Originality – 5/5
Writing Style – 5/5
Plot – 5/5
Characters – 5/5
Aesthetics – 2/5
I love this book!
It’s got magic, torture, betrayal, court intrigue, and a murder mystery, but mostly it’s about the characters. When the peasant girl, Keedrina discovers that her family has been murdered, she meets Duke Vahn, the awe-inspiring younger brother of the king, and the direction of her life is immediately changed.
Keedrina loves and admires Duke Vahn and her highest aspiration is to be his slave. Which is where things get a little strange. The reader can certainly understand Keedrina’s fascination with the man, but is he someone we would like? Not today. He’s brave, fair, and honest, but what he takes the most pleasure from is people wanting to serve him! I imagine him as the most noble royal person you’d never want to meet.
It’s hilarious watching Keedrina learn to be a part of his staff, though. From learning how to sleep in a real bed to taking a bath to using a toilet, this simple peasant-turned-slave has a lot to learn. And the adventures and dangers she finds herself in after being thrown into the life of this aristocrat will certainly keep you turning the pages.
With Hokstad’s court intrigue, her subtle use of fantasy, believable descriptions, and complicated characters, The Duke’s Handmaid is a winner all around. In fact, I think it’s the best character book I’ve read. And this is only the first volume in the trilogy. There are definitely some things that still need to be taken care of at the end of book 1 and we can see that the duke’s final goal is to gain the throne itself. Will he get there? We’re not sure, but we’ll enjoy watching him try.
The Duke’s Handmaid is not a Christian story per se as there are no direct or parallel influences evident in the book. It is a clean read, however, and as long as you keep in mind that it is fantasy, Christians should have no objections.
It may not be the high fantasy or adventure story that you’re used to reading, but I heartily recommend adding Caprice Hokstad’s The Duke’s Handmaid to your to-read pile. I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised at how much you enjoy its uniqueness.
The Duke’s Handmaid is available from Splashdown Books
Read a FREE novel from reviewer Steve Wilson!
Aliens. Vigilante Ninjas. Mad scientists. Hard-nosed detectives. Super-heroes.
An alien ship has crash-landed on Earth, setting off a new wave of drug addiction and world war in its wake, while the sole survivor of the wreckage vows revenge against the god-like authorities of his home planet. At the same time, the new president of the GenRes Company is obsessed with living up to his father’s medical success and has just discovered how to transform normal children into Genetically Altered super-humans. Who will control these children? The scientist, the alien, and a couple of ambitious criminals are all eager to keep them for their own use. But Someone else has entirely different plans for them. Follow as each development merges together and a new breed of adolescent superheroes rises to the forefront in book one of The Gifted: In the Beginning.
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