An honorable prince. A jaded assassin. Can they work together to catch a pirate?
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. The books are:
Out of the Ashes
Shores Beyond the World
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.
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