Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Cinders and Sapphires by Leila Rasheed

Hyperion Book CH (January 22, 2013) pages

My Rating: 3.5/5 stars

My Thoughts:

I don't think you can hear about this book without hearing the whole "Gossip Girl Meets Downtown Abbey" comparison. While I haven't watched either show, the "Gossip Girl" part was almost enough to keep me away, but the "Downtown Abbey" part intrigued me enough to give it a chance. I generally adore books with the rich/poor theme. While I read a great deal of Christian historical fiction, I rarely venture into the secular YA historical world. This book was actually very similar, except with a *bit* more scandal than I typically encounter in Christian fiction, and of course, there wasn't the Christian aspect.

At first, I was a little overwhelmed. There are a great deal of characters introduced pretty quickly, and I was a little confused with some of them initially. I'd say the main characters are Lady Ada and Rose. We are let in on a secret between the two of them early in the story, but they remain in the dark. Lady Ada loses her virginity to a stranger(in the prologue)on her way home from India. She is left sorting through her feelings throughout the story as this boy re-enters her life upon arriving home. She soon meets her father's new wife, along her children, discovering that it's not possible to please everyone. Rose dreams of being a composer, but doesn't want to "put on airs". She is only a servant girl, after all. She soon becomes Lady Ada's ladies' maid, and enters a whole new world of living.

There's so much to like AND dislike about this book! Besides the huge amount of characters that are introduced in a small amount of time, there also the odd writing arrangement. I did read an e-ARC, so I don't know if it's different in the final copy, but one paragraph will be about one character and conversation. No warning, the next paragraph is a completely different conversation! I found myself confused often due to this, and did a good bit of re-reading in an attempt to figure out who I was reading about. I also found it a little slow at times.

I did enjoy the upstairs/downstairs storyline, though! It's always fun to get a good look at both sides. I hate to admit how long it took me to "get" the title. Despite my complaints above, I DO enjoy the author's writing style(for the most part), and I'm looking forward to seeing what she pens in the future.

Content: There is some mild profanity....Da** and Bas****. God's name is used in vain...Good G**, My G**, etc. There is a few homosexual characters that may bother some of you. As I mentioned earlier, one character does lose her virginity early on. There are no details! Despite some scandalous activities, everything is written pretty tastefully, in my opinion.

*I was provided an e-ARC through Netgalley in exchange for my honest opinion.


  1. I thought Lady Ada just kissed the boy (which was scandalous enough, I know)?

    I had a lot of fun reading this and found it very addictive, meaning I will definitely pick up book 2.

    1. Awwww, man! Now I wish I still had that book on my kindle so I could make sure. I may have misunderstood! I know while reading the prologue, I thought the same thing, but I understood later on, it went further. I'll have to stop by a bookstore. :)

      I'm curious where everything will go in the rest of the series!

  2. Sounds like a pass for me. Thank you for your awesome honest review.

    1. Awww, thank you! :)

      I'm guessing this one will be a love or hate for most people!

  3. I debated whether to read this because I like Downton Abbey so much, but now that I read your review I don't feel so bad for passing up on it!