Review: Gilt

by Katherine Longshore
Series: Royal Circle #1
Pages: 398
Format: Hardcover
Release Date: May 15, 2012
by Viking Juvenile

In the court of King 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.

It's really hard to write a historical fiction book and make it thrilling, interesting, and un-put-down-able, because, well, it's history.  No one wants to read about it.  But this book managed to incorporate all those things, and much more.
I've always been interested in this era, Queen Elizabeth, Bloody Mary, and King Henry VIII's many wives, and, of all his six wives, Catherine Howard is the one I knew least about.  I didn't even know this book was about Catherine Howard until I got farther in and figured it out.  I learned so much from this book that I never knew before.  It was exciting, fast-paced, and I couldn't put it down.  I also liked the point of view it was written from.  I think that if it had been written from Catherine's point of view it wouldn't have been as expressive and interesting, but by writing it from Kitty's point of view, (she's Catherine's best friend) it made it much more interesting because it focused on both Kitty and Cat.  The writing was very good, the idea was very good, and the story line was very good.  This book is historical fiction at its best.
This book has a very interesting cast, mostly because the characters featured actually lived.  I'm sure their personalities weren't the same in real life as portrayed in this book, but it still made for good entertainment.
I'll start off with the supporting cast, which, in my opinion, really helped this book to become how good it is.  There's Joan and Alice.  Each played a special part in this book that allowed Longshore to manipulate the plot and make it more exciting.  Loved them all.
And then there's Cat.  I didn't really like her.  yes, I know the personality Longshore assigned to her might not have been her personality in real life, but I'm sure the odds are pretty good it was.  She was a brat, stupid, and extremely selfish.  I felt so bad for Kitty because Cat treated her horribly and no one should do that.
On the complete other hand, I really liked Kitty.  She was strong, interesting, and a great second character.
It's been a long time since I've read a really good historical fiction book (I think the last one was The Other Boleyn Girl, by Philippa Gregory, and it was amazing) and I'm so glad I found this one because it was a huge breath of fresh air.

4 1/2 stars


  1. I LOVE Tudor history. So much intrigue and romance and deception, etc. This looks like a great read.

  2. Glad you liked it. I had no idea this was historical romance, i paid attention to the cover and not the synopsis or any other details. thanks for doing the review. i like the story.

  3. This sounds delicious. I am really getting back into historical romance. Great review. Thanks!


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