The Duke's Handmaid

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All the young outcast wanted was security in a world that destroyed her family and left her despised and rejected. Can the simple farmgirl find a new family through voluntary enslavement to the duke's household? Not if the prejudiced and conniving duchess has her way!

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Fiction » Fantasy » Epic
Published: Oct. 03, 2010
Words: 135,300
Language: English
ISBN: 9781458033895
About Caprice Hokstad

Caprice is mother of four and a grandmother of two. Caprice lives with her husband, two grown children, a grade-schooler, a dog, a cat, a tankful of guppies and aquatic snails in a mobile home in southern California.

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Review by: Kristen Stieffel on June 07, 2012 : star star star star
At the outset it seems that Kee's choosing slavery over a life of freedom and poverty is based on a desire to live in the Duke's palatial home, with access to luxuries like hot running water and abundant food. But in truth, she is drawn to his house not by material things, but by her loyalty to him.

After some action-packed and unflinchingly violent opening chapters, the book settles into a slower pace, as farmgirl Kee is trained in etiquette and protocol so she can serve the duke as a slave. She learns about the brutal realities of slavery, but teaches others some lessons about submission and servanthood in the process.

The plot shifts into high hear for the second half, which is loaded with intrigue and chicanery, daring escape and noble sacrifice.

The author is occasionally a little too textbook-like in describing her speculative storyworld. Nevertheless, it is a rich setting, and her descriptions of it, though forced at times, are quite good. Although the duke’s culture is very different from our own, it is internally consistent -- a necessity for good fantasy.

The characters are well-rounded and engaging, and I enjoyed the story. I look forward to reading the sequel.
(reviewed long after purchase)

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