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Ship of Destiny

A book by Robin Hobb

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One of the finest fantasy trilogies ever written!

  • Nov 25, 2010
In "Ship of Destiny", Hobb brings The Liveship Traders trilogy to its astonishing conclusion, allows her characters to continue their remarkably realistic evolution and neatly ties up all the necessary threads yet leaves us with the certain knowledge that this is a very dynamic world indeed with a formidable, magnificent history that has yet to be achieved and written.

The story opens with Malta's narrow escape with the mewling Satrap Cosgo after "She Who Remembers" is released from her wizardwood cocoon prison and transformed into the magnificent dragon Tintaglia. Her fiancé, Reyn, and her brother, Selden, are hopelessly trapped underground attempting to find her. Ronica Vestrit, the matriarch of the family, remains a pillar of strength in Bingtown, facing not only complete loss of the family's fortune but also subject to accusations that she was a leading player in the conspiracy against the Satrap and the primary cause of the Chalcedean's relentless attack against the town. Althea and Brashen, sailing on the wildly unpredictable liveship Paragon continue their hunt for the liveship Vivacia, unaware she has been commandeered by Kennit and is now the flagship of his pirate fleet.

The story climaxes in a spectacular naval royal rumble in the seas off the Cursed Shores with Althea, Brashen and Amber aboard Paragon supported by their newfound Jamaillian allies taking on Vivacia, with her identity and personality transformed into that of a most angry dragon, Kennit, Etta, Wintrow and a collection of Chalcedean mercenaries and other pirate ships. Hobbs' mastery of the details of naval conflict in the time of sailing ships is quite apparent and the extraordinary description of this battle would doubtless have Patrick O'Brian himself turning the pages with breathless anticipation.

All of the questions which we had when we finished "Mad Ship" are now answered - Will Althea find true happiness with Brashen? Will Malta continue to mature and begin the evolution of a new world with a marital alliance between the Bingtown Vestrit family and the Rain Wild Trader Khuprus family? Will Wintrow find his destiny as a priest or pirate? Will Etta ultimately find happiness, peace and love with Kennit or Wintrow? What is the relationship between the dragons and the sea serpents? Why are the liveships live? Where did Kennit come from and what is the source of his astonishing power and resiliency? Will he fulfill his destiny as the ruthless Pirate King and rule Divvytown and the seas from Bingtown to Jamaillia? What is the relationship between dragons and humans? Why is Paragon so unstable and angry? What will happen to Kyle last seen marooned on an island with Kennit's mother? What is to become of the wreckage of Bingtown and the relationship between the Old and the New Traders? ... well, you get the idea! The only maddeningly unanswered question remains the identity of the mysterious Amber! For that, the interested reader (and I guarantee you will be) will have to read elsewhere!

There is so much to commend this exciting story to a reader as the culmination of one of the finest fantasy trilogies of all time - realistic dialogue; three dimensional characters with remarkably believable development; confusing real world grays as opposed to fairy tale black and whites; a full dose of fantasy and mysticism coupled with a wonderful command of the details of the real world in which the fantasy is set; and mastery of multiple plot lines and pacing together with the ability to bring them together to a final searing climax. Hobbs has even treated us to a powerful, moving essay on the excruciating mental trial a woman experiences when she is raped and the difficulty that a violated woman faces in separating the facts of the memory from its mental anguish and the appropriate allocation of the blame to the rapist as opposed to herself.

This trilogy is a definite keeper and deserves a place of honour on your bookshelf!

Paul Weiss

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review by . December 23, 2004
"Ship of Destiny" was supposed to be the final book of Robin Hobb's "Liveship Traders" trilogy, but it leaves many loose ends, including the nature and fate of the bead-maker, Amber. And what about those slug-ugly creatures who imprisoned She Who Remembers? Who were they and what is their fate?     There are references to 'Bingtown dragons' in the first book of Hobb's 'Tawny Man' series, so perhaps that is where the author is going to blend in a few 'Liveship Traders' odds and …
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Paul Weiss ()
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   A modern day dilettante with widely varied eclectic interests. A dabbler in muchbut grandmaster of none - wilderness camping in all four seasons, hiking, canoeing, world travel,philately, … more
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Robin Hobb concludes her nautical fantasy epic withShip of Destiny, set in the world of her Farseer series. It lives up to its predecessors,Ship of MagicandMad Shipin every way: the characters continue to develop, the plot moves swiftly, and the setting is vividly realized.

Again, three generations of Vestrit women are at the heart of the story. Ronica, the matriarch, stands alone against accusations that her family is responsible for the chaos that has overtaken Bingtown. She fights to uncover treachery and maintain the Trader's Council. Her daughter, Althea, sails on the disturbed liveship Paragon, hunting for Vivacia, the Vestrit's liveship, now the flagship of a pirate fleet under Kennit, who is both ruthless and compassionate. Her granddaughter, Malta, has disappeared following an earthquake in the ancient treasure city by the Rain Wild River. Her fiancé, Reyn, and her brother, Selden, are trapped while seeking her. They are rescued by the dragon Tintaglia, whom they helped liberate. Reyn asks Tintaglia's aid in finding Malta, but Tintaglia has her own urgent mission to accomplish, one which will change everything. Hobb weaves these plot threads into an exciting and satisfying conclusion. This is an original trilogy well worth reading! --Nona Vero --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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ISBN-10: 0553575651
ISBN-13: 978-0553575651
Author: Robin Hobb
Genre: Science Fiction & Fantasy
Publisher: Spectra
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