Monday, August 5, 2013

Cinders & Sapphires

Cinders & Sapphires
Leila Rasheed
389 pages
Released: January 22, 2013
Publisher: Hyperion
Source: swapped for

You can read the Goodreads summary here.

The Averlys are returning to their home in Somerton after a decade abroad in India, just in time for the social season to begin and for Lady Ada to come out to society.  Ada's father is about to start a new marriage, which means step-siblings for Ada and her sister, Georgiana.  But amist all these changes is a secret in Somerton that has the potential to be the biggest change of all, should it come out.

It's been too long since I read a good historical fiction novel and what better time period to read about than the early twentieth century in England, filled with wealth and properness... and sometimes a little improperness.  I will admit, it took me a couple chapters to get acclimated to this book.  The author's voice is pretty unique and it took me awhile to get used to all the characters, thank goodness for the family tree printed on the inside cover!  But once I got used to all that, I couldn't turn the pages fast enough.  The storyline in Cinders & Sapphires was completely engrossing.

I adored the characters in this book.  It's obvious the author spent a lot of time making them unique, just like a real family.  I loved the way their stories interweaved together to create the plot of Cinders & Sapphires; it had multiple, engrossing levels that made me want to read on to find out what would happen next.  The story and relationship between Lady Ada and her ladies' maid Rose was particularly interesting.  When Lady Ada was a child she and Rose played together, not realizing the differences in their stations, but with Lady Ada returns to her childhood home with her family, Rose must act as a servant rather than a friend.  Yet both young women secretly think of each other as friends.  I loved reading about their relationship, particularly towards the end when the plot twist of the book, which I admittedly saw coming, was revealed.

The most interesting part of the book for me, though, was the treating of the gay characters.  This time period in history made it difficult for anyone to be openly gay, so it was interesting to see how the gay characters hid their relationships and what lengths they would to through to keep it that way.

Five stars!  I adored Cinders & Sapphires and I can't wait to get my hands on the next book, even if that means having to wait until 2014.  Historical fiction fans should start this series ASAP!

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