“A truly extraordinary saga . . . The characterizations are consistently superb, and [Hobb] animates everything with love for and knowledge of the sea.”—Booklist
As the ancient tradition of Bingtown’s Old Traders slowly erodes under the cold new order of a corrupt ruler, the Vestrits anxiously await the return of their liveship—a rare magic ship carved from sentient wizardwood, which bonds the ships mystically with those who sail them. And Althea Vestrit waits even more avidly, living only to reclaim the ship as her lost inheritance and captain her on the high seas.
But the Vivacia has been seized by the ruthless pirate captain Kennit, who holds Althea’s nephew and his father hostage. Althea and her onetime sea mate Brashen resolve to liberate the liveship—but their plan may prove more dangerous than leaving the Vivacia in Kennit’s ambitious grasp.
BONUS: This edition includes an excerpt from Robin Hobb's Ship of Destiny.
Praise for Robin Hobb and the Liveship Traders Trilogy
“Fantasy as it ought to be written . . . Robin Hobb’s books are diamonds in a sea of zircons.”—George R. R. Martin
“A major work of high fantasy, reading like a cross between Tolkien and Patrick O’Brian . . . one of the finest fantasy sagas to bridge the millennium.”—Publishers Weekly
“Rich, complex . . . [Hobb’s] plotting is complex but tightly controlled, and her descriptive powers match her excellent visual imagination. But her chief virtue is that she delineates character extremely well.”—Interzone
The second book (after Ship of Magic) in Hobbs's Liveship Traders trilogy solidifies the series's promise as a major work of high fantasy, reading like a cross between Tolkein and Patrick O'Brian. Protagonist Althea Vestrit is neither unrealistically beautiful nor mindlessly dauntless. She is a very human character who has her share of doubts as she undertakes to assemble a motley crew of allies (including her former lover, Brashen Trell) to take the blind, insane liveship Paragone to sea in search of the Vestrit family's liveship Vivacia. Meanwhile, Vivacia is enjoying a prosperous career as the flagship of pirate Captain Kennit. In spite of his peg leg, Kennit is a charismatic leader, with a genius for manipulation that his mistress Etta and his prisoner Wintrow Vestrit (Althea's nephew) seem ready to mistake for virtue. And in Bingtown, Wintrow's bratty sister, Malta, finally starts growing up when her family and town face ruin and she must take refuge in the Rain Wild forests. This second installment in the trilogy reveals the connections among liveships, the wizardwood used to build them, the sea serpents and the legendary Rain dragons. Apart from an overly long subplot concerning the feckless young Satrap, the novel is tightly written, with few passages not devoted to characterization, world building or action. Again, Hobb gives high fantasy a salty nautical spin that will please a great many readers. FYI: Robin Hobb is a pseudonym for Megan Lindholm.