28th October 2023
I was surprised when I found out that this had been published without any recommendation having been made to be by a bookseller - as I’ve bought all of Jim Butcher’s works to date and already had the second book in the main Cinder Spires series on my wish list.
It’s a novella - so a fairly short single-act story in which we follow a ragtag group of Warriorborn (seemingly part human, part cat) as they attempt to investigate what happened at another spire and retrieve some documents for their leader.
It’s a nice reintroduction into the Cinder Spires world - it’s been eight years since the first/previous book, and this was a nice taster and reminder of the world before diving back in properly in a few weeks.
The story itself is really compelling - there’s a solid mix of action/adventure and character interaction. It feels almost like a D&D adventure in some respects. And although it only really took me one train journey to get through, I really liked it.
However, the printing quality seems very weird. From what I can guess, it feels like this has really been produced to be an audiobook (which makes sense as audio is a massive market at the moment), and the print version is just tacked on for people like me who prefer the old fashioned format. It’s explicitly a “printed by Amazon” paperback, and I don’t think they’ve yet got the hang of making it feel like a book rather than a brochure. The paper is high quality, but not the right quality - it’s a bit like someone’s read about books but never touched one. And the cover feels cheaply printed and cut.