty Sa! You've shown the entire crew your complete disregard for my orders. Were you truly a sailor, I'd make an example of you, one that would prove my orders are the only orders on this ship. But you're nothing but a spoiled merchant's brat. I'll treat you as such, and spare the flesh of your back. But only until you cross me again. Take this warning to heart, girl. I am captain of this vessel, and my word on this ship is law."

Althea did not speak, but neither did she look aside. She met his gaze levelly and kept as much expression off her face as she could. The pink spread to Kyle's forehead. He took a breath and reached for control. He speared her with his eyes. "And what are you, Althea?"

She had not expected such a question. Accusations and rebukes she could deal with silently. But in asking her a question, he demanded an answer, and she knew it would be construed as open defiance. So be it. "I am the owner of this vessel," she said with as much dignity as she could muster.

"Wrong!" This time he did shout. But in an instant he had mastered himself. He leaned forward on the table and near spat the words at her. "You are the daughter of the owner. And even were you the owner, it wouldn't make a whit of difference. It's not the owner who commands the ship, it's the captain. You're not the captain, you're not the mate. You aren't even a proper sailor. All you do is take a stateroom to yourself that should be the second mate's, and do only the chores it suits you to do. The owner of this vessel is Ephron Vestrit, your father. He is the one who gave the Vivacia over to my command. If you cannot respect me for who I am, then respect your father's choice to captain his ship."

"But for my age, he would have made me captain. I know the Vivacia. I should be her captain."

As soon as the words were out of her mouth, Althea regretted them. It was all the opening he had needed, this voicing of what they both knew was true.

"Wrong again. You should be at home, married off to some fancy boy as spoiled as yourself. You haven't the faintest idea of how to captain a vessel. You believe that because your father has allowed you to play at sailoring you know how to command a vessel. You've come to believe you're destined to captain your father's ship. You're wrong. Your father only brought you aboard because he had no sons of his own. He as much as told me so, when Wintrow was born. Were not the Vivacia a liveship, requiring a family member aboard, I'd never have tolerated your pretenses for a moment. But bear this in mind. A member of the Vestrit family is all this ship requires; it needn't be you. If this ship demands a Vestrit aboard her, then she can bear one that has Haven for a surname. My sons share as much of your sister's blood as mine, they're as much Vestrit as Haven. And the next time this ship leaves Bingtown, one of my boys will take your place on her. You'll be left ashore."

Althea could feel she had gone white. The man had no idea what he was saying to her, had no idea of the depth of his threat. It only proved he had no true concept of what a liveship was. He should have never been allowed authority over the Vivacia. If only her father had been well, he would have seen that.

Something of both her despair and defiance must have shown in her face, for Kyle Haven's mouth grew tauter. She wondered if he fought down a smile as he added, "You are confined to your quarters for the remainder of this voyage. And now you are dismissed."

She stood her ground. As well have it out then, now that the lines were drawn. "You have declared that I am not even a sailor aboard this vessel. Very well, then. If that is so, then I am not yours to command. And I have no idea why you fancy that you will command the Vivacia on her next voyage. When we return to Bingtown, I have every expectation that my father will have recovered his health and will resume his command. And hold it, until such time as ship and command are both mine."

He fixed her with a flat stare. "Do you really think so, Althea?"

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 86 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(57)

4 Star

(24)

3 Star

(3)

2 Star

(2)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 86 Customer Reviews
  • Posted September 15, 2012

    Excellent series. Loved every book in the series, and the char

    Excellent series. Loved every book in the series, and the characters of Captain Kennit and Paragon, as well as their relationship to eachother, are very , very deep and profound. WOW.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted June 6, 2009

    Robin Hobb is a great writer

    I loved the whole Farseer, LiveShiop saga and think Robin Hobb is one of the better fantasy writers of the ages. Her characters are well developed, she can write well in both 1st person and 3rd, and the story is wonderful. This was a great end of a middle of a great series.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted April 27, 2013

    Liveship traders series Books 2 &3--Mad Ship and Ship of Magic

    Was glad I purchased these 2 books together because when I finished book #2 I could start #3 right away!!. The storyline is well written, you can identify with the characters even with the Liveships. Robin Hobb makes all her characters real and believable. If you want fantasy, adventure, love-story and a thriller all wrapped into one read this trilogy.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted July 5, 2012

    A fitting end-- but perhaps a bit long in the tooth

    The good: I quite enjoyed seeing references to Fitz and the changes wrought in Paragon. The dragons taking precedence was stunning, but not unwarranted. I also appreciated the romantic entanglements and the ability to hate a character for about thirty pages and then sob hysterically over his death. The characterization is, as always, superb.

    The bad: That being said, perhaps because I read the three books together, with only one book in between the second and third, it was far too long. The pacing, in certain parts of the book, was atrocious. I had to set myself a goal in terms of reading just so I could get through the book in a reasonable time. Don't get me wrong- I wanted to know what happened, but the pacing was so slow, I had to force myself through.

    I've heard the Liveship Traders are not as good as the Assassins' series (nor the Tawny Man trilogy). I look forward to seeing if that's the case, but for now, I'm taking a break from Robin Hobb. I need to read a book that takes less than the sum total of 2100 pages (if we consider the trilogy actually one book) to reach its conclusion.

    The Nook edition contained a couple of typing errors (one capitalization problem and one spacing), though nothing terribly distracting.

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

    Posted August 16, 2008

    Amazing story & closure

    Hobb never fails to deliver. She will have you on the edge of your seat with emotions and excitment hard to contain. Sometimes while reading Hobbs I almost feel suffocated with anticipation of what is going to happen next. Amazing. I have never read another author that captures me the way she does! Truly must read if you want to understand Farseer/Tawny Man saga.

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

    Posted July 8, 2007

    A reviewer

    Ms. Hobb has a rare talent for creating characters to real you feel you will run into them someday. Her worlds are so perfectly built that you swear you will see them someday. I have read the complete series and am amazed at how she blended everything together. Ms. Hobb does not give you bits of information to propel the story along, although at the time, they may seem like it. They are actually pieces to a much bigger puzzle that if you stay around for the ride, you will understand in the end. The last 200 pages of this book were difficult to put down. I finished this book while on vacation and looked for reasons to leave my company, just so I could read a couple more pages. It¿s amazing how you can cook and read at the same time. I was sad to see this series end, but I was satisfied with the turns of each character. If you have never read Ms. Hobb before, find a book immediately. She is one of our generations greatest writers!

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

    Posted January 26, 2002

    The best of all three

    After reading the first two books in the series, I was hoping to see that the third would wrap it up nicely. My hopes were exceeded in this instance...the book did a very nice job finishing things up as well as throwing in a few surprises here and there which kept the plot intriguing. I would highly recommend this book to anyone who appreciates her trilogy and would enjoy a good sea faring yarn. Enjoy.... :o)

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

    Posted June 19, 2001

    Masterful completion of a great trilogy

    Robin Hobb wraps up her Liveship Traders trilogy brilliantly. Her characterization as always is incredible - characters are depicted in a thousands shades of grey rather than mere black and white. This trilogy and this book in particular are moved by its strong characters, and the climax is one of the most moving I've encountered in twenty years of reading science fiction and fantasy.

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

    Posted March 24, 2001

    Excellent Series

    I enjoyed this book a lot! The story line was great and exciting. I only gave it 4 stars, though, because I find some of the book boring (I disliked the story with Maulkin and She Who Remembers but some may find this part good. This is only my opinion). I recommend this book to older readers. It was excellent

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

    Posted August 22, 2000

    complicated, mesmerising, satisfying end to trilogy

    I read the Apprentice series and really enjoyed it, however, I feel the author has really grown with the Liveship trilogy. The writing is very discriptive and literate. She skillfully weaves the stories of serpents, liveships, pirates, Bingtown Traders, Rain Wild Traders, and Nobility into a seamless whole while bringing alive characters that make you think and feel. This book has everything: adventures, mysteries, ethical dilemmas, complex good guys, complex bad guys, and romantic confusions. If you like high adventure fantasy this book is for you.

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

    Posted February 15, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted January 6, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted May 16, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted July 31, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted September 27, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted November 7, 2008

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted April 21, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted October 4, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted August 6, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted August 17, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 86 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)