f0zKg0J4zFLYz-Yq0aednQVqREE Once Upon a Prologue: Review: Gilt by Katherine Longshore
Click Here For Free Blog Backgrounds!!!
Blogaholic Designs

Monday, May 7, 2012

Review: Gilt by Katherine Longshore

Gilt by Katherine Longshore
Pages: 398
Expected publication: May 15, 2012 (Viking Juvenile)
Source: ARC from the publisher via DAC Tours
Rating: Beam-worthy
Series or stand-alone: The Royal Circle (1)
Further info/purchase: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Find the author online: Website | Blog | Twitter

In the Tudor age, ambition, power and charismatic allure are essential and Catherine Howard has plenty of all three. Not to mention her loyal best friend, Kitty Tylney, to help cover her tracks. Kitty, the abandoned youngest daughter of minor aristocracy, owes everything to Cat – where she is, what she is, even who she is. Friend, flirt, and self-proclaimed Queen of Misrule, Cat reigns supreme in a loyal court of girls under the none-too-watchful eye of the Dowager Duchess of Norfolk.

When Cat worms her way into the heart of Henry VIII and becomes Queen of England, Kitty is thrown into the intoxicating Tudor Court. It’s a world of glittering jewels and elegant costumes, of gossip and deception. As the Queen’s right-hand-woman, Kitty goes from the girl nobody noticed to being caught between two men – the object of her affection and the object of her desire.

But the atmosphere of the court turns from dazzling to deadly, and Kitty is forced to learn the difference between trust and loyalty, love and lust, secrets and treason. And to accept the consequences when some lessons are learned too late.

My Review

When I received Gilt, I was excited to start it, and within the first few chapters, I knew I was in for a dazzling tale of court intrigue, scandal, and romance.  Katherine Longshore's debut young adult historical novel is all that, and much more, bringing to life in a new way the story of Catherine Howard, the girl who becomes one of Henry VIII's infamous wives.  Only in Katherine's story, we meet Catherine Howard long before she catches Henry's eye - Catherine: manipulative, popular, spoiled, loving, stubborn.  Catherine is a fascinating character, though truly, Gilt is the story of her best friend, Katherine "Kitty" Tylney, who becomes her right-hand lady-in-waiting; Kitty, who is fiercely loyal to and protective of Catherine - even when her friend doesn't deserve either of those things.

As much as I adored Kitty, I also wanted to shake her to her senses. Kitty spends the entirety of Gilt lost in Catherine's shadow, and as frustrated as I was with Catherine as a character, I was MORE frustrated and put out with Kitty.  Catherine is THAT girl, that mean girl who is somehow also popular, the girl all the other girls flocked to in high school because there's just something about her, the girl who oddly repulsed me, and who I had no desire to befriend.  I never understood THAT girl and usually feel sorry for that type, but I wanted to throw Cat out a window for most of Gilt.  If Katherine Longshore wanted readers to dislike Catherine, then with me, she succeeded.  I loathed Catherine to the point that I didn't enjoy Gilt as much as I thought I would. 

That said, make no mistake: Gilt is still a good novel, maybe even a great novel.  Watching Cat's meteoric rise to Queen from poor maid-servant was interesting, but I kept looking past her, waiting for Kitty to shine.  To me, Kitty was the far more deep, kind, and likable character, and it was her growth over the course of Gilt that kept me reading.  I really liked Katherine Longshore's writing style - I found it really easy to immerse myself in that aspect of Gilt!

To me, I think my biggest problem with Gilt was all the unfulfilled potential in several of the secondary characters and in one of Kitty's romances.  By the end of the book, all I wanted was for Kitty to be happy, and Gilt didn't really go in the direction I was hoping it would.  With some books, I'm okay with and even will yearn for an open ending.  With Gilt, I wanted to know, absolutely know, what happened at the end; instead, it was left a little bit to the imagination, and for some reason, that just rubbed me wrong.  There were enough dazzling dresses, scandal, rumors, and intrigue to satisfy even my imagination, but this one just left me feeling kind of oddly unsatisfied.

Overall Gilt is not a bad book; make no mistake, Katherine Longshore has talent, and Gilt will absolutely pull you in - I definitely read it quickly, wanting to know what happened next.  It's the first book in a series that I'm not overly sure I'll continue, but don't let me decide for you.  Read the fascinating Gilt for yourself, and hopefully you will love it!


Post a Comment

Thank you SO MUCH for visiting! I appreciate every comment, and in return, will try to visit a recent post of yours and comment. PLEASE leave a link back to your blog in the comment so I can come to your blog. And have a fabulous day!