Thursday, May 24, 2012

Review: Gilt

Title: Gilt
Author: Katherine Longshore
Genre: YA Historical Fiction

See it at Goodreads

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.

It’s not a secret that I am insanely obsessed with all things history. I read history books for fun. No joke.

And YA Historical Fiction just doesn’t seem to be all too common nowadays. It gets lost among the dystopia and paranormal. I would love to see more.

I’d been excited to get a hold of Gilt although I’ve never been a huge fan of the Tudor era, to be honest. Perhaps because it’s because it’s something so overdone in literature and movies that when it comes down to it, I just feel like “been there, done that” and I already know it all. Maybe this is my problem with reading Historical Fiction to begin with? I need something a bit more challenging…something that I can learn new things from or just even an era that isn’t touched on often. I finished feeling a bit dissatisfied. Though I would like to make strong points that the writing is absolutely beautiful. I felt often at times that I was reading a classical novel even, and this made me enjoy Gilt much more than I probably would have in the end.

I had trouble reading it on my ereader, so I had to read it on my computer. This could have caused a lot of my distaste, too. I had to read it slowly, and my eyes always ended up hurting within a few chapters so I would have to set it aside for a while. I didn’t get to sit and enjoy the story as much as I’d liked. I don’t think it’s very fair of me to make a point on this, but I must because later if I reread from a hardcopy, I may change my opinion and rate it higher. So just a small note on that.

The characterization building was solid and well-researched. I wish there’d been more Henry. The story wasn’t all what I’d expected it to be when going into it, and at times I felt it was a bit longer than necessary. I admit I even skimmed some areas, and still understood everything that was going on. The dialogue was classic and beautiful. And the ending was solid. Of course, I already knew the end. Anyone who knows the history of Catherine, will know. The author did a tremendous job with story-telling and research, and I liked reading from Kitty’s POV. There was as much drama back then as there is now. Haha, just remember that. It’s a fashionable, chic read that will have you ooh-ing and aahh-ing over the drama and events. And if it’s your first foray into the history, you will definitely want to learn more by the time you’re done. There’s not any confusion, as often found in this genre and time period, and it’s smoothly written.

Once again, I stress, we need more Historical Fiction--most particularly in YA. This was a wonderful debut and I enjoyed reading.

3.5 stars!



  1. Hi Pixie!

    I totally agree with you about needing more historical fiction in YA. I almost always love the ones I do read!

    With this book, I've been a little hesitant to read it for the opposite reason you might have been-- I am totally OBSESSED with the Tudor time period, and have 2 shelves dedicated to nothing but lengthy, extensively-researched non-fiction on Henry VIII, all his wives and children, even primary source material. (I know, I'm such a nerd haha). So for me I've had bad luck with any novels I've read about the Tudors because I sit there and nit-pick every little thing that I know was made-up lol :P Not that I'm a complete expert, and a lot of history is speculation anyways, but I don't know, I never seem to like reading Tudor books unless they're non-fiction.

    It is good to hear that this one was well-researched though and tried to be as accurate as possible! Catherine Howard has always fascinated me, just because she seemed so ordinary but had such a tragic end...

    On a side note, I do love The Tudors TV series by Showtime-- a lot of it is made-up or inaccurate or waaaay too sexually graphic, but I thought that a lot of it was extremely well done and portrayed the characters and the time period much better then a lot of movies.

    Holy crap OK I'm done rambling now! LOL awesome review girlie, I may give this one a shot eventually ;)

    ~Lea @ LC's Adventures in Libraryland

    1. Hey Lea!
      I was responding to your comment yesterday and then my computer erased it and I got frustrated. Lol! Anyways, let's try that again. :P Don't worry about leaving long comments. I love them. I usually leave long comments on others' blogs too whenever I stop by. I'm just chatty. Haha.
      I have historical obssessions too. Mine usually are in more ancient areas like Celtic history (I'm Irish, lol) and ancient Egypt. Shakespeare days. I also love American history with the presidents like Abraham Lincoln and war history (I have a strange fascination with World War 2 and The Holocaust in particular in that area) --and you already know I'm a huge fan of Titanic history. :) The Salem Witch Trials. I also like historical legends based on events that turned into today's myths. Vlad Dracul for example. His reign was so morbid. Eep.
      I read history books for fun. I'm not afraid to admit it. If it's a subject I like, I'll read it. I'd like to get to know more about the Tudor time period because I don't know everything, but I should read non-fiction instead I think. Seems everytime I read fiction around it, it just doesn't interest me as much as I'd like.

      This one was good for me though. I hope you enjoy it too if you decide to read it! Especially since you have that obsession and you would be so much more critical than me! :P

  2. I'm sorry you didn't enjoy this entirely, but it does sound like a really interesting book. I feel like I read more historical fiction when I was younger than I do now, so I should check out some more. My sister would probably love it though as she was a history major and I think she'd enjoy the Tudor area in fiction.


    1. I was going to be a history major with a minor in anthropology/archeology. Was my second choice career anyway. Haha. :P I love history, moreso in the ancient areas though. :) I did enjoy this book though. A 3.5 rating is still considered really good from me-just not a favorite. I'd recommend it to anyone who loves this genre, or who particularly loves this time period. I'm just not a huge fan of the time period in general really and that's a shame because it hurt my outlook and I had some nitpicks. I've been searching for a book to change my opinion and capture my interest finally, but still haven't found it. Like I told a friend, I may have to go to non-fiction for that instead. :)

      Hope you enjoy if you get the chance to read sometime! :)


  3. I have never read a YA historical fiction book. Perhaps I'll give this one a try if I ever have the time just so I can see what the genre is truly like. The plot does sound incredibly interesting. I visited England a while back and I saw the places that much of the beheadings happened, so it's almost as if I could picture it going on in this novel and everything. Great review!

    1. Oh my, you're missing out on a great genre that's not touched on often. :) And lucky you to go to England! That's on my top 5 places of "I most want to visit" in the next ten years. :P Hope you enjoy if you get the chance to read! :)

      Another great YA Historical Fiction to check out is:
      The Book Thief by Markus Zusak (set during World War 2/The Holocaust)



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