Embers (The Guild of the Cowry Catchers, #1)
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Embers (The Guild of the Cowry Catchers #1)

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3.99 of 5 stars 3.99  ·  rating details  ·  252 ratings  ·  35 reviews
Among the querulous island kingdoms of Wefrivain, the only unifying power is religion – a wyvern cult ruled by an eccentric High Priestess. The system is under attack by a gang of pirates called the Guild of the Cowry Catchers who prey on Temple treasure ships. The Temple Police charged with eradicating this menace keep disappearing.

Enter Gerard, a young prince, exiled fr...more
Audiobook
Published 2010
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Len
I know just a 5 star rating by itself doesn't really tell others exactly what is so good about a book. So I am adding a few sentences to back up the stars. First, I have read the authors Prophet series as well as several of her shorter fiction; having just finished the first book in the cowry catcher's series I feel like I can safely say this... No only is Ms. Hilton an author who should have been scooped up by a major publisher long ago; her commitment to the audio versions of her works is extr...more
Jeffrey Paris [was Infinite Tasks]
On the face of it, this seems like a decent set-up: a disinherited prince of a lesser kingdom becomes Captain of the Police for the slightly sinister ruling Princess, and with the help of a cynical and threatening admiral (who dragged himself out of the lowest classes) embarks on an investigation of a growing resistance force that puts both their lives in danger.

But, the prince Gerard (voice by the esteemed Nathan Lowell, who I hope got a lot of money for doing this) is a "grishnard," the rulin...more
Roger Royer
Aug 23, 2014 Roger Royer rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fantasy and Sea Fairing readers
Recommended to Roger by: The Kindle Bookstore
Shelves: fantasy
When I started this book I considered that it might be a teen novel or maybe even a child's novel from the cover and internal art, which while good, seemed to me to be more akin to something by L'Angle or Lewis. The book is not however for anyone under the age of 13 or so as there are some wonderful plot devices and harsh realities in the book that are very adult and if not outright violent and sexual they hint to it.

I must say that I did enjoy the book and will probably read the rest of them a...more
Jodi
I finished this book yesterday and started on book 2 today! Thanks for the recommendatiom from another Goodreads author and excellent voice talent, R.E. Chambliss. I find myself so captivated by the characters and story that the time spent while listening goes by quickly, and whatever it was I was doing takes a back seat in my mind as I see the story unfold with such clarity that I feel like I'm there witnessing it in person.
Adrian
In case the 4/5 star rating wasn't clear, I really enjoyed Embers. It's a quick, but fun and rewarding read, and I'm guessing it does a great job laying the ground work for the series to come. As a character introduction, it's honestly great; I don't think it's possible to put the book down without having a solid feel for who Silveo and Gerard are. And there's something about seeing them interact with one another that's just too perfect not to love. The beauty of it is that we can watch these tw...more
Jordan
I have to say, I am very conflicted when it comes to this book. On the one hand, the writing was decent, especially considering it was free. I liked the main characters by the end, even the one you start the book hating by default because the protagonist does. The world was fairly well developed, and the worldbuilding exposition not too intrusive. The flipside of this? The world that was so well developed makes my skin crawl. I'll get to that below. Also, I was under the impression that this was...more
Andrew
Guild of the Cowry Catchers, Book 1 is an engrossing fantasy. Abbie Hilton has a gift for character development and story telling. Whether you read the regular or the illustrated version, this is a great story. The illustrations looked nice on my black-and-white ereader, but are stunning in color.
R.E. Chambliss
This is the best podcast-novel I've ever heard. And it's fast becoming one of my favorite stories ever. Go to itunes, search for Guild of the Cowry Catchers, and start downloading it!
Paula
Another bargain ebook that turned out to be much better than I expected, this is the first of a trilogy (so far), set in a fantasy world quite different than anything I've seen before. The world in question is a series of islands, under the rule of a mysterious religious order, and inhabited by grishnards (human from the waist up, griffin below) and other shelts (part-human and part various animals).

Our protagonist, Gerard, is an exiled prince who finds himself thrown into the position of captai...more
Maki
The first thing I want to mention about the book is this - thank you for letting me know that yes, my Kindle actually DOES get pictures. For the longest time, my Kindle refused to load up pictures properly. They worked just fine in this book, and it gave me immeasurable relief to know that in certain situations, I will in fact be able to get pictures on the Kindle.

Now, on to the book itself. I was incredibly confused for the first fourth of the book or so. You've got to read the notes that start...more
Gilberto
I first heard about Abigail Hilton on the Round Table Podcast, and I was instantly interested in the world she had created. The world of Panamindorah is populated by shelts. These shelts are made up of different species under the three umbrella categories of fauns, panauns, and nauns. The fauns are the shelts with hooves, the panauns the shelts with paws, and the nauns the shelts who swim. Each shelt is made up of a human torso, arms, and head (with ears), and their animal legs.

The story starts...more
Artemisa
This book came with the Kindle app. And the kindle app was pre-installed in my tablet, so it has been around me for long.
At first I saw an ilustrated book and thought that it was a childrens book.
The other day I was checking the kindle app because of some work stuff (I use Aldiko to read my ebooks, not the Kindle app) and realised that this was not a childrens book (they should put a warning across the cover). It wasn't an adult novel, but it was more on the young adult adventure in fantasy land...more
Leigh-Ann
The setting is very poorly established. Even though I read all the chapter headings, I was still confused about the world and the races.

Even without that, the premise and character development and interactions are, if not lacking, then unoriginal. A pretty boy exiled from his home because his family is evil, a blind adult plot moppet of a wife, and the obligatory anti-hero with a history of sexual abuse. Yawn.

The plot is so sleepy that I barely noticed it. Pretty Boy and Anti-Hero are tasked by...more
Nyssa
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. I have also purchased her first series The Prophet of Panamindorah a complete trilogy which is a completely different story that takes place in the same world/universe.

Edit: I forgot to add, that the illustrations look fabulous, even on the Kindle where there is no...more
Jennifer Erwin
This one was different. I liked it, but it was very (V.E.R.Y.) slow going until about 75% then for some reason it just clicked for me, then next thing I knew I was at the end. This is a fantasy, but it's not for children, it's for adults (which threw me for a loop as I thought it was for kids when I downloaded it...probably why it's taken me forever to get to it). I will continue on in this series.
Craig Robertson
This marvelous book expands and greatly enhances the rich world of Panamindorah gifted to us by Ms. Hilton in her "Prophet" trilogy. A fresh set of characters are skillfully and lovingly crafted with a mastery rare in the Fantasy Genre. I am reminded of Piers Anthony, Anne McCaffrey, and Jose Farmer as I revel in Ms. Hilton's talents. She meticulously constructs three-dimensional characters with palpable personalities ranging from fallible heroes to lovable rouges to dastardly villains. Any fan...more
Lauren
The Guild of the Cowry Catchers was definitely unique. The author has created a fantastic world full of creatures that are so new, yet so real, we forget they are creatures. The illustrators have done a beautiful job with the breathtaking pictures.
The story itself was intriguing, and I enjoyed it. The ending was odd, but I was reminded there was a sequel.
The characters were well-rounded, I think. Most of all, Silveo Lamire. So don't make a hasty opinion of him.
Caveats: They use the term "B-----d...more
Cat
The author has a TON of different names for species, animals, islands, characters, etc. The worst part is that it is not only difficult to keep track of what is what, things I thought I was aware of (i.e. griffin) aren't what she is referring to. For instance, she has a species that is half human and half griffin. But aren't griffins hybrids themselves? Which part is griffin? Wouldn't that be just half lion? Furthermore, terms can be very similar.

I think the biggest disappointment is that, after...more
Jesi
While I'm typically am harder on books that are fond of using its own terms for things (I don't want to have to work to follow the author's dream) this was a surprisingly well written story, and worth the extra patience, in my opinion. The only other quibble with it was that the characters seemed much of a piece, with all of the main characters being good guys or people who would be good, if it weren't for their background." "Bad guys" who are just misunderstood strike me as the author being afr...more
Jason Kivela
Book 1 of The Guild of the Cowry Catchers was awesome. And it will just get better as more books come out. Abbie took the world of Panamindora, which I love, and pushed it into the adult world. Prophet of Panamindora had it's dark moments, but there is no denying that Cowry Catchers is leaps and bounds above that. The plot is complex, the characters are deep and well thought out. One of the best parts is the listener really can't like any one character completely. The main characters are either...more
Scot
First in a five part series. A fantasy world with pirates, priestesses, disinherited princes, blind bards, deadly dragons, and giant poinous spiders. A place where those with paws eat those with hooves, and there are both animals and shelts (half human, half animal). This first book introduces main characters, offers some red herrings as to who is truly the villain, and got me totally involved before leaving me with such a cliffhanger that I had to start the second book immediately. High quality...more
Jim Brown
Good read

This was a good story. It read very fast and I had a hard time putting it down. It was a different fantasy book the the usual quest type. I found it refreshingly different because of that.
Sunny
You never know what you're going to get when you get a free Kindle e-book but this was a good story. A simple and easy read, not as complex as some of my favorite fantasy novels. However, there was a lot of intrigue and questions left unanswered that I'm sure this author answered in the later books. I haven't decided yet if I want to check out the other two because although this was enjoyable, it was a bit too much of an easy read. Although I have read a review saying that the next ones get R ra...more
Rachel
Great podiobook production - makes for an engaging story in a brutal society- I am intrigued to find out how deep they get into the real issues.
Katharina
I really enjoyed this book though I'm somewhat unsure about the flow of it. Somehow it gives the impression of half of a book rather than a whole. So I'm glad the next books are already out so I can continue to listen to them. I will definitely do that though I think that book could not exist on its own like most first books in a series can. Because you NEED to read on to get the feeling you've read a whole book and not just because you WANT to read on... That's why it didn't get the 5th star fr...more
Ryan
I found the characters in The Guild of the Cowry Catchers to be both accessible and complex. I really enjoyed the sections read by Gwain, because they introduced me to the world Wyverian (not sure if this is spelled correctly). I think the mark of a great story is one where the lines between "good guys" and "bad guys" is blurred. There are just different people. With different stories and motivation. It's not cut and dry, or simple. I think that's what I like most about this book. I highly recom...more
Tim
Gambled on this free Amazon download of a self-published book and lost. A potentially interesting world, but the author tells everything and shows very little. It feels like a play where a few characters make comments, while the backdrop is hazy and all the real action happens offstage. From reading reviews of the later books it seems sex becomes more of the small action in later books - all the more reason to not read anymore.
Ally
I really enjoyed the story, and the voice acting was fantastic.

One thing that bothered me was the scene where Thessalyn and Silveo meet for the first time. Because Thessalyn is blind, she touches his face, which is her way of "seeing" someone. Blind people do not actually do this, and I cringe whenever this stereotype shows up in movies or books.
B. Ross Ashley
Got its flaws, but I felt myself drawn in to the universe despite myself. A world wherein intelligent animals enslave and eat other intelligent animals, of other species. I'm only giving it 3 stars because its writing could have been a little tighter and more colourful. Don't know whether I shall read the rest of the series.
Scott
Very interesting set of races and I love the color sketches on my Kindle Fire. I'm not quite sure where the story is going though and I haven't looked at any of the following volumes yet.
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1817728
When Abigail Hilton flopped, gasping, onto the beach of a tiny, unnamed key off the Florida coast, she was grateful that her audience included only a handful of sea gulls, a raccoon, and one very surprised panther. The panther fled, along with the raccoon, but one of the curious sea gulls hopped over to have a closer look at her. Moments later, now sticky with blood and feathers, she dragged herse...more
More about Abigail Hilton...
Flames (The Guild of the Cowry Catchers, #2) Ashes (The Guild of the Cowry Catchers, #3) Fauns and Filinians (Prophet of Panamindorah #1) The Guild of the Cowry Catchers, a story of pirates and Panamindorah (The Guild of the Cowry Catchers, #1-5) Wolflings and Wizards (Prophet of Panamindorah #2)

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