Saturday, May 19, 2012

Review: Gilt by Katherine Longshore

♔ Details

Title: Gilt - The Royal Circle #1
Author: Katherine Longshore
Publisher: Viking Juvenile (Penguin)
Release date: 15th May 2012
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♔ Summary
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.
♔ Review

Before I read Gilt, I thought I had read historical books before. WRONG. Now I can say I've never read anything like it.

Katherine, or Kitty, has lived with the duchess of Norfolk since she was eight years old. She lives under her care along with other girls also unwanted from their families. They're the unloved ones. And things don't look too great for them. Among them, Cat, the self-titled Queen of Misrule, always the queen in their games, is the girl calling the shots. If you have Cat's favor, then you have everything there's to have in that live. Except, Cat has her eyes set on life outside theirs.

Kitty wasn't exactly a character I liked, but one I could connect with. Everyone saw her only as Cat's shadow. And, in fact, she might as well have been like that, but I could see there was more to her than everyone seemed to think. She knew her restrictions as a woman in her time, but didn't necessarily agree with them. She was clever, and she was loyal. But she was also only a girl, with no support of her family and no one to really love her. And Cat... well, she was Cat, all intricate character and only ever thinking of herself. I have to admit it hurt a little, seeing how Kitty did everything for her, but Cat never really going out of her way for Kitty.

What was outstanding in Gilt was, without a doubt, the setting. Ever since the first page I felt like I was really in London in the time of King Henry VIII. It was so gorgeously described it was like you could immerse in the book and go back in time to watch those events. Everything seemed so real! From the characters, how they thought, acted, talked, to the castles, the court, the power hierarchy... As I said, everything.

While the historical setting was exquisitely done, I gave this book 3 stars because of its story, which left a bittersweet aftertaste. All in all, great reading!

♔ Rating



roro said...

tnx 4 the gr8 review

Nicola said...

This sounds so unique! I'm glad to hear it's written well. I'll have to get a copy of this for sure. Brilliant review, Sophie! :D

Jennifer said...

Love historical fiction. And I love it when you have a character you don't necessarily connect with and you still can see their really good qualities (testament to great character development, in my opinion).

Sounds like a great book. Awesome Review :)

Chelsey Lynn said...

Great great great review! I definitely added this book to my list!! Thank you so much for sharing.

Chelsey@Charming Chelsey's

Hilda K said...

Sounds totally awesome, Sophie! Books with exquisite setting are always my favorites. I was hesitant to read this because of the historical element. I'm not exactly a historical YA girl! But I think the gorgeous setting might make up for the bittersweet feeling you mentioned. :)

Love your review, Sophie! Definitely made my can't-wait-wish-list! <3

Nick said...

I've been wanting to read Gilt since like forever. It sounds like you didn't enjoy it too much, especially when it came to the main character.
The setting seems really intriguing though !
Thanks for the great review, Sophie :)

Laura @ My Enchanted Bookshelf said...

I love anything to do with the Tudors so I'm super stoked to read this one! Especially now after reading your review!! Woo hoo!!

ashelynn hetland said...

I loved this one. I'm not one who enjoys historical novels, but this one was written so differently (it has a contemporary feel to it) which made me fall hard for it.

great review, though. :D

Ashelynn @ gypsy book reviews.

Mimi Valentine said...

Can I first just say how much I LOVE Kitty's name? It reminds me a little of my fave character in X-Men and it's just an overall adorable nickname :') And even though she wasn't exactly the most likable heroine, I'm so glad that you mentioned the gorgeous setting! London is one of my top places to visit, and with King Henry and castles? That's even better!

Absolutely amazing review, Sophie! <3 I'm trying to get more into historical books now, and I think I might have to start with this! :)

Darlene said...

I have been hearing a lot about how great the author was at describing the setting and that is something I am appreciative of so I am glad to hear it rings true through most reviews! Kind of a bummer that it ends on a bittersweet note, but I guess that can be expected since we all know the story of Henry VIII wasn’t a fairytale by any means! Thanks for sharing your thoughts! Glad to hear you liked it!

Darlene @ Leather Bound and Lovely

Ajoop. S said...

I've been wondering if I should pick up this book. I love Henry VIII novels and have mostly read Phillipa Gregory's novels that relate to him like the Other Boleyn Girl and even one on Kitty. I remember Kitty being portrayed as this reckless child in it and the way it ended for her disturbed me.

I wonder what Gilt's take on Kitty and Cat is like and your review makes me sure that this novel is rich in storyline and descriptions and I want to sink into that world. But I'm not sure I want to experience that bitter aftertaste again! Awesome review, Sophie <3 Maybe I'll check this out soon!

Carina said...

Lovely review, my dear! I cannot wait to read this one myself, but have yet to order a copy (any I'm quite angry at myself for not having one yet). While they're not my usual genre, I love historical fiction and I love how you described GILT. Thanks for sharing!

Renae said...

I can't wait to get my hands on this one. It sounds super good, and different from all the other Tudor novels out there. Well, I hope it's different, anyway, haha.

Thanks for this!

Renae @ Respiring Thoughts

Mel - Thedailyprophecy. said...

I've read a couple of historical books about The Tudor court and I loved them (Philippa Gregory) so I can't wait to get my hands on this one! The synopsis sound great and I loved your great review :D The fact that the settings was so good makes me even more excited!

Rachel @ Unforgettable Books said...

Wonderful honest review Sophie! I definitely want to try this book to read the descriptions of the setting. I'm a little down with how Cat doesn't care about her friend Kitty. I always like books with strong friendships.
Anyways, I really enjoyed your review!
You should try Grave Mercy if you havent already- it's an incredible story!

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