Mad Ship by Robin Hobb
(Liveship Traders 2)


6 Critic Reviews

Hobb gives high fantasy a salty nautical spin that will please a great many readers.
-Publishers Weekly


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.
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 truly extraordinary saga . . . The characterizations are consistently superb, and [Hobb] animates everything with love for and knowledge of the sea.”—Booklist
“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

From the Paperback edition.

About Robin Hobb

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Robin Hobb was born in California but grew up in Alaska. It was there that she learned to love the forest and the wilderness. She has lived most of her life in the Pacific Northwest and currently resides in Tacoma, Washington. She is the author of The Farseer Trilogy, The Liveship Traders Trilogy, and The Tawny Man Trilogy. Her books under the pseudonym Megan Lindholm include The Wizard of the Pigeons, Windsingers, and Cloven Hooves. Her short fiction has won the Asimov's Readers' Award and been finalists for both the Nebula and Hugo awards. She is also the author of The Inheritance, a collection of stories written under both names. For more information about Robin Hobb, please visit
Published December 30, 2003 by Spectra. 864 pages
Genres: Science Fiction & Fantasy, Literature & Fiction. Fiction
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Critic reviews for Mad Ship
All: 6 | Positive: 4 | Negative: 2


Above average
Reviewed by Kirkus Reviews on May 20 2010

Hobb displays a wonderful imagination but has cast aside any remaining inclination toward control.

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Publishers Weekly

Reviewed by Publishers Weekly on Mar 29 2008

Hobb gives high fantasy a salty nautical spin that will please a great many readers.

Read Full Review of Mad Ship (Liveship Traders 2) | See more reviews from Publishers Weekly

SF Site

Reviewed by Wayne MacLaurin on Jan 01 2008

There isn't a character in Mad Ship that is flat or inanimate. Everything Hobb puts to paper comes alive, whether it's a struggle for power aboard a ship or the haunted demons of Paragon's tortured soul.

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Fantasy Literature

Above average
Reviewed by Julie Waineo on Feb 19 2008

Mad Ship was full of what Ship of Magic gave me a taste of and she kept my appetite piqued for more.

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Reviewed by Rob on Dec 01 2008

The Mad Ship is a supurb example of multiple point of view epic fantasy. In fact I suspect George R.R. Martin is jealous.

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SF Reader

Above average
Reviewed by Joshua Palmatier on Jun 19 2010

I'd certainly recommend this series to people who aren't afraid of a thick fantasy novel with perhaps some extra and unnecessary padding.

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