Friday, 6 April 2012

Gilt by Katherine Longshore

Katherine Longshore
Viking Juvenile
[May 15, 2012]

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.

Gilt is unlike any Tudor book I've ever read and as far as YA's concerned, I've read a lot.

First off, it's told from a different perspective. A lot of Tudor books I've read were told by one of the queen's or a relative of one. Gilt is told from the perspective of one of Catherine Howard's closest friends. I loved having this different perspective. When it comes to Catherine Howard, I've only read a couple books and in both, she was telling her own story and she came off as horribly misunderstood and lonely. Reading about it from her best friend's perspective cast Catherine in a very different light. Kitty was a fantastic narrator.

Second, Kitty had her own romances. Not a love triangle, really, but there was one main love interest and one secondary love interest and it's hard to explain without spoiling, but it's different and I liked it. I learned a lot about Kitty and saw a lot of her character development through those relationships.

Now, Katherine Longshore knows how to write a book. The romantic tension was incredible. Remember, this is a time when people weren't even allowed to kiss before marrying and love was a rarity. So certain characters could just be standing in the same room together and I'd be like "You'll make the cutest babies because you ARE MEANT TO BE." So, yeah. Tension galore. 

Katherine also captured the setting and the characters so wonderfully. The setting was really well described, from the gardens, to the hallways of the castles. Since it's historical fiction, a lot of the characters were real and Katherine elaborated on what we know about them or came up with personalities for them and in the case of people I was familiar with, they were a lot like what I expected they would be. And as I mentioned, our main character does some fantastic developing and growth.

Gilt isn't a short book, and I read it very quickly. I read about half in a sitting. Katherine Longshore's writing is beautiful, descriptive, and addicting. I'm pretty sure all of her books are going to be insta-buys for me.

Truly, Gilt is an incredible read. The setting is lush, the characters are wonderful and diverse, the narrator is totally different from any Tudor book I've read, and the writing is addicting. Y'all seriously need to pick up this book.



  1. I have so much love for this book!

  2. This book is practically calling to me. I love the whole tension aspect of a romance. Going to go look it up now!


    F'realz I am glad I can see my copy from here because I want to read!



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