Thursday, May 31, 2012


Title: The Guild of the Cowry Catchers, Book 1: Embers, Deluxe Illustrated Edition
Author: Abigail Hilton
Genre: Fantasy
Price: $0.00 (Kindle)
Publisher: Abigail Hilton
ASIN: B004HD5Y02
Point of Sale: Amazon 
Reviewed by: Veinglory 

At least in my case, making the first book in the series free was an effective strategy for Abigail Hilton. I picked up this book up on a whim. I started off feeling quit indifferent about it. This fantasy world of talking beasts and fauns of various species is very 'kill and/or be killed'. You have to reconcile yourself with protagonists who torture, kill, or allow people to die often and for morally ambiguous reasons.

That said, the story grew on me very quickly. The hero is dropped in the middle of a supernatural and political web with a degree of subtlety and malice that he seems ill-equipped to deal with. The main thrust of the story is the search for the home base of a rebel group that challenges the tyranny of the grishnards (gryphon fauns) over the other species, the lowest of which are enslaved, hunted, eaten and their hides are even worn as clothing).

 It quickly becomes apparent that the story is really about the relationship between the swashbuckling protagonist and two other characters. I think saying to much about that would introduce serious spoilers. Needless to say one of the relationship is rather ambiguous too, and seems set to escalate in both intimacy and treachery. All three are set up for some heavily foreshadowed trouble from the overall ruler of the entire region, the Priestess who seems to control the dragons that serves as Gods even to the grishnards.

While a respectable length at 178 pages Embers is at best half of a novel in that it ends before any of the plot lines are in any way resolved. Thus, I had to immediately by the next in the five books series.

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