Bookshelf spotlight: The Liveship Traders

From memory, fairly soon after I finished reading The Farseer Trilogy, Robin Hobb started releasing The Liveship Traders. Since I enjoyed Farseer, it was a no-brainer to buy book one of Liveship to try out. It was very different from Farseer (third person instead of first person and a completely different area of the world), but I loved it just as much. And the versions that were being released in Australia were beautiful.

The Liveship Traders by Robin Hobb

I read each book as they were published and I don’t think I have reread this series at all, so I have very little memory left. I know I want to reread it, and I remember that I loved the series. But aside from that most of what I remember would be considered spoilers, so I can’t share it here. Sorry, a pretty shit spotlight. But the point is to share what is on my bookshelves, and in the order that I read it for Fantasy, so this post still addresses the brief. So here’s the blurb that made me buy book one (well in addition to the beautiful cover and my enjoyment of Farseer).

Wizardwood. A sentient wood.

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? Rare and valuable, a liveship 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 for the ship that she loves more than anything in the world to awaken. Only to discover that the Vivacia has been signed away in her father’s will to her brutal brother-in-law, Kyle Haven.

Others plot to win, or steal, a liveship. The Paragon, known by many as the Pariah, went mad, turned turtle and drowned his crews. Now he lies, blind, lonely and broken on a deserted beach. But greedy men have designs to restore him, to sail the waters of the Rain River once more.


  1. i have actually been researching on Robin Hobb’s books and watched a few booktube reviewing them. this sounds like a good series and also the Farseer. think i might have to give them all a go


    • They are wonderful stories. Though they are not for everyone. Definitely worth giving them a go. I’d start with Farseer. If you don’t like it move on to Liveship Traders as it is very different – in style, characters and story.
      If they aren’t available at the library, let me know and I can lend you my copies.


  2. Hi Nic, I love Robin Hobb’s works. I started with the Farseer trilogy, then moved on, and through, everything else in her Elderling realm, as well as the Soldier Son Trilogy. I have loved every book – most of which had me turning pages at an insatiable, frenetic pace.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I don’t think I got around to finishing the third trilogy. Can’t remember why, but was probably tied to one of my period reading slumps or genre refocus. I have Soldier Son but haven’t read it yet – just picked it up at a book fair 2 years ago. And I only just found out a couple of years ago that she had added another two series in the Elderlings world. I haven’t bought them yet. I’m steering more towards books that are more likely to go out of print, or already are, as I figure it will be many years before she goes out of print so I have time 🙂
      Good to hear I have a lot of good books to read ahead of me


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