Titles: Ship of Magic (book 1), The Mad Ship (book 2), Ship of Destiny (book 3)
Author: Robin Hobb
Publication Years: 1999, 1999, 2000
Pages: 880, 906, 903
My Ratings: 4/5, 2.5/5, 4/5
These books are huge, and the trilogy of the "Liveship Traders" definitely takes you on quite an adventure. Basically, this series deals with Bingtown and Vivacia. Bingtown is a trader's town in the North of the land of the Elderlings, the Vivacia is a liveship with a personality of its own - it can speak and feel just like any other human.
In the beginning of book one, Vivacia is not yet a liveship. In order for her to become one, three captains from the same family must die on her deck. Althea's father, the current captain, is about to die after a long life of many sea journeys, and in their sorrow, Althea and her family are very eager to make sure that it happens on the decks of Vivacia. The liveship comes alive, however with that comes a lot of troubles that neither Althea nor her friends and family had foreseen.
Basically, I really loved this series. I'm not much of a fantasy reader, but when I do read fantasy, I appreciate for it to be intriguing, original as well as easy to understand. This is one of those series that fulfil all of that. It comes with a heavy cast of characters, and we get to follow all of their perspectives through the chapters. I loved that because it allowed for me to get in depth with each and everyone and connect with them.
However, as you can see from my ratings, my reading experience of this trilogy took a dive with book two "The Mad Ship". I'm still not sure why because the book delivers an adventurous story, just like the other two. I think what happened is that I read it at the wrong time, and I wasn't feeling a heavy fantasy story at the moment. Nevertheless, my reading of the last book "Ship of Destiny" confirmed for me that this is indeed a masterpiece of a fantasy series. It may be quite long, and it may be a bit silly with talking ships, but it has dragons, and superstition, and sea voyages, and who wouldn't love that?
All in all, I'm very happy that I finished this series because it provided me with one of the best fantasy reading experiences I've had for a while. Luckily, Robin Hobb has published lots of other books in this same world of the Elderlings, and luckily I own most of them, so I'm kind of excited to continue this journey later on in 2016.