Review: Cinders & Sapphires (DAC)

February 28, 2013 Review 12 ★★★

Review: Cinders & Sapphires (DAC)
Cinders & Sapphires by Leila Rasheed
(Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository)

Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Source: Borrowed
Pages: 400
Release Date: January 22nd 2013
Series: At Somerton #1
Genres: Historical
One house, two worlds…
Rose Cliffe has never met a young lady like her new mistress. Clever, rich, and beautiful, Ada Averley treats RosEspecially e as an equal. And Rose could use a friend. now that she, at barely sixteen, has risen to the position of ladies’ maid. Rose knows she should be grateful to have a place at a house like Somerton. Still, she can’t help but wonder what her life might have been had she been born a lady, like Ada.

For the first time in a decade, the Averleys have returned to Somerton, their majestic ancestral estate. But terrible scandal has followed Ada’s beloved father all the way from India. Now Ada finds herself torn between her own happiness and her family’s honor. Only she has the power to restore the Averley name—but it would mean giving up her one true love . . . someone she could never persuade her father to accept.

Sumptuous and enticing, the first novel in the At Somerton series introduces two worlds, utterly different yet entangled, where ruthless ambition, forbidden attraction, and unspoken dreams are hidden behind dutiful smiles and glittering jewels. All those secrets are waiting . . . at Somerton.

So. Many. Characters.That was my first thought going through those first chapters, and even late on when they were reintroduced and you were expected to remember them. Not to mention each of them have two names, their name, then their title. The family tree drawn in the beginning was a necessity, so I recommend getting really familiar with it. I just wish it included the servants too, because there were just as many of those.

So our main characters are Ada Averley and Rose Cliffe, two girls essentially from two opposite worlds yet together in the same house. Rose is a maid, and Ada is a lady about to come out for her first season. Ironically, they both wish they had the others’ life-Ada a more simple one, and Rose one full of dresses and things.

The thing I liked about Rose is she never acted as though she were better than anyone, and always was conscious of her position, although sometimes she wanted more. She was my favorite character by far. Of course, along with this comes weakness. I found her to be way too meek, maid or not. I guess she was written like so to make Ada seem like a stronger character.

I wasn’t a fan of the romance either, with Ada, it was definite insta-love. I love seeing relationships develop, and with CINDERS & SAPPHIRES, I didn’t really get to see or enjoy that. Relationships were somewhat already established or it was love-at-first-sight-let’s-get-married.

 If you have a passion for historical romances like I do, then you will find some enjoyment from this simply because of the wonderful era it takes place in. As I don’t feel much loyalty to the series, I most likely will not be reading the sequel.

I am reading this for the Debut Author Challenge of 2013 hosted by Hobbitisies book blog.I list the books for my 2013 challenges here.


12 Responses to “Review: Cinders & Sapphires (DAC)”

  1. Dena McMurdie

    I felt pretty much the same way. Overwhelmed with characters and the story wasn’t strong enough to keep me coming back for more (sequels). I also thought that it was remarkably similar to Downton Abbey in many many ways.

  2. Annette

    I’m looking forward to it. I’m having Downton Abbey withdrawals, and I’ve heard these books might help! Great review….thanks.


    Wow, that’s a whole new term of “insta love”. I think it should be called “Married at first sight”.
    The whole “opposites thrown together” thing is kinda getting old. SO many books are using that theme these days.
    Regards Eddie

  4. Adriana (BooksOnHerMind)

    You read it already! Ugh. The ridiculous amount of characters sounds annoying. I never use those family trees because if I can’t remember the people’s names from reading the book I’m not going to remember them at all so I won’t try. I didn’t think Rose was going to be a maid. As the main character (well one of the main characters) she would be the girl right smack on the middle of the cover. I’m confused by it now. Who is the cover trying to depict as who? I guess she’s the older woman whispering. Anyways I like the different classes coming together and that Rose isn’t all uppity. I don’t know why she had to be so conscious of her position. She’s a maid… She sounds like she would be the strong one which I think is a mistake that she’s not. How old is she anyway? Ada is eh. If you fall for instalove you aren’t that great in my book. Too bad it didn’t measure up. Thanks for the honest review!

    • Alise (Readers In Wonderland)

      Ha, better start now! Or don’t start at all because it was so frustrating having to look back and forth. I would like to like Ada is the one facing “us” and the one whispering Rose, who seems to be in a maid like uniform. Plus, in the novel, Rose does a lot of secret things for Ada. I think Rose isn’t strong because everyone is always telling her to be mindful of her position-her mother especially. I believe she is sixteen/seventeen. I kind of let the insta-love go because that is how is usually goes in historical novels. Thanks for your comment!

  5. rivie bleu

    I think I’d be really confused with all the characters. I don’t read historical books, at least I don’t think I have, something just doesn’t appeal to me. But I’m interested to see how I’d be able to catch up with all of the characters throughout the book. I don’t understand love at first sight either lol. It looks like I’m against everything that doesn’t happen to me. I’m not looking for a fight with this, it’s just that I don’t get it lol

    • Alise (Readers In Wonderland)

      Think before 1970 for historical settings, you haven’t read anything like that? Not even for school? You’re right, it is so hard to keep up. Lol I do somewhat believe in love in first sight-not obsession at first sight, but some kind of special feeling you get when you first look at a person.

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