Book Review: Liveship Traders – Mad Ship

Robin Hobb - Liveship Traders - Mad Ship

Title: Mad Ship
Series: Liveship Traders Trilogy
Author: Robin Hobb
Published By: Bantam
Published Date: 2000
ISBN: 0-553-57564-3
Length: 850 Pages
Purchased From: Amazon @ $7.99

The Story:

In the second book of the Liveship Traders Trilogy, Mad Ship, the storyline picks up immediately where it was left off in Ship of Magic. The Vestrit family Liveship, the Vivacia, is seized by a manipulative pirate in his quest to become King of the Pirate Isles. With his title of King growing near, Kennit uses the quickened ship to strengthen his position as a savior to the enslaved population.

Upon hearing news of her family Liveship, Althea vows to regain control of the Vivacia and bring her safely home. With no means of doing such a thing herself, she is aided by a former shipmate, Brashen, and an odd new trader, Amber. Together they plan to request the help of a Liveship long abandoned and considered to be mad.

My Thoughts:

While not totally sold on the Liveship Traders Trilogy from the perspective of Ship of Magic, Mad Ship changed all that. The storyline came together and simply clicked. Characters that I spent so much time loathing suddenly matured and turned into people I wanted to read about.

The addition of Paragon, the mad ship, added a curious twist to the storyline that had me eager to read. With each chapter, more of the world was brought into focus, changing my perception of the God-Like figures known as the Elderlings.

If the third book in the trilogy, Ship of Destiny, is as good as Mad Ship, this series is going to shape up to be a fantastic story.


Hi There, My name is Walt White and as the name of this blog suggests, I am a Pennsylvania resident. In addition to having numerous hobbies that I discuss on my blog - I’m also the father of three little girls and a pitbull.

2 thoughts on “Book Review: Liveship Traders – Mad Ship

  1. Hello,

    Well done for this review again….

    Otherwise, I have to choose a subject for an oral exam and as I spent too much hours with her, I decided to choose “Robin Hobb and her fantastic world”. I’d like to talk about all her books, the stories and why I am so addicted to her. I have load to say but I think I need to know more about others readers opinion (positives or negatives) about her.
    Could you please help me and tell me what makes you read more her books? What do you think of her type of writing?

    Thank you


    1. Litie,
      More than anything I read Robin Hobb’s books because of her characters. She writes them in such a way where you become attached.

      Take Fitz from the Farseer Trilogy (as well as the Tawny Man) for example. I simply can’t get enough of him and would read as many books as Hobb wrote featuring him.

      Malta was polar opposite. When I read about her in Liveship Traders, I loathed her. Her snide remarks and poor attitude made me want to reach through the page and slap her. As her character developed I became neutral to her then finally looked forward to seeing her point of view more and more often.

      Hobb’s tales are interesting but her characters are what bring me back. I enjoy reading how she presents them, their dialog, and their inner most thoughts.

      Hope that helps answer your question.

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