Author: Katherine Longshore
Series: Thought stand alone but looks like a series (different characters?)
Published: May 15th 2012 by Viking Juvenile
Source: Publisher sent for honest review
Description: 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.
I Give This ...
The problem with reading quite a bit of historical fiction from the same time period is that you tend to read about the same characters over and over. It becomes difficult to shed new light on a subject. I've read a couple books revolving around Catherine Howard, but this one seemed like it might be something different. I was right.
I liked that the story is told from the viewpoint of someone close to Cat. We are seeing the events unfold through someone elses eyes. Add to the intrigue is that it is someone who has known Cat before she was queen and before she went to court. I think that's an important distinction. While Kitty is a complete doormat throughout this book, I think she believes she can't be anything else. She been discarded and the only way she feels worthwhile is to be at the beck and call of another. Usually not a very redeeming quality in a lead narrative, but I couldn't help but root for her. We all know Catherine's fate, but I was hoping that wouldn't happen to Kitty just because Catherine would drag her down with her.
Speaking of Catherine, this book made me dislike her intensely. In the other books I've read, she's played off more naive and innocent (in the sense that she really has no clue what is going on around her). I've felt that she was being set up by her family but had not idea the true danger her situation put her in. This book made me think that may have not been so. She conniving, selfish, and knows exactly what she's doing. She will do anything and use anybody to get what she wants. What still amazes me, is that she thought she could get away with it. Did she think she could charm her way out it? That her youth and beauty would be her saving grace?
I liked the way some things are explained in this book. Thomas Culpepper is an interesting character and their relationship takes some interesting turns throughout this story. I like how the well known events unfold so that they are completely logical and make you believe they may have actually happened this way. I also liked how the sexual aspect is toned down just enough for the young adult audience. There's not much historical fiction geared to teens (and I know I would have loved this at a younger age). I think this genre might open up new interests for teens and history.
I enjoyed this book a lot. I'm looking forward to the idea that this might be a series. Will the author take on another one of King Henry VIII's wives? Or maybe Queen Elizabeth? Time will tell!