"Thrilling prequel to the WindLegends Saga!"
Lady Gillian Cree, the youngest and most beloved daughter
of Duke Dakin Cree—Chalean ambassador to Viragonia—has been
in love with Prince Kaelan Hesar since the first time she
saw him. On the ship to Viragonia, Gillian saw a man riding
a beautiful black stallion—Kaelan. Of course, there was
enough of an age difference between them that Kaelan did
not return Gillian's feelings. As Gillian grew up, this
changed. Then the old Jarl died and Kaelan's brother
inherited the position. Unfortunately for Gillian, her
stepmother—and the Jarl's mistress—had other plans for her.
Using her influence with the Jarl, she arranged to have
Kaelan married to the highest bidder and Gillian engaged to
Rolf de Viennes. Since Gillian has no intention of marrying
Rolf de Viennes, she runs away with her brother Nicholas.
Naturally, they run away in the middle of a terrible storm.
When the two of them hear someone calling for help, they
make to where the sound came from only to find no one
there. But they do see a light and so head for that.
When Prince Kaelan Hesar finally decided to run away with
Gillian, he was taken by his brother and thrown in a jail
cell, where his brother would visit him and tell him how
the bidding was proceeding. See, the Jarl had decided to
marry Kaelan off to the highest bidder, regardless of the
fact he knew Kaelan and Gillian were in love. Eventually,
the Jarl married Kaelan to a beautiful woman. After the
marriage, the Jarl disowned Kaelan and denied him access to
their home and appropriated all his possessions and
inheritances. Kaelan was now sentenced to live at Holy Dale
wholly dependent on his wife for everything. Not pleasant
circumstances by any means, considering she hated him. Ever
since his marriage, Kaelan's life was a living hell. For
five long years, Kaelan lived this way, until his wife
pushed him off the second story and then jumped after him,
killing herself and breaking Kaelan's leg. When her father
reported her death, he claimed Kaelan pushed her. Then his
father-in-law came back to Holy Dale and stripped the manor
bare of everything except for Kaelan's bedroom furniture.
Now the villagers hate Kaelan and call him the Demon Duke.
They've even reported him to the Tribunal for witchcraft.
When Nicholas and Gillian finally manage to break into the
manor house, they find Kaelan passed out and freezing cold.
Both are appalled by the conditions Kaelan has been living
in. When he finally regains consciousness, sparks fly when
Gillian wants to know why he never showed up when they were
supposed to run away together.
Is there a chance Gillian and Kaelan will be able to marry?
Will Duke Cree come after his runaway son and daughter?
Will the Jarl and Rolf de Viennes accompany the Duke? What
of the charge of witchcraft against Kaelan? Will the
Tribunal be after Kaelan as well?
WINDFALL is a fantastic prequel of the WINDLEGENDS SAGA.
Once again, Charlotte Boyett-Compo pulls us into the story
by the throat and doesn't let up. Having read several of
the stories in the WINDLEGENDS SAGA, reading this story
gave me a better understanding of the characters and places
and how the whole thing began. Once again, we get a look
into man's inhumanity to man, this time with Kaelan and his
brother. The characters are all richly detailed, the world
building is fantastic, and the romance is definitely there.
This story has a bit of everything, evil villains we love
to hate, heroes we adore, a love meant to be, adventure,
danger, a bit of magic and even pirating! As with all of
the Charlotte Boyett-Compo's stories, I highly recommend
this one to all lovers of dark fantasy.
Reviewed by Chere Gruver
Posted October 16, 2009
An Unholy Marriage: Prince Kaelan Hesar made the mistake of falling in love with a girl of whom his Jarl did not approve and was thrown into prison because of that love. His heart broken, his spirit crushed, he was sold in marriage to the highest bidder and forbidden to ever see his love again.
Lady Gillian Cree, fleeing the unwanted attentions of a man she'd been ordered to marry, stumbles upon a derelect manor house in the midst of a snow storm and discovers true love never dies.
The second novel in The WindTales Trilogy, prequels to WINDKEEPER!
Rating: Sensual, some violence, language.