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The Common Princess Trilogy Review by Lori Hooten

Saralee Rhoads
Saralee Rhoads, Writer of Tales
812 NW Hearnes
Blue Springs, MO 64015

Life as an adopted daughter is not easy, especially when your father is the King. The expectations of the King are large and for one who is common, not of royal birth, those things must be learned. Learning how to be the Princess is key to living life right and is the focus of The Common Princess trilogy by Saralee Rhoads. This book series focuses on the allegory of life as an adopted daughter into the kingdom of God, The King, and learning to live the life expected from a Princess. 

In the first book, The Common Princess, we meet Christine. Christine is a princess in the kingdom, though she does not yet know all her history or why she struggles to do things correctly. The King is busy, often away, taking care of the kingdom. Christine has a few trusted and hand-picked people around her to help her learn what she needs but she is a very headstrong young lady. As Christine battles her own desires, her quick tongue, and rules regarding her behavior and choices, she learns day by day to control those things necessary to live the life she is called to as a Princess. When anarchy threatens the kingdom, Christine knows she must step up to her role of Princess and she does so with caution and the support of those close to her, knowing her Father arrives as needed. 

In The Princess and the Sword, Christine is traveling as the King's emissary, seeking to help settle the troubled kingdom. She meets danger and must learn to be a strong advocate for the King. Learning to seek the King in times of trouble, she takes on a stronger leadership role and learns the value of friendship. As her heart also becomes involved, she must balance the strength needed for leading with friendship and love. 

In Treachery, Christine finds herself among still greater trouble and danger. Still traveling with her friends as the Princess of the kingdom, Christine is heading to the Court of the Earl of Aylesbury. This adventure is necessary to protect the kingdom and the intensity of that responsibility grows with each passing day and each new piece of information. As the days pass, the balance of responsibility and friendship becomes increasingly evident. Christine is learning to fill the role her father placed her in and to seek the help she needs to advocate well. 

This allegorical story of The Common Princessreflects struggles of day to day life. The series is aimed at preteen to teen girls yet has a lot of application through adulthood. Looking at the story allows for reflection on personal lives and seeing how to step in and help preteen and teen girls navigate their struggles in the world while striving to serve God. Christine is an adopted daughter in the kingdom, which is showing her as a daughter of God learning to live as God's child in the world. Besot by evil people trying to overthrow the kingdom, there is wise counsel to seek time with the King daily, seek advice from those who have traveled the path before, or to carefully consider movement and action before taking that action. 

The story is well balanced and interesting, even while the connection to living a life for God is clearly visible from early in the first book. That clear allegory is extremely helpful in keeping the focus on living a life for God. Each chapter concludes with a few questions relating the story to the reader's life. Using bible verses and discussion questions, the application is addressed, and the reader can consider carefully how to put the information to use. These are set up in such a way that it would work well as a small-group study for youth girls with an adult to guide the discussion. 

Reading about a princess and her adventures is fun and when the connection to the Bible and living for God is clear, it is appealing. The Common Princess trilogy by Saralee Rhoads is a series that many young girls will enjoy.

-Product review by Lori Hooten, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, December 2019