"The Keeper of the Wind" sounds good. The subtitle - "Love is often closer than you think" - may cause a frown or two. After the first few chapters the frowns will have deepened, caused by the two-dimensional characters, the sheer exaggeration of their emotions and Boyett-Compo's typical use of language. There is a lot of glowering, dropping of eyelashes, physical descriptions of beauty, quipping voices, touching of flesh and clashing of rumps. Within the span of one sentence, characters manage to traverse the gamut from absolute hardcore fury to the utmost tenderness.

The book is the tale of Conar McGregor, Prince Regent of Serenia, and the love of his life, one Liza. She refuses to reveal her identity nor her place of birth. Their love blossoms and flourishes, with spicy language here and there. Alas, Conar is betrothed to a supposedly nasty-looking princess of a neighbouring country. The minute you read about Liza's adamance about not revealing her place of birth nor more than just her calling name, the remainder of the book already begins to picture itself. There was a certain element of satisfaction when, after almost 500 pages, the picture I had formed was proved to be quite right.

Despite the heavy romantic quality of the story and the rather over-the-top narration, I did enjoy the book. Perhaps my motivation was wrong, but I flew through the pages in order to see if I'd properly predicted the outcome. Also, it is quite easy to identify with the main characters. Despite their flatness, the characters are extremely human. Boyett-Compo is a master at picturing inter-human relationships. Although there are sufficient aspects of this novel that can be criticised, fact is that I did think it was a riveting read.

Released 1994, ISBN 1-896329-84-5



Written August 1999


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