Book Review: Liveship Traders – Ship of Magic

Robin Hobb - Liveship Traders - Ship of Magic

Title: Ship of Magic
Series: Liveship Traders Trilogy
Author: Robin Hobb
Published By: Bantam
Published Date: 1999
ISBN: 0-553-57563-5
Length: 809 Pages
Purchased From: Amazon @ $7.99

The Story:

Ship of Magic is the first book in the Liveship Traders Trilogy. This series of books takes place shortly after the Farseer Trilogy (Assassin’s Apprentice, Royal Assassin, and Assassin’s Quest) comes to a close and also takes place within the same world.

Bingtown is a city along the Cursed Shores and is home to an old line of traders that travel by ship to exchange goods between merchants in other towns and cities. What makes this group of people so special is there bond with another sect of society, the Rain Wilds Traders, and their use of Liveships. These ships are made of a mysterious and wildly expensive wood which quickens and comes to life.

The book revolves around one trader family in particular and their Liveship. The Vestrit family falls on hard times and has their Liveship perused by pirates. Along the way, Althea, finds herself in a massive family dispute and does all she can to prove herself worthy of being the captain of the Vivacia.

My Thoughts:

While this book was enjoyable, I did not find myself bonded to it nearly as tightly as I was the Farseer Trilogy and the Fitz character. I appreciate that this series takes place within the world I am familiar with and makes references to events and lands that I have experienced through the viewpoint of Fitz.

The ending of this book was a little strange. The reason I say that is because the resolution that I was waiting for was not one from a character that I expected. It ads a nice twist to the ending but I felt like something was missing.

I’ve become very fond of Robin Hobb’s books and intend to continue on with this series. Once finished, I’m planning on diving into the Tawny Man Trilogy to see how Fitz has made out since the last time we heard of him in Assassin’s Quest.


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 - Iā€™m also the father of three little girls and a pitbull.

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