Author: Katherine Longshore
Release Date: May 15th, 2012
Publisher: Viking (Penguin)
Cover Judge: I love the font but i'm not crazy about the cover.Quote Choice: This scene was beautifully written!
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.
Longshore sure knows how to take your heart and break it and then mend it and then break it and then give you a little bit of hope in the end. So on that note, let's dive into this review!
I love historical fiction and this is no secret. Some of my favorite books include things such as Between Shades of Gray, Revolution, Vixen, The Gemma Doyle Trilogy, etc. So it's only natural that I was dying for this book. I simply think there aren't enough YA books about the Tudors; probably because all of his wives were older in terms that they weren't in there teen years. The exception of course, was Catherine Howard. Oh, Cat. How I want to smack your pretty little face.
So going into this book, I didn't except it to be in someone's else point of view. But we are taken into this world by Catherine's best friend Kitty who views it with this child-like wonder and innocence that was severely lacking in court. I thought I was going to get to see a softer side to Cat that isn't shown well...anywhere because she has quite the reputation in history for being mean and obnoxious. And oh, history is not wrong. Although there were scenes were I felt genuine sympathy for her, most of the time she was just a spoiled brat who take advantage of Kitty's devotion to her and manipulated everyone to play her games and get her way. But this didn't take away from the book at all. Instead, it accentuated everything I loved in Kitty: her loyalty even to people who had wronged her, her determination, and her love. She was a fantastic heroine even if I wanted to shake her for still listening to Cat.
The plot in itself is naturally interesting to me as a history nerd but seriously, who wouldn't be interested? Court life during the Tudors years was like a high school full of secret affairs and gossip (except with more beheading). The writing has the elegant style of historical fiction without all the stuffy and overwrought purple-prose.
And of course I have to mention the romance because seriously, I'm me! Oh, my heart, guys. Kitty meets her boy very early on in the book and watching the rise and fall of their relationship sync with the rise and fall of Cat's marriage and ultimate end was so heart-breaking for me. It was so frustrating seeing Kitty make the wrong decisions because of her unwavering loyalty but Longshore does give us some hope in the end.
Overall, loved it!
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