Download eBook Ship of MagicAuthor Robin Hobb –

Wizardwood, A Sentient WoodThe Most Precious Commodity In The WorldLike Many Other Legendary Wares, It Comes Only From The Rain River WildsBut How Can One Trade With The Rain Wilders, When Only A Liveship Fashioned From Wizardwood Can Negotiate The Perilous Waters Of The Rain River Rare And Valuable A Liveship Will Quicken Only When Three Members, From Successive Generations, Have Died On Board The Liveship Vivacia Is About To Undergo Her Quickening As Althea Vestrit S Father Is Carried On Deck In His Death Throes Althea Waits For The Ship That She Loves Than Anything Else In The World To Awaken Only To Discover That The Vivacia Has Been Signed Away In Her Father S Will To Her Brutal Brother In Law, Kyle HavenOthers Plot To Win Or Steal A Liveship The Paragon, Known By Many As The Pariah, Went Mad, Turned Turtle, And Drowned His Crew Now He Lies Blind, Lonely, And Broken On A Deserted Beach But Greedy Men Have Designs To Restore Him, To Sail The Waters Of The Rain Wild River OnceCover Illustration By John Howe

10 thoughts on “Ship of Magic

  1. says:

    4.5 5 starsColor me impressed, just the first book in the Liveship Traders trilogy alone is already better than the entire Farseer trilogy.Don t get me wrong, the Farseer trilogy certainly has its charm but the third book of the trilogy, Ass Quest, was a massive disappointment for me Fortunately, that didn t stop me from giving Hobb another try because this was just utterly fantastic.Ship of Magic, the first book in the Liveship Traders trilogy which is also the second out five subseries within Hobb s gigantic Realm of the Elderlings series is a completely different book from Fitz s first trilogy It contained a new storyline, revolves around a completely new cast, new magic system, and the story took place on a completely different area from Fitz s storyline In fact, other than a few familiar places and event mentioned, such as Six Duchies and Red Ship War, there seems to be absolutely no correlation between this book and the Farseer trilogy Taking place south of the Six Duchies, Ship of Magic focused around a variety of casts with their own agenda and motives in the conflicts of persevering faith, family, and gaining the liveship, a rare ship that can be quickened brought to life only when three family members from successive generations have died upon their deck The different location also provides a great expansion to the world building element for the series that Hobb has created previously in the Farseer trilogy The man who worries about what will next be happening to him loses this moment in dread of the next, and poisons the next with pre judgement It took around 100 pages for me to get used to the characters and the flow of the story but after that, everything ended up being a smooth sailing experience Same as Hobb s previous trilogy, this is still a totally character driven book and the main plot moved at a really slow pace with the characters development taking the highest priority What differs this book greatly from the Farseer trilogy however is the fact that it s written in third person multi POV Whether you love him or not, Fitz is a well written character and Hobb did a spectacular job in fleshing out his and all the major side characters personality even when the narrative was told solely from Fitz s perspective However, as great as Hobb did, if we truly want to know all the characters true thoughts and feelings, multi POV is always the best plot device to do it Hobb is truly a brilliant author, it doesn t matter whether it s first person or third person perspective, she knows how to write and make her characters felt realistic, complex, and compelling to read even when some of the characters were despicable as dog shit Malta I forgot the exact numbers but readers get to follow the storyline from the perspective of or less thirteen characters and I found them all highly engaging and addictive to read including Malta s It was hard to choose a favorite POV here excluding Malta when they are all superbly well written, but I think it s safe to say that out of all of them, Wintrow was definitely my favorite one Every character had a magnificent character development, in personalities and relationships between the cast, but Wintrow s storyline simply excelled above all the others Just from the first book alone, I already love his POV than Fitz s I ve just been living from day to day Waiting for something or someone else to change the situation His eyes studied her face, looking for a reaction to his next words I think I need to make a real decision I believe I need to take action on my own Pirates, amazing ensemble cast, serpents, sentient ships, great actions when it s there , Ship of Magic is a superb start to a trilogy At this point, if someone told me that Hobb is actually a psychologist, I will believe them due to how great she is at characters studies I absolutely can t wait to continue to the sequel and I highly recommend this to anyone who s looking for a great character driven fantasy books.Picture The Liveship Traders by Marc Simonetti You can find this and the rest of my Adult Epic High Fantasy Sci Fi reviews at BookNest

  2. says:

    This was good, but it wasn t as good as Robin Hobb s Farseer books Fitz is an excellent narrator, and an excellent focal point for a series, though this uses several point of view characters Some are great and some are, unfortunately, as dry as dust Wintrow was by far my favourite character in this series He is torn between two lives As a young boy he was sent away from home and raised as a priest it s a life he has gotten used to, but circumstances demands that he returns to his former life it is one of sea faring hardship, which is something he is not remotely accustomed to He never had the chance to become a sailor, though he would have if he wasn t taken away He is now ineffectual and scribe like His hands are soft and stained with ink He is not a hardened sailor, so when his farther orders his return he is forced to toughen up and become something he is not Wintrow is, naturally, reluctant to accept his new life however, when he begins to discover his magical bond with his ancestral liveship, he realises he may have some mettle after all For the weakest has but to try his strength to find it, and then he shall be strong Conversely, Althea views the life on the sea as a thing of wonderment Unlike Wintrow, she longs for the open ocean and planks beneath her feet She wants to be aboard her family s liveship, but the chance has been taken away from her, and handed to the young Wintrow Resentment quickly forms But who can blame her She has spent her life longing to take control of the magical vessel that would make her a fortune on the open sea.This is both painful and soul destroying because in the wood of the ship is a magic that speaks to her blood this is no simple attachment, but something powerful and innate it calls to her and beacons her aboard The liveship s bond to their owners in a deep and magical way thus, when she is separated from her ship, Althea goes on a long a perilous journey to get back what was rightfully hers to begin with Let the adventures begin Some good characters Althea and Wintrow were two very different characters they contrast well and the dynamic between the two is tense On the other hand, Veronica Vestrit Althea s mum is a dreadfully dull point of view character Her life is, simply put, boring She is not badly written she is just mundane and uninteresting Her narrative is vital for the overall story, but her chapters are tiresome I found myself skimming entire paragraphs because of their triviality For example, the rest of the characters were undergoing an identity crisis or they were in extreme danger, meanwhile Veronica was evaluating her household budget.Everything else worked really well I think the idea behind the liveships is great, and it really adds some depth to this fantasy universe I love the way Robin Hobb has written a new trilogy set far away in her already existing fantasy world This book was a good opener to the trilogy and it really sets the tone for what is to come Of all of Hobbs books, I do think this one would make the best television drama The Liveship Traders 1 Ship of Magic A seafaing 3.5 stars 2 The Mad Ship A tumultuous four stars 3 Ship of Destiny A cresting four stars

  3. says:

    4.5 I can t believe she wrote this masterpiece after that messed up Farseer finaleI read Assassin s Quest back in 2016 and lost every hope of getting back to Realm of Elderlings But then I wrapped up Twany Man in August this and now I am a faithful Hobb fan So it was time to start Liveship Traders, everyone s favorite Hobb books I knew I will not be disappointed and she delivered in best possible way, giving us the talking ships, and characters who are trying very hard to prove themselves.Story follows three main characters Vivicia the ship, Wintrow, and Althea Althea was ignored in favor of her elder sister to be the captain of the Vivicia Since the elder sister is married, the responsibility was given to her husband Kyle, who was an arrogant fool, greedy, and cruel Althea leaves her home to prove to her family that she was the worthy captain for Vivicia Kyle brought his eldest son, Wintrow, who was in a monastery to be raised as priest, aboard Vivicia to train him as a sailor and bond with the Livship But Kyle s plan backfired when he soon realized that Wintrow was not what he wanted him to be, thus forcing Wintrow in to a life of hard ship on the ship Vivicia, a newly quickened ship, tried her best to bond with Wintrow but the boy always maintained his distance and soon there was a wall between them, and a lot of pain, sadness There were tons of other characters too but their story was intertwined with Vivicia, Althea, and Wintrow in one way or the other.The first thing that I noticed about this book was multiple PoVs I had a difficult time getting used to these sudden switches initially but once I got to know the characters, the ride was smooth Hobb always put her characters in difficult situations so that they learn and when the time comes they were not helpless and readers get something spectacular in their stories to admire and adore And I have to say there was only misery in this book perhaps in next book or the book after it, all the hard work, learning, regret, pain, struggle would pay off For now it was all tears and anger.Just like Fitz s story, Hobb here has woven a web with secrets, lies, desperation, madness, and magic that is very tangled and complicated for now It will be interested to see all these knots coming undone and perhaps we will get a happy ending Hell I want one for Vivicia

  4. says:

    Final verdict a great antidote to A Game of Thrones, with brilliant, complicated characters.My friend introduced to me to Ship of Magic because I d been complaining about annoying stupid characters She recommended Robin Hobb in general, but Ship of Magic especially, primarily for Althea Vestrit, our primary protagonist One thing I want to point out is that I would have never picked this up on my own Not for the title, not the cover yes, I m disproportionately attracted to pretty covers there s a blog post in there somehow , and not even the cover copy Although Althea is my middle name But normally not even that Thank goodness for my friend, because this book seems to have marked a change in the books I m reading after a streak of at best mediocre reading, I m enjoying it again That can t be attributed entirely to this book, but did contribute to the exhilaration of my reading experience Althea Vestrit is the younger daughter of a liveship trader family In essence, the elite of colonial Bingtown Liveships are just that living ships But you don t just build a ship that s alive, or buy one, it has to be built first of wizard wood, and grow that is to say, quicken A liveship, though, will only quicken after three of its family members die on deck, through which they gain knowledge and awareness And a liveship will only respond to a member of the family, especially once it is alive.And I haven t even gotten to the story yet Continued in vaguely topical order World buildingRobin Hobb has built an incredible, complex world, much of which is gradually revealed throughout the story, naturally and through the characters perspectives The world building is crucial to the story s success, because in many ways, its core theme is the clash of worlds, old and new There isn t one simple conflict between good and evil or even two families Bingtown is a colony, only now, they re being settled again by people who don t understand the land and customs and worse, Bingtown has started following the customs of the mainland, even those that just a generation ago would have been too horrifying to contemplate Now, the newcomers may not understand the reasons for Bingtown s customs, but the locals won t explain them either on that later.The conflict of cultures is so important Worldly Jamaillia is decadent, rich, slave owning And the slaves can be anyone the educated call for particularly high prices Bingtown once had equal relations to men and women they ve borrowed the madonna whore complex from Jamaillia and now are looking to slavery But Bingtown has a strange relationship with magic and the people up the river who make it Back to Althea Because she s the natural daughter of the Vestrit s, who own a liveship just one death away from quickening, Althea fully expects to be the next captain After all, she s been sailing with her father for years, and her older sister is married settled with children But as the summary states so baldly, Althea doesn t get Vivacia, her brother in law does Ways in which Ship of Magic exceeds A Game of Thrones The characters matter The majority of characters in A Game of Thrones are AT BEST observers, and often not even good at that all the characters especially viewpoint characters in Ship of Magic have agency they are making things happen, everything they do affects the plot, the story In A Game of Thrones the plot is happening around the characters when they could make a difference, they don t, because characters get in the way of the plot That could work, but only if the reader has a sense that characters caused the plot in the first place Ship of Magic only takes place because of decisions made generations ago, and how the current people are trying to live around and with those decisions There is a deep, complicated back story that at no time takes over what s happening now, but only makes it possible Can I say how much I ve missed this A Game of thrones suffered from odd, arbitrary chapter breaks that always followed only one character ideally, and when Martin didn t abruptly drop into omniscient when he forget what he was doing and didn t follow the same characters in a row BECAUSE The chapter breaks and POV changes in Ship of Magic are based on the timeline and pacing And they don t just skip the big scenes to sum up later The characters in Ship of Magic are so much better In fact they re so awesome, I ll have to get back to this The women are just as complex as the men and just as active and compelling and have equal textual representation in a sexist world and there s no creepy, overdone euphemisms for genitalia and no glorified, underage, fetishized rape scenes uhhhh.I feel like I shouldn t have to expect such things, but I am comparing it strictly to GoT here This is also a vaguely historically based world with only rare magic Only here it s embedded from the beginning, and while not understood and distrusted by the inhabitants of the world, it doesn t follow the pattern of 100 pages of ambiguity 1 sentence maybe x3 100 pages ambiguity full on firewalking and suckling dragons PlotLike A Game of Thrones, Ship of Magic has several major plot threads approximately eight, some embedded in the world arcs , all given roughly equal treatment, and a great many POV characters at least eight I wonder if there s something to those numbers and Martin is praised because he s willing to kill off anyone , which just makes me suspect a paucity of decent literature in the fantasy section Ship of Magic made me care about the characters, even without ever having a POV of their own, and _then_ they died CharacterGetting into spoiler y territory, I loved the conflict between Ronica Althea s mother and Kyle her brother in law.Kyle really seems like just your standard sub boss evil In most novels The Name of the Wind , he d be petty and cruel, and basically the antagonist until the confrontation with the real bad guy happens In some ways, Kyle is all of those things But his main threat is in how he threatens, and represents the threat, to the liveship trader way of life And Ronica loathes him for it But he s been her son in law for 15 years, IIRC, and no one in the family has tried to make him understand these traditions and why things are the way they are in Bingtown There s a lot of hidden history that s gradually being revealed, but the locals don t discuss it amongst themselves, much less outsiders like Kyle At least once, the truth has been actively hidden from him These are cultures clashing because their people on any side cannot understand comprehend a way of life different from their own.Wintrow, Althea s oldest nephew, lived with the priests since infancy, because in Bingtown, it s an honor Wintrow can t wait to be a priest But since Kyle captains the Vivacia, he needs a family member by blood on board, especially now that Vivacia is conscious Wintrow s struggles to stay safe, to stay sane my heart BLED for him Btw Hobb has built an incredible, convincing fictional religion Kennit is about as villainous as a villain can be As I said in a forum he knows he s not a good guy, goes around plotting like mad, but is just going after what he wants in any way he can He knows he s not a good guy, but doesn t care he just wants power He also goes around going good deeds, but evillyHe s a pirate freeing slaves because then they ll voluntarily be his army to help him take over the world And he s surrounded by people who are unbearably loyal to him even his sentient charm fashioned in his image hates him and doesn t think he deserves what he has One thing that Hobb does beautifully that Martin fails entirely, is have a focus to her narrative Althea s story is central to the unifying thread All of these characters have very important stories of their own, but Althea s is going to be right in the middle of it all.Slut ShamingOne note about the characters sometimes they aren t all good Or bad Unless it s Kennit They can be whiny, infuriating, annoying, ignorant, just plain stupid, and often wrong For instance, Althea s quest to retake the Vivacia Well, first she has to learn that she wasn t qualified to captain a vessel on her own, that when she traveled with her father, she was playing at sailoring So she goes off on her own to learn and learn she does Slowly Which is possibly the best part.Now that I ve been working on this for two hours, I want to touch on a subject I know is important to many of my GR friends and the reviewers I follow who have no idea who I am slut shaming.THERE ISN T ANY First you have Malta, Althea s niece, all of thirteen years old, IIRC O Good Lord, Malta She takes the place of Martin s Sansa obsessed with boys, rather stupid Only Malta specifically wants sex Preferably before babies and marriage, because she doesn t want to end up with an icky husband Is she too young for this Hell yes, she s spoiled rotten, doesn t understand how her own society works, and despite her interest, completely ignorant of what said sex would actually mean Sansa, I just hated, but while I wanted to smack Malta upside the head, I also ached for her She is so completely unaware of how vulnerable she is and she does have to work at ignoring it too Unlike Althea, she retreats from what scares her, what s hard although Althea has her moments , and Keffria her mother and Ronica are only just learning how much they ve neglected to teach her.As for Althea Spoilers Please click carefully, because this section is so important to her character development It wouldn t ruin the book, but it would color the reading experience view spoiler After Althea goes off to learn sailing while disguised as a boy explained in text she sleeps with Brashen well, okay, it s clear he s a love interest from the cover copy while both are impaired She s concussed and they re both drunk and high, I think He might be concussed too It turns out, despite being upper class in this society, and their expectations for women, she s had sex before The first time when she was fourteen under skeevy circumstances When she goes home to tell her sister, Keffria makes her get a charm to prevent pregnancy and STDs, assuming her sister is easy It s the betray of trust that Althea has a problem with, she doesn t think of herself that way In fact, she s NOT damaged by the experience, and she knows it s supposed to be pleasurable, so she seeks it out herself, occasionally But it s not a flaw of her character that she s sexually active, and while other characters may not like it, it s never a view condoned by the text Thought you guys might like that hide spoiler

  5. says:

    4.75 THIS BOOK IS SO GOOD IT S INSANE Greatness Absolute greatness.

  6. says:

    Step aside Pirates of The Caribbean, Robin Hobb is the crowned queen of maritime fiction and she s here to stay Allow to say that I can t believe I ve been putting off starting Robin Hobb s work for the last couple of years just because it s a little bit on the heftier and slow burning side OH MY GOD I VE BEEN SUCH AN IDIOT Well, better late than never and all that rot..I was thinking about saying that getting to this book was worth the time it took me to read through the Farseer trilogy, but I would be lying I didn t go through that trilogy, I freaking loved it and enjoyed every dragged out second So getting to Ship of Magic was not only a reward but a continuation of the wonderful journey I started in the Assassin s Apprentice, and it only gets better and better with every book.First of all, let s be clear that I am not a fan of the sea, I hate ships urgh just the memory turns my stomach , I don t care for stories with sailors, I do love pirates but maybe once every blue moon I would go out of my way to read a story about them specifically Well, Robin Hobb just changed my opinion 180 degrees However, I ll probably still won t think much about them unless those stories were written specifically by her The atmosphere, the world, the characters, the plot, everything It s so just immersive so that you feel you are experiencing every setting, feeling and hardship yourself Bit of warning, it s not a story about pretty ships and hearty adventures in the wide blue ocean, this novel deals of lot of heavy topics regarding family dynamics, inheritance, subservience to the man of the family , slavery, free will, sexism, rape and abuse and many that are so true to our world s issues today It s not as flashy as my other favorite fantasy books I ve read by Sanderson, Tucker, Gwynne, and others. Yet it has some of the complexity characteristic of ASIOAF by GRRM, the same darkness I saw in The First Law Trilogy by Abercombie, it s a little quieter and low key that s true of Farseer actually rather than this one but has the same punches as the best of them Why I loved it so much Why, the Characters of course Captain Kennit probably takes the trophy here, a heartless bastard and a pirate to boot who just happened to do the right thing at the right time, reluctantly and out of sheer dumb luck His conniving and coldness just serve to make him interesting, and his interaction with everyone around him is always intrigue guaranteed, and that ending man Althea Vestrit is another great character that comes to mind Spoiled privileged girl who thinks she can do anything because she spent her childhood sailing with her father abroad their family liveship the Vivacia, only to be hit with the cruel reality of life Her journey and growth were just amazing, she still has a lot to go and I can t wait to see how she ll progress Speaking of the Vivacia, I ve never read about a live ship before, like ever, and that was quite the experience I ll leave it at that WINTROW can I hug that precious child and hide him from the world Is it blasphemy that I think he s much much interesting and awesome than Fitz ever was Boy priest forced into becoming a sailor by has asshole of a father, his arc has probably one of the best character development I ve ever read Vivacia and Wintrow by SephinkaOf course there s a tonload of other great characters that will make you love life or make your skin crawl and then there are a couple that will make you want to bitchslap some sense into them friggin Malta that stupid brat , or just plain smack them into the waiting mouth of a sea serpent yes we have those too I was surprise by the strong emotions that Hobb had awakened in me during my read, I won t lie to you it was bloody exhausting Not to mention all the unsolved mysteries OK that s enough rambling on my part, every minute I spend babbeling and gushing here is keeping me away from starting Mad ship, so farewell ye scallywags

  7. says:

    I was a huge fan of Robin Hobb ever since I read her story Homecoming in Epic And while I loved her Farseer series, this has surpassed those as my favorite books.Vivacia is a liveship, a boat made of wizardwood, that after three deaths of family members on board comes to life Liveships are the only ships that can make the journey up the river to the Rain Wilds in order to do trade, and are extremely valuable.This book follows several points of view, including a pirate named Kennit, Althea the daughter of the last sailor to die aboard Vivacia, her sister Keffria, her nephew Winthrow, and various others Some I loved, some I hated.I also really enjoyed the addition to the world she has created in Farseer While some of the places in the Farseer trilogy are mentioned, this takes place in a different area, and I was fascinated by the magic and depth of this world she has created.To get some perspective, this is an almost 900 page book that I finished in about 5 days All other books were placed on the backburner to be picked up at a later date, because I could not put this one down.I quickly became invested in the characters, and love watching as events shape their lives and personalities in a very believable way Even characters I hate with a passion can become favorites in the span of a few pages.Highly recommended.

  8. says:

    Leer a Robin Hobb requiere paciencia Es una autora que te pide tiempo para que le permitas presentarte a los personajes de sus historias y a los mundos que crea Sus tramas son lentas, se cuecen poco a pocopero ay, compensa tanto Sus personajes acaban pareciendo reales, cre bles y te mete tan de lleno en sus historias cuidando tanto hasta el m nimo detalle que son una aut ntica gozada.En esta ocasi n y al contrario que en su anterior trilog a la autora nos presenta m ltiples puntos de vista Me ha encantado conocer a la fam lia Vestrit, al pirata Kennit, a las naves redivivas y he disfrutado mucho de los politiqueos y dramas que transcurren en su segunda trilog a de su gran saga El Reino de los Vetulus The Realm of the Elderlings Estaba algo preocupada porque no estoy muy acostumbrada a historias navales pero me lo he pasado genial Volver pronto al Mitonar porque no creo que pueda esperar demasiado sin saber qu destino les depara a todos los personajes.

  9. says:

    A very, very character driven book It reads almost like a classical family drama ala The Buddenbrocks Despite the plot being rather on the back burner I pretty much enjoyed all the characters and their development.Maybe not a book for everyone, due to its slow pace but I really enjoyed it, which was surprising, cause I normally prefer plot heavy books.

  10. says:

    This book was fabulous I read it as a part of the TBRTakedown Readathon and as a Buddy Read It s a little bit on the slow side for sure, but actually it s a very interesting story and the characterisation and development of this was seriously fantastic It s a slow story which is made up mostly from the introduction of various characters mostly Traders and developing our understanding of them and their ways It s set in a different part of the world from the Farseer Books and it s set on the Cursed Shores doesn t sound like the nicest area We join the story when there s a fair amount of outside interference coming into the community of Bingtown, and the Trader families living there are not entirely sure just what to do or how to manage the situation of the new inhabitants trying to come in and change their ways.This is a book which clearly puts the characters at the forefront of the story because despite it being an 880pg book actually only a few very major events stand out Despite this, there s so much work on defining and understanding the characters that I feel as if I know them all so well now and I can see how they d react and why they d react that way in various situations.The world building of this book is also unique than that of the Farseer books in that it s largely focused on the sea, and ships at sea, used by the Traders The old traders of Bingtown are often owners of Liveships which means that they own a ship made of wizard wood for many years and generations and they gradually bond with the ship Over time this bond develops to the point where the figurehead of the ship will quicken and come to life, filled with the memories and wisdom of all the previous family members it has bonded with.I loved the idea of the Liveships and the way that they become so integral to the town and the trade that they conduct Not only this, but they are very interesting characters in their own right and the understanding they learn after their quickening can decide how they will react for years to come, being either loyal to the family they are bonded with or turning mad from the grief and savagery introduced to them.We re also introduced not only to the Bingtown Traders in this book but also the Rain Wild Traders who were one of the most mysterious and interesting elements of the book for me I know that one of Hobb s later series is called the Rain Wild Chronicles and I have to say I am VERY eager to check that one out after what i learned and saw hints of in this book Pirates and Slavery are big themes within this book and we get to meet one character and crew who have little to do with the Traders other than that they are Pirates who wish to own a Liveship Everyone knows that a Liveship will only work for the family that it s bonded to and it can easily go mad or savage if it s separated from the family members, but this won t stop the crew who serve under Kennit, a man with high ambitions The final element I want to point out before diving into the characters is that we also follow some Serpents in this book and we get to see their thoughts as they follow their prey and seek food and wisdom This section, although initially intriguing, was the only element I feel like I still don t have much interest in, and although we get hints that there s a bigger story ahead involving the Serpents, I didn t find them anywhere near as interesting as the human characters.So, the characters Althea Vestrit is a young woman who is working on board the Vivacia, her family ship, whilst she waits for it to become quickened She s a somewhat competent sailor, but she s a little spoiled and she knows that when her father retires or dies she will be the one whom the ship is passed to She is bold and daring as a character, but she also has some flaws with entitlement and believing she s better than some of the other crew just because she s the captain s daughter When her father is sick for a long time her story suddenly begins to change pace and things don t always go quite as she may have believed they would, throwing her into some rather tricky situations.I enjoyed Althea s story a lot, although she wasn t my favourite, and seeing her grow as a character and develop skills and knowledge over the book was very pleasing She s got a way to go still, but her character was one which grew on me and as I got to know her , and she s a very interesting one to watch Paragon is an old and washed up Liveship whom everyone avoids He used to be a great Liveship who was proud and happy as any other to serve his family, but something horrible happened and over time he sunk deeper and deeper into madness until he was no longer worth using for fear he would kill the crew he served He s a sad and forlorn character a lot of the time and he really doesn t have a lot to live for which makes him grumpy and distrustful I really enjoyed that fact that the ships themselves had pov s in this and that we got to see things from their view as it gave a new perspective on many of the situations Paragon is a character whose sections instantly gripped me because he was so different to most things I have read before, and his bitter nature was interesting to follow Vivacia is the Vestrit s family Liveship and she s the ship that Althea and her father have worked for all of their lives She begins the story before she s quickened, and so the events that go on on the ship still affect her, but she has no voice herself for any but those she s bonded with Once she does become quickened she finds that things are not quite as she d always imagined they would be and there s actually a lot hardship and terror ahead for her than she would have ever believed that the Vestrit s would put her through.Vivacia s pov really was great to see, especially as she has the memories of various past Vestrit s within her She gives us an interesting outlook, one of a newly quickened ship unlike the Paragon and she shows us how it is to be born into the life of a Liveship and the toll that this bond can exact upon her Brashen was Captain Vestrit s Althea s father s first Mate and he s a well beloved member of the Vivacia He s a kind and loyal member of the crew and when he sees things turning sour before him he understands that the best thing to do may be to abandon ship and start afresh Unfortunately, things are not that simple and he s already entangled in the affairs of the Vestrit s, something which will no doubt continueBrashen is a friend to the Paragon, and he s also a good ship mate He knows his job and does it thoroughly and well, and he s also a man of common sense most of the time I really enjoyed seeing him on his journey, and I liked the way that he dealt with some of the difficult situations he was put into, using his intelligence Kyle Haven is Althea s brother in law and a member of the Vestrit family only by marrying into it He s a capable sailor and a decent captain, but he s ruthless and only believes in his way He s always certain that he knows the best way to handle things, and he s unable to see other s points of view even when the evidence of his mistakes are laid bare before him He s a stubborn and cruel character and whilst he s a little deserving of deference, he s not as deserving of loyalty and love as he first appears.He was certainly the bad guy of the book for me and I found him rather detestable at times, however it was a very tense moment whenever he intervened and for that his parts kept me intrigued Keffria Vestrit is the wife of Kyle and sister to Althea She s a woman who loves and admires her husband so much that she s become accustomed to deferring to him and letting him have his own way both with her and her family She s a kind and conscientious character who only wishes that she could please everyone, but when everything starts to go wrong and she s in the middle of two strong wills she has to begin to stand tall herself and come into her own.Keffria s character took longer for me to warm to because at first she seemed a little weak and silly, but as the story went on I saw her too grow and become someone I liked a lot and admired for the actions she took Wintrow is the oldest child and son of Kyle and Keffria He s a true member of the Vestrit blood whether he wants to be or not and he s been in training to become a Priest of Sa for most of his young life He believe s strongly in Sa s teachings and the ways of following his God, and he s a soft natured and gentle young man He s the character that I think I was most easily connected to early on because of his genteel nature and the way that he approached difficult situations and always tried to do the right thing He may not have always handled things in the most efficient and productive ways, but he s a very loyal and careful character and he stays firm to what he believes in no matter what he s subjected to so I admired him immensely for that Ronica Vestrit is the mother of Althea and Keffria and the Grandmother to Wintrow and Malta She s a strong willed character who s handled the affairs of the family for as long as her husband has been sailing the Vivacia and she s very competent at what she does She s kind and careful and reputation matters greatly to her so she always tries to keep up appearances and do the best thing for her family.I think she was a character whom I enjoyed a lot as she was tested because it brought out her soft and tender side and showed how vulnerable even the head of the family can be She s always trying to do the thing she sees best for them all and sometimes she gets things wrong or makes mistakes, but I liked her ability to try new approaches when necessary and acknowledge her mistakes Malta is the daughter and second child of Kyle and Keffria and she s a very spoilt young girl She wants things to be her way and none other and she follows firmly in her father s way of managing things She s silly and foolish and makes many grave mistakes over the course of the book but she s also young and naive and doesn t fully understand the results of her actions.I found her to be one of the most irritating and yet interesting characters and storylines because she made mistake after mistake and refused to bend or apologise even when she was caught out Her will is as strong as her father s and grandmother s and she tested her family sorely many times Captain Kennit is the pirate Captain of a ship who desires his own Liveship than anything After hearing a prophecy about himself at the start of the book he acts upon what he believes as his right and aims to capture and acquire a Liveship for himself He s a dark and very cruel man with a skill for manipulation and pain He desires nothing than reaching his goals and if he has to be a bloodthirsty Pirate to do so he will, but he s equally a fantastic character whose inner thoughts were great to read.I enjoyed seeing the development of him as a character and learning about how he worked and planned out his moves He s crafty, thinks highly of himself, and he uses all of this to his advantage to achieve his aims Certainly another one to watch So as you can see there s a range and collection of characters who are all very distinct and yet are connected together in various ways Hobb s development in this book of these characters leads me to believe that the plot of the next two should be a little faster paced and we will begin to learn of the other elements of the world, but I a, sure there will still be development and tests ahead for our characters.Hobb certainly didn t shy away from a dark and gritty reality in this book She approaches topic such as slavery and gives great insights into how it would have been to be a slave or slaver and she integrates this into the story in a seamless way, making it a key part of the world and plot She also manages to involve politics and mystery into the book, making it not only thought provoking but also tense.On the whole, my favourite Hobb book by far and I hope to start the next one in this series sometime later this month to see what will happen next A wonderful story and a slow but fantastic book, 5 s highly recommended