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The Guild of the Cowry Catchers, Book 1 Embers

By Abigail Hilton

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An honorable prince. A jaded assassin. Can they work together to catch a pirate? The querulous island kingdoms of Wefrivain are unified only by religion - a wyvern cult ruled by an eccentric and cruel High Priestess. The wyverns are under attack by a gang of pirates known only as the Guild of the Cowry Catchers. Now Gerard, the honorable and naïve new Captain of the Temple Police, is about to learn more than he ever wanted to know about the pirates...and the Priestess.

Customer Reviews


Great well written story, excellent character development, and good acting.

"Book one" is misnomer

Note: skip down for my review of the story and sorry if I butcher name spellings.

Maybe the author thinks of these as separate books but they are really closer to a single book split into 5 parts. Also this is closer to an audio-drama than an audiobook. There is a full cast (the narrator is the author, but the lead is played by the very effective Nathan Lowell. He wrote and read the Traders Tales). The music is exquisite.

The story didn't seem like anything special at first. A disinherited prince and his lover, a Goddess, and a very short and surly naval admiral make up the main thrust of characters. Oh did I mention they are actually animal-people? The prince, Gerard, and his lover, Thesselin, are lionish (i think. they are described as being cats, but they mention feathers sometimes too) and the admiral, Silvio, is a fox (for sure). The author gives special names for each variety but it gets a little bogged down if you worry about that. Anyway: the goddess recruits the prince to be her new chief of police and assigns him to find and destroy the Resistance. Since they Resistance fights mostly as pirates that means Gerard and Silvio have to work together. They discover that the resistance has a leader, Gwain, who is supposed to be a mix-breed and is more legend than fact. They Gerard ends up having a run-in with Gwain at a tea house and that's when it starts getting more interesting because Gwain tries to poison Gerard. This sets him squarely in the sights of Gerard and Silvio as someone to be hunted and preferably killed. All during their adventures, Gerard is set up as a favorite of the Godess, Morchella, but her attentions come with a steep price that Gerard is reluctant to pay. Much of the book outlines the characters and their interactions with the world so it was very surprising to me that the book ended just as things were really starting to happen! That's why I say this is more like part 1 of a 5 part book. It left me wanting the rest of the series though!

wonderful series

I loved this novel from the first episode. The full-cast voicing is particularly good, and the characters really shine through the different voice actors. Thank you Ms. Hilton for a great listen!!