Yesterday I finished the liveship traders trilogy by Robin Hobb which I started a long time ago. I think I started it 2 years ago when I first came to the Netherlands and I was reading it in Greek. So, in the Greek editions they had divided all three books, Ship of Magic, The Mad Ship and Ship of Destiny into two parts making them six books. When I started with the first book, Ship of Magic, I went through a really long reading slump. I would read maybe 10 pages each week or so. And this is very sad because this series is wonderful! It’s a high fantasy adventure about ships and pirates.
A brief synopsis:
Our story follows the Vestrit family, a noble merchant family living in Bingtown. The Vestrits own a liveship, a ship made of wizardwood. When Captain Vestrit dies the ship Vivacia awakens and becomes the last hope to restore the family’s fortune. Althea, his younger daughter has always been close with Vivacia and is expecting to become her new Captain. But Captain Vestrit gave the ship ownership to his older daughter, Keffria, who had nothing to do with travelling on the ship and instead gave the ownership to her husband, Kyle. Kyle doesn’t want Althea to escort them on their trading journey and forbids her to board on the ship. Still, in order for the ship to travel, there always has to be a Vestrit on board. Wintrow, Kyle’s son, is unwillingly given the order to join his father to his travels.
Meanwhile, the ambitious and cunning pirate Kenit has plans to become the King of the pirate islands and to achieve that, he needs to get his hands on a liveship.
My rating for this book is 4 out of 5. I have never read a book in my life with characters that seemed so real to me! Robin Hobb has done an excellent job in creating human personalities. There were quite a few times in the books that I got angry and really annoyed by specific characters. I found myself wanting the characters to pay for what they’ve done. That’s because their motives were so real to me and the characters were so alive that it was as if I was in their head. Drawing the characters personality is a beautiful job by the author and it was definitely my favourite aspect of the whole book. I should mention here that it is written from multiple point of views and the reader gets to be inside the head of many of the characters.
The story is quite an adventure!! The pirates, the magic ships and life on board create an exciting storyline. There were a few things that I personally didn’t like, specifically on the plot. I felt that what the author tried to present was a little bit too complicated and unrealistic for me to relate to (I don’t want to say too much and spoil it). Also, to be honest, I was expecting a better ending. Hobb created this amazing book and I came to expect an equally amazing ending, but I got disappointed.
I would definitely recommend it to people who enjoy fantasy books with complicated characters and also to those who like pirate stories and sea adventures!