Title: Ship of Destiny
Author: Robin Hobb
Publisher: 2015, Harper Voyager
Three Word Description: Everything Is Amazing
[This Review Is Spoiler Free, But Consist Of A Warning. If The Warning Is Not Triggering, I Recommend You Do Not Keep Reading The Paragraph As It Contains Spoilers]
You know that amazing experience of discovering a new author? After finishing this trilogy, I realized that I no doubt will read all Robin Hobb’s books in the Realm of the Elderlings, a fantasy world in which this trilogy is set in. It’s like when I discovered and read the Mistborn trilogy – now I’m obsessed with his books. It’s just such an amazing experience, but it comes with a price: They’ll take up my life.
I really didn’t want to finish this series because it was SO GOOD. Despite the intimidating sizes of the books, I just flew through the pages. I gave each book 5-stars on Goodreads because, for me, they could not possibly deserve less. You may have noticed that I haven’t written a review of the second book, but that’s because I jumped directly into the third once finished.
But what was it about the book that I loved?
First off, the characters. The reoccurring problem with a multi p.o.v. book is that you value each p.o.v. differently. You have your favorite, and the one whose chapter you just have to drag yourself through. But in this last book, I came to care so deeply for each character that there wasn’t a single p.o.v. I didn’t look forward too. Hobb wrote such amazing character developments that I came to love a character I couldn’t even stand in the first book. To come to love a character through their character development is honestly one of the best things.
Plus, I actually really cared for the romance, which is quite (very) unusual. I don’t felt anything was forced and it all was pretty relevant to the plot (some very, some not so much but did not get in the way).
That Hobb wrote amazing three-dimensional characters with great character developments is not only wonderful, but also essential as the plot is heavily character driven. A single person’s choice of action, or inaction, comes to affect the story and its characters throughout the book in a very realistic and believable way. Hobb won’t overlook any plot points for the reason of future wanted ones, no, she is truly a master storyteller that keeps full control of her story and characters, leading them down their path of destiny with their every action and experience counting.
It’s kind of difficult to comprehend that this book is about 900 pages, as I just flew through it. There’s just no stopping, you have to know what happens next. It’s filled with a mix of action and drama but also plenty of political intrigues (which I love) that all affects the others result in a great “plot-web”. And the fact that the characters find themselves in situations you would never have imagined in the first, or second, is another factor that makes you want to read more.
But there is one thing I need to warn you before reading this book. If you’re triggered by sexual assault, this novel is not for you. I don’t spoil things from the plot, but in this case I feel it necessary as it is something many people could be triggered by. Except that there are some rape threats through the novel, there is one character that gets drugged and brutally raped. This is the one thing in the book I did not like, mainly because of how it affected the character. That is to say, in a very believable way; They were utterly traumatized. It just broke my heart that after all they had gone through, this was what happened to them. Sexual assault in fiction is very debatable and even in this book it can be discussed if it really should have been there. But at least it was shown as the horror it is – NOT romanticized.
But overall I absolutely loved this book, the conclusion of The Liveship Traders. If you love High Fantasy with great characters with character developments (that includes all characters, no discrimination to any gender), amazing world-building, intense story-line and dragons, then this book is a must read. I myself am gonna start the Farseer trilogy (which is actually the first in the realms of the elderlings) as soon as I get my hands on it.