Books Young Adult Fiction Cinders & Sapphires (At Somerton #1)

Cinders & Sapphires (At Somerton #1) Featured

http://www.yabookscentral.com/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x275s/5e/36/ff/_000-1359849130.jpg
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
680   0
Author(s)
Age Range
12+
Release Date
January 22, 2013
ISBN
1423171179
Buy This Book
      
One house, two worlds...

Rose Cliffe has never met a young lady like her new mistress. Clever, rich, and beautiful, Ada Averley treats Rose as an equal. And Rose could use a friend. Especially 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.

Editor reviews

What I Loved:

As an avid fan of Downton Abbey, I really enjoyed CINDERS & SAPPHIRES. The story swings from the privileged (but tension-filled) life of the Earl of Westlake's family to the difficult (and no less tension-filled) lives of the servants who take care of the family. The writing is clear and crisp and never gets in the way of the story itself. I thoroughly enjoyed the entire reading experience. The author has created a book that makes historical fiction feel accessible for younger YA readers or readers who are just trying out historical fiction.

The world-building is superb. I could see every scene, and I felt like I was living inside the world of Somerton (or London, depending). The story takes place in the difficult age of old social etiquette meeting new ideas of modernity (motor cars and women being educated) and that tension grows taut as the book progresses.

I enjoyed the characters, for the most part. I certainly found myself caught up in the narrative. I especially longed for Ada, the Earl's oldest daughter, to figure out a way to follow her dreams of being educated and her feelings for her first love without losing her family home or compromising her family's tenuous social position. While I didn't feel the all-consuming love for Ada or the other characters that I do when a book doesn't focus on such a large cast, I really loved the deft story-telling and sweeping plot.

What Left Me Wanting More:

As much as I love the way Downton Abbey skips from one character's narrative/storyline to another, I was less enamored of that approach while reading. The end result of seeing bits of the story through so many different eyes is that I never fully connected with any of the characters the way I wanted to. I'm sure that spending more time with the characters in future books in this series will remedy that, as I truly did enjoy the story as a whole.

Final Verdict:

Accomplished story-telling and superb world-building make this sweeping historical a welcome addition to the historical fiction genre.
Overall rating 
 
4.0
Plot 
 
4.0
Characters 
 
4.0
Writing Style 
 
4.0
CJ Redwine, Editor Reviewed by CJ Redwine, Editor February 02, 2013
Top 10 Reviewer  -   View all my reviews (378)

Sweeping Historical

What I Loved:

As an avid fan of Downton Abbey, I really enjoyed CINDERS & SAPPHIRES. The story swings from the privileged (but tension-filled) life of the Earl of Westlake's family to the difficult (and no less tension-filled) lives of the servants who take care of the family. The writing is clear and crisp and never gets in the way of the story itself. I thoroughly enjoyed the entire reading experience. The author has created a book that makes historical fiction feel accessible for younger YA readers or readers who are just trying out historical fiction.

The world-building is superb. I could see every scene, and I felt like I was living inside the world of Somerton (or London, depending). The story takes place in the difficult age of old social etiquette meeting new ideas of modernity (motor cars and women being educated) and that tension grows taut as the book progresses.

I enjoyed the characters, for the most part. I certainly found myself caught up in the narrative. I especially longed for Ada, the Earl's oldest daughter, to figure out a way to follow her dreams of being educated and her feelings for her first love without losing her family home or compromising her family's tenuous social position. While I didn't feel the all-consuming love for Ada or the other characters that I do when a book doesn't focus on such a large cast, I really loved the deft story-telling and sweeping plot.

What Left Me Wanting More:

As much as I love the way Downton Abbey skips from one character's narrative/storyline to another, I was less enamored of that approach while reading. The end result of seeing bits of the story through so many different eyes is that I never fully connected with any of the characters the way I wanted to. I'm sure that spending more time with the characters in future books in this series will remedy that, as I truly did enjoy the story as a whole.

Final Verdict:

Accomplished story-telling and superb world-building make this sweeping historical a welcome addition to the historical fiction genre.

Was this review helpful to you? 
 

User reviews

There are no user reviews for this listing.

Already have an account? or Create an account
 
Powered by JReviews

LATEST YABC BLOG POSTS - BLOG TOURS, ANNOUNCEMENTS, AND GIVEAWAYS

View more blog entries

Latest Book Listings Added

Category: Kids Fiction
Big baking plans turn into tiny little cupcakes when Mia gets a fairy’s help for her neighborhood bake sale. Tinker...
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
Category: Young Adult Indie
College was supposed to be perfect. She was supposed to be perfect. For Lily Drummond, life is about following...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Category: Young Adult Indie
For fans of The Guild and Scott Pilgrim comes a story of Xbox, Denny’s, and awkward beginnings… Not too...
 
0.0
 
5.0 (1)
Category: Young Adult Indie
You're Stormy Jones, a pregnant 17-year-old punk rock chick with "sky eyes" and a pink tipped blond Mohawk with spear...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
NEWNokosee Front CoverMorePix.jpg
Category: Young Adult Indie
Cultures clash, sparks fly, love blooms, people die, and two kids, one a little bit punk and the other way...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Category: Kids Indie
Rayne is bored with life, until a new family moves in next door. Why do they look so happy? Rayne...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
James Patterson introduces the best selling "illustrated fiction" format to teens! It's "Middle School" for high schoolers! In James Patterson's...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Everlong Cover 2 Amazonprint.jpg
Category: Young Adult Indie
When love is a matter of life and death, it's not about losing your heart, but saving it. On...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Category: Young Adult Indie
Alissa Sullivan has high hopes that the new year will bring a fresh start for her and her best friend....
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Category: Young Adult Indie
Alissa Sullivan has got it made -- a supportive, loving family, a cause she believes in, and her new boyfriend....
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Alan Rivers wakes up one morning and discovers all the adults in his neighborhood and worldwide are in a deep...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
When a plane crashes in the woods near Jess’s home, the boy of her dreams falls out of the sky—literally....
 
3.3
 
0.0 (0)
Experience the wonder of the river in this haunting debut novel, where family is lost, friends are found, and hope...
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
Post tornado, the Soccer Tommies and Baseball Mommies compete for home field advantage. Is it ‘Win-Win’ or, will the community...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Two years ago, sixteen-year-old Jamie Henry breathed a sigh of relief when a judge sentenced his older sister to juvenile...
 
4.7
 
0.0 (0)
Like watching a movie frame by frame, we watch Lexi is come unglued in this novel in verse. She's alienated...
 
4.7
 
0.0 (0)
Winner of Reader's Favorite 5-Star Seal Reader’s Favorite reviewer Patricia Reding says it best: “Just sixteen, pregnant, betrayed by boyfriend...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
One Night with the Prince
The rules were simple:. 15 girls were chosen from royal bloodlines to be with the Prince. They are given one...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
live performance by YA author
Category: Young Adult Indie
Love can make you do crazy things as Ruby Parker discovers when she dies and returns from the grave to...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Category: Young Adult Indie
Its king murdered in cold blood by friend and foe alike, the once magnificent kingdom of Arenhed has fallen to...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)