Published on February 14, 2018
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. Unexpected feelings for Rafe surface just as his parents announce his betrothal to a foreign princess. Then she unearths a plot to overthrow the royal family. Her life shatters completely when the queen banishes her for treason.
Harbored by a mysterious 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.
Common was a really fun book to read. I enjoyed Leah’s take on things, and especially her relationships with the other female characters, like her friend Gretchen, her Ma, and of course, the awesome mystic nuns. More on them in a minute, though.
I kind of wanted more from Rafe, and I can’t decide if I’m being unfair in that or not. I mean, he taught Leah to read, and he pays attention to her needs in specific instances, but he seems a bit clueless as to what her life as a servant is actually like. That made me question her affection for him a little bit. He does come across like a super honorable guy, though, so I feel like maybe that should be enough, if that makes sense.
]Don’t get me wrong – I was really enjoying reading the story and then once I got to Leah’s banishment, I was super hooked. Then came the mystic nuns and I was like wow, this book is going all kinds of places I did not expect. I loved that! And the nuns were incredible. Deep and wise but also frank and sometimes kind of funny.
The romance element of the story remains sweet and simple—very Cinderella-esque, if Cinderella saved the kingdom instead of finding a dress to wear to the ball. Ha! It reminded me a little bit of The Selection by Kiera Cass or Everless by Sara Holland. I think fans of Traitor’s Masque by Kenley Davidson would also really enjoy this book, and I definitely recommend it.
Major characters are white or not physically described.
Profanity/Crude Language Content
Brief kissing between a boy and girl.
Leah and other characters reference a deity called the Luminate. She meets mystic nuns who live secluded lives devoted to serving the Luminate.
Some characters possess special abilities given either by the Luminate or a dark power.
Leah overhears someone plotting to kill members of the royal family.
Note: I received a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.