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Cinders & Sapphires (At Somerton Book 1) Kindle Edition

44 customer reviews

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Length: 396 pages Word Wise: Enabled Age Level: 12 - 18
Grade Level: 7 - 12

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

The story begins with young Lady Ada, on her way back from India, sharing a shipboard kiss with Oxford-bound Ravi—a romantic moment forbidden on several levels. After the clarity of that chapter, confusion ensues: so many lords, ladies, ladies’ maids. The important ones include Ada’s father, Lord Westlake; his wealthy bride, Fiona; and her children, including the jealous Charlotte and gay Sebastian. Downstairs there is Ada’s new lady’s maid, Rose, who bears a startling resemblance to Lord Westlake. The story, told from multiple points of view, clearly gets its inspiration from Downton Abbey (read: British soap opera), and it’s as though a whole season is crammed into one book. Fans of the genre will certainly enjoy this, as will romance readers, who will feel as torn as Ada about whether she should pursue a relationship with Ravi (especially after he becomes an activist for Indian independence from Britain) or the eligible lord who appreciates a woman who wants an education, as Ada does. Stay tuned for more good fun. Grades 8-12. --Cooper, Ilene

About the Author

<DIV style="BORDER-BOTTOM: medium none; BORDER-LEFT: medium none; PADDING-BOTTOM: 0in; PADDING-LEFT: 0in; PADDING-RIGHT: 0in; BORDER-TOP: windowtext 1pt solid; BORDER-RIGHT: medium none; PADDING-TOP: 1pt; mso-element: para-border-div; mso-border-top-alt: solid windowtext .75pt">Leila Rahseed is the author of the middle grade Bathseba series, and a young adult novel calledThe World Turned Upside Down. Leila has two Masters degrees, one in Children's Literature and one in Writing.

Product Details

  • File Size: 3157 KB
  • Print Length: 396 pages
  • Publisher: Disney Hyperion (January 22, 2013)
  • Publication Date: January 22, 2013
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B009OIZ3YM
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #396,131 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Dena on March 16, 2013
Format: Hardcover
This is almost an exact duplicate of Downton Abbey in many ways. Some of the similarities were remarkable, including love between one of the young ladies and a man of lower station, a homosexual couple sneaking around, the upper and lower classes theme, and the estate's finances being saved through a wealthy wife. Too many characters are introduced right away and I felt overwhelmed and frustrated when I couldn't keep them all straight.

I loved the atmosphere of the story. It has a beautiful air and feel to it that I adored. I enjoyed the scandal and drama, even though some of it felt forced. I'm interested to see how the rest of the story plays out, but I'm not sure that I'm interested enough to pursue the series any further.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Sophie Riggsby on January 29, 2013
Format: Hardcover
*Published on Page Turners Blog 1/30/13*

There's something about an English estate and all the drama of not just the family that resides there, but their staff of servants that pulls me in each and every time.

Cinders and Sapphires addresses something different than most novels set in pre-WWI England - the start of the Indian independence movement. The scandal (which we know occurred but don't know the details of until the very end of the book) that caused the family to return to Somerton is just one of the factors that will keep you reading. And references to India's fight for independence, sprinkled within the plot, provided a layer of historical tension that added even more interest to the setting.

For me it was, of course, the romance factor that swayed my interest in the story. Lady Ava and Ravi stole my heart from page one when they met on the ship back to England. Their romance has it all - it's forbidden by class and threatened by revolution. As if that wasn't enough, there's an entire cast of characters - a new step-mother for Ava, step-siblings and a surprise revelation which comes from a very old, covered up scandal. I'm going to keep reading the series because it has everything I loved about "Downton Abbey" in book form - estate politics, the threat of outside forces destroying the current way of life, forbidden romance and complex characters all presented within the walls of an old estate which brims with secrets.

Pour yourself a cup of tea and grab a scone and enjoy a tale of family secrets and love in the most unexpected of circumstances.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Stacy Wells on February 24, 2013
Format: Hardcover
I love with all my heart historical fiction. I'm a sucker for period dramas. I can never cease to get enough of the upstairs, downstairs stories containing star crossed lovers. Forbidden attraction with high stakes and I'm reeled in till the end.

Before I wax poetically on Cinders & Sapphires, let's discuss the cover. Am I the only one who thinks the girl in the middle (Ada) looks like a young Stephanie Meyer? I wonder if it was intentional, like that one Vampire Academy cover where the model on the front looks like Angelina Jolie? Hmmm.

Moving on, I enjoyed this book. It's like a YA version of Downton Abbey, minus the sharp tongue of Dowager Granthem. Like Downton, this book is filled with a giant cast of characters, from upstairs to downstairs, with a huge range of personalities. From mean and spiteful, to over the top playboys to innocent and naive.

The story is told in third person, and jumps from character to character on a dime, but the main characters are Ada Averley and Rose Cliffe. Ada's nobility, part of the gentry class. As such there are a lot of expectations placed on her, mostly to make a good match. Rose is a servant, and is treated as such. She's meek, mild mannered and not much is expected of her. Sadly her one talent cannot blossom because of her place in society.

I'm looking forward to book two in this series, I foresee big things for Rose, and Ada will have to make a major, life changing decision that could potentially rock her family's world.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Nicole on January 22, 2014
Format: Hardcover
I enjoyed this book a lot more than I thought I was going to. This book originally hadn't been on my radar until Julie at Bloggers [Heart] Books mentioned it while we were at NYCC12. And I am so glad that she did.

This book was delightfully unexpected. I never watched Downtown Abby, and so this was to be an entirely new experience for me. I am, however, a huge fan of historical fiction and so this one seemed to call out to me. I was intrigued by the concept of this family returning to their estate in England after leaving India in disgrace. At first it was a little hard to follow all the different characters as we were introduced to them from the third person, so there was a little bit of jumping around, but each character had their own personality and seemed to know who they each were. There were a few too many characters and at times it was hard to keep their names straight, but in the end, the ones that mattered were great.

On the topic of characters and how I liked that they had their own personalities, I appreciated that they made me feel strongly towards some characters. For example, I totally did not like Fiona, Charlotte and Stella who were the wicked step mother and sister in this story, and wicked they were. They seemed to have nothing better to do than come up with ways that would impede Ada and Georgiana. There were times that I just wanted to smack all three of them and say “Shut up! No one cares about you!” But, of course that wasn’t strictly true because the boys of the family like Sebastian and Michael.
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