This title is not available in your country

We’re working with the publisher to make it available as soon as possible.

Request Title
NOT AVAILABLE
Anne Boleyn is the odd girl out. Newly arrived to the court of King Henry VIII, everything about her seems wrong, from her clothes to her manners to her witty but sharp tongue. So when the dashing poet Thomas Wyatt offers to coach her on how to shine at court - and to convince the whole court they're lovers - she accepts. Before long, Anne's popularity has soared, and even the charismatic and irresistible king takes notice. More than popularity, Anne wants a voice - but she also wants love. What began as a game becomes high stakes as Anne finds herself forced to make an impossible choice between her heart's desire and the chance to make history.
Published: Simon & Schuster UK on
ISBN: 9781471116971
List price: $11.00
Read on Scribd mobile: iPhone, iPad and Android.
Availability for Tarnish
With a 30 day free trial you can read online for free
  1. This book can be read on up to 6 mobile devices.
There's not much to say because I loved this story! If there was a lull, I don't remember it. If the writing was poor, I didn't notice it. I enjoy reading and learning about the Tudor era. The friendship, the betrayal, the lies are all there within the Kings Court. I could identify with the entanglements of court. It happens in todays society with friendships public and private. There's always a leader and followers in every circle of life. A full review or better written one will follow.more
Review courtesy of Dark Faerie TalesQuick & Dirty: As you watch the young queen with the same anticipation you feel in a horror movie, you heart aches for Kitty and her unwavering loyalty to Catherine. There’s romance, but I was happy to find the focus is on Kitty and Cat’s close friendship, not a hot guy.Opening Sentence: ”You’re not going to steal anything.”The Review: While I’m a big historical romance buff, I’ll admit Henry VIII and his various wives have never been my favorite to read about. I’m too big a fan of Happy Endings. So I didn’t know a lot about Catherine Howard and her best friend Kitty before picking up this novel. From what I’ve heard from my friends who do devour Tudor novels, Longshore does a great job of sticking to the historicity of the period. Of course the novel and all its details are fictionalized from Kitty’s point of view, but I think history-purists will be pleased by Gilt.Kitty Tylney has gone through a lot before the beginning of the novel. As in, she’s-carrying-around-a-crippling-amount-of-baggage. Her family tosses their worthless daughter over to be a servant in Cat’s step-grandmother’s house, the Duchess of Norfolk. Apparently, a lot of ton daughters got sent there for “betterment,” which as I understand really just means “they’re your problem now.” In true Mean Girls style, Catherine Howard runs the show as the Queen of Misrule. It isn’t long before Cat catches the eye of Henry, despite being on his fifth wife.When Cat goes to court, her ever loyal Kitty is at her side. Her best friend and most loyal confidant, Kitty keeps all Catherine’s secret. Kitty’s devotion to Cat makes you want to alternately applaud her loyalty and shake her for being an idiot. She lies and placates Cat, usually to her own expense, as the girls find themselves seduced deeper and deeper into the heart of Henry VII’s cut-throat court. It’s only William, steward to the Duke of Norfolk, who seems to recognize Kitty’s unwavering devotion as unhealthy. Though their romance blossoms into a very satisfying subplot, the whole focus of the novel is on the relationship between Kitty and Catherine.If watching Catherine ease her way into Henry’s heart is like watching a train wreck, then waiting to find out Kitty’s fate had all the anticipation of watching a plane crash. We all know the fate of Catherine Howard, but what about Kitty Tylney? How does her unwavering loyalty play out in the bitter end? The tension is threaded through the romantic novel like a ticking bomb waiting to go off.I can’t imagine the time and research that went into recreating this world. Longshore paints a vivid picture of Greenwich Castle and its courtiers, one I couldn’t help but sink into. She doesn’t weigh the reader down with needless details to prove she knows what she’s talking about, but weaves the tense time period in with the scene. I’m excited to hear that Gilt is a part of a series, because I want to read more of this world and Longshore’s writing.Notable Scene:“No one is happier thank I am that you’re finally getting all you deserve. Beautiful clothes. Jewelry. A man you love.”She stopped moving. Stopped breathing. Then snapped, “Get out,” over her shoulder, and Joan and Alice disappeared as quickly as dandelion fluff on the wind.“Who told you?” she asked, her voice more deadly than ever. “No one knows.”“Francis,” I whispered, my voice a paroxysm of nerves.“Francis Dereham?” she asked.“Yes,” I said. “He saw you at court. Then he came here to get his old job back. I spoke with him.”“Francis?” She repeated, and her eyes opened wide, radiating surprise, or possibly fear.FTC Advisory: Viking/Penguin provided me with a copy of Gilt. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.more
As young girls growing up in the Tudor age, both Catherine Howard and Kitty Tilney dream of making their way to the court of King Henry VIII - one likely more so than the other. Stuck living as ward's of Catherine's grandmother, the dowager duchess at Norfolk House, they spent their time in the maiden's chambers dreaming of getting away.Kitty knows she has no real prospects, but Catherine is a Howard and that gives her possibility.When Cat gets works her way into court - and possibly King Henry's heart, as well - she follows through on a promise and brings Kitty along. It's filled with jewels, beautiful dresses, and fancy parties, yes, but court life isn't perfect or easy.Kitty finds herself somewhere she never thought she'd be - torn between two men.And Cat may have more than her heart in danger if she keeps up her flirting ways. Kitty will have to learn how to be Cat's friend but also keep herself safe in a place where gossip no longer just gets your in trouble - in could get you killed.I'm kind of a sucker for historical fiction - well, good historical fiction - and Tudor period ones, specifically.When you read a good - completely fictitious - novel, you're often left wishing there was more. Another book, another chapter, some sort of epilogue, something. You can imagine things all you want but it never quite reaches the level of awesome that the book did because those characters were created in the author's head. With really good historical fiction, it's interestingly the same way. You finish a book wishing there were more about those characters, that you could keep reading about them . . . Then you remember there is because they're real (well save for any characters created for the novel). The only problem is, they're never quite the same as they were in whichever book you've just read because in a sense, the author created these characters as well - or at least brought them (back) to life.Katherine Longshore does that in Gilt. I've read other novels set during the same time period with some of the same historical figures involved but this novel goes around the main players to and gives readers a bit of an outsiders (though not that outside) perspective. It's told through Kitty, Cat's best friend, confidante and surrogate sister. While we don't have the perspectives on King Henry that a novel told from Cat(herine)'s view might give, we do get a great view on who Cat, later Queen Catherine, is.Not who she sees herself as, but who someone who's almost always known her sees her as.Kitty also has a great view on the different men and women at court. From the way they're perceived to how they act to little secrets about them. It's likely that she, not being that high up in the court's hierarchy sees things that even one of the other ladies might not be privy to - or might not care to notice.Gilt is not only a great historical fiction novel, it's a great character study that brought up a lot of things I hadn't thought about before in my other readings on the same time period. Even if you care nothing (or very little) about the time period, it's a tremendous read for the friendship between Cat and Kitty and the struggles they face - both with each other and that life puts on their bond.This may be a young adult historical fiction but I think it easily stands up to the adult historical fiction novels - like those by Carolly Erickson and Alison Weir.Rating: 9/10thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for my e-galley of this title for reviewmore
Gilt is the story of Catherine Howard, fifth wife of King Henry VIII, from the perspective of Kitty Tylney. Cat and Kitty grew up together, closer than sisters, as poor relations in the house of the Duchess of Norfolk. Unloved and often unsupervised, Cat devises wild schemes and scandalous parties in the maidens' quarters, often presiding as the Queen of Misrule, with Kitty always in her shadow. When Cat is whisked away to court by her ambitious relatives, she catches the eye of the king. Cat promised Kitty and the others that she would try to bring them with her if she gained any influence at court. Now, as the most influential woman in England, Cat brings her old friends to her side -- for the sake of friendship, or the better to keep a lid on her less than virtuous past. It doesn't take a scholar to know that Cat's past will catch up with her . . . but will Kitty share her friend's fate?This book employs the use of 21st-century dialogue, with mixed results. Though Tudor English would probably have turned off many potential readers looking for stories about Mean Girls in History, the characters seem a little too modern at times. Kitty is also a mix of historical and modern, as she is submissive and often servile toward Cat, yet determined to find love and romance on her own. This probably won't deter most readers -- without the hints of romance in Kitty's life, the story would be much flatter. Though I had a few issues with this book, I would still recommend it to teens who enjoy historical fiction with romance, deceit, and court intrigue.more
VOYAKitty Tylney and Cat Howard have been best friends since age eight. Living as maids in Norfolk House, Cat was the brazen leader among the servant girls. Her priority: find someone rich to marry to elevate her status in 1539 England. Managing to secure a place in King Henry VIII's court serving his future wife, the Lady of Cleves, Cat uses her feminine wiles to make King Henry fall in love with her. When Catherine becomes Queen, she sends for Kitty to become her chambermaid. Thinking Cat has fulfilled her promise to bring Kitty to court, Kitty does not realize Cat needs someone to manipulate who will keep her secrets. Kitty believes Cat is beautiful where she is tall and plain, when really Cat is spoiled and vindictive where Kitty is loyal. Kitty spends three years sucked into Cat's courtly web of deception, ending up in prison when Cat's lies trap her in her own game. Spending months alone in a cell, Kitty ponders whether her own sacrifices were worth it and what will happen if her life is spared. Longshore writes a believable novel of historical fiction with well-developed characters and entertaining, yet predictable, plot twists. The author focuses on Kitty's internal battle to usurp her inner strength and become her own person as Cat's frivolous ways with material riches and self-serving behavior continually invoke reader distaste. Many will be frustrated with Kitty's failure to stand up to Cat's domineering ways, as this timeless theme of misguided friendship is brought to its deadly end. This is an enjoyable novel to recommend to girls interested in history, love, and betrayal.more
The new trend in historical fiction seems to be telling the story of Catherine Howard through the perspective of Katherine Tylney, allegedly one of her best friends. For those who aren’t familiar with this story, Kitty Tylney is a historical figure, but not much is known about her. She lived with the Dowager Duchess of Norfolk during the same time that Catherine Howard was there, the two were around the same age, so it’s a fair assumption that they had a friendship on some level.Although this book is about Kitty, and is told from her perspective, the tale intertwines her story very heavily with Cat’s, which means that the story essentially revolves around Cat. Kitty is basically with Cat from the start, witnessing Cat’s escapades while they are girls and eventually going to court to serve under her as queen. As the story progresses, Kitty realizes she is simply living a life in Cat’s shadow, wanting things because Cat wants them, and not doing anything for herself.The frustrating thing was seeing her know this, and not really doing anything about it. While Cat was definitely stuck in the situation she found herself in, Kitty has plenty of opportunities to get out and chooses to stay with Cat. Her rationalization is that without Cat, she would be nothing. However, I don’t know if being grateful to someone means you owe them the potential to lose your head on the block, which is essentially what Kitty is risking in this story.That being said, her misplaced loyalty in Cat is admirable, and it was sweet to see her stay despite her best interests. Kitty does try to stand up to Cat in a few situations, but it becomes obvious that it’s a bit futile to do that. Even before she was queen, Cat was always getting her way, usually at someone else’s cost.My heart went out to Kitty in this story because I don’t think I would have stayed in the same situation. The fate of Anne Boleyn is ever present in this story, being mentioned regularly as Cat becomes more and more involved with Thomas Culpeper, and I don’t think I would have remained that loyal of a friend if I had been in Kitty’s situation.I also think this portrays a more realistic point of view of what would have really happened to someone in Kitty’s position. In other novels, she really just gets away with no risk, which has always confused me. In this one, you truly do not know what her fate will be given her involvement in Cat’s life. That’s one of the fun parts of a relatively unknown historical figure – you can do what you want with their fate! We all know what really happened to Catherine Howard, but who really knows what happened to Katherine Tylney.more
When Catherine Howard brings her friend, Kitty Tynley, to court, she becomes embroiled in Catherine's affairs. Cat catches the eye of Henry, and eventually, marries him. Much has been written of Henry, his 6 wives, and the break with Rome resulting in the birth of protestantism. It was a very dangerous time in the history of England. I find it very difficult to believe that Cat could have been so naive, foolish, or stupid to have embarked in an affair knowing Henry's marital history. She must have known, or should have known, that he would retaliate against her.Although the author has taken some poetic license, the book shows her dedication to historical accuracy overall. A good read.more
It was déjà vu for me reading Gilt, as I read The Confession Of Katherine Howard about this same time last year, also an early review. The Tudors continue to fascinate writers and readers, but how many times can the same story be told? Both books deal with the brief marriage of Henry VIII and his youngest wife Catherine Howard. Both are told from the point of view of Kitty Tylney, Cat's friend and lady-in-waiting. Both employ 21st century dialogue. But Gilt succeeds as a better story. Kitty struggles with being true to her friend and keeping secrets versus knowing that a crime has been committed, and this knowledge makes Kitty an accomplice. I like the play on words of the title: gilt/guilt. I also liked that the author makes Thomas Culpepper smarmy--I've never seen this characterization of him before and that was refreshing. Even though I knew how it would end, the narrative moved quickly and the ending was satisfying and true to life. Written for young adults.more
This is an era that I love to read. My only problem is that I've read too many books on Henry VIII. This is no doubt from a different prospective but you know the outcome. Catherine is Catherine no matter what spin you put on her. Kitty is basically a doormat for Cat. I was very surprised at the YA rating. The sexually, in my opinion was a little much for that age group.more
Kitty's best friend, Cat, or Catherine Howard, is the type of girl that attracts attention, whereas Kitty is quite the opposite and remains Cat's loyal shadow. Kitty doesn't usually mind though as Cat is one of her only friends and pretty much her only family. While growing up, Cat doesn't follow the rules of the household. She throws wild midnight parties, disobeys her elders, spends time with boys, and is all around the "Queen of Misrule." As they get older, Cat is sent to the court of Henry VIII and starts to live a life very different than the one that Kitty and Cat are accustomed to. Finally, Cat sends for Kitty to come to court and as time goes by, it becomes very apparent that Cat, or Catherine Howard, will be the next Queen of England as she has stolen Henry's heart. Kitty and Catherine try to survive amongst a crazy court and deal with Henry's ups and downs, but Catherine never plays by the rules. There are major consequences for her choices, both good and bad. Put simply, Gilt by Katherine Longshore is one of the best young adult historical novels I've read in a long time.Kitty is the type of character that is easily lead by others and that drove me nuts. One on hand, I felt badly for her as sometimes she had no choice in her decisions, because she was stuck between a rock and a hard place. The problem with this is the fact that Catherine is a royal brat and I wanted to slap her across the face. One minute I liked her, the next minute she would do something so annoying and backstabbing that I loved to hate her. The dynamics between Kitty and Cat were interesting nonetheless as Gilt also examines friendship and popularity.Just when I thought I was over novels about the Tudor Era, I get sucked into Gilt. I can confidently say now that I am NOT over this era and that Longshore has brought me back in. What is not to love? There's major drama, backstabbing, lies, intrigue, affairs, romance, gossips, etc. Half of what occurs is unbelievable, but what is even more captivating is the fact that most of these events actually occurred. Henry VIII is downright crazy and I loved being thrown back into his unpredictable court. Gilt reminded me not only of how much I love this time period, but how much I miss the show The Tudors and Gilt was a nice fix.Even though we know how things end for Catherine Howard, I was still hopelessly addicted to Gilt. I devoured it book quickly and was totally invested in Kitty's story. I highly recommend Gilt to fans of historical fiction; you won't be disappointed. So, if you plan on reading any historical fiction this summer, it quite simply has to be Gilt. Katherine Longshore is one debut author that I definitely have my eye on.more
Gilt by Katherine Longshore is the first YA version I have read about Catherine Howard, Henry VIII's fifth wife. Written from the point of view of Kitty Tylney, Catherine Howard's childhood friend, it is a very vivid and rich tale of the young queen. Kitty and Cat grew up together and when Cat goes to the Tudor court becoming Queen she sends for her friends to surround her and help as a buffer from the gossips, schemer's and manipulator's populating the court. Kitty is Cat's best friend and while Kitty tries to be loyal and look out for Cat, Cat makes it a very difficult job as she is self indulgent and self centered. While Cat is not very likeable I do think she was fully "fleshed out" as a character. Kitty, while putting up with way too much from Cat and getting so very little, is still a strong young woman, just naive and with misplaced loyalty. With all the detailed descriptions of court life, fashions, intrigues and deceptions, Gilt is an entertaining mix of fiction and history for young adults.more
Katherine Longshore transports Mean Girls to Tudor England in this delightful and terrifyingly apt criticism of modern girl culture. Readers will be seduced from the beginning with detailed descriptions of Tudor era opulence. Longshore finds her parallel to Regina in Catherine Howard, or Cat, Henry VIII's fifth wife. The teenage Cat has a bottomless appetite for clothes, jewelry, and young men. She is queen of the group of unwanted Howard nieces and cousins who live as servants-in-all-but-name to their grandmother, dowager duchess of Norfolk. In this boarding school-like setting, Cat blithely manipulates her friends and family members to suit her desires, particularly her "shadow," her "mirror," her "sister of the soul," Kitty Tylney, who hails from the even poorer side of the family. In Kitty, the audience will find its moral anchor and spark of light for the insufficiently gilded road ahead.Longshore's dialogue and pacing are refreshingly modern. She will undoubtedly be compared to Philippa Gregory, (and deservedly so, this is equal to Gregory's best work in The Other Boleyn Girl), but her writing style more closely mimics that of Suzanne Collins. Anachronistic phrases like "Shut up," and "best friend," feel authentic in the mouths of her characters. Although, she occasionally runs away with her language, Longshore's inventiveness and extensive vocabulary bring an extra dimension to her writing.Gilt is a fast and thrilling read, and demonstrates a complex understanding both of teenage girl hierarchies and palace politics. While Gilt may be read for pleasure, it may be read again for commentary on how young girls treat each other, and how both perpetrator and victim are affected. The historical parallel drives home that while modern schoolgirls may not be in a position to have their heads chopped off by mad monarchs, selfishness and materialism hurts everyone. And furthermore, while Cat is far from sympathetic, we can see this much through Kitty's eyes: Not even Regina deserves to be hit by a bus.more
2.5 of 5 stars.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.When I first heard about Gilt I was really excited to read it, and tried over and over to get my hands on an ARC. I was lucky enough to win an ARC via a contest on Shelf Awareness Pro, and once I received it, immediately dove into it. Unfortunately this book didn't live up to my expectations. I so wanted to love it, but there were just things about it that really affected my overall enjoyment. Gilt reminded me of The Other Boleyn Girl, in terms of the fact that we're talking about yet another of King Henry VIII's wives, the story takes place in Henry's court, and the book was a little slow to develop. However, unlike with Anne Boleyn in that book, we get to see some of Cat and Kitty's childhoods. Another similarity is that both books are told from someone other than the Queen's point of view: in The Other Boleyn Girl we got Anne's sister, Mary, and in Gilt we got Katherine "Kitty" Tylney, Cat Howard's best friend. However, while I enjoyed Mary, for the most part, Kitty really grated on me, for reasons I'll get into below.In my opinion, this book used language that was far too modern for the times. It was like Kitty and Cat were living in the 21st Century, instead of 16th Century England. When you're writing historical fiction, and you want to draw your reader in and immerse them in the world you're describing, it works better to use the turns of phrase of the times and have historical characters speak like they actually did. It just helps set the mood and the scene and make things more realistic. This book really failed in that, aside from the terms used to describe the dresses the girls wore (and we got a lot of that, because Cat is obsessed with fashions, and Kitty blindly tags along with her).It was easier to put myself down than build up hope only to have it crushed. (pg. 199 in ARC)Our narrator, Kitty, is perhaps one of the weakest characters I have ever read. She is befriended by Cat when they are girls growing up in the Dowager Duchess's house. Cat is the most popular, prettiest girl there, and Kitty sees herself as nothing more than Cat's shadow. Cat is a master manipulator even at a young age, and basically can convince Kitty to do whatever she wants. Kitty has absolutely no spine whatsoever; she can't think for herself, she can't stand up to Cat (even when she knows Cat is wrong and/or making mistakes) and she is willfully blind to Cat's faults. This makes her a very hard main character to warm up to, at least for me personally. I have a big problem with characters that are little more than doormats, and instead of feeling sorry for her, I spent the wide majority of the book being thoroughly frustrated with her. It did not make for the most enjoyable reading experience.Cat had used me my entire life. Made me do things I didn't want to do ... She had taken away the things I loved. Convinced me to do things I knew were wrong. But I always came back for more. So who was at fault? (pg. 376)And then we have Cat, who is also so unlikable I just couldn't stand her. While Kitty allows herself to be used by Cat, it is Cat herself that just sees no reason not to use whatever or whomever is at her disposal to do what she wants. This only intensifies when she becomes Queen, because now she has the royal standing to do so. She brings Kitty and the other girls to court mainly because they know her secrets, and she doesn't want anyone to spill them, as that could put her marriage to the King in jeopardy. She also endangers their lives while they're at court when she includes them in her adultery; they are aware of her affair with Culpepper, and it makes them culpable to treason, which could cost them their heads. All Cat is concerned with is herself: her pretty dresses, her jewels, her station in life. She spares absolutely no thought to anyone but herself. She is perhaps the most conceited character I've ever read about, and I felt absolutely no sympathy for her plight at all.I had wanted to be at court. Because it was what Cat wanted. I hadn't thought for myself since I was eight years old. And when I did, I spoke too late. (pg. 343)While Kitty did finally speak up to Cat (only after they were all in trouble, mind), just like her doing so was too late to make a difference, her growing a spine was too late for me to warm to her, or this book. The entire thing was just really disappointing for me. Now obviously, because this is based on historical fact, it could be that Kitty really was a doormat and Cat really was a horrid person who used others; I don't know if this is true, because I don't know very much about Catherine Howard, and I don't think too much is really known about Kitty Tylney at all. But both girls were just really difficult for me to read, and it definitely made the book itself suffer in its tale.If nothing else, this was a book that shed light on King Henry VIII's fifth of six wives. It gave me some history behind Catherine Howard, and detailed her fall from grace. I definitely learned some new information about the time, and Henry's court. But the story itself just wasn't terribly enjoyable, at least not for me.Nonetheless, I have seen plenty of excellent ratings for this book, so don't just take my word for it. Gilt will be available in North America on May 15, 2012.An ARC was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.more
My first reaction when I received this early review copy was disappointment - I love historical fiction, but from the cover it looked like another "bodice ripper" But I'd said I would read it, and so I beganAnd I'm so glad I did. The book, written for young people, not only is good historical fiction - but it also deals with important issues that teens face daily: peer pressure, manipulation, bullying, and most poignantly realizing that you made a mistake that can't be undone.Katherine Howard is portrayed very realistically as a young girl who "should have known better", who knew what she was doing was wrong, but didn't have the foresight to understand what the repercussions really meant. The girl who thought her looks could get her anything for free, only to learn that there's a price for everything.I definitely recommend this onemore
Katherine Longshore's debut novel is beautifully written and will be sure to appeal to those who love the Tudors. Following the rise and fall of King Henry VIII's fifth wife , the young and impetuous, Catherine Howard. The author tells her story through the eyes of her friend Kitty Tylney. Both girls grew up together but only one caught the eye of the king. The girls have an interesting relationship with hearts and personalities that are completely different. Your heart will reach out to Kitty and at time you will dislike young Catherine but you can't help but feel sorry for her and her choices. I enjoyed reading Longshore's first novel and will look forward to what she writes next!more
I am an avid historical fiction fan and the court of Henry VIII is one of my favorite topics. However, this book added nothing new to the genre and I was ultimately left disappointed. It did not help that the narration by the main character, Kitty, was choppy and full of incomplete, extremely short sentences.more
Gilt wasa fascinating look in to the life of Katherine Howard. This may have beena YA book but you wouldnt have known that while reading it. the characters were very well fleshed out and the plot was very engrossing. I have read many book on the Tudors and this one fits in on my favorites list. I will be picking up the Authors subsquent books in this series. thank you LT for the chance to read this fascinating book.more
I received this book through Early Reviewers.First off, I should note that when I marked this book as one of my choices for the program, I wasn't aware it was a YA book, so I will try to not let it affect my review.I've read quite a few books on the wives of Henry the 8th, so I did know more than a little about Katherine Howard and her quick rise and fall in court life. I very much enjoyed the pacing of the book and found it engaging, entertaining, and believable. I thought it did more of a service to Katherine's tale than previous accounts--I have read one other book with her tale being told through her friend's perspective as well as Phillipa Gregory's The Boleyn Inheritance, and I found this version to be the most nuanced.Even though I'm about 15 years out of the target audience for this book I really did enjoy it and will be passing my copy to my younger cousins to enjoy.more
There's one thing you can say for Katherine Howard: she may not have had much in the way of brains or common sense, but she certainly knew what she wanted! And 'Gilt' by Katherine Longshore certainly makes that abundantly clear!Katherine was doomed from the start--beautiful, vivacious, free-spirited, flirtatious--and power-hungry. I'm surprised she was able to survive in Henry VIII's court as long as she did...but then, she WAS sleeping with him.Anyway, this was quite a well-written debut. I certainly enjoyed it more than 'The King's Rose' about Katherine Howard, and it was a far more engrossing read than 'The Boleyn Inheritance' by Phillipa Gregory, (and half the pages too! Ha!)It was a great page-turner, with a MAJOR cliff-hanger ending. I will certainly read more books in this series. I suppose my only qualms are that the POV was from Katherine's best friend, and not Katherine herself. I am NOT a fan of the new YA fad where the POV comes from the historical figure's fictional friend and not the actual historical figure herself. I'm tired of it already. Dang it! I don't want commentary!!! LOL!My second qualm would be that there was hardly a likeable person in the book, and if there was, they certainly were not in there very long. But all in all, still an absorbing read.more
I don't know a lot about Catherine Howard. There. I said it. My two favorites of King Henry's wives are always Anne Boleyn and Anne of Cleves, so it's interesting to hear about Catherine Howard for a bit of a change of pace. I also don't usually read young adult historical fiction, but Katherine Longshore has done a wonderful job in historical accuracy (though I was really confused for awhile because she didn't even mention Jane Seymour until at least halfway through the book, and only in passing. I found that a bit strange.)Kitty was frustrating. A total doormat. More so than I would attribute to that day and age. Literally no backbone, no ability to think for herself. She was this way up until pretty much the last chapter. There are little titillation of change, but invariably she slipped back into being beaten down by everyone. At the end she had a bit of a change, but her "transformation" was a bit unsatisfying, as was the climax. I was hoping for a reconciliation with William, which would have been pursuing what she had wanted in the beginning and what she had given up for Cat. It would have just tied everything together nicely but maybe I'm just a hopeless romantic with a penchant for happy endings.Despite the flaws, this is an exceptional YA historical novel. Despite the modern language it displays life in the Tudor Court accurately. Especially the fear. The fear in everyone. The side-eying, the suspicion. All of that was completely authentic. I love Cat. I love her in a way that only a rampaging, selfish regent can inspire love. She and Alice seemed to be the only women in the novel strong enough to go after what they wanted, and of course Cat suffers the consequences.I also love Alice. Everything was done brilliantly with her, especially the end. She was very understated until mid-novel where her importance kind of takes you by surprise and has you going "of course!".All in all, worth the read if you're into the Tudor dynasty.more
Gilt is a teen historical fiction novel about the Henry VIII debacle. This story focuses around Cat's, Catherine Howard, story told from the perspective of Cat's childhood friend Kiity. Even though Henry VII and Cat are in the novel, Kitty's transformation from a girl who does whatever she is told to a free-thinking individual is the main focus. Gilt is filled with romance, hte intrigue of court life, difficult choices, consequences, and revelations.This novel was one I couldn't put down. It held all the elements of a great historical fiction novel. I would definitely recommend this to others, mainly teens, who enjoy historical fiction especially about Henry VII. It's not as detailed as a Phillipa Gregory novel, but a good fast read.more
4.5/5 stars!An absolutely gorgeous debut. This one kind of jumped me from behind - at first I thought it was going to be like so many of the historical YA books that left me feeling pretty uninspired, but the magic that Longshore weaves with her surprisingly masterful use of sensory language and imagery just kind of knocked me on my ass and left me begging for more. While there was a chapter or two that really dragged, "Gilt", for the most part, is a languid yet tense look at the real-life game of thrones that was the court of Henry VIII and will definitely draw teens in, whether they like it or not.Beginning with Kitty's experience of young Cat's Court of Misrule within the house of the Duchess of Norfolk, Longshore really drew me in with the sensory experience of what a Tudor-ruled England looked, smelled, and felt like. You really experience everything in a very visceral way, and I literally read this one in about two sittings - both within one day. I couldn't stop turning the pages. Even though we all know the fate of the real-life Catherine Howard, seeing it from the age that we know Cat was when she became Henry's wife was startling, wonderful, and awful as we watch the wolves starting to circle and history is made. There's been the frequent observation in other reviews of this book that some of the characters fell flat, but I didn't see that at all. Yes, some of them could have been rounded out more than others, but as Longshore is taking from history and did her research, we frankly don't know a lot about some of the characters that were featured in the book in real life, and there wasn't a lot to draw on. However, I respect her immensely for her afterword talking about her writing and research process for "Gilt", and after reading the abortion of a book that was "Spirit's Princess", it was just the balm I needed to soothe my jangled academic nerves. Longshore admitting where she took liberties was refreshing and really made me respect her. Yes, Kitty could have been more dynamic, but in the end, even in real life she wasn't as heavy a hitter as Catherine Howard. Cat's character is so large, both in real life and in the speculative life created within the book kind of blots many of the other characters out. It happens. But the way Longshore crafted the book more than made up for some of the paler characters within it.I think my favorite part of the book itself was after Cat gets to court, and we see the aforementioned real life game of thrones that was going on with all of the political families/factions of Tudor England at the time - the Howards, the Tudors, and the other families all fighting for supremacy within the thinly veiled fraud that was courtly life. It was addicting to read, and I connected with it far easier than I did with Philippa Gregory's same content concerning the Tudor court. Final verdict? If you're looking for a really well-written historical fiction piece, "Gilt" has to be your choice. It's on my best of 2012 list so far, and I can't wait until the next book comes out. "Gilt" is out through Viking Juvenile/Penguin Teen May 15, 2012 in North America, so be sure to check it out then. This is yet another 2012 debut that you just can't miss.(posted to goodreads, shelfari, librarything, and birthofanewwitch.wordpress.com)more
A different take on an old story. I've read other historical fiction about Catherine "Cat" Howard but nothing for a teen audience.The author does a great job making Cat and Kitty relate-able to a teen audience. Every teenage girl has felt bullied by a friend or a popular girl who is just a B$*^%#, and was too weak or insecure to stand up to her.I am thrilled that this historic tale is being updated for today's teen audiencemore
“Gilt” by Katherine Longshore is a fictionalized account of Henry VIII’s second to last wife, Catherine Howard. The story is told from the perspective of Katherine “Kitty” Tylney, who has been friends with Catherine since age 8. I've been reading lots of YA literature lately and I've really come around to the potential quality writing in the genre. I really wanted to like this book. It's such a shame that I didn't. Characterization: The characters in this book are just dreadful. The main character and narrator, Kitty Tylney, is an idiot. Plain and simple. She starts out naïve and willingly manipulated by Cat, and that never changes. She never grows from her role as Cat’s toady, except for one outburst when her life is actually threatened. I don’t really understand how one spends an entire year in a place like a Tudor monarch’s court and never learns anything, but since that was apparently true with the real Catherine Howard, I guess I have to accept it. As for Cat, well...... She’s selfish, manipulative, and even dumber than Kitty. She’s cunning, but stupid. Because for all her pretensions of understanding people better than Kitty, her wiles and manipulations actually landed her in a worse position that even poor, hopeless Kitty. I’m not wild about nasty personalities like Cat’s to begin with, but her ridiculous behaviour made her even worse. She’s not interesting enough to even “love to hate her” because her antics are so uninspired and self-indulgent. She never changes either; even at the end, she tried to blame everything on everyone but herself. She never took responsibility for herself in the slightest.Apart from Kitty and Cat, there are no well-rounded characters or compelling personalities. It doesn’t help that we see almost everyone from a distance, especially the King of England who is portrayed as either groping his child bride or limping around on his ulcerous legs. The villain, Culpepper is cookie-cutter charming rapist. The other ladies in waiting are rarely even refered to as anything except the Coven and you never get a real sense of who any of them are, or even how they might be injuring Catherine’s reputation; you are just told that they’re gossipy and it’s implied that they’re no good. William Gibbon is the only remotely likable character in the book.Setting: Honestly, the setting and context seemed more like a backdrop than any important aspect of the story. There is no discussion of politics or religion, beside a few mentions of the Reformation for Anne’s sake. This could have been the court of any king at any time, not one of the most infamous British rulers of all time. Longshore spends more time describing peoples’ wardrobes than she does most things about England.Language: Longshore is proficient with the English language. She isn’t the worst YA writer I can mention. However, there are several completely anachronistic/false notes in the writing that just jerked me right out of the story. For example, at one point Cat exclaims, "How romantic is that!" Another time she pantomimes forcing her finger down her throat to induce vomiting, in an attempt to convey some peevish emotion. I understand that Catherine Howard was probably the most gauche of the king's wives, but she was far from the Valley girl this novel makes her out to be.Other Details: The cover puts me off, frankly. There is absolutely nothing in the cover that makes me think of the Tudor era and the picture is odd. You can actually see the hair on the model's nose, for pity sake, and it's the second most prominent part of the image.more
Well, this book was okay. It wasn't the best historical fiction I've ever read, though. Longshore clearly did her research, but she didn't deviate much from said research. She took no creative license with these people's lives whatsoever. At least she didn't do anything that hadn't already been done. The idea was intriguing: Catherine Howard, promiscuous queen and Anne Boleyn's cousin, told through the eyes of her chambermaid. However, the story itself just fell flat. I didn't really like any of the characters, and I already know how crappy court life is. I wanted something new, and unfortunately, I didn't get it. The characters in Gilt are either doormats or extremely vile. Neither option appealed to me. Sure, Kitty stands up for herself at the end, but overall, she was a complete doormat. She seriously needed to grow a spine. And Cat? Why would you cheat on the man who already beheaded your cousin? Are you stupid or just crazy? Because seriously, no one in her right mind would do that. And by being so careless, Cat put herself and everyone who associated with her at risk. Needless to say, I didn't feel like it was any great loss when her head got chopped off. There's really not as much of a love triangle as the synopsis suggests, and while I generally don't like love triangles that much, it would have at least added some excitement to the book. This novel just wasn't that suspenseful to me. I'm assuming I wasn't kept on the edge of my seat because I already knew what happened to Cat. If Longshore had brought something new to the table, I think I would have been much more invested in the plot. As it stands, the story dragged quite a bit for me and it took me several tries to actually get through the book. Longshore's writing is top notch, though. I really enjoyed her wording, for the most part, and I felt that the story flowed well. She got a little modern colloquial at times, but in general, the writing was quite good. The pacing was okay, but, as I stated above, the book did drag for me some. However, I think the dragging came from boredom more than pacing. Overall, I'd read another book by Longshore, definitely. I enjoyed her writing style. I would not read another Tudor book by her, though. This isn't because the book is bad, it's just because I already knew the story. If she wrote something contemporary, then I'd absolutely read it. I'd recommend this book to historical fiction buffs (I like some historical fiction, but it's not my favorite) and people who do not know the story of Catherine Howard. If you know much about the Tudors, this novel may bore you.more
Gilt is the story of Catherine Howard, fifth wife to King Henry VIII, as told from the point of view of her best friend and chamberer Kitty Tylney. From their days together in the house of the Dowager Duchess of Norfolk, with secret midnight parties where men were invited into the maidens' chamber, to Catherine's rise at court and her marriage to the king, Kitty is a shadow to her friend Cat, eclipsed by Cat's ambition and unapologetic command.I feel that one of the main points of this story is that the two girls are, after all, teenagers - they are unlikable characters, Cat a spoiled brat grasping for more power than she can handle, and Kitty spineless and unable to listen to herself - but both of these make sense given their age and the situation they had placed themselves in. Overall I quite enjoyed this book, and passed it on to my mom to try next.more
Katherine 'Kitty' Tylney is the young, forgotten daughter , distantly related to English nobility. As a young girl she is cast off by her family to be raised in the Duchess of Norfolk's household. This is where Kitty meets her best friend, Catherine 'Cat' Howard. Kitty exists in Cat's shadow. Kitty is the loyal friend who entertains Cat and keeps all of her secrets. Eventually Cat makes her way to the Court of King Henry VIII, becoming his fifth and youngest wife. Cat sends for her faithful friend and Kitty finds herself wildly out of her depth and eventually ruined as she is ensnared in a court full of intrigue and manipulation. Kitty is well drawn, but ultimately hard to like. She exists entirely in the shadow of her beautiful and cunning friend, Catherine Howard. She is hardly able to articulate that she may have any desires for herself, apart from just being wanted. It is that sense of abandonment that draws Kitty to Cat and keeps her there, even as Cat self-destructs. In the end Kitty does seem to be little more than a shadow, though the story is told from her point of view.more
Fantastic debut novel by Katherine Longshore. I have always had a fondness for Tudor history. Especially the lives of those unfortunate enough to be part of the king's household. Of all Henry's wives, Catherine Howard is the one I understand the least. Several books portray her as the used and abused young child of the Howard's. Used to further their place at court, and abused, ignored when the young woman fails to produce an heir. She is also portrayed as a conniving, selfish fiend who only lives to further her own pleasures. Kitty is a young woman who is incredibly naive at the start of this book. The two are brought up together in the home of a duchess. Despite all, Kitty truly believes herself to be a friend to Catherine, not just a pawn in a bigger game. She learns the hard way, life at court is less than majestic. Catherine is indeed just a selfish brat who thinks more of herself than others. Or does she? This is an incredible debut novel. I did not like Catherine Howard. I did not feel pity when she lost her head.Kitty was a different character all together. I felt, at times, like yelling at her "She's just using you! Grow up and see the light!" Kitty still chose to believe the best of Catherine. Her character was amazingly loyal, but never boring. I give this book 5 stars and hope Katherine Longshore writes more!!!more
Debut author Katherine Longshore chronicles the often-discussed rise and fall of Catherine Howard, the doomed fifth wife of King Henry VIII, in her new YA historical novel, Gilt. Cat Howard's story is told through the eyes of close friend Kitty Tylney, a fellow ward of the dowager duchess. As the pair grow up together at Lambeth, Kitty is privy to all of Cat's darkest secrets -secrets that could undo her at court. When Cat is sent to court as a lady-in-waiting to Henry's fourth wife, Anne of Cleves, Kitty also travels to court, where she is thrown into the wild world of intrigue and romance that pervade the court.I really wanted to like this book. I mean, really, what's not to like about a good Tudor-era novel? But, maybe by now I've read too many because Gilt just felt stale. The stories of Henry VIII's wives, including the promiscuous Cat Howard, have been throughly explored in modern literature and TV, and Gilt casts no addition light on Cat's story. I honestly felt like I was reading something of an abridged version of Philippa Gregory's The Boleyn Inheritance. I knew everything about this story from the beginning, and the added plot line of Kitty Tylney wasn't enough to infuse this book with enough originality to keep it interesting. This was simply too painfully predictable to enjoy.I was also somewhat shocked that Gilt is being passed off as a YA novel. First, the cover implies something very sexual and looks like it works better on the cover of an adult romance novel. The inside is not much different. There is abundant discussion of adult situations, sex and courtly lust. Longshore did not seem to censor this at all in Gilt -it is essentially an adult historical novel set in the Tudor period.Honestly, I was disappointed with this book. Nothing original, nothing engaging and, to top it off, not really YA. I'd pass on this one.more
Read all 33 reviews

Reviews

There's not much to say because I loved this story! If there was a lull, I don't remember it. If the writing was poor, I didn't notice it. I enjoy reading and learning about the Tudor era. The friendship, the betrayal, the lies are all there within the Kings Court. I could identify with the entanglements of court. It happens in todays society with friendships public and private. There's always a leader and followers in every circle of life. A full review or better written one will follow.more
Review courtesy of Dark Faerie TalesQuick & Dirty: As you watch the young queen with the same anticipation you feel in a horror movie, you heart aches for Kitty and her unwavering loyalty to Catherine. There’s romance, but I was happy to find the focus is on Kitty and Cat’s close friendship, not a hot guy.Opening Sentence: ”You’re not going to steal anything.”The Review: While I’m a big historical romance buff, I’ll admit Henry VIII and his various wives have never been my favorite to read about. I’m too big a fan of Happy Endings. So I didn’t know a lot about Catherine Howard and her best friend Kitty before picking up this novel. From what I’ve heard from my friends who do devour Tudor novels, Longshore does a great job of sticking to the historicity of the period. Of course the novel and all its details are fictionalized from Kitty’s point of view, but I think history-purists will be pleased by Gilt.Kitty Tylney has gone through a lot before the beginning of the novel. As in, she’s-carrying-around-a-crippling-amount-of-baggage. Her family tosses their worthless daughter over to be a servant in Cat’s step-grandmother’s house, the Duchess of Norfolk. Apparently, a lot of ton daughters got sent there for “betterment,” which as I understand really just means “they’re your problem now.” In true Mean Girls style, Catherine Howard runs the show as the Queen of Misrule. It isn’t long before Cat catches the eye of Henry, despite being on his fifth wife.When Cat goes to court, her ever loyal Kitty is at her side. Her best friend and most loyal confidant, Kitty keeps all Catherine’s secret. Kitty’s devotion to Cat makes you want to alternately applaud her loyalty and shake her for being an idiot. She lies and placates Cat, usually to her own expense, as the girls find themselves seduced deeper and deeper into the heart of Henry VII’s cut-throat court. It’s only William, steward to the Duke of Norfolk, who seems to recognize Kitty’s unwavering devotion as unhealthy. Though their romance blossoms into a very satisfying subplot, the whole focus of the novel is on the relationship between Kitty and Catherine.If watching Catherine ease her way into Henry’s heart is like watching a train wreck, then waiting to find out Kitty’s fate had all the anticipation of watching a plane crash. We all know the fate of Catherine Howard, but what about Kitty Tylney? How does her unwavering loyalty play out in the bitter end? The tension is threaded through the romantic novel like a ticking bomb waiting to go off.I can’t imagine the time and research that went into recreating this world. Longshore paints a vivid picture of Greenwich Castle and its courtiers, one I couldn’t help but sink into. She doesn’t weigh the reader down with needless details to prove she knows what she’s talking about, but weaves the tense time period in with the scene. I’m excited to hear that Gilt is a part of a series, because I want to read more of this world and Longshore’s writing.Notable Scene:“No one is happier thank I am that you’re finally getting all you deserve. Beautiful clothes. Jewelry. A man you love.”She stopped moving. Stopped breathing. Then snapped, “Get out,” over her shoulder, and Joan and Alice disappeared as quickly as dandelion fluff on the wind.“Who told you?” she asked, her voice more deadly than ever. “No one knows.”“Francis,” I whispered, my voice a paroxysm of nerves.“Francis Dereham?” she asked.“Yes,” I said. “He saw you at court. Then he came here to get his old job back. I spoke with him.”“Francis?” She repeated, and her eyes opened wide, radiating surprise, or possibly fear.FTC Advisory: Viking/Penguin provided me with a copy of Gilt. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.more
As young girls growing up in the Tudor age, both Catherine Howard and Kitty Tilney dream of making their way to the court of King Henry VIII - one likely more so than the other. Stuck living as ward's of Catherine's grandmother, the dowager duchess at Norfolk House, they spent their time in the maiden's chambers dreaming of getting away.Kitty knows she has no real prospects, but Catherine is a Howard and that gives her possibility.When Cat gets works her way into court - and possibly King Henry's heart, as well - she follows through on a promise and brings Kitty along. It's filled with jewels, beautiful dresses, and fancy parties, yes, but court life isn't perfect or easy.Kitty finds herself somewhere she never thought she'd be - torn between two men.And Cat may have more than her heart in danger if she keeps up her flirting ways. Kitty will have to learn how to be Cat's friend but also keep herself safe in a place where gossip no longer just gets your in trouble - in could get you killed.I'm kind of a sucker for historical fiction - well, good historical fiction - and Tudor period ones, specifically.When you read a good - completely fictitious - novel, you're often left wishing there was more. Another book, another chapter, some sort of epilogue, something. You can imagine things all you want but it never quite reaches the level of awesome that the book did because those characters were created in the author's head. With really good historical fiction, it's interestingly the same way. You finish a book wishing there were more about those characters, that you could keep reading about them . . . Then you remember there is because they're real (well save for any characters created for the novel). The only problem is, they're never quite the same as they were in whichever book you've just read because in a sense, the author created these characters as well - or at least brought them (back) to life.Katherine Longshore does that in Gilt. I've read other novels set during the same time period with some of the same historical figures involved but this novel goes around the main players to and gives readers a bit of an outsiders (though not that outside) perspective. It's told through Kitty, Cat's best friend, confidante and surrogate sister. While we don't have the perspectives on King Henry that a novel told from Cat(herine)'s view might give, we do get a great view on who Cat, later Queen Catherine, is.Not who she sees herself as, but who someone who's almost always known her sees her as.Kitty also has a great view on the different men and women at court. From the way they're perceived to how they act to little secrets about them. It's likely that she, not being that high up in the court's hierarchy sees things that even one of the other ladies might not be privy to - or might not care to notice.Gilt is not only a great historical fiction novel, it's a great character study that brought up a lot of things I hadn't thought about before in my other readings on the same time period. Even if you care nothing (or very little) about the time period, it's a tremendous read for the friendship between Cat and Kitty and the struggles they face - both with each other and that life puts on their bond.This may be a young adult historical fiction but I think it easily stands up to the adult historical fiction novels - like those by Carolly Erickson and Alison Weir.Rating: 9/10thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for my e-galley of this title for reviewmore
Gilt is the story of Catherine Howard, fifth wife of King Henry VIII, from the perspective of Kitty Tylney. Cat and Kitty grew up together, closer than sisters, as poor relations in the house of the Duchess of Norfolk. Unloved and often unsupervised, Cat devises wild schemes and scandalous parties in the maidens' quarters, often presiding as the Queen of Misrule, with Kitty always in her shadow. When Cat is whisked away to court by her ambitious relatives, she catches the eye of the king. Cat promised Kitty and the others that she would try to bring them with her if she gained any influence at court. Now, as the most influential woman in England, Cat brings her old friends to her side -- for the sake of friendship, or the better to keep a lid on her less than virtuous past. It doesn't take a scholar to know that Cat's past will catch up with her . . . but will Kitty share her friend's fate?This book employs the use of 21st-century dialogue, with mixed results. Though Tudor English would probably have turned off many potential readers looking for stories about Mean Girls in History, the characters seem a little too modern at times. Kitty is also a mix of historical and modern, as she is submissive and often servile toward Cat, yet determined to find love and romance on her own. This probably won't deter most readers -- without the hints of romance in Kitty's life, the story would be much flatter. Though I had a few issues with this book, I would still recommend it to teens who enjoy historical fiction with romance, deceit, and court intrigue.more
VOYAKitty Tylney and Cat Howard have been best friends since age eight. Living as maids in Norfolk House, Cat was the brazen leader among the servant girls. Her priority: find someone rich to marry to elevate her status in 1539 England. Managing to secure a place in King Henry VIII's court serving his future wife, the Lady of Cleves, Cat uses her feminine wiles to make King Henry fall in love with her. When Catherine becomes Queen, she sends for Kitty to become her chambermaid. Thinking Cat has fulfilled her promise to bring Kitty to court, Kitty does not realize Cat needs someone to manipulate who will keep her secrets. Kitty believes Cat is beautiful where she is tall and plain, when really Cat is spoiled and vindictive where Kitty is loyal. Kitty spends three years sucked into Cat's courtly web of deception, ending up in prison when Cat's lies trap her in her own game. Spending months alone in a cell, Kitty ponders whether her own sacrifices were worth it and what will happen if her life is spared. Longshore writes a believable novel of historical fiction with well-developed characters and entertaining, yet predictable, plot twists. The author focuses on Kitty's internal battle to usurp her inner strength and become her own person as Cat's frivolous ways with material riches and self-serving behavior continually invoke reader distaste. Many will be frustrated with Kitty's failure to stand up to Cat's domineering ways, as this timeless theme of misguided friendship is brought to its deadly end. This is an enjoyable novel to recommend to girls interested in history, love, and betrayal.more
The new trend in historical fiction seems to be telling the story of Catherine Howard through the perspective of Katherine Tylney, allegedly one of her best friends. For those who aren’t familiar with this story, Kitty Tylney is a historical figure, but not much is known about her. She lived with the Dowager Duchess of Norfolk during the same time that Catherine Howard was there, the two were around the same age, so it’s a fair assumption that they had a friendship on some level.Although this book is about Kitty, and is told from her perspective, the tale intertwines her story very heavily with Cat’s, which means that the story essentially revolves around Cat. Kitty is basically with Cat from the start, witnessing Cat’s escapades while they are girls and eventually going to court to serve under her as queen. As the story progresses, Kitty realizes she is simply living a life in Cat’s shadow, wanting things because Cat wants them, and not doing anything for herself.The frustrating thing was seeing her know this, and not really doing anything about it. While Cat was definitely stuck in the situation she found herself in, Kitty has plenty of opportunities to get out and chooses to stay with Cat. Her rationalization is that without Cat, she would be nothing. However, I don’t know if being grateful to someone means you owe them the potential to lose your head on the block, which is essentially what Kitty is risking in this story.That being said, her misplaced loyalty in Cat is admirable, and it was sweet to see her stay despite her best interests. Kitty does try to stand up to Cat in a few situations, but it becomes obvious that it’s a bit futile to do that. Even before she was queen, Cat was always getting her way, usually at someone else’s cost.My heart went out to Kitty in this story because I don’t think I would have stayed in the same situation. The fate of Anne Boleyn is ever present in this story, being mentioned regularly as Cat becomes more and more involved with Thomas Culpeper, and I don’t think I would have remained that loyal of a friend if I had been in Kitty’s situation.I also think this portrays a more realistic point of view of what would have really happened to someone in Kitty’s position. In other novels, she really just gets away with no risk, which has always confused me. In this one, you truly do not know what her fate will be given her involvement in Cat’s life. That’s one of the fun parts of a relatively unknown historical figure – you can do what you want with their fate! We all know what really happened to Catherine Howard, but who really knows what happened to Katherine Tylney.more
When Catherine Howard brings her friend, Kitty Tynley, to court, she becomes embroiled in Catherine's affairs. Cat catches the eye of Henry, and eventually, marries him. Much has been written of Henry, his 6 wives, and the break with Rome resulting in the birth of protestantism. It was a very dangerous time in the history of England. I find it very difficult to believe that Cat could have been so naive, foolish, or stupid to have embarked in an affair knowing Henry's marital history. She must have known, or should have known, that he would retaliate against her.Although the author has taken some poetic license, the book shows her dedication to historical accuracy overall. A good read.more
It was déjà vu for me reading Gilt, as I read The Confession Of Katherine Howard about this same time last year, also an early review. The Tudors continue to fascinate writers and readers, but how many times can the same story be told? Both books deal with the brief marriage of Henry VIII and his youngest wife Catherine Howard. Both are told from the point of view of Kitty Tylney, Cat's friend and lady-in-waiting. Both employ 21st century dialogue. But Gilt succeeds as a better story. Kitty struggles with being true to her friend and keeping secrets versus knowing that a crime has been committed, and this knowledge makes Kitty an accomplice. I like the play on words of the title: gilt/guilt. I also liked that the author makes Thomas Culpepper smarmy--I've never seen this characterization of him before and that was refreshing. Even though I knew how it would end, the narrative moved quickly and the ending was satisfying and true to life. Written for young adults.more
This is an era that I love to read. My only problem is that I've read too many books on Henry VIII. This is no doubt from a different prospective but you know the outcome. Catherine is Catherine no matter what spin you put on her. Kitty is basically a doormat for Cat. I was very surprised at the YA rating. The sexually, in my opinion was a little much for that age group.more
Kitty's best friend, Cat, or Catherine Howard, is the type of girl that attracts attention, whereas Kitty is quite the opposite and remains Cat's loyal shadow. Kitty doesn't usually mind though as Cat is one of her only friends and pretty much her only family. While growing up, Cat doesn't follow the rules of the household. She throws wild midnight parties, disobeys her elders, spends time with boys, and is all around the "Queen of Misrule." As they get older, Cat is sent to the court of Henry VIII and starts to live a life very different than the one that Kitty and Cat are accustomed to. Finally, Cat sends for Kitty to come to court and as time goes by, it becomes very apparent that Cat, or Catherine Howard, will be the next Queen of England as she has stolen Henry's heart. Kitty and Catherine try to survive amongst a crazy court and deal with Henry's ups and downs, but Catherine never plays by the rules. There are major consequences for her choices, both good and bad. Put simply, Gilt by Katherine Longshore is one of the best young adult historical novels I've read in a long time.Kitty is the type of character that is easily lead by others and that drove me nuts. One on hand, I felt badly for her as sometimes she had no choice in her decisions, because she was stuck between a rock and a hard place. The problem with this is the fact that Catherine is a royal brat and I wanted to slap her across the face. One minute I liked her, the next minute she would do something so annoying and backstabbing that I loved to hate her. The dynamics between Kitty and Cat were interesting nonetheless as Gilt also examines friendship and popularity.Just when I thought I was over novels about the Tudor Era, I get sucked into Gilt. I can confidently say now that I am NOT over this era and that Longshore has brought me back in. What is not to love? There's major drama, backstabbing, lies, intrigue, affairs, romance, gossips, etc. Half of what occurs is unbelievable, but what is even more captivating is the fact that most of these events actually occurred. Henry VIII is downright crazy and I loved being thrown back into his unpredictable court. Gilt reminded me not only of how much I love this time period, but how much I miss the show The Tudors and Gilt was a nice fix.Even though we know how things end for Catherine Howard, I was still hopelessly addicted to Gilt. I devoured it book quickly and was totally invested in Kitty's story. I highly recommend Gilt to fans of historical fiction; you won't be disappointed. So, if you plan on reading any historical fiction this summer, it quite simply has to be Gilt. Katherine Longshore is one debut author that I definitely have my eye on.more
Gilt by Katherine Longshore is the first YA version I have read about Catherine Howard, Henry VIII's fifth wife. Written from the point of view of Kitty Tylney, Catherine Howard's childhood friend, it is a very vivid and rich tale of the young queen. Kitty and Cat grew up together and when Cat goes to the Tudor court becoming Queen she sends for her friends to surround her and help as a buffer from the gossips, schemer's and manipulator's populating the court. Kitty is Cat's best friend and while Kitty tries to be loyal and look out for Cat, Cat makes it a very difficult job as she is self indulgent and self centered. While Cat is not very likeable I do think she was fully "fleshed out" as a character. Kitty, while putting up with way too much from Cat and getting so very little, is still a strong young woman, just naive and with misplaced loyalty. With all the detailed descriptions of court life, fashions, intrigues and deceptions, Gilt is an entertaining mix of fiction and history for young adults.more
Katherine Longshore transports Mean Girls to Tudor England in this delightful and terrifyingly apt criticism of modern girl culture. Readers will be seduced from the beginning with detailed descriptions of Tudor era opulence. Longshore finds her parallel to Regina in Catherine Howard, or Cat, Henry VIII's fifth wife. The teenage Cat has a bottomless appetite for clothes, jewelry, and young men. She is queen of the group of unwanted Howard nieces and cousins who live as servants-in-all-but-name to their grandmother, dowager duchess of Norfolk. In this boarding school-like setting, Cat blithely manipulates her friends and family members to suit her desires, particularly her "shadow," her "mirror," her "sister of the soul," Kitty Tylney, who hails from the even poorer side of the family. In Kitty, the audience will find its moral anchor and spark of light for the insufficiently gilded road ahead.Longshore's dialogue and pacing are refreshingly modern. She will undoubtedly be compared to Philippa Gregory, (and deservedly so, this is equal to Gregory's best work in The Other Boleyn Girl), but her writing style more closely mimics that of Suzanne Collins. Anachronistic phrases like "Shut up," and "best friend," feel authentic in the mouths of her characters. Although, she occasionally runs away with her language, Longshore's inventiveness and extensive vocabulary bring an extra dimension to her writing.Gilt is a fast and thrilling read, and demonstrates a complex understanding both of teenage girl hierarchies and palace politics. While Gilt may be read for pleasure, it may be read again for commentary on how young girls treat each other, and how both perpetrator and victim are affected. The historical parallel drives home that while modern schoolgirls may not be in a position to have their heads chopped off by mad monarchs, selfishness and materialism hurts everyone. And furthermore, while Cat is far from sympathetic, we can see this much through Kitty's eyes: Not even Regina deserves to be hit by a bus.more
2.5 of 5 stars.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.When I first heard about Gilt I was really excited to read it, and tried over and over to get my hands on an ARC. I was lucky enough to win an ARC via a contest on Shelf Awareness Pro, and once I received it, immediately dove into it. Unfortunately this book didn't live up to my expectations. I so wanted to love it, but there were just things about it that really affected my overall enjoyment. Gilt reminded me of The Other Boleyn Girl, in terms of the fact that we're talking about yet another of King Henry VIII's wives, the story takes place in Henry's court, and the book was a little slow to develop. However, unlike with Anne Boleyn in that book, we get to see some of Cat and Kitty's childhoods. Another similarity is that both books are told from someone other than the Queen's point of view: in The Other Boleyn Girl we got Anne's sister, Mary, and in Gilt we got Katherine "Kitty" Tylney, Cat Howard's best friend. However, while I enjoyed Mary, for the most part, Kitty really grated on me, for reasons I'll get into below.In my opinion, this book used language that was far too modern for the times. It was like Kitty and Cat were living in the 21st Century, instead of 16th Century England. When you're writing historical fiction, and you want to draw your reader in and immerse them in the world you're describing, it works better to use the turns of phrase of the times and have historical characters speak like they actually did. It just helps set the mood and the scene and make things more realistic. This book really failed in that, aside from the terms used to describe the dresses the girls wore (and we got a lot of that, because Cat is obsessed with fashions, and Kitty blindly tags along with her).It was easier to put myself down than build up hope only to have it crushed. (pg. 199 in ARC)Our narrator, Kitty, is perhaps one of the weakest characters I have ever read. She is befriended by Cat when they are girls growing up in the Dowager Duchess's house. Cat is the most popular, prettiest girl there, and Kitty sees herself as nothing more than Cat's shadow. Cat is a master manipulator even at a young age, and basically can convince Kitty to do whatever she wants. Kitty has absolutely no spine whatsoever; she can't think for herself, she can't stand up to Cat (even when she knows Cat is wrong and/or making mistakes) and she is willfully blind to Cat's faults. This makes her a very hard main character to warm up to, at least for me personally. I have a big problem with characters that are little more than doormats, and instead of feeling sorry for her, I spent the wide majority of the book being thoroughly frustrated with her. It did not make for the most enjoyable reading experience.Cat had used me my entire life. Made me do things I didn't want to do ... She had taken away the things I loved. Convinced me to do things I knew were wrong. But I always came back for more. So who was at fault? (pg. 376)And then we have Cat, who is also so unlikable I just couldn't stand her. While Kitty allows herself to be used by Cat, it is Cat herself that just sees no reason not to use whatever or whomever is at her disposal to do what she wants. This only intensifies when she becomes Queen, because now she has the royal standing to do so. She brings Kitty and the other girls to court mainly because they know her secrets, and she doesn't want anyone to spill them, as that could put her marriage to the King in jeopardy. She also endangers their lives while they're at court when she includes them in her adultery; they are aware of her affair with Culpepper, and it makes them culpable to treason, which could cost them their heads. All Cat is concerned with is herself: her pretty dresses, her jewels, her station in life. She spares absolutely no thought to anyone but herself. She is perhaps the most conceited character I've ever read about, and I felt absolutely no sympathy for her plight at all.I had wanted to be at court. Because it was what Cat wanted. I hadn't thought for myself since I was eight years old. And when I did, I spoke too late. (pg. 343)While Kitty did finally speak up to Cat (only after they were all in trouble, mind), just like her doing so was too late to make a difference, her growing a spine was too late for me to warm to her, or this book. The entire thing was just really disappointing for me. Now obviously, because this is based on historical fact, it could be that Kitty really was a doormat and Cat really was a horrid person who used others; I don't know if this is true, because I don't know very much about Catherine Howard, and I don't think too much is really known about Kitty Tylney at all. But both girls were just really difficult for me to read, and it definitely made the book itself suffer in its tale.If nothing else, this was a book that shed light on King Henry VIII's fifth of six wives. It gave me some history behind Catherine Howard, and detailed her fall from grace. I definitely learned some new information about the time, and Henry's court. But the story itself just wasn't terribly enjoyable, at least not for me.Nonetheless, I have seen plenty of excellent ratings for this book, so don't just take my word for it. Gilt will be available in North America on May 15, 2012.An ARC was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.more
My first reaction when I received this early review copy was disappointment - I love historical fiction, but from the cover it looked like another "bodice ripper" But I'd said I would read it, and so I beganAnd I'm so glad I did. The book, written for young people, not only is good historical fiction - but it also deals with important issues that teens face daily: peer pressure, manipulation, bullying, and most poignantly realizing that you made a mistake that can't be undone.Katherine Howard is portrayed very realistically as a young girl who "should have known better", who knew what she was doing was wrong, but didn't have the foresight to understand what the repercussions really meant. The girl who thought her looks could get her anything for free, only to learn that there's a price for everything.I definitely recommend this onemore
Katherine Longshore's debut novel is beautifully written and will be sure to appeal to those who love the Tudors. Following the rise and fall of King Henry VIII's fifth wife , the young and impetuous, Catherine Howard. The author tells her story through the eyes of her friend Kitty Tylney. Both girls grew up together but only one caught the eye of the king. The girls have an interesting relationship with hearts and personalities that are completely different. Your heart will reach out to Kitty and at time you will dislike young Catherine but you can't help but feel sorry for her and her choices. I enjoyed reading Longshore's first novel and will look forward to what she writes next!more
I am an avid historical fiction fan and the court of Henry VIII is one of my favorite topics. However, this book added nothing new to the genre and I was ultimately left disappointed. It did not help that the narration by the main character, Kitty, was choppy and full of incomplete, extremely short sentences.more
Gilt wasa fascinating look in to the life of Katherine Howard. This may have beena YA book but you wouldnt have known that while reading it. the characters were very well fleshed out and the plot was very engrossing. I have read many book on the Tudors and this one fits in on my favorites list. I will be picking up the Authors subsquent books in this series. thank you LT for the chance to read this fascinating book.more
I received this book through Early Reviewers.First off, I should note that when I marked this book as one of my choices for the program, I wasn't aware it was a YA book, so I will try to not let it affect my review.I've read quite a few books on the wives of Henry the 8th, so I did know more than a little about Katherine Howard and her quick rise and fall in court life. I very much enjoyed the pacing of the book and found it engaging, entertaining, and believable. I thought it did more of a service to Katherine's tale than previous accounts--I have read one other book with her tale being told through her friend's perspective as well as Phillipa Gregory's The Boleyn Inheritance, and I found this version to be the most nuanced.Even though I'm about 15 years out of the target audience for this book I really did enjoy it and will be passing my copy to my younger cousins to enjoy.more
There's one thing you can say for Katherine Howard: she may not have had much in the way of brains or common sense, but she certainly knew what she wanted! And 'Gilt' by Katherine Longshore certainly makes that abundantly clear!Katherine was doomed from the start--beautiful, vivacious, free-spirited, flirtatious--and power-hungry. I'm surprised she was able to survive in Henry VIII's court as long as she did...but then, she WAS sleeping with him.Anyway, this was quite a well-written debut. I certainly enjoyed it more than 'The King's Rose' about Katherine Howard, and it was a far more engrossing read than 'The Boleyn Inheritance' by Phillipa Gregory, (and half the pages too! Ha!)It was a great page-turner, with a MAJOR cliff-hanger ending. I will certainly read more books in this series. I suppose my only qualms are that the POV was from Katherine's best friend, and not Katherine herself. I am NOT a fan of the new YA fad where the POV comes from the historical figure's fictional friend and not the actual historical figure herself. I'm tired of it already. Dang it! I don't want commentary!!! LOL!My second qualm would be that there was hardly a likeable person in the book, and if there was, they certainly were not in there very long. But all in all, still an absorbing read.more
I don't know a lot about Catherine Howard. There. I said it. My two favorites of King Henry's wives are always Anne Boleyn and Anne of Cleves, so it's interesting to hear about Catherine Howard for a bit of a change of pace. I also don't usually read young adult historical fiction, but Katherine Longshore has done a wonderful job in historical accuracy (though I was really confused for awhile because she didn't even mention Jane Seymour until at least halfway through the book, and only in passing. I found that a bit strange.)Kitty was frustrating. A total doormat. More so than I would attribute to that day and age. Literally no backbone, no ability to think for herself. She was this way up until pretty much the last chapter. There are little titillation of change, but invariably she slipped back into being beaten down by everyone. At the end she had a bit of a change, but her "transformation" was a bit unsatisfying, as was the climax. I was hoping for a reconciliation with William, which would have been pursuing what she had wanted in the beginning and what she had given up for Cat. It would have just tied everything together nicely but maybe I'm just a hopeless romantic with a penchant for happy endings.Despite the flaws, this is an exceptional YA historical novel. Despite the modern language it displays life in the Tudor Court accurately. Especially the fear. The fear in everyone. The side-eying, the suspicion. All of that was completely authentic. I love Cat. I love her in a way that only a rampaging, selfish regent can inspire love. She and Alice seemed to be the only women in the novel strong enough to go after what they wanted, and of course Cat suffers the consequences.I also love Alice. Everything was done brilliantly with her, especially the end. She was very understated until mid-novel where her importance kind of takes you by surprise and has you going "of course!".All in all, worth the read if you're into the Tudor dynasty.more
Gilt is a teen historical fiction novel about the Henry VIII debacle. This story focuses around Cat's, Catherine Howard, story told from the perspective of Cat's childhood friend Kiity. Even though Henry VII and Cat are in the novel, Kitty's transformation from a girl who does whatever she is told to a free-thinking individual is the main focus. Gilt is filled with romance, hte intrigue of court life, difficult choices, consequences, and revelations.This novel was one I couldn't put down. It held all the elements of a great historical fiction novel. I would definitely recommend this to others, mainly teens, who enjoy historical fiction especially about Henry VII. It's not as detailed as a Phillipa Gregory novel, but a good fast read.more
4.5/5 stars!An absolutely gorgeous debut. This one kind of jumped me from behind - at first I thought it was going to be like so many of the historical YA books that left me feeling pretty uninspired, but the magic that Longshore weaves with her surprisingly masterful use of sensory language and imagery just kind of knocked me on my ass and left me begging for more. While there was a chapter or two that really dragged, "Gilt", for the most part, is a languid yet tense look at the real-life game of thrones that was the court of Henry VIII and will definitely draw teens in, whether they like it or not.Beginning with Kitty's experience of young Cat's Court of Misrule within the house of the Duchess of Norfolk, Longshore really drew me in with the sensory experience of what a Tudor-ruled England looked, smelled, and felt like. You really experience everything in a very visceral way, and I literally read this one in about two sittings - both within one day. I couldn't stop turning the pages. Even though we all know the fate of the real-life Catherine Howard, seeing it from the age that we know Cat was when she became Henry's wife was startling, wonderful, and awful as we watch the wolves starting to circle and history is made. There's been the frequent observation in other reviews of this book that some of the characters fell flat, but I didn't see that at all. Yes, some of them could have been rounded out more than others, but as Longshore is taking from history and did her research, we frankly don't know a lot about some of the characters that were featured in the book in real life, and there wasn't a lot to draw on. However, I respect her immensely for her afterword talking about her writing and research process for "Gilt", and after reading the abortion of a book that was "Spirit's Princess", it was just the balm I needed to soothe my jangled academic nerves. Longshore admitting where she took liberties was refreshing and really made me respect her. Yes, Kitty could have been more dynamic, but in the end, even in real life she wasn't as heavy a hitter as Catherine Howard. Cat's character is so large, both in real life and in the speculative life created within the book kind of blots many of the other characters out. It happens. But the way Longshore crafted the book more than made up for some of the paler characters within it.I think my favorite part of the book itself was after Cat gets to court, and we see the aforementioned real life game of thrones that was going on with all of the political families/factions of Tudor England at the time - the Howards, the Tudors, and the other families all fighting for supremacy within the thinly veiled fraud that was courtly life. It was addicting to read, and I connected with it far easier than I did with Philippa Gregory's same content concerning the Tudor court. Final verdict? If you're looking for a really well-written historical fiction piece, "Gilt" has to be your choice. It's on my best of 2012 list so far, and I can't wait until the next book comes out. "Gilt" is out through Viking Juvenile/Penguin Teen May 15, 2012 in North America, so be sure to check it out then. This is yet another 2012 debut that you just can't miss.(posted to goodreads, shelfari, librarything, and birthofanewwitch.wordpress.com)more
A different take on an old story. I've read other historical fiction about Catherine "Cat" Howard but nothing for a teen audience.The author does a great job making Cat and Kitty relate-able to a teen audience. Every teenage girl has felt bullied by a friend or a popular girl who is just a B$*^%#, and was too weak or insecure to stand up to her.I am thrilled that this historic tale is being updated for today's teen audiencemore
“Gilt” by Katherine Longshore is a fictionalized account of Henry VIII’s second to last wife, Catherine Howard. The story is told from the perspective of Katherine “Kitty” Tylney, who has been friends with Catherine since age 8. I've been reading lots of YA literature lately and I've really come around to the potential quality writing in the genre. I really wanted to like this book. It's such a shame that I didn't. Characterization: The characters in this book are just dreadful. The main character and narrator, Kitty Tylney, is an idiot. Plain and simple. She starts out naïve and willingly manipulated by Cat, and that never changes. She never grows from her role as Cat’s toady, except for one outburst when her life is actually threatened. I don’t really understand how one spends an entire year in a place like a Tudor monarch’s court and never learns anything, but since that was apparently true with the real Catherine Howard, I guess I have to accept it. As for Cat, well...... She’s selfish, manipulative, and even dumber than Kitty. She’s cunning, but stupid. Because for all her pretensions of understanding people better than Kitty, her wiles and manipulations actually landed her in a worse position that even poor, hopeless Kitty. I’m not wild about nasty personalities like Cat’s to begin with, but her ridiculous behaviour made her even worse. She’s not interesting enough to even “love to hate her” because her antics are so uninspired and self-indulgent. She never changes either; even at the end, she tried to blame everything on everyone but herself. She never took responsibility for herself in the slightest.Apart from Kitty and Cat, there are no well-rounded characters or compelling personalities. It doesn’t help that we see almost everyone from a distance, especially the King of England who is portrayed as either groping his child bride or limping around on his ulcerous legs. The villain, Culpepper is cookie-cutter charming rapist. The other ladies in waiting are rarely even refered to as anything except the Coven and you never get a real sense of who any of them are, or even how they might be injuring Catherine’s reputation; you are just told that they’re gossipy and it’s implied that they’re no good. William Gibbon is the only remotely likable character in the book.Setting: Honestly, the setting and context seemed more like a backdrop than any important aspect of the story. There is no discussion of politics or religion, beside a few mentions of the Reformation for Anne’s sake. This could have been the court of any king at any time, not one of the most infamous British rulers of all time. Longshore spends more time describing peoples’ wardrobes than she does most things about England.Language: Longshore is proficient with the English language. She isn’t the worst YA writer I can mention. However, there are several completely anachronistic/false notes in the writing that just jerked me right out of the story. For example, at one point Cat exclaims, "How romantic is that!" Another time she pantomimes forcing her finger down her throat to induce vomiting, in an attempt to convey some peevish emotion. I understand that Catherine Howard was probably the most gauche of the king's wives, but she was far from the Valley girl this novel makes her out to be.Other Details: The cover puts me off, frankly. There is absolutely nothing in the cover that makes me think of the Tudor era and the picture is odd. You can actually see the hair on the model's nose, for pity sake, and it's the second most prominent part of the image.more
Well, this book was okay. It wasn't the best historical fiction I've ever read, though. Longshore clearly did her research, but she didn't deviate much from said research. She took no creative license with these people's lives whatsoever. At least she didn't do anything that hadn't already been done. The idea was intriguing: Catherine Howard, promiscuous queen and Anne Boleyn's cousin, told through the eyes of her chambermaid. However, the story itself just fell flat. I didn't really like any of the characters, and I already know how crappy court life is. I wanted something new, and unfortunately, I didn't get it. The characters in Gilt are either doormats or extremely vile. Neither option appealed to me. Sure, Kitty stands up for herself at the end, but overall, she was a complete doormat. She seriously needed to grow a spine. And Cat? Why would you cheat on the man who already beheaded your cousin? Are you stupid or just crazy? Because seriously, no one in her right mind would do that. And by being so careless, Cat put herself and everyone who associated with her at risk. Needless to say, I didn't feel like it was any great loss when her head got chopped off. There's really not as much of a love triangle as the synopsis suggests, and while I generally don't like love triangles that much, it would have at least added some excitement to the book. This novel just wasn't that suspenseful to me. I'm assuming I wasn't kept on the edge of my seat because I already knew what happened to Cat. If Longshore had brought something new to the table, I think I would have been much more invested in the plot. As it stands, the story dragged quite a bit for me and it took me several tries to actually get through the book. Longshore's writing is top notch, though. I really enjoyed her wording, for the most part, and I felt that the story flowed well. She got a little modern colloquial at times, but in general, the writing was quite good. The pacing was okay, but, as I stated above, the book did drag for me some. However, I think the dragging came from boredom more than pacing. Overall, I'd read another book by Longshore, definitely. I enjoyed her writing style. I would not read another Tudor book by her, though. This isn't because the book is bad, it's just because I already knew the story. If she wrote something contemporary, then I'd absolutely read it. I'd recommend this book to historical fiction buffs (I like some historical fiction, but it's not my favorite) and people who do not know the story of Catherine Howard. If you know much about the Tudors, this novel may bore you.more
Gilt is the story of Catherine Howard, fifth wife to King Henry VIII, as told from the point of view of her best friend and chamberer Kitty Tylney. From their days together in the house of the Dowager Duchess of Norfolk, with secret midnight parties where men were invited into the maidens' chamber, to Catherine's rise at court and her marriage to the king, Kitty is a shadow to her friend Cat, eclipsed by Cat's ambition and unapologetic command.I feel that one of the main points of this story is that the two girls are, after all, teenagers - they are unlikable characters, Cat a spoiled brat grasping for more power than she can handle, and Kitty spineless and unable to listen to herself - but both of these make sense given their age and the situation they had placed themselves in. Overall I quite enjoyed this book, and passed it on to my mom to try next.more
Katherine 'Kitty' Tylney is the young, forgotten daughter , distantly related to English nobility. As a young girl she is cast off by her family to be raised in the Duchess of Norfolk's household. This is where Kitty meets her best friend, Catherine 'Cat' Howard. Kitty exists in Cat's shadow. Kitty is the loyal friend who entertains Cat and keeps all of her secrets. Eventually Cat makes her way to the Court of King Henry VIII, becoming his fifth and youngest wife. Cat sends for her faithful friend and Kitty finds herself wildly out of her depth and eventually ruined as she is ensnared in a court full of intrigue and manipulation. Kitty is well drawn, but ultimately hard to like. She exists entirely in the shadow of her beautiful and cunning friend, Catherine Howard. She is hardly able to articulate that she may have any desires for herself, apart from just being wanted. It is that sense of abandonment that draws Kitty to Cat and keeps her there, even as Cat self-destructs. In the end Kitty does seem to be little more than a shadow, though the story is told from her point of view.more
Fantastic debut novel by Katherine Longshore. I have always had a fondness for Tudor history. Especially the lives of those unfortunate enough to be part of the king's household. Of all Henry's wives, Catherine Howard is the one I understand the least. Several books portray her as the used and abused young child of the Howard's. Used to further their place at court, and abused, ignored when the young woman fails to produce an heir. She is also portrayed as a conniving, selfish fiend who only lives to further her own pleasures. Kitty is a young woman who is incredibly naive at the start of this book. The two are brought up together in the home of a duchess. Despite all, Kitty truly believes herself to be a friend to Catherine, not just a pawn in a bigger game. She learns the hard way, life at court is less than majestic. Catherine is indeed just a selfish brat who thinks more of herself than others. Or does she? This is an incredible debut novel. I did not like Catherine Howard. I did not feel pity when she lost her head.Kitty was a different character all together. I felt, at times, like yelling at her "She's just using you! Grow up and see the light!" Kitty still chose to believe the best of Catherine. Her character was amazingly loyal, but never boring. I give this book 5 stars and hope Katherine Longshore writes more!!!more
Debut author Katherine Longshore chronicles the often-discussed rise and fall of Catherine Howard, the doomed fifth wife of King Henry VIII, in her new YA historical novel, Gilt. Cat Howard's story is told through the eyes of close friend Kitty Tylney, a fellow ward of the dowager duchess. As the pair grow up together at Lambeth, Kitty is privy to all of Cat's darkest secrets -secrets that could undo her at court. When Cat is sent to court as a lady-in-waiting to Henry's fourth wife, Anne of Cleves, Kitty also travels to court, where she is thrown into the wild world of intrigue and romance that pervade the court.I really wanted to like this book. I mean, really, what's not to like about a good Tudor-era novel? But, maybe by now I've read too many because Gilt just felt stale. The stories of Henry VIII's wives, including the promiscuous Cat Howard, have been throughly explored in modern literature and TV, and Gilt casts no addition light on Cat's story. I honestly felt like I was reading something of an abridged version of Philippa Gregory's The Boleyn Inheritance. I knew everything about this story from the beginning, and the added plot line of Kitty Tylney wasn't enough to infuse this book with enough originality to keep it interesting. This was simply too painfully predictable to enjoy.I was also somewhat shocked that Gilt is being passed off as a YA novel. First, the cover implies something very sexual and looks like it works better on the cover of an adult romance novel. The inside is not much different. There is abundant discussion of adult situations, sex and courtly lust. Longshore did not seem to censor this at all in Gilt -it is essentially an adult historical novel set in the Tudor period.Honestly, I was disappointed with this book. Nothing original, nothing engaging and, to top it off, not really YA. I'd pass on this one.more
Load more
scribd