Book Review: Ship of Magic (Liveship Traders #1)


Published: January 9, 1998

Author: Robin Hobb

I have read a lot of Robin Hobb this year. Mostly due to used book sales, gifts, and eBook discounts, I’ve read five of her books in 2016. The remaining reason is because her writing is fantastic. Liveship Traders is her magnum opus. Ship of Magic is the first book in the Liveship trilogy, and it lives up to her lofty reputation. As well as Hobb writes, if I had a complaint about her other books, it is that all of her characters are whiney and unlikable. In Ship of Magic, there are only a couple whiney/unlikeable characters, but they are supposed to be.

At over 800 pages, there is a lot going on in Ship of Magic. The story follows the Vestrit family – traders and owners of a “liveship.” To give you an idea of how much is going on, the following points of view are covered: The patriarch, the patriarch’s wife, their daughter, their other daughter, her husband, the grandson, the granddaughter, the ship, the first mate and, of course, a pirate (no relation). As with Hobb’s other books, she does a masterful job of creating separate identities for each POV, making it easy to determine who is speaking or thinking.

I’ll spare you all the various storylines, but I will say it was obvious from the beginning where the story was headed. It took a long time to get there, but it eventually found its way. Once there, however, it lacked a conclusion, nor was there a cliffhanger to suck you into reading book two. It just ended. Like if I stopped this review after the first paragraph. With that in mind, I have no choice but to rate this book pending the review of book two, and possibly book three.


Goodreads: 4.1/5


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