Monday, May 14, 2012

Gilt by Katherine Longshore

Gilt by Katherine Longshore
Release Date –  May 15, 2012
Publisher Website –  Penguin/Viking Juvenile
Publisher Social Media -  Twitter
Pages -  398 pages
My Rating- 5/5
**obtained from the publisher for an honest review**

Here is the Goodreads synopsis
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.
Historical Fiction has that unique aspect that most people know how the story going to end when they pick up the novel. This is even more true when reading about a historical figure, rather than just having a novel set in a particular time era. What takes a good historical fiction to a great one is the journey. It's in the process and how the author gets you to that ending. Gilt shines here. Katherine Longshore strength is the journey, taking us up to the moment we know is coming.

Catherine Howard (Cat) brought to life under Katherine Longshore’s skillful writing is exactly what I imagined her to be. History paints her as a silly, frivolous girl who was not the brightest. I see her as a young lady who made mistakes. Mistakes are part of what it means to grow up, and learn. Sadly, Catherine Howard paid the ultimate price for her mistakes. She was also much more aware and intelligent than given credit for. She became Queen. Not an easy task, and she managed it. Was Catherine fun loving, manipulative, and cunning? Absolutely. They are not crimes worthy of what happened to her.

Katherine Tylney (Kitty) is a true friend. She is someone that is supportive and understanding, even when it is undeserved. She is someone I really liked as she sticks to what she believes in.  She is loyal almost to a fault. Her connection to and willingness to do anything for Cat means their fates are intertwined and as Cat’s fortunes change, Kitty’s change as well.

The romance in the novel is almost secondary to the friendship. I did love William and his connection with Kitty. I liked that it was not overwhelming to the story, but still provided some steamy scenes. The ending is one that is honest and genuine to the story being told.

The theme of friendship and what it means is one that anyone can relate to. We have all had friendships that are pretty one sided when you look back on them. While Cat took and manipulated there are moments that shine through when you can see the genuine friendship there.

The duality of the danger in Henry’s court and the grandeur was portrayed wonderfully. We have a King that is quick tempered, makes snap decisions and changes his mind frequently. It is a little like walking on glass being part of his Court and yet the riches, wealth and splendor also exists.

The saddest part of Catherine Howard’s story is her youth and vivacious personality being silenced too soon. Katherine Longshore handles that final scene in a way that is touching, poignant and provides a different perspective in having it be from Kitty’s view point. You get to see it through someone who would be mourning her loss.

You’ll be holding your breath waiting to see what awaits Kitty and will hope she manages to escape with her head. Intrigue, secrets, romance, and a friendship that will resonate with everyone made Gilt a read that I couldn’t put down.  I am eagerly awaiting the second book in the Royal Circle series.


  1. I can't wait to read this book, especially since it's about dear Catherine Howard. After what I read about her, I'm really looking forward to seeing what the author did with her story. :)

  2. Lovely review!
    I'm totally regretting not having pre-ordered a copy of this now, because you just made me want to pick it up immediately. I absolutely love the Tudor era, so I can't wait to see what Katherine Longshore did with it. Definitely need to get a copy soon. :)

  3. The more reviews I see about this book, the more anxious I am to read it myself. I am so excited for this. Great review, I love books written in the Tudor era, I find it the most interesting history.

  4. I so knew after reading your review, I would be ten times more eager to get myself a copy and I WAS RIGHT. I love that you say even though you know Cat's fate, the journey is still compelling and so masterfully handled. And oh, those final scenes sound so well written and emotional.

    Amazing review, WANT THIS BOOK!


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