I read The Liveship Traders trilogy by Robin Hobb which filled three prompts for the 2019 Popsugar Reading Challenge. I started reading Hobb’s Realm of the Elderlings series last year along with a group I’m part of on Goodreads. I finished the first series relatively on track, but fell hopelessly behind with this second series. Thus, they all fit prompt #9, a book I meant to read in 2018. I put book two, Mad Ship into that category and fit the other two into prompt #40, a favorite prompt from a past Popsugar Reading Challenge. Book one, Ship of Magic, is a prompt from 2017, a book with a red spine. And book three, Ship of Destiny is a prompt from 2018, a book set at sea.
Before I had even finished the first book of Hobb’s first series, she found a place on my favorite authors list. She writes the kind of book I love to read – intricate plots, interesting characters and absolutely amazing world-building.
I’ll be honest, after reading The Farseer trilogy, I had some difficulties transitioning to The Liveship Traders trilogy. The first series is written from the first person perspective of one character, so it is intimate and immediate. Liveship, however, backs away from this, and uses multiple third-person perspectives. While this allows for a much broader view of the world she’s created, it is far less personal.
Also, in the first book, Ship of Magic, I had a really didn’t like any of the characters. Every one of them seem cruel, greedy and self-serving in one way or another. Still, Hobb is a master at what she does. She managed to pull me into her world and made me care about what was happening even if I didn’t particularly care for who it was happening to.
In book two, Mad Ship, Hobb builds on what she started in the first one. More details of this mysterious world are revealed. The plot expands and twists in a lot of directions. And I finally came to care a lot more about the characters involved in this story.
Book three, Ship of Destiny, brings this incredibly intricate story to a beautiful conclusion. There is so much going on in this series, but Hobb manages to weave them all together into a complete picture.
I can’t recommend Hobb’s books enough. Her world-building is fantastic. Her characters are genuine – flawed individuals who make mistakes and then learn to live with the consequences. I really liked The Farseer trilogy, but I think I loved The Liveship Traders even more. I’m really looking forward to reading the rest of her books!