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Ship of Magic Audiobook

Ship of Magic: The Liveship Traders, Book 1

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Publisher's Summary

From the author of the classic Farseer trilogy, Ship of Magic is the first part of the Liveship Traders. Set in a land bordering the Six Duchies, Robin Hobb begins her epic of pirates, talking ships, magic, sea serpents, slave revolts, dashing heroes, and bloody battles.

Wizardwood, a sentient wood. The most precious commodity in the world. Like many legendary wares, it comes only from the Rain River Wilds. But how can one trade with the Rain Wilders, when only a liveship, fashioned from wizardwood, can negotiate the perilous waters of the Rain River? Rare and valuable, a liveship will quicken only when three members, from successive generations, have died on board. The liveship Vivacia is about to undergo her quickening, as Althea Vestrit’s father is carried on deck in his death-throes.

Althea waits for the ship that she loves more than anything else in the world to awaken. Only to discover that the Vivacia has been signed away in her father’s will to her brutal brother-in-law, Kyle Haven.

Others plot to win, or steal, a liveship. The Paragon, known by many as the Pariah, went mad, turned turtle and drowned his crew. Now he lies, blind, lonely and broken on a deserted beach. But greedy men have designs to restore him, to sail the waters of the Rain Wild River once more.

©2012 Robin Hobb (P)2012 HarperCollins Publishers Limited

What the Critics Say

"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)

"Even better than the Assassin books. I didn't think that was possible" (George R R Martin on the Farseer series)

"Hobb is a remarkable storyteller." (Guardian)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.2 (73 )
5 star
 (41)
4 star
 (16)
3 star
 (12)
2 star
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1 star
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Overall
4.4 (69 )
5 star
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4 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Story
3.7 (69 )
5 star
 (27)
4 star
 (20)
3 star
 (5)
2 star
 (8)
1 star
 (9)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Madeleine 09/06/2016
    Madeleine 09/06/2016 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
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    17
    3
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    "Couldn't finish it"

    As fantastic as the book was, the voice made it very difficult to sit through. I'd only listened to a couple of hours of audio until I had to go out and purchase a physical copy of the book so I could read it there.
    Great book though!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lori Australia 17/12/2014
    Lori Australia 17/12/2014 Member Since 2014

    I listen to books to help keep my mind active when I'm on night shift. I mainly like to revisit all my favorites that I have read in print

    HELPFUL VOTES
    11
    ratings
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    40
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    "Narrator was fantastic"

    This series is an old favourite, loved revisiting the story in audio format. The narrator really does it justice - I love the way she does the pirate characters

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Carole Thurlow Queensland, Australia 18/03/2017
    Carole Thurlow Queensland, Australia 18/03/2017
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
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    Story
    "Robin Hobb is a masterful writer "

    I've enjoyed the worlds she builds and the characters she uses to fill her worlds. Always so different, always new, always leaving you wanting to get your hands on the next book. My favourite kind of author. I'm just getting into Audio Books, and it adds something to t h e story, which is, of course different from how I've read the story.
    Always a pleasure to have a Robin Hobb on the go and this way I don't have physically hold the book, just listen to the great stories. Delfinitely recommend her epic tales. Carole Thurlow Muirhead

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Daniel 12/03/2017
    Daniel 12/03/2017 Member Since 2017
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    13
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Im sure the paper book will be great"
    What disappointed you about Ship of Magic?

    The voice of the reader just grated on me, after listening to the Assassin Quest books with Paul Boehmer this was a huge disappointment.


    What could Robin Hobb have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

    Hired a better orator


    Who might you have cast as narrator instead of Anne Flosnik?

    Paul Boehmer did a great job with the first 3 books however I dont know I have heard any books read by a female yet.. So I couldnt say really. Sorry.


    You didn’t love this book--but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    I dont know, i got about 45 seconds into it before i had to turn it off and return it


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Melissa J Avery 11/03/2017
    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
    ratings
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    4
    3
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    Story
    "great story - narration so so"

    The depth of the characters in this story were much more compelling than fitz and the fool in the assassins series. This story is very engaing and all the characters have something to offer. I didn't enjoy the narration, i found her pronunciation odd and the slowness of her voice irritating - at times she annunciated words strangly and read things out like she was reading flat emotionless words. I got used to it as the book progressed but overall it was a shame.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Erin Redfern 18/12/2016
    Erin Redfern 18/12/2016 Member Since 2015
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    10
    2
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    Story
    "Great narration"

    Was put off by the bad reviews of this narrator but checked the sample. She was terrific. A very distinctive style but rolled the language around with such attention that I enjoyed every word - including the more detailed descriptions I has skipped through while reading. I highly recommend this and am just about to dive straight into the next one.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jessica 14/09/2016
    Jessica 14/09/2016 Member Since 2015
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    3
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Not perfect but pretty good"

    The reader pronounced almost every name the opposite to how I read it in my head! Had read bad reviews about the reader's voice, but while I didn't love it, I got used to it. Great story.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    rose 16/08/2016
    rose 16/08/2016 Member Since 2016
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
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    Performance
    Story
    "the voice of the narrator is very annoying"

    the narrator has a very annoying voice... I cannot listen to it, I even find it hard to understand ...

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Brendan 04/07/2016
    Brendan 04/07/2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    5
    3
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    0
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    "great book bad narrative "

    struggled to finish this one due to the narrative , i think ill read the next two.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Matthew 25/02/2016
    Matthew 25/02/2016
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    2
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Nothing but magic"

    Great story one I thought worth revisiting. However it was read poorly in my opinion

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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  • Nicola Beveridge
    19/08/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Annoying Voice"
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    Great book, Great Story, Great Writer, Pity about the narrator. It would be nice if they stuck to one Narrator for an author, I would have been very pleased to continue with Paul Bohemer, and I am disappointed with the change, I will make sure I listen to samples before I buy any more books from audible.


    Would you be willing to try another one of Anne Flosnik’s performances?

    No.
    Anne Flosnik has an incredibly annoying voice, she seems to lisp, slur, speaks her words around the sides of her tongue and is almost sounds like she is trying to cast a spell with every sentence. I had intended to work my way through the Liveship traders series before I started the Tawny man series, but I have decided that since I read the series about 10 years ago, I will pass on buying the other two books and skip forward.


    Any additional comments?

    It has just occurred to me that there are other sites that do audiobooks, I have been happy having Audible as my sole provider, but I really don't want to listen to Anne Flosnik butchering any more of these books so I will have to look to see if this book is availiable from anyone else with a better Narrator.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Richard
    Cape Town, South Africa
    27/09/12
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "The playback skips words"
    Would you try another book from Robin Hobb and/or Anne Flosnik?

    The story is engaging, however the recording skips words continually...
    It looses meaning in some sentences


    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Tracey
    Lennox Head, Australia
    25/03/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Interesting concept"

    After reading the Farseer trilogy, I really wanted to skip The Liveship Traders and go on to the Tawny Man Series but all the reviews I read indicated these books should be read in the order they were written because some of the characters from here are brought into the Tawny Man. While not directly connected to the Farseer story, it is set just outside the boarders of the Six Dutchies.

    I liked the characters and the idea of the liveships but dont understand what is going on with the sea serpents. It has taken quite a long time to start enjoying the story as I don't care for the narrator's voice/accent. We have Trader families in debt to RainWild families for their liveships, children used as bargaining chips, pirates, slaves and politics and an interesting mix up of characters.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Mr Marcus B Kenny
    Redbank Plains, QLD Australia
    8/03/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Tip for those who don't enjoy this narrator"

    Try increasing the playback speed. I listened to this book at 1.10x and it made a world of difference. That is a tip to remember for any audiobook that you are not enjoying, try increasing the playback speed before giving up on the book.

    As for the trilogy, I'm now well into the second book in this series, and it's ok. It's not as gripping as the farseer trilogy, but it is good enough to listen too. I look forward to returning to Fitz & the Fool, but this is proving to be entertaining enough, and the magical ships are wonderful.

    It is frustrating how even when someone has been proven to be wrong in this book, they still stubbornly refuse to change their mind/opinion about something. (Very true to life though, just look at politics.) Like the whole Vestrit family, none of them ever seem to change their mind. It does make it a struggle for me to like any of the characters very much.

    Anyway, give the series a go, the ships are wonderful, and if you find the narrator difficult to listen too, try increasing the speed. I honestly wonder if someone messed up the recording, and it's playing slower than it should.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Dupertuis
    11/08/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Disappointing reader"
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    I purchased this book, but was finally very disappointed. The person reading this book is not very good.


    What other book might you compare Ship of Magic: The Liveship Traders, Book 1 to and why?

    In comparison, Nick Taylor, who read "Fool's Fate" from the same author, was much much better.


    What didn’t you like about Anne Flosnik’s performance?

    The tone of voice employed by Anne Flosnik is very monotonous and slow. Sometimes I even struggle to understand the text. For these reasons, I was not able to finish listening to the book.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Gijs
    25/01/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Anne Flosnik does a good job"

    The story is stunning and impossible to lay down. The reader is really very good, although she does take a few minutes of getting used to after listening to the farseer books.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Jim Sheils
    Wellingtom, New Zealand
    19/07/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "What An Epoc!"
    What did you love best about Ship of Magic: The Liveship Traders, Book 1?

    The scale of the story is vast and it is one of those books that is impossible to put down once you pick it up.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Ship of Magic: The Liveship Traders, Book 1?

    The introduction of the live ships


    Have you listened to any of Anne Flosnik’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    This was the first performance by Anne Flosnik I heard


    Any additional comments?

    Stick with this one, you wont regret it!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Kindle Customer
    8/08/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Worst Narrator Ever!!!! Slow, Monotone, Bland"

    I am sure the book is quite good but I will be asking for a refund for this one. The Narration is just terrible. I am really sorry Anne Flosnik but this is not your calling.

    There is no depth to the characters, she is incredibly slow even at 1.25 times the speed. its very mono tone so the book doesn't develop any real feeling as to what is going on. The spacing between sections in chapters is almost non existent and its really hard to follow from one part to the next. And all the characters sound the same boy or girl, old or young.

    Looking at other reviews of this narrator this is a common feeling so its really disappointing that the entire series is read by this one lady. She just doesn't give the book justice.

    Will be reading this one myself thanks!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Amazon Customer
    Oslo, Norway
    3/03/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Truly awful narrator"
    Would you try another book from Robin Hobb and/or Anne Flosnik?

    I'd certainly read a book from the same author, but not the narrator unless for a very specific reason.


    Was Ship of Magic: The Liveship Traders, Book 1 worth the listening time?

    The story is good, the narrator almost made me give up.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Elden
    Dee Why, Australia
    17/02/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Great series w/ pirates, talking ships & serpents"
    What did you love best about Ship of Magic: The Liveship Traders, Book 1?

    Talking ships, Sea Serpents, Pirates....


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    This book is not my cup of tea, but it has enough elements to intrigue me and get me to consider buying the next book.


    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
Sort by:
  • Eli
    stockholm, Sweden
    15/11/12
    Overall
    "great story, disappointing narration"

    I love Robin Hobbs books, I have read them all and Ship of magic is no exception. However, the narrator does not do it justice. Maybe its a technical flaw in the recording or she simply swallow the ending of words but repeatedly through the reading the last letters in a word just disappears. Also, the "voices" she uses leaves me untouched, and sometimes annoyed. But the story is great and because of that i give it 3 stars; 1 for narrator and 4 for the story.

    10 of 10 people found this review helpful
  • Ms
    London, United Kingdom
    17/11/12
    Overall
    "Good book, poor narration"

    Like the previous reviewer, I like Robin Hobb's books. Her style is flowing and characters accessible. However, the narrator is not a good match. There is little emotion in her reading, which sounds like a newsreader at times. I've not finished yet, and I'm open to her style growing on me, but at the moment it's actually getting in the way of the words. I suggest starting with one of Hobb's other series on this site.

    9 of 9 people found this review helpful
  • henry
    LONDON, United Kingdom
    5/04/13
    Overall
    "ouch"

    my god. i love robin hobbs writing. shes a genius. just finished the entire farseer tilogy. but the narrator is horrific in this book! why change! it sounds like someone doing silly voices to mimic someone like children. please god audible take this book away from me. ill read it i swear but dont make me listen to another word from Anne Flosnik. thank god for the returns policy as i bought the entire liveship tilogy in one go! such a bad idea.

    8 of 8 people found this review helpful
  • Bonnie
    Norwich, United Kingdom
    30/11/12
    Overall
    "Good book but the ends of words are clipped off"

    I love Robin Hobb's writing and the story in this book is as good as others I have read, but I agree with previous reviewers that a good book is let down by the narration. I am not keen on the reading style or the character voices, but that is a matter of personal taste and you can get a flavour of that from the sample, what caused me to stop listening after several hours is the way the ends of words are missing, you forgive the first few as a technical glitch, but it keeps on happening and each time it is more grating. Where have the ends of the words gone? I tried downloading the full quality version but the problem was the same. This is a poor quality audiobook for a good quality site such as Audible, wish I had read the reviews before buying.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • Alex
    16/07/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Terrible narration"
    Any additional comments?

    Having enjoyed the Farseer trilogy audiobooks I was shocked at the quality of narration. The narrator has a very odd and distracting cadence and the character voices are not great either. It made it completely impossible for me to get beyond the 1 hour mark in a book I know I like.

    I will definitely avoid anything from the same narrator in future. Its the first thing I've regretted purchasing from audible and the first time I've felt driven to post a review.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Beth
    23/02/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Truly awful narration. Such a shame."

    I've just finished listening to the farseer trilogy which were brilliantly written and well read by Paul Boehmer. I was therefore really looking forward to the next trilogy by Robin Hobb. Unfortunately after only 45 mins of attempting to listen to 'Ship Of Magic' I found myself forced to return this audio book. At first I thought I was listening at the wrong speed - but no! I spent the next 20 mins trying to decipher if the narrator was a real person or a computer generated voice. I was so fixated on the narrators lifeless delivery and in some instances bizarre pronunciation, that I was completely unable to follow the story. By far the worst narration I have encountered from Audible (and I have downloaded a lot of books). Robin Hobb deserves better. Mystifying decision to change narrators, and even more mystifying to allow this narration to be put into production.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • alc
    england
    31/10/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "If only they had a better reader"

    These books are great stories but this reader is the worst I have ever heard. She needs to be sacked, her voice seems to be on slow speed and in an effect voice that you can not tell the difference between the different people. Cone on Audible you have mush better readers than this....Just look at the other books by Robin Hobb.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Helen
    United Kingdom
    22/05/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Maybe the paperback is better?"

    This was my first contact with the Liveship Traders and sadly, it's probably going to be my last. The narration was awful - I just couldn't follow the scene breaks and was horribly confused within the prologue alone. I also found the narrator's tone and pronunciation odd (at best)

    I am so frustrated with the narration that I didn't get very far through the book at all. Robin Hobb has always been someone I wanted to try, but this experience has really put me off trying other books.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Russell
    22/02/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Excruciating narration"

    I hadn't read any of the reviews of this production, or listened to the sample before purchasing. BIG mistake! Anne Flosnik's voice grated from the start, with a strange unnatural rhythm and unbelievable voices. Perhaps English is not her native tongue, but Audible could easily have found a far better narrator from amongst the many it can choose from. I hope that I can return this title, as I will never listen to it again.
    Sadly I was forced to allocate one star for 'Performance. Too high in my opinion.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Adie
    29/11/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Poor!"

    I love all of robin Hobb's stories but the lady reading put me off. It was like having mystic meg reading, so much so only did about an hour and realised I wasn't following rewound a couple of times but still couldn't get into.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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