Title: Gilt (The Royal Circle #1)
Author: Katherine Longshore
Publisher: Viking Juvenile
Release Date: May 15, 2012
Source: ARC from Publisher
In the court of King Henry VIII, nothing is free--and love comes at the highest price of all.When Kitty Tilney'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.
While I love historical fiction, I find that I don't read nearly enough of it. It may have to do with the fact that historical fiction books can often be really hit or miss. With Gilt, Katherine Longshore definitely hit the mark. It was a very engrossing read from start to finish.
Kitty Tylney has always lived in the shadow of her best friend, Cat Howard, but that has never bothered her. Having Cat for a best friend has always made life for interesting. And when Cat catches the attention of King Henry VIII, it means they will be going to cout just like they always wanted. But as Kitty quickly finds out, court is a lot harder than she ever thought it would be. And when Cat marries the king and becomes his fifth wife, everything changes. Kitty soon doesn't recognize Cat anymore and becomes worried that she may lead them all to their deaths. Because in the court of King Henry VIII nothing is as it seems and Kitty may have to learn this the hard way.
While I have always been fascinated with the period of history when Henry VIII was king, I would never have wanted to live in his court. If anything, reading Gilt only reaffirmed this. Katherine Longshore really brought to life King Henry VIII's court in the book. While reading Gilt I was transported back in time and at times it felt like I was right there alongside the characters. And what Katherine Longshore wrote definitely showed all the lying and deception that was going on at the time. It really made for a story where you were never entirely sure if what was happening was the truth or not. And you just couldn't help but keep on reading.
I would not have done particularly well with people living in the sixteenth century. Too many lies and too much deception for my taste. But in Gilt that made for some really interesting characters. The only one that didn't annoy me too much was Kitty. Despite being a little wrapped up in court life, she had a good head on her shoulders and wasn't as eager to get involved in the lies and deception as other people. I just wish she would have realized one thing a little earlier, but there isn't really anything I can do about that. Cat Howard on the other hand was a whole other story. I get that she was queen, but man did she get on my nerves. She was just so wrapped up in herself and was completely blind to how it affected everyone else. And she wasn't the only one that was like that. Despite this annoyance towards a lot of the characters, it feels like the story would not have worked without the characters being this way. To me it just seems like the story wouldn't have felt as real had it been done differently.
Gilt was a fantastic novel. The story Katherine Longshore wrote managed to transport me back in time while I was reading and allowed me to escape to another time and place for a few hours. I'm really looking forward to see where she is going to take the story in the next book int his exciting new series. Because the Tudor court is kind of addicting.