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Prince of the Wind by Charlotte Boyett-Compo is laden with deception, despair and the dark forces of evil.
The story begins with Riain Cree who has been captured and beaten by one of Gunter de Viennes henchman. Gunter (of the Northwinds) comes to find that Riain is from a powerful family The Chaleans, and regrets beating Riain. Riain is weak and ailing, Gunters daughter Suzanna cares for him, and while he is healing she falls wildly in love with him. Knowing she can have him no other way, due to her age and countenance, she has a potion mixed, and tricks him into sleeping with her.
When Riain’s father comes to rescue him, and he finds that Suzanna has taken his son’s virginity, he is furious. Gunter is shamed, by his daughter’s actions, and places her in an insane asylum. As Riain boards his fathers boat to sail for home, Suzanna places a curse on him swearing he will be hers for eternity.
Suzanna is promptly placed in an insane asylum, chained to a wall, and brutalized by various means. But Suzanna has revenge in mind!
When Gunter dies, his rightful heir is Suzanna, who gleefully takes possession of the Northwinds, and orders measures to be taken to get to Riain, who is now betrothed to another. Suzanna’s on a rampage, and throughout most of the book she chases Riain, through an assortment of ghastly forms of evil. Riain seems condemned to one curse after another, most of which are unpleasant. One curse in fact dooms him in such a way his life’s journey is dramatically changed. However another curse turns him into a Good Samaritan of sorts, something Riain must come to live with.
Maeve, a woman Riain dreams of often is his only savior. She is his soul mate of sorts, and destined to help him whenever the wicked Suzanna finds him.
There is a cast of many in this book, with sub-plots taking a good deal of the lead in the beginning. Very little has to do with Riain, and much to do with the people that surrounded him - not to mention, there are three parts to this book. Though I will admit it was a fascinating start, curses, the gift of sight, demons and vengeance, still I began to become impatient for the romance. I certainly would have liked to see Maeve interwoven far more than she was, not even the presence of romance was hinted at until much too late in my estimation.
The fantasy world created was indeed, dark and filled with pitfalls, much doom and gloom to be had. My review might have been too long winded even if I were to give you just a bit of an overall generalization, plenty happened in one hundred and sixty two pages! Summed up: hell hath no fury like a woman scorned! And while an interesting read, and my first of Ms. Boyett-Compo’s, I wouldn’t recommend it as a romance.
Still intriguing enough in its own right, fraught with plot driven circumstances, and hauntingly bleak, my rating has more to do with how well written this was despite the lack of romance. A ghoulishly eerie story, complete with demons and witches are what you’ll find in Prince of the Wind