I’ve read another Robin Hobb book, which is nice because the book was nice!
I mean, don’t get me wrong. It wasn’t nice. The place where the characters ended up was as bleak and unrecoverable as ever. Like I said: Robin Hobb book.
But the thing about Mad Ship is that it got me to the point where I understand what’s going on in the series. See, I thought it was a family drama about incredibly deep misogyny from the same kinds of outsiders who are totally fine with slavery, but with cool magic ships who are alive and sea serpents (who are also alive, but it’s less notable). And those things weren’t cool enough to get me past the malaise and dread the characters were going through, for no real point.
Instead, it turns out to be a grand tragedy spanning millennia and revealing vast stores of information about this series as well as the previous one, while working on incrementally improving some of the worst excesses of Ship of Magic. And I know that maybe doesn’t sound perfectly amazing? But it was so much better than the previous book, you guys.
Oh, also, <spoiler alert>, there’s a crazy ship in this book. (Spoiler because I am differentiating from an angry ship, although come to think of it that would also apply.)