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DVD Review

I apologize for not being more active, but not having other reviewers or books to review, it's been a little difficult. However I want to let you know about this wonderful DVD "God's Not Dead." Working at the library I found it on our shelves and took it home. When I brought it back I raved about it. I wanted to take it out again, but it seems word gets around. It's always on hold for someone else. That's great.

The opening scene is in a freshman college philosophy class. The professor states he is an atheist, and asks that if everyone will sign a paper with 3 little words on it he can dispense of the dust and get to the subject. Those 3 words are "God Is Dead." One student cannot sign that. He is given 3 chances to argue the case of the existence of God before the class.

Fueled by hate on one side and a determined love of God on the other this is not your simple movie. The poor kid researches and goes off on a journey of his own to state his case. The end is nothing short of amazing. I guess telling people stuff like this is one of the reasons I can't get a hold of it a second time. It's really that good.

For more you can go here:

To purchase a copy try these links:
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May our Lord be with you now and always. Remember, God is in control, even when things look like they're crashing all around you. David

Monday, July 05, 2010

THE DUKE'S HANDMAID, by Caprice Hokstad

Monday - Today is a first for CFRB. It's the first time we've ever toured a book twice, so those of you who've been with us for a while, please let me explain. In August of 2007 we first toured The Duke's Handmaid, by Caprice Hokstad. It was, and still is, an excellent work, yet at the time it was self-published, and Caprice had some difficulties with the company that did the printing for her. The cover you see at the left is a bit different than the cover on her first book, and is far better. The book is now being published by Splashdown Books, a new publishing company. It's primarily for this reason that I wished to tour The Duke's Handmaid again, both for her benefit and for Grace Bridges, founder of the new publishing firm. Also it will give all those new to CFRB the chance to be introduced to one of the most delightful books I've ever read. I'll heap more praise on her as we go through these posts, but for now let us take that journey to the world of Byntar, to the country of Latoph.

Caprice Hokstad classifies this work as a "sword opera", something we may get further into at a later date. Basically it is a love story, but it's not quite the same as most romances you read. This one has a few twists to it. Byntar is a planet of twins; twin suns, twin moons, twin continents, even the Duke is a twin. The inhabitants are of 2 breeds, Elva and Itzi. The Elva are considered to be the superior race or breed, and so hold most of the important positions. The prevailing opinion among the Elva is that whether bound or free, they are still better than the Itzi. The Itzi are considered lowly, dull, yet useful for hard labor. There are other differences, some visible in nature while others general physical differences that can not been seen, such as normal lifespan. By and large they are brought up to believe their place in society is, by rights, lower than the Elva. Caprice paints this social order with such distinction you can painfully see the line of delineation between the two breeds. Then she adds a few twists that complicate things. Among the Elva are the nobles, the freemen, the bond servants and slaves forced into service because of criminal actions and such. Among the Itzi are the same levels within their own breed, barring nobility. When an Itzi freewoman loses her family to marauders an Elva "healer" brings her case before Duke Vahn Rebono. Unlike many of his breed he feels all breeds deserve certain basic rights. This creates a noble household, but also an occasion for discontent, which his own short-sightedness, only aggravates.

With the flair of J.R.R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings, minus the need for constant threat of war, and the imagination of C.S. Lewis' Chronicles of Narnia, minus the magic, Hokstad delivers a story of incomparable beauty in the midst of tremendous turmoil and against incredible odds. Yet instead of the "sword" winning the day, whether aided by the magic of the wizards or the miracle of Aslan, she shows us the burning power of love. I don't mean that to be a statement about sexuality, but one of that explores the true meaning of a selfless love. Sometimes tender, sometimes tragic, but always steadfast, always growing stronger, always becoming victorious. Journey with us through a land whose magic lay in the pen of its author, much like the real magic in our world lay in the Word of its Creator. For He also beat the swords of the enemy with the sharpened edge of His love, and He did it for all of us. As the Apostle Paul states, "Love never fails."

Visit Caprice's website.

Purchase The Duke's Handmaid from
Splashdown Books.

(Coming soon to Amazon and Barnes & Noble) For a limited time, the .pdf eBook is FREE from Lulu or get the Kindle version from Amazon for just 99 cents!

Check out these other member blogs this week for more info.

According to Federal law I have to tell that I received this book for free so I can do a review. Such a statement is meant to question the actual value of the book, so I want to set your minds at ease. Although in 2007 I did receive a free, pre-release copy of her book to do a review I have deemed it, even in its original form, of a quality high enough to give Caprice Hokstad a 2nd tour with CFRB. In other words, for this tour I have used the older version, knowing that the work deserved another tour. As far as a fantasy is concered The Duke's Handmain a book that, by it's quality, stands alone among many naturally gifted and well known writers. If you own a copy of this book, I believe that somewhere down through time you are going to say, "Caprice Hokstad? Of course I've heard of her. Her work is amazing." And you will feel a special glow because you will have purchased this book before she became famous, which I totally believe she will become. No one paid me to say that.


Caprice Hokstad said...

Well, from the oddball picture you probably scrounged off Facebook to the quote I didn't pay you to say (mainly because I don't have the money for bribes of that magnitude!) I have to say this was a very interesting post. I want to say right up front that the re-tour wasn't my idea, even though I am involved in CFRB. However, that being said, I do indeed welcome the opportunity to get some fresh reviews out there and more exposure for this specific edition, which has been re-edited as well as re-covered. It's not simply a "let's repackage this" bait-and-switch deal. Some of the complaints I received back in 2007 were addressed, like the chapters being too long and a large flashback coming way too late, etc. Nothing Earth-shattering, or should I say Byntar-shattering, but improvements nonetheless.

Thanks, David, and CFRB for the opportunity to share again.

David said...

You don't like your picture? I think it looks great. And to set the record straight the idea of re-touring The Duke's Handmaid was my idea. I was able to sell it to the other members of CFRB, some of whom had never read your original work. Plus if we are to view that first edition as a glorified rough draft then this 2nd edition has to be truly superb.

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