Windmaster Legend (The Windmaster Novels Book 3) by Helen Henderson and Meet the Character

This book (series, actually) is great, but the interview with Iol was really something else.

The book is Windmaster Legend (The Windmaster Novels Book 3) by Helen Henderson, out last week in the Historical Fantasy Genre.

Fate conspired to keep Iol and Pelra apart. Friendship is allowed between members of competing trading houses, but nothing more. He loves the sea and wants his own ship. She hates the deep blue and has worked too hard to allow her dreams to be sidetracked by the lure of magic. Despite a beautiful woman on his arm every night, Leod wanted the one he couldn’t have—Pelra. His kin on the ruling council did more than put him on the fast track to his own ship. It provided him the power to fulfill his desires, or to ruin those who refused him.

Exiled to distant posts, given impossible challenges, and subject to Leod’s machinations, Iol and Pelra only have the hope of a future together to sustain them. But can their love survive the accusation of witchcraft? Goodreads

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Despite the darkness and empty streets, determined steps took Iol in the direction of the docks. I have to see my ship. Reaching the waterfront, he walked along the wharves, looking at the gently-bobbing ships. Finally empty berths replaced full ones. The dock where Lock Bird was supposed to be tied up was at the far end so he kept walking.

“No wonder old Aoiffe didn’t make much money taking pilgrims across to Berife. Anyone booking passage would have selected a ship long before they reached ours.” Iol shook his head in frustration. “I can’t change the berth until turn’s end when the contracts are re-negotiated. Until then I’ll have to make do.”

Holding up the lantern, he looked at the wooden walkway heading out into the water. It was now so dark he would have to walk the dock to see the ship. His excitement at having a command dashed with each step.

The dock was canted and several of the floorboards did not look able to support the weight of a child. Usually a ship matched its berth and he expected to see a derelict at the end of the walkway. Slowly and carefully, he picked his way along the wet boards leading off into the darkness of the lake until there was nothing before him but water.

“Nooo,” he moaned. Nothing was there. His ship… his first command… was gone!

I have the pleasure to have Iol f the House of Cszabohere with me today.

Iol, thank you for being here today. Let’s start with this: what would you do if you arrived home to find your door unlocked and slightly ajar, and you’re sure you locked it on your way out?

I can answer this not as a “what if,” but what I did. Only it wasn’t technically my house. The building in question was the postmaster’s office in Aigeal for the House of Cszabo. Since the postmaster’s quarters were above the office, and I was newly assigned as postmaster, you could say it was my home. I arrived to find the sign bearing the carved hawk of the House of Cszabo hanging askew, the door was open and the shutters off their hinges. Sword in hand, I searched the building to ensure no one remained within. Keeping my weapon close, I fixed the door, found the lockbar and put it back in its holder, and restrung the latchkey cord.

I eventually found out who vandalized the building and tried to destroy my guild house’s records when the culprit returned, pretending to be my friend. I didn’t need my new watchdog’s growl to tell me the man at the door wasn’t what he purported to be.

Which do you prefer – Ocean or Mountains?

For a time I sailed the high mountain lake, Botunn Loghes. Even though it didn’t come with the gold bracelets of a captain , I enjoyed commanding Loch Bird in her travels around the lake. That said, my heart sings when I am on the deep blue waters of the ocean.

What is your favorite season, Winter or Summer?

The seasons of summer and winter may not mean the same thing to a sailor as it does to someone who lives landside. A sailor’s ship is our home. Instead of being restricted to a hold or guild complex due to snow-blocked passes, we can pick up and head to a warmer clime. Many vessels take an extended cruise to a tropical island during the cold season or use the lack of trade in the northern climes for trading trips on the island continent of Tarekus. I will admit that I don’t miss the ship-sinking winter storms of the far north.

Do you prefer music or silence?

My soul craves both. There is a special silence when under sail and the only sound is the swish of water beneath the bow and the whistle of the wind through the rigging. Learning my chosen profession leaves little time for other studies so I have limited formal training in the musical arts. However, my friend, Conall, is a bard. (I hope he gets his master’s knot soon. He deserves it.) He taught me the rudiments of composition and guitar. Playing at sea not only answers a need in my soul, but helps entertain the crew. There is a unique bonding when they all join in and lend their voices to a favorite tune.

Would you rather be alone or in a crowd?

The choice between being alone or in a crowd is easy. I love the solitude of the sea. My soul also enjoys that same aspect when I’m landside. Although I will admit the means to obtain the solitude are different and more likely will be found in a long ride in the mountains or a walk along the beach.

While there is enjoyment in public events such as at a concert by my friend, Conall, or walking the vendor booths at the Lantern Rising Festival., I am not drawn to large groups like a moth to a flame. I don’t know if that is because of my childhood working with animals in a high mountain hold or just my nature. In one way, the candlemarks on duty at the wheel can be considered as being in public. I am under scrutiny by the passengers, the crew, the officers, and of course, the captain.

Have you ever jumped from a roof?

A childhood activity in my childhood village during the cold season was to jump from the hayloft into the piles of snow below. It was fun unless runoff from the roof coated the drifts with a thin layer of ice. Then the ice could cut or at the least sting. Another time I jumped from a height was the day I won my ensign’s stripes. A requirement to pass the exam for the rank is to jump from a yardarm into the harbor, swim to a marker buoy, and then back to shore.

Do you have any scars? What are they from?

I have two scars. Remember when I mentioned the childhood activity of jumping from the loft and how the ice could cut? The small scar under my chin came when I broke through the crust covering the snow drift after a jump from the hayloft. The narrow scar on the palm of my left hand came from a belt knife used when a childhood friend and I swore a blood oath.

What’s the most terrible thing that ever happened to you?

Hands down, it will be the day I was called before the mast and accused of treason to my house, attempted murder of a superior officer, and the sinking of a ship.  All because I had the audacity to request permission to marry Pelra, a commander of the House of Pirri. My horror increased when the ruling council of the House of Pirri, in essence Pelra’s kin, turned on her with the accusation of witchcraft.

What is your best memory to date?

Several events immediately come to mind. The evening Third Seat of the ruling council of the House of Cszabo awarded me my ensign’s stripes. Having responsibility for the solstice dinner was memorable not only because of the trust my house put in me, but also because I was conscripted by the Bard Guild to be a member of the trio presenting the major performance of the evening. tHere was myself,  my friend, Journeyman Bard Conall, and …Pelra.

But what wins the accolade for best memory was the Lantern Rising Festival in Berife. My ship, Loch Bird, was one of the vessels chosen to do the actual launch. And among my crew for the night was Pelra. There is a custom about the launch, but you’ll have to read Windmaster Legend to see what it is and whether or not I followed it. I will say the tradition is what made the night even more memorable.

What inscription do you want on your gravestone?

I never really thought about a gravestone. One who chooses a life at sea faces a variety of dangers and challenges. Waterspouts and the legendary ice storms of the Northern Sea have sunk many a vessel and sent its crew to an eternal rest beneath the waves. Pirates at sea and footpads on the docks can steal a man’s life as easily as his coins. Even if I live to an old age and die on dry land, a traditional sailor’s farewell at sea with the words of final requiem spoken by the captain, a funeral dirge played by flute, and a slide into the deep blue would still be mine. And for those favored by the water gods, an escort of shipfish as guides to the final resting place.

However, I digress. You asked about a gravestone. The closest equivalent for a sailor would be the captain’s entry into the official ship’s log.

Consigned this day to the deep blue, Iol of the House of Cszabo.
He earned his gold by leading not rule.
Was respected by his men, honored by his house.
His trips always returned a profit
And his ship always returned home.

About the Author:

Although the author of several local histories and numerous articles on the topics of American and military history, antiques and collectibles, Henderson’s first love is fiction. Her work in the museum and history fields enables a special insight into creating fantasy worlds. The descendent of a coal-miner’s daughter and an aviation flight engineer, her writing reflects the contrasts of her heritage as well as that of her Gemini sign. Her stories cross genres from historical westerns to science fiction and fantasy. In the world of romantic fantasy, she is the author of the Dragshi Chronicles and The Windmaster Novels. In her books, she invites you to join her on travels through the stars, or among fantasy worlds of the imagination.

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Categories: Romance

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