Author: Katherine Longshore
Publish Date: Published May 15th 2012 by Viking Juvenile
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.
Gilt is my first historical fiction novel that I have read and I was delighted that it was written in the time of Henry VIII. I was immediately thrown into the scenery of the castles in England, the immaculate richness of dress and wealth, and the drama of court. However, even with the drama of court, this novel was woven around the life of Kitty, who was thrown into a boarding house by her parents, and was befriended by Cat, who eventually becomes Queen of England.
Kitty’s loyalty towards Cat is so strong; she always puts Cat’s needs and wants before her own. She feels this way because of the friendship Cat gave to her when she was all alone. When Cat is taken to court, and whisked up by Henry VIII, Cat brings Kitty to be her chambermaid. The friendship continues in a different way, being more one sided meaning that Kitty is there for Cat but not so much the other way around.
Kitty remains strong throughout the whole story. It is actually remarkable to see the story unfold, and to learn more about behind the scenes of court. Kitty is torn between a man who she desires, and another who she loathes, but ultimately decides to put Cat’s desires before her own. Cat puts Kitty through difficult circumstances, which starts to make Kitty feel very uncomfortable, and watches in horror as Cat starts to ruin her life. It is the time of Henry the VIII, the most brutal king of England.
Gilt is definitely an exciting read about the harshness of that era. I found Kitty to be a strong and brave character, but so wanted a better life for her. The visual that I had throughout this story drives me to want to visit England where all this rich history comes from.
Gilt has given me the “want” to broaden my reading genre to learn more about the history and the people that makes us who we are today.