The Mad Ship by Robin Hobb – Spoiler Free Review

Publisher: Harper Voyager

Publication Date: March 1999

Genre: Fantasy

Adventure Rating: 4.5 Stars


“The Farseer trilogy continues the dramatic tale of piracy, serpents, love and magic. The Vestrit family’s liveship, Vivacia, has been taken by the pirate king, Kennit. Held captive on board, Wintrow Vestrit finds himself competing with Kennit for Vivacia’s love as the ship slowly acquires her own bloodlust. Leagues away, Althea Vestrit has found a new home aboard the liveship Ophelia, but she lives only to reclaim the Vivacia and with her friend, Brashen, she plans a dangerous rescue. Meanwhile in Bingtown, the fading fortunes of the Vestrit family lead Malta deeper into the magical secrets of the Rain Wild Traders. And just outside Bingtown, Amber dreams of relaunching Paragon, the mad liveship … “

I think more often than not second books fall into that “sophomore slump”. Not this one! It could be because this is technically the 5th book that Hobbs wrote. This second installment of The Liveship Traders was, in my opinion, better than the first! It introduces so many new elements and plot points that I loved!

Characters. I hated Malta in the first book and the first half of this book. However, and I have no idea how this happened, but a switch went off and she became my favorite plot line to read about! She really developed into a strong young woman instead of a whiny brat. Speaking of whiny brats, Althea. Ugh. She was still so annoying. She literally would never accept help from anyone because she wants to be “independent”. That’s not maturity. And she is hurting those around her by acting like that. Brashen straitens up a little bit. I was unhappy with the direction he was going but happy where he ended up! Amber is still so mysterious and I now have a pretty good idea of who she is. Reyn, I think, is my favorite! I ship him and Malta so hard! Kefria is slightly annoying. She won’t change even though everything else is changing. Kennit is my other favorite character to read about! He’s so intriguing! He is doing good things but with the wrong motives. Wintrow, next to Reyn, is probably the most honorable character. He always tries to do the right things no matter the cost. Ronica is who I want to be when I “grow up”! Serilla makes me nervous. She went through something horrible but then used that as an excuse to be horrible. And poor Vivacia and Paragon!!

Plot. I am going to try to not say spoilers so I won’t spend much time here. Let me just say this, DRAGONS. Oh. Yes. There is still a lot of high seas adventures, crazy talking ships, a bit of romance, mystery, backstabbing, and plot twists. Kennit is still bent on taking over the pirate isles and we still don’t quite know why. Althea, Amber, and Brashen are outfitting the insane ship Paragon (that’s definitely going to go well…) to sail after Kennit, who has the Vestrit family ship and Wintrow. Ronica, Malta, Reyn, and Kefria are battling the people who are trying to take over Bingtown and some threats within. And meanwhile we are still following the tangle that is the sea serpents and what they are up to. There is a lot going on in this book and I love it.

Final Thoughts. This might become one of my favorite series. It is the exact adventure I love. I am already deep into book 3 and can’t wait to finish! I want to read everything Hobb has written!

Have you read anything by Robin Hobb? What is your favorite? OR what is your favorite high seas adventure?


“If the sky could dream, it would dream of dragons.” – Llona Andrews

I thought it might be fun to have a short list of books about dragons! The first five books are books I’ve read and the second five books are books I want to read! They all have dragons as the main component. Hope you enjoy!

Books I’ve read:

1. The Waking Fire by Ryan Anthony

The Waking Fire

I really enjoyed this adventure! I gave it 3 stars but I liked it enough to want to continue the series! People can drink dragon blood and then they get special powers depending on  what color the dragon is. Click the photo for the full synopsis!

2. Seraphina by Rachel Hartman


Pretty much every one I know has loved this series. It wasn’t for me. I found it really slow and I honestly just don’t have an interest in continuing the series. I gave it 2 stars. It’s about a girl who is part dragon and has a strange connection with other half dragon people. Click on photo for full synopsis.

3. Eragon by Christopher Paolini


Eragon, to me, will be a classic. It is one of my favorite series of all times. Adventure, dragons riders, and a little romance? Yes. I’m thinking of a re-read. 5 stars! Series is about Eragon and his dragon Saphira trying to take down the evil King! Click on photo for full synopsis.

4. The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien

The Hobbit

Again, one of my all time favorite books. I will forever and always love and re-read this book. A true classic masterpiece. 5 stars. I don’t think I need to put a partial synopsis here. Everyone and their mother knows what this is about. Even so, click the photo for full synopsis.

5. A Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin

A Game of Thrones

How can I not put the mother of all dragons in with this post?! One of my favorite series of all time. 5 stars. And once again, I don’t think I need to tell you what this is about. Click on the photo for full synopsis.

Books I want to read (Click on photo for synopsis):

1. His Majesty’s Dragon by Naomi Novik

His Majesty's Dragons

2. Talon by Julie Kagawa


3. The Last Namsara by Kristen Ciccarelli

The Last Namsara

4. Eon by Alison Goodman


5. Dragonflight by Anne McCaffrey



I hope you enjoyed this post! Please, please tell me some of your favorite dragon books! 

Happy Adventuring!