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The Wind Dancer (Wind Dancer #1)

3.97  ·  Rating Details  ·  3,273 Ratings  ·  77 Reviews
Renaissance Italy, where intrigues are as intricate as carved cathedral doors and affairs of state were ruled by affairs of the bedchamber...where the rustling richness of silk had the quick glint of deadly stilettos, and poison vied with port as the favorite drink to offer guests....

The lovely and indomitable slave Sanchia is bought by a man on a back street in Florence.
Mass Market Paperback, 387 pages
Published 1991 by Bantam
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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This is definitely the most unique setting I've read about in a historical novel.

In 1503 Italy, Lionello Andreas is seeking to regain a treasure that was stolen from his family - the Wind Dancer - and to do it, he is on the search for a great thief. His search brings him to Florence where he makes the acquaintance of Sanchia, a slave and pickpocket who impresses Lion with her talent. He immediately buys her papers and helps her settle the children she has taken under her wing. Sanchia, grateful
Regan Walker
Amazing Love Story...Masterfully Woven Tale!

This is the first in the wind dancer trilogy (THE WIND DANCER, STORM WINDS—and the contemporary, REAP THE WIND) and it is amazing--truly a "keeper" romance, one you'll read and re-read.

Set in early 16th century Northern Italy (1503), it tells the story of Lionello Andreas oldest son of an Italian family that has held as its most treasured possession a small golden statue of the winged horse Pegasus that, according to legend, was given to their family a
Jul 25, 2015 Zoe rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have only read the second book from the series before and loved it. This book is the first one in the series. I liked the first half well enough and couldn't put it down. This all but changed in the second half.
Lion the hero is painted a possessive man with "strong appetite". That's fine. Sanchia the heroine, is portrayed as someone "unique" for her station in life, being born into servitude. Strangely when Lion was "just obsessed", I thought the book was better. After Lion started going on an
Jun 19, 2015 Katrina rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: did-not-finish
This book started out with so much promise. I was completely enthralled with it from the first chapter. That lasted all of another 3-4 chapters. Sanchia started out so interesting. She was clever, insightful, and pragmatic. Then (view spoiler), and turns in to a naïve child that expects nothing bad will happen to her. Less than half way in to the book, she experiences yet another profound change in character (view spoiler) ...more
The Wind Dancer (Original 90's Version)- first in a trilogy has always been a favorite of mine. It’s the setting you see. One you don’t get often in Hist-rom. The setting in this book- the settings in the entire series really- is the thing I fell in the deepest love with- for it’s what sets the books apart.

For this tale, the setting is in the late 1400’s early 1500’s Italy. The power of the dukes and popes are waning and so, to keep that power, they desire one thing. The Wind Dancer.

A Pegasus m
Agnieszka "Aeth" Jędrzejczyk
DNF at 25%. It's not you, book, it's me. While I love the Italian Renaissance setting (very assassin's-creed-y), the dynamic dialogues, beautiful writing and of course Lorenzo, I don't think this is the story I was looking for. I was hoping for a battle of wills among two equals, not a master/slave relationship between a 16-year-old girl, mouthy as she is, and a giant of a man who can think of nothing else but to possess her body and soul. I suposse things bet better along the way, but I'm not e ...more
Edward Beavers
Ended better than it began.

I don't think that this is as good as I was expecting from the Eve Duncan series. it was ok.
I have a lot of mixed feelings about "Wind Dancer".

I loved the setting. I've read very few books that take place during the Italian Renaissance. Iris Johansen created a lush setting, rife with historical accuracies that keep the reader throughly engaged. She wove the characters and plot through her version of early 16th century Italy in as seamless of ways as any reader could hope for in a historical fiction.

The plot of the Wind Dancer (the mystical object) reminded me of a Katharine Neville o
Chantelle Larson
An engaging and talented voice that I have come across and will be sure too keep an eye on.
This quickly captivating novel wasted no time in catapulting me into renaissance Italy.
The voice here was amazing, her challenging yet easy to follow writing style and speedy yet absorbent plot build up was instantly enjoyable.
Her characters are so well rounded, intriguing, likable, realistic and relatable it would be difficult for even the most wooden reader to remain unaffected. Our heroine was strong,
So...I'm not sure what to make of this book. If it hadn't been intended to be a romance I would probably give it a four star rating. It was emotional, well researched, and brilliantly written. It was very historically accurate. But because it was intended to be a romance that accuracy was a problem...because...well the hero was a rapist. He bought the heroine and enslaved her. Not like sexy loving master and sub like he straight up owned her as a person. SHe was not permitted to leave even after ...more
This wasn't a bad book, but it could have been so much better than it was. Sanchia had all these thieving skills, but we barely got to see her use them. Sanchia gave hints of being a very strong and skilled and interesting character, and even though she was a protagonist I felt like her personality was watered down and underutilized. The "Sanchia is the best pickpocket and she's going to steal this for us" plot was really more of a small subplot, and the main plot was Lion and Sanchia, which was ...more
Dec 12, 2014 Audrey rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I picked up this book, having read some of the Eve Duncan books, expecting a good read. This book sucked me in and kept me right until the end. I could not wait to read the second one and when I went to our local used bookstore to find it I had to ask where to look and was told to look in the Romance section. I was floored! I absolutely am not a romance reader and this book seemed like more of a mystery/adventure to me. Then as I continued through the books I realized that there was romance invo ...more
May 21, 2008 Starket rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
After years of searching for a copy of this book, I finally got my hands on one. I could not put this book down. It was much different from Iris Johansen's other stories. I loved the time setting of the book. This was another book that I was sad to have end. I felt so much for the characters. I can't wait to read the other 2 books in the series.
Renee Comage
Sep 07, 2015 Renee Comage rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

Most intriguing Johansen I've read to date. I LOVE the 15th century costume and European setting. I could see Lion, Lorenzo and Sanchia!!! I hated Caterina when she was first introduced, but I came to love her and all she did for Sanchia before her death. I only wished she had survived the black death and been able to save Mandara. I also wished Lorenzo had brought the city back to full vitality befo
I read The Wind Dancer as a precursor to Storm Winds (the second book in this series) which was the Vaginal Fantasy alt for July. I should've just skipped it, as I realized after dialoguing with some other VF readers and Felicia (who mentioned that she read the summary for this first book, and thought it looked stupid and realized that it was unnecessary to the plot of the second one, which was really chosen for its placement during the French Revolution, the theme for July). But I only made tha ...more
Monique Atgood
Jun 18, 2012 Monique Atgood rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sep 01, 2014 Judy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Loved this storyline and could hardly wait to read the next book in the series. Would read this one again which I cannot say that about most of the books I have read. Once read, I am finished with it and do not want to read again, but I cannot say this about this Book 1 of the Wind Dancer series. Maybe it was the setting or the storyline regarding a rare and ancient horse statue that caught my interest to wish the series would not end. A totally different take on a mystery story.
Johansen, Iris - Standalone

Legend held that whoever possessed it would rule the destinies of nations.

Renaissance Italy, where intrigues were as intricate as carved cathedral doors and affairs of state were ruled by affairs of the bedchamber ... where the rustling richness of silk hid the quick glint of deadly stilettos, and poison vied with port as the favored drink to offer guests....

From the spellbinding pen of Iris Johansen comes her most lush, dramatic, and emotionally tou
Jun 20, 2012 Ariana rated it it was amazing
This is one of my favorite novels of all time (definitely a great series). Iris Johansen is wonderful in her story weaving, and I fall in love every time I read or re-read something of hers.

I am fond of period/historical romance books and films, and this most certainly fits that category. Johansen does such a wonderful job of putting in that romantic element and going so far as to make you shiver a bit, but still remains tasteful; her work is most certainly not smut.

The character descriptions in
Mar 15, 2013 Lauren rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone and anyone but with some caution as this is a very deep and disturbing read
Recommended to Lauren by: fate
Shelves: romance
I found this book when I was twelve years old in my mothers old trunk. I've been an avid reader since I could start sounding out my words, so I didn't think anything about digging into this one. For a twelve year old it was probably a little much( ok it was way to much), but I still was so enthralled in the story that the more intimate parts were not hard to look over. Now as an adult I can not only appreciate the amazing story line, but also the hot and steamy scenes. I'm not sure how many time ...more
Dec 04, 2009 Barbra rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Didn't think a lot about this book at all. I read it but found it slow going.

Back Cover Blurb:
In Renaissance Italy, intrigue is as intricate as carved cathedral doors, but none is so captivating as that surrounding the prized Wind Dancer, the lost treasure of a family - and of the man who will stop at nothing to reclaim it. Lionello Andress is bound by his vow to guard the exquisite statue. But to recover what is rightfully his, he will need the help of a thief - one he can control, body and sou
May 11, 2014 Chrishandsigns rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read #4 Final Target first not knowing it was part if a series. I went back and read them in order. I enjoyed the books very much. It was fun to have a "central character" that was inanimate (like the Maltese falcon) and to see it in context of centuries, from the renaissance to the French revolution to modern times.
Aug 12, 2009 Becky rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 999-challenge
This book started slow for me. Historical fiction isn't usually my thing, but a few chapters in, I remembered why I love Johansen so much. She has such a gift for story telling! She can make the characters seem so real.

This book read fast once I became attached to Sanchia and her plight. I think Sanchia appealed to me because of her innocence. She's grown up in an environment of slavery and obedience that is so hard to understand. But, she's still strong and willing to give her life for those th
Yvonne Persa
Hard to start

Had a hard time reading this one. My thoughts of Eve Duncan and Kendra Michaels had me in a different place and time of the author. Once I disengaged myself from those stories I soon loved this tale.
Oct 31, 2015 Trina rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is one of my favorite novels/series. I have re-read this book several times. The characters are great, he story flows really well. While the ending is somewhat predictable, here is a really excellent add/twist.
Apr 29, 2015 Carol rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
ugh - I should have stopped after 50 pages. I thought this would be an adventure / thriller based on the blurb. It turned out to be a "bodice ripper" - not my style at all. Again - UGH
Charlotte Gates
Oct 30, 2014 Charlotte Gates rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As with all Iris Johansen's books, I have not been disappointed yet. Her books flow smoothly, have an exciting plot and keep you in suspense until the very end.
Brandi Wamsley
Apr 02, 2014 Brandi Wamsley rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is where she really begins her move into evil villains and then murder mysteries. If you are ever looking for a sick twisted bad guy, she has the best.
In the Wind Dancer, this historical thriller takes us back to where the trilogy started during the Renaissance period in Italy. Lionello Andreas had vowed to protect the lost family treasure, the most prized and illustrious magical statue known as the Wind Dancer. In order to recover it, he would need help from an unlikely source, a young woman in poverty to become a thief. Between the two of them, they're on a journey like no other, the allure of the Wind Dancer is too tempting, and to those w ...more
Carla Johnson-Hicks
Older book, not sure what i expected. I enjoyed it and want to read the rest of the series, but it was one of those no brainers.
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Vaginal Fantasy B...: Storm Winds (alt) 18 154 Jul 27, 2015 11:37AM  
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Iris Johansen is a New York Times bestselling author. She began her writing after her children left home for college. She first achieved success in the early 1980s writing category romances. In 1991, Johansen began writing suspense historical romance novels, starting with the publication of The Wind Dancer. In 1996 Johansen switched genres, turning to crime fiction, with which she has had great su ...more
More about Iris Johansen...

Other Books in the Series

Wind Dancer (4 books)
  • Storm Winds (Wind Dancer, #2)
  • Reap The Wind (Wind Dancer, #3)
  • Final Target (Wind Dancer, #4)

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