Rating: 4.5 / 5
MAD SHIP by Robin Hobb is the second book in the Liveship Traders trilogy by Robin Hobb, the second trilogy in her Realm of the Elderling series and the fifth book for the #elderlingalong readalong. I really enjoyed SHIP OF MAGIC, so I was excited to get to this one this month!
MAD SHIP takes off where SHIP OF MAGIC left off for the most part after a bit of time has passed. This is a world where some ships are made from a sentient wood, a rare and highly valued product. These ships are owned by families and when a few family members have died on board, the ship itself will become a sentient being.
We’re again following multiple perspectives between pirate ships and the politics on land, with the perspective of sentient ships and serpents mixed in. Characters who are easy to despise get a bit of what is coming to them as power shifts hands and other characters grow and mature as they face difficulties. As the title implies, one of the perspectives is a liveship known as the mad ship. Ships that are separated from the family whose blood helped bring them to life are known to go a bit mad, though this ship has friends who are trying to bring him back to himself.
This book was fantastic and one of my favorite reads of the month. I really enjoyed the multiple perspectives and how the characters separated and came back together over the progress of the book. This book continues to tackle some more serious subjects like the pain of slave trading and womens’ rights, while also dealing well with family and romantic relationships.
Though a chunky read, it never felt long. I will be looking forward to the live show for the #elderlingalong to hear others’ thoughts about this one! I’m excited to finish off the trilogy with SHIP OF DESTINY soon!