I have been captured by pirates. I am riding with Althea as she tries to find a way to get her liveship Vivacia back again. I am following the adventures of all her family members as they face various threats to the family since their father died early in Ship of Magic.
Fabulous? Oh yes.
I am completely swept away by this series. I LOVE it. The Liveship Traders series has three books in it: Ship of Magic, Mad Ship, and Ship of Destiny. I forget how much I am captured by Robin Hobb's writing, how much I am drawn into her world. Is it bad of me to wish very much that I could meet a Rain Wild Traders and know more about their world? ie actually go there?
I really really want to sail on a liveship. What a lovely magical fabulous idea, a ship made of wizardwood, that slowly comes to life from the family members who live and die on her.
As some of you may know, I lived on a sailboat once, long ago as a teenager, and we sailed the Pacific coast of Central America for two years. The boat I did live on? It was a 42 foot sailing yacht named
Kalaha. And I remember all the sailing (nautical) terms on her, except
possibly the names of some of the different lines (ropes) used to haul
the sails in and out. I wish I had a scanner, so I could show you her.
She was a lovely boat, and my home for two years. Long ago, in the
1970's. I might be land-locked now in Ottawa, but in my dreams, I can
still hear the small curl on the waves as they roll endless through the
sea, and the wind in the sails........I still dream sometimes of being on the boat. I have many good memories of living on water clear enough to see the bottom, and the dangers of pirates even then for the unwary boats. I have seen flying fish, and water that glowed in the night with the passing of sea life. We had dolphins swimming and jumping by our bow. So when the Vivacia plows through water, or a sudden storm raises the waves, I remember what it is like to be in it. And I remember what it is like to be coated in sea salt from the spray on very windy days, after sitting at the wheel for my turn on watch. Reading this series is like being at sea again, only better, because there is magic and family drama that I'm only reading about, not part of !! And I'm dry at home, eating cookies and drinking tea.
You don't have to have even seen the sea to enjoy this series. I'm just sharing how real the life of Althea and Wintrow on the different merchant sailing vessels they are on, is for me. Hobb does such a good job capturing life at sea that you will feel like you've been at sea too, while reading this series. In a good way, no seasickness like my sister Patricia suffered from, from day one. Even she could read this series, there is not much about the heaving skyline or big waves (any motion made her sea sick). Yet some of the story doesn't take place at sea, or on the boat, quite a bit of has to do with Althea's family in Bingtown, and the challenges they face as change comes as the ruler of their land begins to break the old promises to him, and threaten the delicate trading partnership between the Bingtown Traders and the Wild Rains Traders, and the secrets that bind them which include the secret of the liveships.
The trilogy also has:
- the possibility of dragons.
- And a heroine named Althea, who in true sea sailing lore, runs away to sea in disguise as a boy, when her family gives what was to be her liveship to her brother-in-law, in a bad mistake that might cost them everything.
I'm on book 2 now, Mad Ship. I can't put it down. I have been carried off by the series. I hope to be back in time for New Year's Eve or New Year's Day, to finish my list of books of the year (yes ,sis, I haven't forgotten), and to talk about books I got for Christmas, and plans for the new year.
The Liveship Traders is an excellent series, three books in all, and I hope to finish the series by the end of New Year's Day, since I have to go back to work on January 2. It's very difficult to do anything else while reading them, as they are well-written, intense stories, with chapters that change view points and overall emerging slowly is a tapestry of a world full of wonderful lively characters, with good dialogue, and it just zips along, one adventure to another. I have loved her other two series, the Farseer series and the Tawny Man series, and am delighted that I am falling in love with Althea and all the characters in this series too. I am so happy I have nothing in my plans for the next few days, except to read. All the parties are done except one. And a deep freeze is descending on us once again. I can think of no better way to celebrate the end of the year, and this magical time between Christmas and New Year's day, than by reading. And hide out from the cold, of course.
Happy reading for the end of the year, everyone!!! Back soon. I have to find out what Althea does when they learn the Vivacia has been captured by pirates......