Thursday, March 14, 2013

Cinders and Sapphires- Leila Rasheed

Title: Cinders and Sapphires
Author: Leila Rasheed
Source: Borrowed from the library
Series: Yes
Rating: 4/5

Goodreads Summary
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.
I have not watch Downton Abbey (yet) and I heard a lot of reviews that referred to this book as being like the show. It was a slow start for me and took me quite awhile to get into it fully. I loved the prologue but chapter one was a little bland to me, once I got farther in and the drama started I could not put this down. I finished this at work between phone calls because I had to know what happened next. I had five pages left I was dying to read. This book makes me excited for the sequel and the TV show.

All these characters were amazing. I never got frustrated with any of them, I thought Ada was a great female protagonist at a turn where women are starting to get more rights. She is stuck between wanting to honor her family and follow traditions and becoming a independent women, she tries to do the right thing but she is not as innocent as she first appears. I loved her relationship with Georgiana. Rose was also such an amazing female character struggling with being a house servant and wanting more for herself. Of course there is the boys too, Sebastian and his brother Michael. Sebastian has his own secrets he is trying to keep while Michael struggles with his feelings for someone he knows he could never be with. Charlotte, oh that girl deserves a paragraph to herself but I will keep it short and say she is such a sneaky, horrid character.

I loved the storyline for this, again it did take some time to get into the setting but the description made me feel like I was there at Summerton learning about all these characters and getting an insight into their lives. I loved the big moments in history that were covered in this novel, having a foreign student attend a prestigious school and allowing women the right to an university education. I loved the setting and the plot, there was so many twist and turns in this novel and it gave a stark insight into what was considered acceptable in 1912.
I wish more people would read this book, I think anyone with an interest in historical fiction would enjoy this book a whole lot. I loved the point of views from everyone. Ada was the main protagonist but a lot of other characters got their own voice to show a twist in the plot from their point of view. I wish the pace was a little quicker in the beginning so I am giving this a 4/5 due to the pace being a little slow in the beginning but this was a solid book and I hope more people read it and love it as much as I did.

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