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Ship of Destiny (The Liveship Traders, Book 3): 3/3 Paperback – 4 Feb 2008

4.7 out of 5 stars 271 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 912 pages
  • Publisher: Harper Voyager; New Ed edition (4 Feb. 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0006498876
  • ISBN-13: 978-0006498872
  • Product Dimensions: 11.1 x 5 x 17.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (271 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 174,779 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Amazon Review

Robin Hobb's books combine heroic adventures by land and sea with a passionate urgency about the morality which underlies her character's deeds. Ship of Destiny, the third in The Liveship Traders trilogy, involves us further with the efforts of the Vestrit family to reclaim the fortunes which war and piracy have cost them, raising interesting questions about the sources of even an attractive family's wealth. It is clear that the liveships Vivacia and Paragon were carved from husks which should have hatched dragons; that the attractive personalities of the figureheads are only pale shadows of the autonomous beings they might have been. Malta Vestrit has freed the last of the real dragons from an underground prison, and he is not especially grateful. The slave-liberating pirate Kennit, one of Hobb's richest creations, is ever more drawn to the darker side of his flawed nature in an attempt to hide from the secrets of his past.

This is one of the most satisfying heroic fantasies of recent years, simply because it is about difficult choices and complex emotions, while Hobb's tight plotting and fast-moving storytelling are fascinating in their own right.--Roz Kaveney


'Even better than the Assassin books. I didn't think that was possible'
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. If Patrick O’Brian were to turn to writing high fantasy, he might produce something like this.’

‘A wonderful book, by a writer at the height of her abilities’
J V Jones

'Hobb is a remarkable storyteller.'

'Hobb is one of the great modern fantasy writers… what makes her novels as addictive as morphine is not just their imaginative brilliance but the way her characters are compromised and manipulated by politics.'
The Times

Praise for Robin Hobb:

Assassin's Apprentice:
'A gleaming debut'
Publishers Weekly

Assassin's Quest:
'Assassin's Quest achieves a bittersweet, powerful complexity rare in fantasy'

'Robin Hobb writes achingly well'

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Robin Hobb is one of the fantasy genre's Good Guys. She may not be doing anything vastly original or profound - but, man, she does it so well. For pure entertainment, there's none better: intricate plotting, knife-edge tension, a sense of place so real you can smell it, and emotional engagement in spades with characters well worth caring about. I haven't turned 900 more enjoyable pages since ... (you can see this one coming, can't you?) the previous instalment.
The setting, slightly outside the normal run of high fantasy, is clearly inspired by colonial America. The pioneer Trader families have prospered for several generations in the bustling entrepot of Bingtown, thanks in large part to commerce undertaken with the Liveships - magical, self-aware vessels built of a particular wood only found upriver from Bingtown, crafted for the Traders by their mysterious kin who live there. But theirs is, naturally, a precarious existence in a frontier land. They are dependent upon trade for much of their food and other supplies, and remain politically subordinate to their former homeland; the society that has developed in response to the challenges is a deeply conservative one; and there are other opportunists who desire the same chance at making their fortune, who are willing to use slave labour to get it.
The concerns, then, are familiar ones; this is all about a society in the painful throes of transition, forced to confront issues of privilege, hierarchy, and access to power. This is played out in a number of ways, one of the most pointed and nuanced being the status of women, as expressed through a diverse range of major characters.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I've never been such a fan of Robin Hobb's writing as others are but the first book in this trilogy, 'Ship of Magic' was on offer, so I thought I would give it a whirl. The premise was interesting and reminiscent of Anne McCaffrey's brain ships, which I love. The storyline was interesting, although it was a bit on the slow side for me and I confess I skimmed a lot of the first and second books. It did make me want to find out what happened to the liveships, so I kept on reading. I didn't like the character of Kennit at all, despite his story being central to the whole series: something which finally became apparent in this, the third book. Halfway through 'Ship of Destiny' the pace suddenly picked up and I found it had become 'un-put-downable' and it was quite a rip-roaring finish, though with plenty of loose ends to pick up for the next series 'The Rain Wild Chronicles'. I see that this has mixed reviews but no doubt I will read it in due course, to find out what becomes of the dragons. If you are a Robin Hobb fan I'm sure you will love the Liveship Traders books. I still don't quite care for the protracted build-up to half a book of excitement but it is worth reading.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I am blown away by these books.
They are so well written and they keep you wanting to keep reading. It's difficult to put them down. I just love them they fired the imagination and you feel you are there with them. That's how they make me feel any way.
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Format: Paperback
The final instalment in Robin Hobbs wonderful Liveship Traders trilogy does not disappoint, not that it was ever likely to. The characters, are of course, by now vividly defined but its the way that the author ties all the disparate plot strands and by proxy the characters that makes this such a pleasure to read.
Anybody reading Ship Of Destiny would surely have read the previous novels and be familiar with the characters. Anyone reading this book who has,nt read the other books....what are you playing at? The plot draws together the multiple members of the Vestrit family as they struggle to survive . Ronica and Keffria are still in Bingtown , a place under siege and falling apart. Malta is stranded on a tiny boat on the Rain Wild River with the arrogant Satrap of Jamellia while her possible husband to be Reyn is trapped in the mud of the sunken city destroyed by an earthquake with Malta,s little brother Seldon.
Meanwhile Althea is aboard the Liveship Paragon still confused about her feelings for Brashen but determined to find the families Liveship Vivacia. The ship herself is exploring her long hidden identity , exacerbated by the serpents that follow in her wake. Would be pirate king Kennitt , the arch manipulator , is still attempting to coerce Wintrow and Etta into a destiny neither envisage . On top of all this the freed but arrogant Dragon Tintaglia views the humans as mere pawns to be used in the propagation of her species.
The way Robin Hobb draws all the characters together for the sagas conclusion is completely believable , free of contrivance and masterfully paced. It is also hugely satisfying without resorting to sentimentality and cliché though it does,nt have quite the lump in the throat effect of the end of the Farseer series.
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This is a grand series. I loved the characters - their development and progression were skilfully handled - and found some of the concepts thought provoking. The humbling of some characters felt justified; the sense of things coming full circle was satisfying. The importance of memories is a strong theme and I was enthralled by the 'tangles of sea serpents' as sentient, ancient beings. Although set in an imaginary context, there is a sense of our own world history here - and liveships are simply the coolest idea ever! Dragons are also a personal favourite for me, and her name when revealed was a 'cherry on the top' moment. I loved it all.
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