Series: The Royal Circle

Early Review – Gilt (The Royal Circle #1) by Katherine Longshore

Posted April 25, 2012 by Bonnie in Book Reviews, Early Review, Read in 2012, YA / 1 Comment

I received this book free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Early Review – Gilt (The Royal Circle #1) by Katherine LongshoreGilt by Katherine Longshore
Published by Viking Juvenile on May 15, 2012
Pages: 411
Genres: Historical Fiction, Romance
Format: eARC
Source: Netgalley


In the court of King Henry VIII, nothing is free--
and love comes at the highest price of all.

When Kitty Tylney's best friend, Catherine Howard, worms her way into King Henry VIII's heart and brings Kitty to court, she's thrust into a world filled with fabulous gowns, sparkling jewels, and elegant parties. No longer stuck in Cat's shadow, Kitty's now caught between two men--the object of her affection and the object of her desire. But court is also full of secrets, lies, and sordid affairs, and as Kitty witnesses Cat's meteoric rise and fall as queen, she must figure out how to keep being a good friend when the price of telling the truth could literally be her head.

“You still remember that?” she said. “How we used to play that we were at court?”
“Used to?” I said. “We never stopped.”
The game had just changed – from little girls playing princesses to a more grown-up and complicated hierarchy of status and favor.

I am far from a professional when it comes to history but I would consider myself a huge fan of the Tudor era. I’ve read up on the era enough to know the majority of what occurred but possibly not enough to point out historical inaccuracies when I read a story like Gilt. Based on what I do know; however, it is important to me that these stories maintain as much of the true to life story as possible. That said, I feel that the author did an outstanding job of the story of Catherine ‘Cat’ Howard and how she became the fifth wife of Henry VIII. Was it completely accurate? No. But it was damn fun. I’ve read stories about Katherine of Aragon, Anne Boleyn, and Anne of Cleves, so it was interesting to finally read a story on Catherine Howard.

The story is told from the POV of Kitty Tylney, Cat’s best friend, who is sent to court in order to stay close to Catherine and to keep a close eye on her at court. The two grew up together and were wild; always having fun of some sort. Midnight parties. Sharing their bed with boys. Cat was the Queen of Misrule over all the girls living in the house and had no idea that someday she would be a true Queen. Queen of England.

Cat was quite the stuck-up brat and I know for a fact I would not have enjoyed it as much if I had to listen to a story told through her eyes. Kitty was an extremely realistic character that I loved for her strength and determination. Life at court was as can be expected with the lies, the cheating, the double-crossing, and all the disloyalty anyone could ask for. I was hooked from page one.

I’m a huge historical fiction fan; however, I have had a difficult time finding good YA historical fiction that I truly enjoy. I’m happy to say that this one has an official spot at the very top of that list. Am quite excited to see how the author continues this series!