Thursday, January 16, 2014

Diamonds and Deceit

by Leila Rasheed
4/5 stars
Hyperion, 2014
424 pages
YA Historical Drama

Source: Received an e-ARC via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Who had forgotten almost everything that happened in Cinders and Sapphires? This girl! What I remembered most vividly was Lady Ada and her affection for Indian Ravi, a love rendered impossible by their vastly different stations in life. I personally found it baffling as I never thought the reader got enough insight into their relationship to care about them but apparently something about the romance made it stick in my brain (probably my irritation at it.)

Thus I opened this book and panicked over my inability to remember the important characters, let alone their complicated relationships to each other. Luckily as I kept reading most everything came back and was further elaborated upon. As before Ada and Rose are our protagonists, navigating a difficult season with romantic complications. Ada continues to be in love with someone who would be deemed unsuitable (and who I think is dull) and Rose struggles with prejudice against her background. Meanwhile we also jump around to peek at the various other characters, both upper-class and servant, that surround these young women. Disappointingly we don't get very much about Sebastian and his romantic travails nor did I feel that women's suffrage played the role it did in Cinders and Sapphires. Furthermore I didn't really like any of the characters tending to find most of them petty; however this was balanced by the writing which completely sparked with me and found me flying through the pages.

I think the ending was my favorite part as it really got my heart pounding because (finally) England has declared war on Germany, meaning that book three is going to reveal a huge shake-up. I don't know what characters will be sent to fight, who might volunteer to nurse or what but it's going to bring big changes to daily life for the lords, ladies, and servants.


  1. I was disappointed with this one because of Ada. In the first book she was all about Ravi (though they really spent very little time together to even call it a relationship) and her desire to further her education. In this book all her thoughts seemed to be about the upcoming wedding. It's like the girl from the first book who showed so much promise is gone. Ravi serves only as an escape route (does he even appear in the book or have any lines--I can't remember). I only found Rose's story line to be interesting. Perhaps I just find the lives of servants (or former servants) to be more interesting in general.

    I am curious to see how World War I will change things and to see what happens with Rose and Alexander.

  2. My review (going up tomorrow) is pretty similar to yours. Sebastian and Oliver have a murder trial - how is that not the most interesting storyline?! As for Ada and Ravi, they're sweet . . . but they've had like, three short private moments! A grand romance it is not.

  3. Arg at that feeling of going into a sequel and not being able to remember what happened before. Happens to me way too often.
    Have you heard of the Recaptions blog? I don't know if this one is on there though

  4. I haven't read any of these, but it's always good when details from the first book come back to you when reading the second. Job well done! Hope the third book is exciting!!

  5. I liked the first book but wasn't sure if I wanted to continue -- the plotline was a bit too complicated for me. Glad you enjoyed it!
    Jen @ YA Romantics

  6. I have the first book! Okay, thank you for this review, I'm actually excited to pick it up now. I don't think I had really heard much about it before!


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