Guild of the Cowry Catchers, book 3, by Abigail Hilton. Podcast novel.
This is the middle section of a 5-book audio novel. Middle sections of epic stories often sag, as we have moved past the introductory sections, but have not yet moved toward the climax.
Hilton gets around this natural lull by writing some stunning character moments for Gerard and Silveo. There is just enough action in this book to keep the story moving, and the new character Dakar adds enough to the story to let the Gerard-Silveo moments to breathe.
This is by far the darkest of the 3 books produced so far, and Hilton finally earns the "adult content" warning that she has posted at the beginning of every episode. She hasn't really needed it until now, but perhaps she was simply preparing us for the events of this book.