My rating: 3 of 5 stars
The story continues with Althea desperate to prove herself as an able-bodied seaman so that she can hopefully regain control of the Liveship Vivacia. But unbeknownst to her, Vivacia has been captured by pirates, and Wintrow is forced to bargain with the evil Kennit to save his own life and his father’s.
Malta is caught up in a flurry of courtship that could mean the forgiveness of the Vestrit family’s crushing debts, or it could spell ruin for her reputation. Brashen is striving to simply make a living on board a ship anywhere, but the mad ship Paragon might change his plans. And the mysterious Amber begins to have more influence on events as she has a finger in every pie in Bingtown.
There are a LOT of characters to follow in this trilogy, but Hobb does a good job of balancing all their POVs and separate storylines. The changing POV is still not my favorite thing, but it IS well-written and easy to follow.
This book is just so LONG! It could have been at least 200 pages shorter if some editor had cut out all the redundant explanations and the unnecessary details of every person’s thoughts and motives at every turn. It’s just too much extra stuff, and it makes the plot move very slowly in some places.
I do love all the characters, and I’m horrified by the villains, and the plot keeps things interesting!
I did NOT like that there is a character who is raped, and there is a lot of violence, both from pirates and corrupt government officials. I hated reading all that, and it poisoned my enjoyment of this book.
I loved finding out more about the mysterious Rain Wilds and the families who live there. That whole world is so enchanting and wild!
The plot twists near the end surprised me, and I am amazed at the depth of creativity in the story and world-building!