||Twilight Times Books
||Jan 1 2000
An Unknown Evil
Syn-Jern Sorn made a very powerful enemy in his half-brother, Trace Edward Sorn. Taken in chains to the infamous Labyrinth Penal Colony, Syn-Jern is meant never to return to his rightful place as Duke of Winterstorm, an inheritance his step-brother has usurped. But Syn-Jern weilds magical powers so deadly he is loath to unleash them on his enemies. Will the love of a rebellious young girl save Syn-Jern from the evil within his soul or will it destroy her? .
The second novel in The WindTales Trilogy, prequels to THE KEEPER OF THE WIND!
Bridie grunted, bucked in the all-too obvious male arms she thought belonged to her husband for there wasn t another man on Montyne Cay who could lift her so easily. She tried to butt him with her head, but found herself sailing through the air, flung away as easily as though she were a mere babe in arms. As she scrambled to her feet, eyes blazing with self-righteous fury, a tiny squeal of surprise was the only sound she could make as she realized her attacker was Lord Syn-Jern Sorn.
Jenny shot up once she was free of the weight that had been holding her down. She stood there, breasts heaving, glaring at Bridget Roderick. Her heart was thundering in her chest, her face filthy from sweat and the detritus strewn on the jungle floor, and her fists clenched tightly at her side. Instinct told her to jump on the older woman and do her damnedest to claw her eyes out, pull every last strand of ugly red hair out of her head.
"Calm down, Genny," Syn-Jern warned her, reading her thoughts.
"Do you know what those bitches were going to do?" she yelled at him.
"Aye," he answered. He locked his angry attention on Bridie. "And I know they'd damned well better not try it again."
"No, Milord," Bridie managed to croak. She was backing away from the retaliation she saw forming on Genny s face.
"You stay where you are!" he snapped, pointing at Bridget.
"Yes, Milord!" Bridie gasped.
Genny took a step forward, every nerve in her body goading her to attack. Her fists had unclenched and her fingers were drawing into wicked claws.
"Don't," Syn-Jern warned her, swinging his gaze her way and impaling her where she stood. "I'll handle this."
"This is between me and her!" Genny snarled.
Syn-Jern ignored her outburst and walked to the Roderick woman. He stood there, towering over her, and glared down into her frightened face. "Do you know what I did to Kasella?" he grated.
Bridie's face blanched white as snow and she began to tremble so violently her teeth clicked together.
"Do you, woman?" he growled.
Bridget Roderick nodded, too afraid to speak.
"And do you realize that whole incident came about because he made me mad?"
Another nod. A soft whimper.
"That I wasn t even aware I was doing it?"
The whimper became a groan of terror.
Syn-Jern bent over her, almost nose to nose, and fused his gaze with hers. "Can you imagine what I might be capable of if I set my mind to it to someone who makes me really angry, Madame Roderick?"
Bridie thought her knees would buckle, but she managed to hold her ground. Shake her head.
Lord Syn-Jern Sorn straightened up, folded his arms and continued to regard the pirate woman with unwavering intensity. "What I did to Kasella was done to protect myself." He cast a quick glance at Genny, then returned that glower to Bridie. "What I'd do to anyone foolish enough to harm that woman over there doesn't bear thought."
Bridie's eyes flared wide. "She is under your protection, Milord?"she questioned. She looked at Genny with newfound respect.
"Aye, Madame Roderick," he replied, his gaze narrowing dangerously. "She is."
Genny stared at him, her lips parting with shock. His words drove through her lower body like summer lightning and set her belly to quivering. She found herself once more impaled by those blue-black orbs as he turned his head and looked at her.
"Isn't that so, Mam selle?" he asked.
Genny blinked, felt the heavy pounding in her chest, and then nodded slowly. "Aye, Milord Syn-Jern. I suppose it is."
Syn-Jern drew in a long breath, exhaled slowly, then turned his attention once more to Bridie. "You tell your friends, Madame Roderick, that should any one of them ever feel the need to bedevil this lady again, they ll have me to answer to." His brows drew together fiercely. "Is that understood?"
"P...perfectly, Your Lordship," Bridie assured him, dipping a quick curtsy.
"And you tell them for me that since I can't seem to trust them to behave in a civilized manner toward the lady, she will be accompanying us on the voyage."
"I will?" Genny gasped.
He didn't look her way, but kept glaring at Bridie. "You will do that, won't you, Madame Roderick?"
"Aye, Your Lordship," Bridie agreed. "I will tell them what you said!"
He cocked his head to one side. "Then what are you waiting for?"
Bridie curtsied again and then hurried away, her head down and her plump legs pumping as fast as they could under her soiled gown.
Silence settled over the place where Syn-Jern and Genny stood. Even the jungle birds and beasts were still, seeming to hold their breaths for what was to come. When at last Syn-Jern looked at her, Genny saw uncertainty in his gaze.
Gone was the warrior authority he had shown the women. Gone was the deadly glower that had put the fear of the gods in their hearts.
"Did you mean it?" Genny asked.
"About you going with us?"
He thrust his hands into the pockets of his leather breeches, hunched his shoulders. "Do you want to go."
"Very much," she told him.
He shrugged. "Then, you can go."
Genny bit her lip, watched him, surprised that he didn't look away, or that she couldn't. Finally, she made up her mind.
"And the part about me being under your protection?"
His face turned hard. "What of it?"
Blood was pounding in her temples. "Did you mean that, too?"
"What if I did?"
Genny smiled shyly. "It would please me."
"Consider it so, then," he shot back, turned and left her where she stood.
Foreword Magazine Reviews
Compo's prolific, yet easily accessible writing style offers an exciting, swashbuckling epic reminiscent of the timeless tales of Robin Hood. Her story is peopled with good-guy pirates, bad-guy land barons, a society of women sorceresses, evil priests, dragon-like demons, a hero with uncanny powers that he must learn to use in order to accomplish his quest and a feisty young girl named Genevieve who hates him because his father killed her parents, stole her family's ancestral home and left her brother to be raised in an orphanage and her in a nunnery where she was abused and mistreated.
Syn-Jern Sorn, the hero with latent magical powers, is a young man born into aristocracy but hated by his father and mother because of the circumstances of his birth. His heritage is stolen from him when he is branded a murderer by his brother and sentenced to a penal colony from which no one escapes. Yet he does escape. Sadistic bounty hunters recapture him and torture him on board the prisoner transport ship as they are taking him back to the penal colony when the winds of chance step in.
Near death, he is rescued by a pirate band who have vowed to free their people from the rule of the Brotherhood of Domination. The pirates accept him as one of their own, but the unforgiving Genevieve blames him for his father's sins. Syn-Jern falls in love with her, but will she ever return that love? They and the pirates set out to find the secret of his powers so they can exact revenge upon the overlords who dominate their people.
This is a fast paced tale with one adventure after another to keep the reader entranced. The unexpected ending guarantees that WINDCHANCE is a thoroughly enjoyable quest novel.
S. Joan Popek
Writer's Club Romance Reviews
Genevieve Saur and her brother Weir had lost all their lands and been separated as children. Now reunited, they sail on a pirate ship with their friend Patrick Kasella. Their main objective is to find a way to get back their property. On their way to Montyne Cay they sight a deserted ship. Boarding it, they find two men in a hidden compartment. One of the men is young and very sick. The other man, though older, is not as sick, so he is able to tell them that they have found a prison ship on its way to Tyber Isle.
Syn-Jern Sorn, the younger man, is the son of a sworn enemy of Weir and his sister. Syn-Jern has escaped from the Labyrinth for the second time in ten years. He had been sent there for a murder committed by the woman he loved and his half-brother. He knows nothing of what his father and brother had done to Weir and Genny, but that doesn't keep Genny from hating him and plotting revenge. Genny's thirst for vengeance gets Syn-Jern captured again and almost causes his death. As a result, all the people in the community of Montyne Cay want to harm her, her brother, and Patrick.
Nothing proves to be easy for Syn-Jern, Patrick, Weir, or Genny. They go to Chrystallus for help and training from the Emperor and his Empress. They sail to Wixenstead so that Syn-Jern can prove his innocence, and end up fighting for their lives. The conclusion to this tale is so moving and unexpected that the reader is left with a different definition for love.
Romancing the Web Reviews
Rating ***** 5 stars(Would have gotten more if there were more)
WindChance is a beautifully written tale of the horrific strife of one man, the burden of another, and the hopes and beauty of a woman.....In all my readings I've never come upon a hero so mistreated so beaten down by his life that his spirit is so nearly broken. But Miss Charlotte has woven a tale of such sad tidings that one can only weep for Syn-Jern Sorn.
t">No one that I know but Charlotte Boyett Compo could deliver such a blood curdling pirate story with such a tender love story and so many adventures. No one could put a hero through so much and still make him the hero. This is one that will keep you shouting for the hero to win all the way through, wanting him to find peace and love at long last, because it is so deserved. A poignant story that touches the soul of one's emotions, that curls the toes with it's love story, that turns you gray with it's adventures. What a marvelously written book that no one will put down till the end. Hooray for Charlotte Boyett Compo, she's making--e-history!!!
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