About the Book
Author: Laurie Lucking
Genre: YA Fantasy
Release Date: February 14, 2018
Only one person knows of the plot against the royal family and cares enough to try to stop it—the servant girl they banished.
Leah spends her days scrubbing floors, polishing silver, and meekly curtsying to nobility. Nothing distinguishes her from the other commoners serving at the palace, except her red hair.
And her secret friendship with Rafe, the Crown Prince of Imperia.
But Leah’s safe, ordinary world begins to splinter. Rafe’s parents announce his betrothal to a foreign princess, and she unearths a plot to overthrow the royal family. When she reports it without proof, her life shatters completely when the queen banishes her for treason.
Harbored by an unusual group of nuns, Leah must secure Rafe’s safety before it’s too late. But her quest reveals a villain far more sinister than an ambitious nobleman with his eye on the throne.
Can a common maidservant summon the courage to fight for her dearest friend?
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At first glance, this book might seem like the “common” forbidden love story cliché that has been used in many literary works throughout the centuries. And while it does contain some of those aspects, it is still unique in many ways. It’s a Christian novel, with God known as the “Luminate”. Mystics (nuns who receive messages and visions from the Luminate) are involved, as well as sorcery.
Leah is a kind and self-less heroine, although I didn’t feel like I could connect with her. I still felt for her, though, when she was banished and I commended her for her bravery in her ventures. I did, however, fall in love with Prince Raphael. His friendship with Leah is quite sweet, and the reader can tell how much the two care for each other.
This young adult fantasy, overall, is a cute story that will both make you laugh and make your heart pound in anticipation. It’s not a book filled with a lot of action, but it is wholesome and a good reminder that even the most ordinary people can be used for the most extraordinary purposes.
I had received a copy of this book as part of the Celebrate Lit Blogging Team and was required to give an honest review.
About the Author
An avid reader practically since birth, Laurie Lucking discovered her passion for writing after leaving her career as an attorney to become a stay-at-home mom. When she gets a break from playing board games and finding lost toys, she writes young adult fantasy with a strong thread of fairy tale romance. Her debut novel, Common, won the Christian Editor Connection’s Excellence in Editing Award, placed third in the Christian Women Reader’s Club Literary Lighthouse Awards, and is a finalist in the ACFW Carol Awards. She has short stories published in Mythical Doorways, Encircled, and the upcoming Christmas Fiction off the Beaten Path. Laurie is the Secretary of her local ACFW chapter and a co-founder of Lands Uncharted, a blog for fans of clean young adult speculative fiction. A Midwestern girl through and through, she currently lives in Minnesota with her husband and three children. Find out more by visiting www.laurielucking.com.
More from Laurie
Common started with the simple premise that I wanted to write a friendship-first romance that would be innocent enough for pre-teen readers, but complex enough for teens and adults to enjoy it, too! My love for fairy tales soon kicked in, inspiring a Cinderella-type dynamic of a secret friendship between a maid and a prince. Then came the “what if” questions. What if the king and queen arranged a betrothal between the prince and a foreign princess? What if the maid tried to help the prince find happiness with his new fiancée, but accidentally made things worse? What if she then discovered a plot against the royal family and was the only one who could stop it? Looking back, it’s fascinating to see how my story expanded from a sweet romance to so much more. The romance is still there, prominent enough to satisfy any reader who loves rooting for a fun couple. But there’s also so much personal growth for my main character, who learns though her journey that even a lowly maid is anything but common and that the biggest challenges and disappointments we must overcome are preparing us for something better. I didn’t set out to include a spiritual thread, but my protagonist kept contemplating and reaching out to God until I finally realized her story wouldn’t work without a faith component. And that faith component led to an entire group of characters – spunky, mysterious nuns who now form the backbone of my entire Tales of the Mystics series. The end result is an inspirational, romantic fantasy adventure perfect for fans of Melanie Dickerson, Anne Elisabeth Stengl, and Jody Hedlund’s new Lost Princesses series. Book Two is in progress, and I can’t wait to see how much it will change and develop along the way!
To celebrate her tour, Laurie is giving away a themed basket with a signed paperback copy of Common, a beaded velvet bookmark, a handmade book sleeve, and a wooden “Have courage & be kind” sign!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.