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I read this book in the early 90s; guessing it was written in 80s, maybe earlier.

I recall the main character had a sister or friend who was taken to become the wife of a powerful lord or magician, and she offered to be a servant so she could go with them to try to save her. There was some kind of curse which meant that all his previous wives had become harpies; they still lived in the castle.

It's not The Seventh Princess, or (as far as I can find) any of the Piers Anthony books that contain harpies. No idea of the title or author. This has driven me mad looking for it for the last 30ish years!!

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I believe you're thinking of Meredith Ann Pierce's Darkangel trilogy, specifically the first book, The Darkangel, published in 1982.

The main character, Aeriel, is the servant of Eoduin, who is captured by the titular Darkangel, a flying vampyre, to serve as his wife (he takes a new one every year). Aeriel herself is later taken by the creature (after she returns to where Eoduin was taken in hopes of it coming back) to his castle to be the servant to his wives, who have been reduced to anonymous wraith like creatures by his attentions.

Wraiths, not harpies, but the rest is a match.

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    Thanks, this certainly fits my recollection. The synopsis also mentions her befriending gargoyles which I think I had confused with harpies over the years. 30 years searching hopefully solved!
    – Rhodopsin
    Dec 29, 2023 at 20:10

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