Monday, February 4, 2008

The Love of a Good Woman

[This week the Christian Fiction Review Blog is touring Nor Iron Bars a Cage by Caprice Hokstad. At the end of the review you will find other sites to visit, including those of the author and booksellers. ]

What kind of love does it take to voluntarily enter a hostile country in disguise as a runaway slave, knowing you will be subjected to mockery, assaults, embarrassment, ridicule, degradation, even bodily harm? Who would take on such a mission with the knowledge that discovery could mean imprisonment and maybe more? This is no ordinary love, but it is the tenor of the love that kee, the heroine of this novel, has for her husband and lord, duke Vahn, the ruler of a duchy in Latoph. The infant son of the duke had been kidnapped by Saerula, Vahn’s first wife who ran away with her lover. The spoiled daughter of King Pendo from the neighboring (but NOT neighborly) kingdom of Ganluc, Saerula had gone back to her country and was hiding with the child. In hopes of gaining information that would lead them to the child, kee devised a plan whereby she would play the role of a runaway slave, captured by Vahn’s most trusted Captain of the Guard and great friend, Najost Shil. Another trusted friend, the healer Pharn Patkus, accompanied them on the dangerous mission. Between deadly scorpion stings, difficult traveling, an attempt at kidnapping kee, time in the stocks and jail, and all the humiliation that kee had to bear, it was a hazardous journey indeed.

Meanwhile, while the trio was trying to find the Duke’s son, Vahn was experiencing his own nightmare. Too much information here would be a spoiler, but remember the expression “Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned?” Vahn found out just how true it is when Delorae, another spoiled rich woman, was unable to win the Duke’s attention and marry him (his marriage to kee is secret). Out of pride, he accepted her challenge to a duel without knowing what the stakes were going to be. The results of the duel turn his whole world upside down, with a threat of ruining him completely.

Overall, Nor Iron Bars a Cage is a good adventure, a fantasy that is totally believable within its own world, filled with tension, some surprise twists, tales of loyalty and friendship, as well as some humor at the proper times. While it is highly entertaining, it is also full of Biblical truths, particularly about the relationship between a believer and God. In kee there is such a complete picture of what it means to be submitted to God and completely selfless. Actually, kee is so nearly perfect that she is hardly believable; no one is that good. But in the interest of the tale, some credibility may be suspended.

This novel is highly recommended, but parents may want to use some judgment before giving it to teens under 16. It deals with some very adult subjects; Mrs. Hokstad handles delicate matters quite deftly, and in good taste, but parents should know this is not a children’s tale.

The main website for Christian Fiction Review Blog is During this week, there will be daily posts: reviews, summaries, commentaries, a biography of Caprice Hokstad, and perhaps an interview or some sample pages. Blog members will also be posting the same types of articles on their own blog sites, which are listed at the main site. You can read some other reviews by Grace Bridges, Michael A. Heald, Ansric, and The Time Mistress.

Caprice Hokstad’s website is
The book is available through, (also available in the new Kindle format), and

Nor Iron Bars a Cage
author Caprice Hokstad
Paperback: 348 pages
Publisher: Vici Publishing (October 18, 2007)
ISBN-10: 0615163602
ISBN-13: 978-0615163604

1 comment:

Caprice Hokstad said...

You already posted a review weeks ago. All I expected this time was a re-post, a copy-and-paste job from the review you already spent so much time on, but this is like a whole new review!

Thanks, Cathi. I appreciate all your time and efforts.