Saturday, June 16, 2012

Gilt by Katherine Longshore

Summary:Kitty Tylney has always been best friends with Catherine Howard, living in the Duchess of Norfolk's manor with other young girls. Kitty and Cat have dreamed of the opulent court of King Henry VIII, but never expected to go. But when Cat is selected to attend Queen Anne of Cleves, she leaves Kitty behind and begins her ascent. When Cat catches the eye of the king and soon after marries him, she invites Kitty to join her at court. Kitty is excited for the balls, pretty gowns, and expensive jewels, but she isn't expecting the gossip, secrets and power-seeking enemies. Can she protect Cat from those who wish to bring her down?

The Tudors and King Henry VIII are two of my favorite subjects, so I was very excited to read Gilt. I already had some knowledge about Catherine Howard, but it was interesting to read the story from the point-of-view of her best friend, Kitty. What's funny is that this is the second book I've read about Catherine Howard that is from someone's point-of-view. I guess authors don't like writing about her directly?

From what I can tell, most of Gilt is pretty accurate, which is good for history buffs like me. The whole cast of characters is present, including Francis Dereham, Jane Boleyn and Thomas Culpepper. I think that the author might have watched the tv show The Tudors because Thomas Culpepper's characterization was very similar to the one in the show. He's a pretty slimy guy in both, but I've read books where he was nice/normal.

Since I've read so much about the Tudors, this didn't really add anything to what I already knew. Some parts of the book were a little boring because Kitty isn't at court as long as Catherine, but once she becomes a lady-in-waiting, the plot picks up. I knew what happened to Catherine, but I was looking forward to see how everything would end for Kitty. So it was nice to have some kind of surprise in regards to the ending.

All in all, I liked Gilt, mainly because of the topic it covered. Kitty was a pretty good heroine, but her extreme loyalty (which might be good in some cases) was stronger than her self-preservation, which could be annoying. I think Gilt is a decent addition to the genre and I think fans of this time period will also enjoy it.

Rating: 7 out of 10.
FTC: Flamingnet Book Reviews.

2012/Viking/398 pages.

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