Ship of Destiny (The Liveship Traders)

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9780006498872: Ship of Destiny (The Liveship Traders)

The triumphant conclusion to the magnificent Liveship Traders series. The dragon, Tintaglia, has been released from her wizardwood coffin, only to find that the glories of her kingdom have passed into ancient memory. Meanwhile, Malta Vestrit navigates the acid flow of the Rain Wild River in a decomposing boat, accompanied by the Satrap Cosgo and his Companion Kekki. Against hope, a ship appears in the alien waters, but does it mean rescue, or a further nightmare, for Malta? In ruined Bingtown, the citizens are at war, against the Chalcedean mercenaries besieging the harbour, and also among themselves. If the city is to survive, Ronica Vestrit must unite all its peoples -- both Trader and Tattooed -- and liberate the city once and for all; but Companion Serilla has a different agenda, and is seeking to establish her own power base. Althea and Brashen are finally at sea together, sailing the liveship Paragon into pirate waters in a last-ditch effort to rescue the Vestrit family liveship, Vivacia, stolen by the Pirate king, Kennit; but there is mutiny brewing in their rag-tag crew; and in the mind of the mad ship itself!Wintrow has liberated She Who Remembers and she can at last fulfil her ancient purpose, but in doing so he has been terribly injured. If Wintrow dies, Kennit fears that Vivacia will lose her fragile sanity: a loss that will also threaten his dreams of power and glory. So he strikes a deal with the ship. And soon the waters around the Vivacia are seething with giant serpents, following the liveship as it sails to its destiny. Majestic and sweeping, Ship of Destiny concludes the tale of the Vestrit family and their part in the history of The Liveship Traders with a soaring and triumphant finale to this unique series of epic fantasy.

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Review:

Robin Hobb concludes her nautical fantasy epic with Ship of Destiny, set in the world of her Farseer series. It lives up to its predecessors, Ship of Magic and Mad Ship in every way: the characters continue to develop, the plot moves swiftly, and the setting is vividly realized.

Again, three generations of Vestrit women are at the heart of the story. Ronica, the matriarch, stands alone against accusations that her family is responsible for the chaos that has overtaken Bingtown. She fights to uncover treachery and maintain the Trader's Council. Her daughter, Althea, sails on the disturbed liveship Paragon, hunting for Vivacia, the Vestrit's liveship, now the flagship of a pirate fleet under Kennit, who is both ruthless and compassionate. Her granddaughter, Malta, has disappeared following an earthquake in the ancient treasure city by the Rain Wild River. Her fiancé, Reyn, and her brother, Selden, are trapped while seeking her. They are rescued by the dragon Tintaglia, whom they helped liberate. Reyn asks Tintaglia's aid in finding Malta, but Tintaglia has her own urgent mission to accomplish, one which will change everything. Hobb weaves these plot threads into an exciting and satisfying conclusion. This is an original trilogy well worth reading! --Nona Vero

From the Inside Flap:

Robin Hobb has established herself as one of the masters of fantasy fiction And nowhere is that more apparent than in this powerful, poignant, swashbuckling epic of treachery, heroism, and humanity.  The rousing conclusion to the Liveship Traders trilogy, Ship of Destiny is the spellbinding story of a once-thriving city now reduced to shambles by raging war and rampant greed; of a glorious and mythic species on the brutal edge of extinction; and of the Vestrits, the clan, whose destiny is intertwined with both.

Bingtown is a city under fire from forces within and without. While accusations of conspiracy fly between the Old Bingtown Traders and the New, invaders attack the harbor, trying to take the city for their own.  Matriarch Ronica Vestrit bears witness to the destruction, but she is not the type of woman to simply surrender.  Even as she finds herself branded a traitor, she searches for a way to bring all the city's inhabitants together to stand against the Chalcedean threat.  But there is someone who cannot allow Ronica to succeed, no matter what the cost.

Far out on the stormy seas, Althea Vestrit, ignorant of all that has befallen Bingtown, continues her mission to track down and recover her liveship Vivacia from the ruthless pirate Kennit.  Serving as the Paragon's second mate under Captain Brashen, she faces peril beyond imagining... not just from her growing love for Brashen or their reckless scheme to regain the Vivacia, but from the unpredictable vessel Paragon himself, as he wrestles with his madness and plots his own deadly brand of revenge.

Yet Althea's bold scheme may be in vain.  For her beloved Vivacia will face the most terrible confrontation of all as the secret of the liveships is finally revealed.  This is a truth so horrifying, so shattering, it may destroy the Vivacia and all who love her, including the boy-priest Wintrow Vestrit, whose life already hangs in the balance...

A triumph of imagination and masterful storytelling, Ship of Destiny is an enthralling blend of intrigue and magic, drama and high fantasy.  It is the fitting conclusion to a tale that is bound to become a classic--by a beguiling author who is already deservedly revered.

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