Series: The Royal Circle #1
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Children's (UK)
First published: February 28th, 2013 (UK)
Source: Received from publisher
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.
My Rating: 4.0 / 5
As someone who is incredibly intrigued by the Tudor era, I had wanted to read Gilt ever since I first found out about it. And it completely met all of my expectations, pulling me into a world of intrigues, back-stabbing and beautiful dresses. If you've been looking for a great historical read, be sure to add this to your list of books to buy.
... the plot:
While I definitely read way too few historical novels, I tend to enjoy them a lot whenever I pick them up. Having watched the TV show The Tudors, I already knew certain things that would happen to the king's fifth wife, Catherine Howard. Nonetheless I was very intrigued by the main character Kitty's story, who tells us her point of view. Her life doesn't turn out to be as glamorous and happy as she and Cat had hoped it might be by coming to court. It actually just gets a lot more complicated and makes her wish she would have stayed behind. But these complications are exactly what makes Gilt a very unputdownable read.
... the characters:
As a book full of backstabbing, Gilt has many characters that you never want to meet in real life. Certain people are behaving so disgustingly, which makes it very hard to feel any sympathy for them. Luckily this is the charm of historical novels like this and I had lots of fun guessing whom you could trust, unless I already knew the character's story.
Our main character Katherine "Kitty" Tylney has to face many situations that make her develop from a naive young girl to a grown-up woman, who had to solve too many problems in too little time. While she might not be the most relatable character in the beginning, I've grown to like her a lot throughout the story. Her best friend Cat, the queen, is probably the most tragic character - someone who gets to live the dream many young girls have, but who also has to realize that it can be taken away from you too fast. While I sometimes wanted to hate her and her attitude, I could only feel sorry for her.
All in all, Gilt lived up to my expectations and makes me look forward a lot to the second installment of this series, the companion novel Tarnish. If you like historical novels that will pull you into a different time and make you feel part of its world, add this to your to-read list.
I'm very sorry that the blog's fairly quiet at the moment, but with my everyday-internship, my job and learning for university, I just don't seem to get around to blogging. I really hope that this'll change soon, although I already know that the next semester will be very busy, too. At least I still get to read a couple of books, so I can write some reviews for you!
Have you read Gilt? If yes, what did you think about it?
If no, do you plan to read it?