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The Guild of the Cowry Catchers, Book 1: Embers [Kindle Edition]

Abigail Hilton

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Product Description

Product Description


Those with paws eat those with hooves. This is what the wyvern gods of Wefrivain teach. The fauns of the islands are the slaves and food animals of their paw-footed counterparts, and the wyverns maintain the hierarchy. In return, wyverns are fed and worshiped. These days, however, faun pirates are spreading new ideas. Their charismatic leader, Gwain, has taught them to kill wyverns, and they are effectively killing off Temple Police. Gwain’s pirates are starting to worry Morchella, the Priestess of the wyvern cult.

She thinks she’s found an answer in the person of Gerard Holovar, the new captain of her Temple Police. However, upon his promotion, Gerard strikes up a quarrel with Silveo Lamire, the admiral of Morchella’s Temple ships and her second in command. Silveo has a reputation for cruelty, cunning, and a biting wit. He’s a foxling - a minority species - and rumors say that he was once an assassin, who clawed his way to power from a childhood of poverty and abuse. He cultivates serial affairs with persons ranging from his own lieutenants to dock prostitutes. On the surface, Silveo could not be more different from Gerard - a member of the dominant species class, born to money and power, adhering to strict codes of honor, and devoted to his wife. When Gerard is promoted, Silveo is intimidated. Gerard’s presence seems to jeopardize the position Silveo has painfully carved out for himself. Silveo threatens to kill Gerard if he stays with the Temple service.

In spite of their differences, Morchella believes that Gerard and Silveo have between them the skills to catch Gwain. She orders them to work together. They make little progress until Silveo meets Gerard’s wife, Thessalyn, and hears her sing. Silveo is generous to Thessalyn and vocal in his admiration of her talents. Gerard finds it difficult to hate anyone who is kind to his wife. The three of them develop a complex friendship that deepens as details from their pasts reveal that they have more in common than they thought.

Embers if the first book in the 5-part Cowry Catchers series.

Warning: This is an illustrated series for grown-ups. It includes beautiful, whimsical artwork, because adults deserve pretty pictures, too. However, the explicit elements of the story escalate as the series progresses. There are sexual scenes and situations in these books, as well as types of violence not usually found in children’s books. These books are not intended for children or young teens.

This 50,000-word book is DRM-free and carefully formatted. It includes 11 character portraits, 12 full-page illustrations, and a map.

Product Details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1548 KB
  • Print Length: 256 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1461142164
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Pavonine Books (Dec 26 2010)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004HD5Y02
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #9,054 Free in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Free in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.5 out of 5 stars  105 reviews
24 of 29 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars I like the world, but not the people Dec 2 2011
By G. Shirer - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition
In its description, The Guild of the Cowry Catchers, makes allusions to C.S. Lewis's Narnia and George R.R. Martin's Westeros,but I found very little in the book to be comparable to either of those settings. The author definitely gets points for world-building. It's obvious she has spent a deal of time developing her setting, an archipelego inhabited by various demihumans and dominated by a powerful religious organization.
However, I cannot say that I found her characters particularly engaging or sympathetic. The one character who appears to be untainted by bloodshed is so cloyingly sweet and good as to be irritating. One of the protagonists, whom we are informed is a man of honor, apparently has no problem lopping the heads off of defenseless prisoners. Another, a child of the slums who has risen to prominence in the local military, is an enormous bastard.
I can't honestly say that I care about any of these people, but I find the world itself, the setting, compelling. If the author ever produces something like 'A Guide to Wefrivain' I would definitely give that a look.
As to whether or not I'd continue to read this series? I can't say I feel any strong need to do so. Still, this first book was interesting and miles better than most of the free books you can get on a Kindle. You could do much worse than to give this book a look.
15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Looking Forward to More! March 7 2011
By Amazon Customer - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition
What a fantastic, cliff-hanger of a story! I especially like the fully formed, well thought out, imperfect characters.
I can not wait to continue the story with The Guild of the Cowry Catchers Book 2: Flames Deluxe Illustrated Edition.

Edit: I forgot to add, that the illustrations look fabulous, even on the Kindle where there is no color. The illustrator(s), did a wonderful job, and added an element of fun to the stories.
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fantasy Fun for Everyone. Well Done! Dec 26 2011
By Reality Crafted - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This first book in the series is a true fantasy fiction in every sense.
Abigail Hilton has created a whole new world and a whole new race of
characters inhabiting it. The language is descriptive and flowing, the
story expansive and exciting and overall an excellent book. I read the
illustrated version and whilst the drawings were beautiful and imaginative,
the quality of the writing really made them just a delightful appendix, you
didn't need to see them to get a detailed and full idea of all the
characters and locations. I would like very much to add the reviews for
the following 4 books. For fantasy fiction or general fiction readers this
is highly recommended.
8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not Your Typical Fantasy March 13 2011
By Mark Stone - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
In her world of Panamindorah, Abigail Hilton has created a fantasy like no other. If you're looking for business as usual fantasy, with elves and dwarves and wise wizards fighting dark lords, this is not the place for you. If you're looking for a setting that will blow your mind, characters you will fall in love with, and a story with will captivate you from moment zero, then you're in the right place. Abigail Hilton is one of the few truly original fantasy writers left in the world, and everyone should buy her work, and continue to buy it until her brilliance is recognized.

In other words, I recommend this book to all readers without reservations.
8 of 11 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars not my cup of tea Jan. 4 2012
By Furio - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Bleak (or grim, or murky) hardly begins to describe the atmosphere of this book.

People in Ms Hilton's world have no redeeming quality whatsoever: the only outright good one, Thessalin, the minstrel wife of the lead, being a woman, blind and with no family connection depends exclusively on other people's mercy to keep afloat. That she is the wife of a man who respects her is coincidental as we are perfectly aware that, should her husband die, she would find herself at the mercy of nearly anyone, once again.
I am not so naive not to know that this is a rather accurate rendering of our own world but when reading fiction I still need to escape and do not wish to confront a world so bleak as to depress me. Unless the writing is exceptionally lyrical, beautiful and moving. Our author writes well but not THAT well.

As for the rest, I tend to agree with Shirer's three-star review, except for the fact that I cannot stand Mr Martin's books while I could read this which is well plotted and well written. Shirer could not relate to the characters and neither could I. Once again a matter of personal taste is involved: I am no great fan of "alternative" beings taking the place of humans, especially if they behave exactly like humans. Characters here are half human (where are the full breed supposed to be, by the way) and half animal and sport the worst traits of both: the fierceness, amorality of the animals and the ruthless cruelty of the humans. Not really appealing, especially not the fact that they eat each other on a regular basis... urgh!

I will not read further but, as the first volume is available for free for kindle, I suggest you check for yourself if this work can please you or not.

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