I just finished the Liveship Traders Trilogy by Robin Hobb. I am emotionally exhausted, and Robin Hobb is a goddess among men.
I began this series after finishing her Farseer Trilogy, and so, at the beginning, I was disappointed that these books were not direct continuations of that series. However, I quickly realized how amazing she is at creating an entire world. The books are set in the same world, but it's not just that previous characters make cheap cameos, (in fact, I don't believe that any previous characters are included in this trilogy), however, the world has a feeling of continuation with major world shaking events mentioned organically.
In fact, one of the things that impressed me the most, is Robin Hobb's world creation. Her world is inhabited with people, and countries, and political systems that don't rely on tropes. I would get a taste, and fall in love with one culture, and then would be pulled into an apposing culture where I would then see their faults.
The same can be said for the characters and story lines as well. There is no pure good or pure evil in this universe. There are shitty, misguided, brave individuals doing what they honestly believe is best. The protagonists mess up, and make hella mistakes that you won't agree with. Characters that you start out loving, you learn to severely dislike, and the obvious bad characters are still human.
Worth a read. Or two.
You can buy Ship of Magic from Amazon for $9.