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Joyce Kotzè
South African author Anglo Boer War historical novel The Runaway Horses


Author Joyce Kotzè was inspired by tales of individuals in times of war, her forefathers having fought in the major conflicts of the 20th century, her grandfathers as young men on opposite sides in the Boer War. She grew up in Namibia, studied in Cape Town, and worked as a radiographer on the conflict-torn borders of southern Africa.

Kotzè has a passion for good literature, poetry and history. She divides her time between Namibia and the Riebeek Valley.


note from the author

The Runaway Horses is now published by Jonathan Ball Publishers and available countrywide in bookstores and on e-book.

This edition is much the same as the previous one, but I reinstated some scenes, and it has been polished by a very capable editor, Alfred LeMaitre. I’m elated with this edition. The cover and back cover are also new, except for the Lady. She impressed the new publishers to such an extent that they decided to keep her. Where do the characters come from? I shall post some old photographs and words that have inspired me while writing this story shortly. Should there be any comments or question about the story, please contact me on my website or Facebook Fan page.

Beyond Forgiveness, my second story, is set between 1912 - 1921 and takes place in the Karoo and then on to Delville Wood, France, WW1. It is not a sequel to Horses, but a story on its own. The writing is done, now I need to sit down and begin with the final rewrite.

Thank you for your interest and, to those who have read The Runaway Horses, a special thanks for your positive feedback. I’m grateful.


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The Runaway Horses by Joyce Kotzè

Published by Jonathan Ball Publishers

ISBN: 978-1-86842-639-3


The Runaway Horses’ recounts the personal cost to family during wartime

In her historical novel “The Runaway Horses”, author Joyce Kotzè portrays an engrossing tale of the injustice of the 1899-1902 Boer War in Africa.

Two sets of cousins, Boer and British, find their destinies inexorably intertwined in the politics and mayhem of the conflict. From Transvaal to Victorian England, the cousins form strong bonds, which are tested on the battlefields of South Africa.

An excerpt from “The Runaway Horses”:

She was glad of it, as she could no longer see the war as Koba did; an inevitable happening in men’s lives to prove their courage, to obey the want in their blood. There was hardly a book in the Old Testament in which men did not make war, and it was in these times, that women should stand back and let the wars take their course.

But these men were driving families to concentration camps, destroying farms, not just fighting other men! Koba had an answer to that too. An answer too disturbing to contemplate.

As with much historical fiction, “The Runaway Horses” is meant to entertain but also to remind her readers that “… war has many facets. Soldiers who serve the aggressor are not necessarily guilty; they are following orders. It is the greed of governments that causes all this misery in the world.”

"Brits and Boers fight and fornicate in a historical novel on love and war.
With an intricate plot and solid characterization, the book weaves a rich and sometimes beautiful tapestry, marking divided loyalties, the tragedy of love and war, and the conundrums of the human spirit."
- Kirkus Indie Review.

Full review here

* * *

"This fine family saga tells of relatives pulled apart by war, of family members forced into combat against each other in a harsh landscape of death and suffering.
- Starred * Review by BlueInk.
Full review here

* * *

"Readers who enjoy well-drawn historical fiction will find The Runaway Horses difficult to put down. The book merits a wide audience."
- ForeWord Reviews. 4 stars (out of 5)
Full review here

* * *

"It has been a long time since I have enjoyed a historical novel as much. It is a rare blend of fact and fiction in the tradition of James Michener, and, dare I say, Leo Tolstoy. Joyce Kotzè delivers a supremely readable and gripping piece of work."
- Christiaan Bakkes
Full review here

* * *

“Riveting read – fast moving, colourful and stirring. I could not put this book down. Graphic battle scenes, love scenes, court scenes, are all encircled by the beautiful and touching legend of the Runaway Horses – those that could come back and those that did not make it.
It is a lovely, fast moving tale – I highly recommend it.”
– Sharon Montgomery
Full review here

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"This is what history is about- the same families, different sides of the battle lines. This book reminded me that the facts we read about in history books always had an underlining real story- a story about love, hate and real emotions.
A good read- to the end."
- Pieter on

* * *

“The characters in this novel are so superbly created I felt I knew them personally. This novel is highly recommended as an absolutely wonderful read. Though this novel is Joyce Kotze's first I am certain we are going to be hearing a lot more of her. I, for one, am looking forward to reading more from this gifted author ...”
– John Murphy



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The Runaway Horses is now available countrywide in bookstores and on e-book.   Exclusive Books   Reader's Warehouse

Order your copy or e-book from South African online stores above, or international below.

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If you are a private individual within South Africa:
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Please contact our Customer Services on or +27 (0)11 601 8088 who will provide you with the appropriate application forms to open an account with Jonathan Ball Publishers.


Next to be published

Beyond Forgiveness

Set in the Karoo and then on to battlefields of Europe. A tale about South African boys in the battle of Delville Wood during the WWI.

The manuscript is currently in the process of being edited and proofread.






Art South Africa
South African author Anglo Boer War historical novel The Runaway Horses
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Joyce Kotzè

EDITORS: For review copies or to set up an interview contact:


Publicity Department on +27 (0)21 469 8900

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Art South Africa
South African author Anglo Boer War historical novel The Runaway Horses