City of Ships
City of Ships
City of Ships
Book No.
Publication Date
22 June 2010
Main Character
Talian Setting
Preceded By
Followed By

City of Ships is the fifth book in the Stravaganza series by Mary Hoffman. Its corresponding short story is The Fourth Wise Man[1].

What is the book about this time? Not mosaics and ships and pirates and spies, although they are all in there. This time it is about belonging. It's a need felt by almost all human beings, to discover a group, whether of family, friends, colleagues or Stravaganti, where they can feel at home and free to be themselves.

Mary Hoffman[2]


The new installment in the critically acclaimed Stravaganza series transports readers to a world much like our own. But where magic and piracy come to life in the Talian town of Classe.

The Stravagante is Isabel, a younger twin by a matter of minutes. Her talisman is a pouch of silver mosaic tiles and she stravagates to Classe, where she is met by Flavia, a successful female merchant who trades spices, silks, tapestries, and whose son is an outcast and a pirate. Isabel finds that Classe and Bellezza are under threat from attack by the fierce Gate people. What can she do to help save the city? This is a thrilling story packed with action, pirates and drama.






Cover GalleryEdit

  • City of Ships
  • City of Ships, Dutch cover
  • City of Ships, Finnish cover
  • City of Ships, draft version cover

Other FactsEdit

  • Beatrice di Chimici marries Filippo Nucci at the end of the book and is disowned by her family[3]

Notes and ReferencesEdit

  • Early details about City of Ships suggested the Stravagante from Barnsbury would be a boy named Adam (or Alban[4]) and his mentor would be a merchant named Loredana according to the Guide to Talia. Subsequent revisions of the guide revealed the Stravagante would be named Isabel (previously the name assigned to the Stravagante to Montemurato, who was renamed Emily) and Loredana would renamed Flavia.[5]
  2. Message from Mary - City of Ships
  3. Epilogue of City of Ships
  4. [1]
  5. Guide to Talia, winter 1579 - older version

The Series
City of Masks · City of Stars · City of Flowers · City of Secrets · City of Ships · City of Swords
Short Stories
A Talian Tale · A Sting in the Tail · An Impossible Task · Sugar Fox · The Fourth Wise Man · Under the Walls