Author: Katherine Longshore
Six Word Review: Kitty: Cat’s Shadow, Loyal Until Death.
Summary: In 1500s England Kitty Tylney lives in the shadow of her “soul-sister,” Cat, as maids in waiting for the Duchess of Norfolk. Early in the book, Cat schemes her way into the court of King Henry the Eighth. There she catches his eye. She soon becomes Queen Catherine, and brings Kitty to Court to be part of the Queen’s inner circle. Henry VIII being the old, fat, stinky man that he is, Cat seeks out a more attractive companion in the dashing Thomas Culpepper. Kitty remains Cat’s faithful lackey and watches as Cat weaves a tangled web of secrets. Kitty warns her that these affairs could be ruinous but is not successful. Eventually Cat’s ambition and devil-may-care attitude entangle her in her own web of lies and secrets, threatening her royal title, her beautiful jewels, and her head.
I started reading because: I’ve seen Gilt compared to another book I read (Maid of Secrets). Some said Gilt was a better book, so I had to read it and see for myself. After doing so I realized that the two books have similar stories, but Gilt is aimed at an older audience.
I kept reading because: I enjoyed the book and wondered how it would end, given that it is historical fiction and for the majority of Henry VIII’s wives (he had 6, and as an interesting side note, half of them were named Catherine), their lives did not end well. Cat’s story is already recorded in history, but not much is known of Kitty Tylney. I wanted to know more of her story.
I would give this book: 8/10 stars, because the story was engrossing and the historical time period well written and intriguing. I enjoyed Kitty’s honest character and it was annoying when she didn’t stand up for herself.
I loved: Kitty’s unaffected, straightforward voice.
I hated: Cat’s conceited, holier-than-thou attitude that lasted throughout the entire book. I also hated the nasty people at Court who got what they wanted, and the nice people who fell by the wayside.
If the lead character Kitty was in a high school yearbook she would be voted: Best Sidekick.
Anything else we should know? Because it is historical fiction, you can easily find out what will happen to Cat in the end. But this is Kitty’s story, and it’s a good one. The novel is almost 400 pages, but the plot kept moving and it didn’t drag on. Plus there are more books set in this fascinating time period by Katherine Longshore! Yay!