Friday, February 24, 2012

The Duke's Handmaid: Book One of the Ascendancy Trilogy by Caprice Hokstad Book Review

Genre: Fantasy
Recommendation: Excellent

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!

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1 comment:

  1. So glad you enjoyed the book! In addition to Splashdown Books, you can find it (and book 2, and in another 20 days, book 3) all at Amazon, B&N, and Smashwords. E-books are currently on sale.

    Hope you like the other books just as well and thanks again for the review.