Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Review: Gilt by Katherine Longshore

Gilt (The Royal Circle #1) by Katherine Longshore
Published: May 15th, 2012
Publisher: Viking Juvenile
Hardcover, 406 pages

In the court of Henry VIII, nothing is free--
and love comes at the highest price of all.

When Kitty Tylney's best friend, Catherine Howard, worms her way into King Henry VIII's heart and brings Kitty to court, she's thrust into a world filled with fabulous gowns, sparkling jewels, and elegant parties. No longer stuck in Cat's shadow, Kitty's now caught between two men--the object of her affection and the  object of her desire. But court is also full of secrets, lies, and sordid affairs, and as Kitty witnesses Cat's meteoric rise and fall as queen, she must figure out how to keep being a good friend when the price of telling the truth could literally be her head.-Goodreads

I think I was sort of disappointed with this book. Although the court of Henry VIII is portrayed well in all its glitz and glamor, I was expecting Kitty's life at court to be more extravagant and luxurious, instead she is just a chamber maid to Cat (Catherine Howard). But please don't get me started on Cat and Kitty. Their relationship is so twisted, they are "friends", but Cat just uses Kitty. Even in their names, you can tell that Cat is better than Kitty, and Kitty is only her shadow. It is a very one-sided friendship. Cat is very mean and heartless, she doesn't care about the consequences and does whatever pleases her. I guess I can sympathize with her in the fact that she was married to someone much older than her and not very attractive to gain power for her family. Still, she was my least favorite character (which the author might have done that on purpose).

Oh, Kitty. I pity you so much. You have no backbone, and let Cat step on you all the time. It is terrible how much you rely on Cat, when you should just find a better friend. It is hard when the heroine of the book is so pathetic, but even with these shortcomings I did for the most part like Kitty.

Gilt is written quite well, and even though it is a little more than 400 pages, it doesn't feel like it and moves at a fast pace. I know what will happen in the end to Cat, but Katherine Longshore really knows what she is doing, at times being lighthearted, but then getting darker as Cat's demise approaches. The language of the book is a bit modern and not very Tudor style, but I guess that might make it easier to read. I absolutely love the title, and how well it represents the book in just one word. It seems like everyone has their own guilty little secrets.

Overall this book was pretty good. Some of the characters could have been better (cough cough Kitty) and the language could have been more Tudor style and less modern, but the writing and background were superb. If you are looking for a page turning historical novel, this is the book for you.    

Purchase this book: Amazon / Barnes and Noble / The Book Depository


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