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Ship of Magic

The Liveship Traders, Book 1
Narrated by: Anne Flosnik
Length: 35 hrs and 20 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (194 ratings)
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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

Critic Reviews

"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 Ratings

Overall

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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    114
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    49
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    19
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    4
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Performance

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Story

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars

can't listen to the book, bad reader!

narrator had no intonation, can't follow the story. returning the book. might try the paper version of this book.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Great book but I dont like the narrator

Really enjoyed the story as with all the Robin Hobb books but the listening experience was ruined for me by the narrator. I know the Hobb books are so much better if listened to in order and that is the only reason I continued to listen! The narrator sighs out every paragraph as if it is painful to her and her character voices are even more unpleasant to listen to! Thank goodness not all the books by Hobb are read by her or I would never listen to any of them.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

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!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars

don't bother

the womens voice is terrible!!!. I have listened to the first chapter about 4 time and cannot get past the voice

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Speed up the narrator

Fantastic book - could not say better things about it. But I found the narrator very difficult to listen to...until I turned the speed up to 1.25x. Then it seemed to read a lot more naturally and not be so painfully slow/annoying.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Terrible narration!

The narrator is probably one of the worst I’ve ever heard. The story is okay

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

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

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Another great book by Robin Hobb

Once I increase the audio speed to x1.25 I enjoyed this book very much. Looking forward to to the next one in this trilogy.

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

Didnt catch my interest like Farseer trilogy

Didnt catch my interest like Farseer trilogy, struggled to get into, characters not likable, struggle to finish.

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Sad and slow

I struggled through 25 hours before I gave up. Too slow, too sad. When I gave up, I still cared nothing for any of the major characters.

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Nicola Beveridge
  • 19-08-2014

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.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Aimi
  • 26-07-2017

Excellent book let down by an abysmal narrator

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

Hell no. Not if you paid me.
She is slow, monotone and entirely boring as a narrator

Any additional comments?

Speeding the audio up to 1.1x speed improves things significantly but this would be best fixed with a better narrator.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Richard
  • 27-09-2012

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

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Mr Marcus B Kenny
  • 08-03-2017

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.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • The Inked Wren
  • 08-08-2013

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!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Amazon Customer
  • 03-03-2013

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.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Jamilah
  • 14-08-2017

Do not buy! Horrible reading!!

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

Another reader would make all the difference. Anne Flosnik tries to do I do not what. I have read and re-read the books. The stories are wonderful.

What did you like best about this story?

The narrative is very good.

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

No way.

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

Disappointment. I love the books, but Anne Flosnik's reading just kills them.

Any additional comments?

Horrible.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Tracey
  • 25-03-2013

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

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Susan Grouve
  • 05-11-2018

Engaging till the end

Really liked my first audioboek with audible.com. There where times I couldn't stop listening because the story was so engaging. I've read the first 3 books about Fitz and the Fool. after that continued with books 7 to 9 because I wanted to know what happens next to Fitz and the Fool! after book 9 I read more reviews about the liveship books and decided to listen to them, just to try if they hold up to the positive reviews. And they definitely do. I haven't missed Fitz in the stories and I am enjoying the new characters and their adventures just the same. Also, I still enjoy this series even though I have read the next trilogy which gives minor spoilers about the liveship traders books.

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Sharon
  • 16-09-2018

If you can read the book, don't go for audio

This narrator is appalling! I mean seriously appalling. She reads as with no intonation other than elongating the last word of every sentence to extraordinary length. Then the voices she makes for the characters is just awful, I mean really awful.
Just read the book if you are able, the audio version is unlistenable