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Robin Hobb, author of the Farseer trilogy, has returned to that world for a new series.Ship of Magicis a sea tale, reminiscent ofMoby DickandPatrick O'Brian'sAubrey/Maturin series in its details of shipboard life. It is also a fantasy adventure with sea serpents, pirates, and all sorts of magic. Theliveshipshave distinct personalities and partner with specific people, somewhat likeAnne McCaffrey'sBrain ships and their Brawns, though these are trading ships and have full crews.

Hobb has peopled the book with many wonderfully developed characters. Most of the primary ones are members of the Vestritts, an Old Trader family which owns the liveship Vivacia. Their stories are intercut with those of Kennit, the ambitious pirate Brashen, the disinherited scion of another family who served on the Vestritt's ship, and Paragon, an old liveship abandoned and believed mad. The sentient sea serpents have their own story hinted at, as well.

Though Ship of Magic is full of action, none of the plotlines get resolved in this book. Readers who resent being left with many questions and few answers after almost 700 pages should think twice before starting, or wait until the rest of the series is out so that their suspense won't be too prolonged. But Hobb's writing draws you in and makes you care desperately about what will happen next, the mark of a terrific storyteller. --Nona Vero --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Details

ISBN-10:  0553575635
ISBN-13:  978-0553575637
Author:  Robin Hobb
Genre:  Science Fiction & Fantasy
Publisher:  Spectra
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review by . March 19, 2011
Vivacia is a liveship - a seagoing vessel made of wizardwood sailing out of the trading hub Bingtown - that has magically come alive into self-awareness after the death of Ephron Vestrit, patriarch of the family that owns her. His youngest daughter, Althea, feels her it is her rightful legacy to command the Vivacia but the elders of the family, her mother, Ronica, and her older sister, Keffria, persuade Ephron before his death that it is in the family's best interests to give the captain's …
review by . August 03, 2004
"Ship of Magic" is a little over 800 pages long and tells a slo-o-owly developing story from the multiple viewpoints of a family of liveship traders, the liveship herself once she is awakened, plus various sea serpents, a pirate king, and other more peripheral characters--at least they're peripheral in "Ship of Magic" but this is the only the first book of a trilogy, 'The Liveship Traders.'       I've also read this author's 'Farseer Trilogy,' and once settled into one of her …
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