by Katherine Longshore
Rating: Loved it!!
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.
Welcome to the Tudor court, the breeding ground for vicious back-stabbers and master manipulators, where secrets are the currency. Enter if you dare.
I used to think how fun it would be to live in medieval times. Come on, every girl wants those pretty dresses and gorgeous jewels the size of an egg. Seriously, its a girls dream. And most books just add to this sense of beauty. Sure, they didn't have plumbing (ewww) or toothpaste or whatnot, but in most books, they don't focus on that so it can be forgotten. You just get the pretty dresses and court intrigue. Heck, now that I look back at other historical fictions, the court intrigue wasn't as scandalous, but more political. They show you the good stuff. And, more often than not, the MC's go against the norm and are kick-butt and all that jazz. Well, Gilt brought reality crashing back down. Medieval times sucked.
This is the story of Catherine Howard's rise to queendom. Starting off as a lowly maid and working her way to becoming the most powerful woman in England.
Alright, I'm going to be as nice as I possibly can but I have never hated someone so much. But I loved to hate her. Cat is the most manipulative, self-centered, selfish, vicious, vindictive, devious and shrewd person ever. Heck, those words don't even begin to describe her. Cat started off as a maid but even within that group she was their leader. You wanted to fit in? Cat had to like you. Cat could make or break you. All she wanted was more, more and more.She was never satisfied with anything and was willing to do anything in order to get what she wanted, even be mean and vile to those she considered "friends". Heck, even in the end she still wasn't happy even though she got what she wanted. In the end, it was all about Cat.
Kitty, our MC, was the complete opposite. She was like a kicked puppy. She followed Cat around like her shadow and did whatever Cat said. One moment Cat would actually be nice to her, but the next she would manipulate and condemn Kitty and she just dealt with it. She was a pansy and pathetic and passive, and yet I couldn't help but care for her. She was an orphan, and Cat was the only one ever there for her. So, even though Cat can be mean and manipulative, she deals with it. She knows that in order to fit in, she has do whatever Cat says. She's the Cady Heron to Mean Girl's Regina George.
The thing is, going into this book, you know it's not going to have a happy ending. I mean, come on! She's one of Henry VIII wives and we all know how well it worked out for them. So, you know this is just a car wreck waiting to happen, yet for some odd reason I simply couldn't put it down. Was it because I simply loved to hate Cat? Is it all the delicious scandals? The court gossip that could make or break you? Whatever it was, I was hooked. Throughout the story I was gasping and yelling and quite frankly calling Cat many names I'm not proud of.
I've tried to write this review without too many spoilers because although you know how it ends, its the journey that's the adventure. This book is a stark reality to the other historical fictions out there. This book makes you realize how easily you could be destroyed back then. One word and you were ruined. It was brutal. And women were treated worst of all.
I simply loved to hate Cat and I hated to love Kitty. I really would have had a hard time not punching both of them back then, but at the same time I understand why they are like they are. Women were treated like nothing and the only thing they could get back then was a rich husband, so why not get the richest of them all? And for Kitty, Cat was the only one keeping her life better than it used to be. This book has scandals and gossip and backstabbing girls. It's like a high school! And it's so addicting. This is a historical fiction with real characters and while it may not have a happy ending for all of them, it's still a story worth reading and reading about what greed and manipulation can do to you.
All the best ♥