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The Mad Ship

The Liveship Traders, Book 2
Narrated by: Anne Flosnik
Series: Realms of the Elderlings, Book 5, Liveship Traders, Book 2
Length: 33 hrs and 56 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (479 ratings)

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Summary

The second volume in this superb trilogy from the author of The Farseer trilogy continues the dramatic tale of piracy, serpents, love, and magic.

Althea Vestrit has found a new home aboard the liveship Ophelia, but lives only to reclaim the Vivacia as her rightful inheritance. However, Vivacia has been captured by the pirate ‘King’ Kennit and is acquiring a keen bloodlust. Bingtown becomes embroiled in a violent political upheaval against the corrupt Jamaillian leader, while the fading fortunes of the Vestrit family lead Malta deeper into the magical secrets of the mysterious Rain Wilds Traders.

Beyond Bingtown, enigmatic wood-carver Amber dreams of re-launching the Paragon, The Mad Ship, despite the history of death and despair that surrounds him. Secrets will be revealed - secrets forgotten by sea serpents, hidden by the disfigured Wild Rain Traders, buried deep in wizardwood coffins - secrets with startling, dramatic consequences.

©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)
“Assassin's Apprentice:A gleaming debut” ( Publishers Weekly)
“Assassin's Quest: 'Assassin's Quest achieves a bittersweet, powerful complexity rare in fantasy” ( Locus)
“Robin Hobb writes achingly well” ( SFX)
“Praise for The Liveship Traders series: 'Even better than the Assassin books. I didn't think that was possible” (George R R Martin)
“Hobb is a remarkable storyteller.” ( Guardian)

What members say

Average customer ratings

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Love the story, not sure about the narration

I knew I would enjoy the context of the story from looking at the description, reading other reviews and talking to a friend. What I found particularly enjoyable was the complexity of the characters in this fantasy novel, the way that all characters have depth and mixtures of pleasant/interesting/unpleasant characteristics. I found the narration difficult. When I first started listening it sounded like 'text to speech' with perfect diction and monotony. I still enjoyed listening but I would have greatly preferred a more natural speech rhythm with more lively inflection.

7 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Well followed on

I would say that I am veracious reader and listener and get through a few books/ Audio books a week. I have eclectic tastes which range from Jeffrey Archer to Stephen King, My main genres are Fantasy and Sci-fi.

This was excellently written with rich and vibrant language and it was very well paced and developed it is definitely becoming a great series and easily rivals the farseer trilogy.

Narration was good but not Great.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

loved it

it was most enjoyable, wonderful to drift off to another world were you love the characters .... recommended, brilliant and fantastic

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Awful narrator

Anne Flosnik’s voice is one of the most annoying noises. Slightly better than nails across a blackboard.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Great book, no audio issues this time!

Reading is much better, and, unlike the first book, the sound production has been done well.

I won't deny that Anne Flosnik might not suit everyone, but I find her reading in this book easy to follow and clear - if you made it through the book one reading you'll definitely be fine! You are rewarded with a faster, clearer and well recorded rendition.

The story really gets going in this book, there is none of the long-feeling development of world building and character establishing segments in this. The story is engaging, tense and very enjoyable - I really do recommend making it through the first book if you are reading it and unsure.

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Slow but Brilliant

Despite the rather unfortunate narration, these books are full of the most incredibly well written characters.
The story is fantastic, the world beautiful and terrible.
Give it a go!

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Cracking stuff!

And great narration too, despite lots of adverse comments on line

Can't write more, need to download the next book in the series!

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A great listen.

A good continuation from the first but which see the story progress at a good pace.

The narration seemed a bit wooden and disjointed to begin with. But after the first hour it settled in to a nice rythm which matched the story well and had a diverse range of character voices.

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The series come together

This book you really start to feel the tales of the other Robin Hobb series link together. Cross book and cross trilogy references start to appear and really help you to appreciate the world that is being created around you.

Not my favourite Narrator overall, range of voices and accents not as strong or consistent as other narrators but still tells the story well overall.

Very happy with this series and glad I have another book to go now

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Epic and absorbing story

I've read the book previously but the audio version has brought this to life and made me realise what an accomplished piece of work this is. The scale of the story is immense, the characters are diverse and real, but the dialogue is what really makes this so engaging. Loved it!

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  • marilyn
  • 02-03-13

Just love Robin Hobbs work but not this narrator

This narrator seems to hang onto words particularly at the end of sentences. I will certainly
listen to series 2 but could wish for a different narrator.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Dragonfly
  • 22-02-17

Brilliant story horrendous narrator

I am amazed that Robin Hobb would agree to Anne Flosnik being the narrator again after the disastrous narration of the first book! Beyond the narration this is a 5 star book! Robin Hobb has weaved a magnificent world that it is a privilege to get lost in. She is one of the best writers of our time.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Raul
  • 25-11-19

Fascinating to listen

Follow along this thrilling adventure and enjoy the realm Robin Hobb has created. It's thoroughly enjoyable!

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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • Sharon
  • 16-09-18

Audio version is dreadful

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

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Jim Sheils
  • 19-07-14

The Epic Continues

What did you love best about The Mad Ship?

The Restoration of the Paragon.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

No it is too big

Any additional comments?

Just as good as Ship of magic

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  • Justin
  • 27-08-17

Great book, great narration

Thank you both Robin and Anne. A great story with excellent narration. I can't imagine anyone else narrating this story in such a wonderfully compelling way.