Wizardwood - a sentient wood - is the most precious commodity in the world. Like many other legendary wares, it comes only from the Rain River Wilds.
But how can one trade with the Rain River Traders when only a liveship, fashioned from wizardwood, can negotiate the perilous waters of the Rain River? A liveship is a difficult ship to come by. Rare and valuable, it will quicken only when three family members, from successive generations, have died on board. The liveship Vivacia is about to undergo her quickening, as Althea Vestrit's father is carried to her deck in his death-throes. Althea waits with awe and anticipation for the ship that she loves more than anything in the world to awaken. Only to find that her family has other plans for her.
And dark, charming Kennit, aspiring pirate king, also lusts after such a ship: he well knows the power of wizardwood, and has plans of his own.
About the Author
Robin Hobb was born in California in 1952 and majored in Communications at Denver University, Colorado. Assassin's Apprentice was her first novel, and was followed by the equally successful Royal Assassin and Assassin's Quest. She lives outside Seattle, Washington
First of a new fantasy series entitled The Liveship Traders, set on the same world as Hobb's stunning trilogy (concluded with Assassin's Quest, 1997) but otherwise unconnected. The trading ship Vivacia, owned and captained by Ephron Vestrit out of Bingtown, is constructed of wizardwood: Once three generations of Vestrits have died aboard, the wizardwood will "quicken," become sentient and self-aware, embodied in its moving, talking figurehead. Two previous Vestrits have passed on; now Ephron lies dying, having turned over the captaincy to his arrogant and inexperience son-in-law Kyle Haven and not to his natural successor, sea-wise daughter Althea. Kyle in turn sends for his son Wintrow, whom he gave to be a priest of Sa and who wants only to remain at his monastery. Ephrun dies, Vivacia quickens, and she befriends Wintrow. Kyle banishes Althea, sets about brutally training the reluctant Wintrow, and arranges to carry slaves. Meanwhile, the pirate captain Kennit nurses ambitions of capturing a liveship; some intelligent sea serpents have their own agenda; Ephron's widow Ronica must repay a crippling debt to the Rain Wild magicians, endangering her other daughter, the headstrong Malta; and Althea schemes to recover her ship. Plenty of promising ideas and material, but heavily padded and with utterly inconclusive plotlines: Hobb has succumbed to Doorstopper Syndrome, an apparently incurable malady characterized by bloat, irresolution, logorrhea, and brake failure. (Kirkus Reviews)
Series: Liveship Traders
Number Of Pages: 896
Published: 17th March 1999
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 18.0 x 17.0 x 4.2
Weight (kg): 0.41