Cover image for Ship of destiny
Ship of destiny
Hobb, Robin.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Bantam Books, 2000.
Physical Description:
581 pages ; 25 cm.
Format :


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Material Type
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Item Holds
X Adult Fiction Popular Materials-Science Fiction/Fantasy
X Adult Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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Hobb brings the epic tale of the Liveship Traders--begun in Ship of Magic and Mad Ship--to its triumphant conclusion. It is a world in dire straits: Bingtown is in flames, victim of the growing war with Chalced. Althea and Brashen, aboard the Paragon, are finding their blinded Liveship increasingly unstable and unpredictable. And in the midst of the chaos arises a dragon powerful enough to forge the world as she sees fit, be it for destruction, or redemption.

Author Notes

Robin Hobb was born in California but grew up in Alaska. It was there that she learned to love the forest and the wilderness. She has lived most of her life in the Pacific Northwest and currently resides in Tacoma, Washington. She is the author of five critically acclaimed fantasy series: The Rain Wilds Chronicles (Dragon Keeper, Dragon Haven, City of Dragons, Blood of Dragons), The Soldier Son Trilogy, The Tawny Man Trilogy, The Liveship Traders Trilogy, and The Farseer Trilogy. Under the name Megan Lindholm she is the author of The Wizard of the Pigeons, Windsingers, and Cloven Hooves. The Inheritance, a collection of stories, was published under both names. Her short fiction has won the Asimov's Readers' Award and she has been a finalist for both the Nebula and Hugo awards.

(Publisher Provided) Margaret Astrid Lindholm Ogden was born in Berkeley, California on March 5, 1952. She writes under the pseudonyms Megan Lindholm and Robin Hobb. She writes fantasy and science fiction under the name Robin Hobb including the Farseer Trilogy, the Liveship Traders Trilogy, the Tawny Man Trilogy, the Soldier Son Trilogy, the Rain Wilds Chronicles, and the Fitz and the Fool Trilogy. Her title, Assassin's Fate, made The New York Times Best Seller List in 2017.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Althea Vestritt isn't the Danielle Steele character portrayed in cover art for her Liveship Traders trilogy, and the account of the rebuilding of Bingtown, the traders' home, is a trifle preachy. But otherwise it is hard to carp about the triumphant conclusion to what is probably the best fantasy trilogy of the past decade and a prospective fantasy classic. Hobb handles the seafaring aspects as well as ever but focuses this grandly complex book on relations between individuals and between groups and changes in individuals and relationships. Captain Kennit remains the most complex character, despite his growing ruthlessness, but Althea runs a close second, as her quest for the family liveship Vivacia and her love for Brashen Tell both become star-crossed. Althea's spoiled-brat niece, Malta Haven, matures in the school of hard knocks and finds her true love in a River Wild Trader, and the "mad ship" Paragon becomes the ship of this book's title and crucial to reestablishing the linkage between sea serpents, wildwood cocoons, and the dragons that hatch from the cocoons. Hobb's narrative skill is great enough to guarantee that the tale's many persons, places, and objects won't throw new readers. Meanwhile, veteran readers will appreciate more than ever before the sheer splendor of the Liveship Traders' story. --Roland Green

Publisher's Weekly Review

One has to use a jeweler's loupe to find a flaw or a dull moment in this splendid conclusion to one of the finest fantasy sagas to bridge the millennium. True, there are moments in this third novel of the Liveship Traders Trilogy (Mad Ship; Ship of Magic) when things progress too easilyDthe folk of Bingtown, for example, seem to embrace diversity, equality and female empowerment too quickly to be believed. But otherwise, this book soars. Hobb weaves together multiple storylines: there's Althea Vestrit's quest for her family's liveship, Vivacia; the awakening of Paragon (the eponymous "ship of destiny"); the establishing of links between the liveships made of wizardwood and the sea serpents who, cocooned in wizardwood, mature into dragons; the appearance of the dragon Tintaglia; and the maturing of Malta Haven through rescuing the Satrap. Such a profusion of plotlines could have overwhelmed or slowed down the book, but Hobb handles them with such agility that the reader is likely to want not fewer but more stories. The most absorbing theme continues to revolve around Captain Kennit, his mistress, Etta (now carrying his child), and the conversion of Wintrow Haven into Kennit's heir as king of the Pirate Isles. (Kennit, perhaps the most interesting character in the trilogy, clearly was developed with a good deal of scholarship about the history of piracy.) This installment leaves nothing to be desired: the subplots advance in parallel; the nautical themes are handled splendidly; and the characters (including one of the more engaging and terrifying dragons in current fantasy) and world-building are of the very highest standard. Like its predecessors, this is a masterful achievement. Major ad/promo. (Aug.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

Unaware of the war that threatens the trading families of Bingtown, Althea Vestrit searches the sea lanes for her stolen liveshipDonly to discover the truth behind the origin of the sentient vessels. Hobb combines a unique fantasy vision with themes of devotion and selflessness to produce a powerful conclusion to an innovative saga. Highly recommended, along with series predecessors Ship of Magic and Mad Ship, for all fantasy collections. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.



She wondered what it would have been like to be perfect. On the day that she had hatched, she had been captured before she could wriggle over the sand to the cool and salty embrace of the sea.  She Who Remembers was doomed to recall every detail of that day with clarity. It was her entire function and the reason for her existence.  She was a vessel for memories.  Not just her own life, from the moment she began forming the egg, but the linked lives of those who had gone before her were nested inside her.  From egg to serpent, to cocoon to dragon to egg, all memory of her line was hers.  Not every serpent was so gifted, or so burdened.  Only a relative few were imprinted with the full record of their species, but only a few were needed. She had begun perfect.  Her tiny, smooth body, lithe and scaled, had been flawless.  She had cut her way out of the leathery shell with the egg tooth atop her snout.  She was a late hatcher.  The others of her clutch had already broken free of their shells and the heaped dry sand.  They had left their wallowing trails for her to follow.  The sea had beckoned her insistently.  Every lap of every wave beguiled her.  She had begun her journey, slithering across the dry sand under the beating sun.  She had smelled the wet tang of the ocean.  The moving light on its dazzling surface had lured her. She had never finished her journey. The Abominations had found her.  They had surrounded her, interposing their heavy bodies between her and the beckoning ocean.  Plucked wriggling form the sand, she had been imprisoned in a tide-fed pool inside a cave in the cliffs.  There they had kept her, feeding her only dead food and never allowing her to swim free.  She had never migrated south with the others to the warm seas where food was plentiful. She had never achieved the bulk and strength that free life would have granted her.  Nevertheless, she grew, until the pool in the cave was little more than a cramped puddle to her, a space barely sufficient to keep her skin and gills wet.  Her lungs were pinched always inside her folded coils.  The water that protected her was constantly befouled with her poisons and wastes.  The Abominations had kept her prisoner. How long had they confined her there?  She could not measure it, but she felt certain that she had been captive for several ordinary lifetimes of her kind.  Time and again, she had felt the call of the season of migration.  A restless energy would come over her, followed by a terrible desire to seek out her own kind.  The poison glands in her throat would swell and ache with fullness.  There was no rest for her at such times, for the memories still permeated her and clamored to be released.  She had shifted restlessly in the torment of her small pool and vowed endless revenge against the Abominations who held her so.  At such times her hatred of them was most savage.  When her overflowing glands flavored the water with her ancestral memories, when the water became so toxic with the past that her gasping gills poisoned her with history, then the Abominations came.  They came to her prison, to draw water from the pool and inebriate themselves with it.  Drunken, they prophesied to one another, ranting and raving in the light of the full moon.  They stole the memories of her kind, and used them to extrapolate the future. The the two-legs, Wintrow Vestrit had freed her.  He had come to the island of the Abominations, to gather for them the treasures of the sea left on the shore.  In exchange, he had expected them to prophecy the future for him.  Even now, that thought made her man grow turgid with poison.  The Abominations prophesied only what they sensed of the future from stealing her pasts!  They had no true gifts of Seeing.  If they had, she reflected, they would have known that the two-legs brought their doom.  They would have stopped Winthrow Vestrit.  Instead, he had discovered her and freed her.  Although she had touched skins with him, although their memories had mingled through her toxins, she did not understand what had motivated the two-legs to free her.  He was such a short-lived creature that most of his memories could not even leave an imprint on her.  She had sensed his worry and pain.  She had known that he risked his brief existence to free her.  The courage of such a brief spasm of life had moved her.  She had slain the Abominations when they would have recaptured both of them.  Then, when the two-legs would have died in the mothering sea, she had aided him to return to his ship. She Who Remembers opened wide her gills once more.  She tasted a mystery in the waves.  She had restored the two-legs to his ship, but the ship both frightened and attracted her.  The silvery gray hull of the vessel flavored the water ahead of her.  She followed it, drinking in the elusive tang of memories. Excerpted from The Ship of Destiny by Robin Hobb All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.