From the Publisher
Something for everyone! If you like adventure and intrigue and danger, this is the book for you. Ms. Hokstad must be commended for the detailed and rich world she has created.
~ Frank Creed, award-winning author of FLASHPOINT and WAR OF ATTRITION
A most unique story of loyalty provides a stark contrast against the harsh realities of a slave society. Kee's inspiring story shows how even the lowly can use the negatives that life throws at us to create a positive difference in the people we encounter. Prepare to wince, cry, and laugh.
~ R.L. Copple, author of INFINITE REALITIES and TRANSFORMING REALITIES
Hokstad captures the very heart of innocence. Her compelling skill to elicit emotion and sentiment from the reader is all too rare in today's fiction. Well done, Ms. Hokstad!
~ William A. Kooiker, author of TOWER OF RUIN
Caprice Hokstad has the ability to draw you into a story and make you care about characters living in a very different world than your own.
~ Terri Main, author of DARK SIDE OF THE MOON
The author...pulls one through at a rapid clip. The action is nonstop. We rated this book five hearts.
~ Bob Spear, Heartland Reviews
An epic tale of good versus evil that refuses to conform to anyone's previously described genres.
Brilliant...fabulous...amazing! You will be thoroughly delighted.
~ David Brollier, author of THE THIRD COVENANT
Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.
It was Keedrina's first time in a tavern. The curiosity of it all distracted her from her grim purpose. Lamplight danced over the limestone walls, mingled with suns' light streaming through the windows. The air smelled of fireplace soot and lamp oil. The memory of smoke caused her stomach to lurch. Most of the numerous oaken tables were vacant, though she guessed this was due to the hour of the day. A few patrons held quiet discussions over pewter tankards and trenchers of stew.
The healer took her hand and pulled her toward a far corner. Keedrina took one look at the alcove and lost all nerve. The very sight of the impressive nobleman seated in a throne caused her to gasp. She tried to wriggle from the healer's grip, but he held all the tighter.
An Elva woman knelt beside the throne. She was banded like moxi, but her bands were all brightly polished silver and had no little connection rings emerging from them. The slave was so incredibly still and so flawlessly beautiful, she appeared at first a statue. Watching the handsome young Elva slipping his fingers through her hair sent a warm shiver over Keedrina.
The healer spoke first. "I am Pharn Patkus, your highness, a healer of Ny. Might I have a moment?" The healer bowed his head and bent at the waist.
The man in the throne stood, towering a full eight feet. Keedrina gulped at his sheer presence. She had not expected a nineteen-year-old, even an Elva, to be that tall. She studied his fancy clothes, sleek black hair, piercing black eyes, the quiet strength of his willowy carriage. It was no wonder every female in Ny envied the duchess.
He extended his hand and the two men grasped each other's wrists and shook. "Well met, Lord Patkus. I am Vahn Rebono and this is timna, my optimess."
Keedrina stared in awe, willing her jaw shut. His voice was deep-pitched and commanding, yet at the same time soothing and lyrical. She watched as he swept his arm to indicate the silver-banded woman at his side, the one named timna. He had given the slave a title, yet not even mentioned his own. It then dawned on her that this was the first she had heard the healer's name--Pharn Patkus. Keedrina tried to etch all the names to memory as they were mentioned.
Lord Patkus spoke again, tugging Keedrina forward then releasing her in front of him. "And this is Keedrina of the rural area to the south of Ny, your highness. Her family lived next to a plot of land I own."
Keedrina was suddenly unsure how to act in the presence of royalty. She started to curtsy, then thought better of it, dropped to one knee and bowed her head. Patkus took her by the arm but the duke waved his hand at him. She remained motionless except for the trembling she couldn't control. What in Byntar ever possessed her to appear before the second highest ruler of the kingdom?