Surrender’s Strength Book Review + Excerpt

Hello, fellow campaigners in the writing world! What is this? Two blog posts on the same day? It must be a special day!

Indeed it is! Yesterday, Erika Mathews, a fellow Christian writer, released her third installment to her series, Truth from Taerna. It is a kingdom fantasy book with no magic, no violence, and little romance. And since today is my day to help her post on different social medias about her book (her book tour), I am going to be posting this today!

Book Summary

Her only ambition is keeping her old familiar identity. 

But she isn’t given that choice.

Ever since her mother’s death, all Laelara wants is to keep doing what she’s good at: managing the household. She definitely isn’t interested in higher education. When she’s sent to the city to further her schooling, Laelara finds herself caught up in a case of mistaken identity that seems like the perfect opportunity to avoid the despised Academy. Amid the whirlwind of new friends, new jobs, and the glitzy social life of the Palace District—particularly the trivia contests—her double life becomes more and more precarious. For the first time in her twenty years, everything spirals out of her careful control: her family’s security, her job, her friendships, and her very identity. With her lifelong purpose and identity stripped away, to what will Laelara surrender, and where will she find the strength to persevere?

Book Review

10 stars! (5/5 stars)

I extremely enjoyed this book because it really hit home. This biblical theme that Mathews chose for the book, surrendering to the Lord, is super relatable for me at the moment. I’ve had to do that so much lately.

The tension that was built up was excellently done in order to make Laelara not be able to do things in her own strength, and it was crafted very well. Usually I feel frustrated and annoyed at mistaken identity stories, but I found this one interesting and not bad at all. It was thoughtfully done.

Laelara’s mind and her thoughts were relatable and developed her character very well, which I rather enjoyed and liked how she shifted her focus when she reached rock bottom. It shifted off of herself and onto the Lord.

Lastly, I love the small and subtle romance going on in the end and how her views on marriage progressed through prayer and guidance from God. What I love about Erika Mathews’ writing is that it deals with real things and shows what NOT to do and how to actually shift focus onto God through her characters and world.

Book Excerpt

Laelara didn’t answer. Her mind churned rapidly. “Is that the Academy there?” She nodded to a stately building with pillars and many steps.

“It is. Many of the finest personalities of our royal circles were trained there. Where did you receive your train­ing?”

“Oh, it was quite exclusive, I do assure you,” Laelara replied readily. Certainly no one in the palace would have had the education she’d had, she thought with a hint of a smile—gardening, cooking, cleaning, caring for children, sewing, and trivia in an out-of-the-way village. But she wasn’t about to enlighten him upon the exact nature of her unique education. “And you?”

“I attended Academy for two years, then finished my education at West Side Law. It’s no longer running, but it was quite distinguished not so long ago.” Dontae mo­tioned to a dazzling establishment to the right. “And here we are at the Palace Hotel. Normally the Palace Coach runs directly here, but you came in a special long-distance coach. Hence the reason I was privileged to escort you.”

She returned his enchanting smile. “Much appreci­ated.” She turned her gaze towards the massive architec­ture of the Palace Hotel, stunned by the swirled patterns of gold, silver, and red, with a mix of purple on the door and window frames. The building rose several stories into the air, and Laelara had to tilt her head back—way back—to see the top. This was her new home? This was where she was supposed to stay?




Erika Mathews is an author and editor who lives in the farm country of Minnesota with her husband and children. She’s a homeschool graduate with a Bachelor’s in Communications, a Master’s in Biblical Ministries, and a passion for sharing Jesus Christ and His truth. When she’s not working with books, she enjoys reading, outdoor activities, piano and violin, organizing, and using the Oxford comma. You can connect with Erika at restinglife.com.

Website: restinglife.com

Blog: writtenrest.wordpress.com

Instagram: instagram.com/ErikaMathewsAuthor

Facebook: facebook.com/ErikaMathewsAuthor

Amazon: amazon.com/-/e/B06XK4TFQL

Goodreads: goodreads.com/resterwen

Pinterest: pinterest.com/resterwen

Visit the Tour Kick-off Post on Erika’s blog.


Madi’s Musings: character spotlight on Ellrick, author interview, and book excerpt

Read Review Rejoice: book excerpt 

Old Fashioned Book Love: book review

Thanks for reading!

What to expect ahead?

July 27th: Possible Spiritual Post
August 3rd: July Book Haul/Newsletter
August 10th: Possible Historical Post

Thank you so much for reading my blog post! If you’d like to chat, you can find me on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook with the handle @ afkoppauthor.



A. F. Kopp

4 thoughts on “Surrender’s Strength Book Review + Excerpt”

    1. Thank you! It was a good read, indeed! I recommend the series so far. I’ve only read the first and third and am working on the second, but I am enjoying the clean reads. 🙂


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