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Gilt Hardcover – May 15, 2012

4.3 out of 5 stars 50 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


“In modern times, Cat would most likely be a cheerleader; the king, captain of the football team. But the royal backdrop with historical underpinnings makes a far more interesting story…Readers can practically feel the embroidered ball gowns and hand-stitched lace.” –The Los Angeles Times

"I believe I found my new favorite series"- MTV.com

“Longshore, who's clearly done her historical homework, takes full advantage of the Tudor standards. . . and surroundings. . .  but Cat is a completely contemporary American teenager.”—BCCB

“Longshore writes a believable novel of historical fiction with well-developed characters and entertaining . . . plot twists.”—VOYA

“A good, juicy story . . . royally riveting for the reader.”—Booklist

“A substantive, sobering historical read, with just a few heaving bodices.”—Kirkus Reviews

From the Inside Flap

Kitty Tylney has always lived in the shadow of her best friend, Cat.  Then Cat worms her way into the court of King Henry VIII - and into the King's heart.  When Cat brings her best friend into her inner circle at court, Kitty is thrust into a glittering new life of fabulous gowns, opulent parties, and dashing men vying for her attention.  But Kitty soon discovers that beneath the golden veneer lies a world of secrets and lies, trysts and back-door deals, where the price of gossip could literally be her head.
Once you've clawed your way to the top, there's nowhere to go but down...and it's a long fall from the Queen of England's throne.

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 and up
  • Grade Level: 7 and up
  • Lexile Measure: 660L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Viking Books for Young Readers (May 15, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0670013994
  • ISBN-13: 978-0670013999
  • Product Dimensions: 5.9 x 1.3 x 8.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (50 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #534,179 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Katherine Longshore grew up on the northern California coast. At university, she created her own major in Cross-Cultural Studies and Communications, planning to travel and write. Forever. Four years, six continents and countless pairs of shoes later, she went to England for two weeks, stayed five years and discovered history. She now lives in California with her husband, two children and a sun-worshiping dog.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Angie on September 5, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
I really liked the beginning and ending of Gilt, but for much of the middle portion I was bored and annoyed. It all starts out with Catherine Howard and Katherine "Kitty" Tylney as teenagers pretending to be courtiers. Catherine wants to be queen, and Kitty just wants to be happy and with her friend. Of course, Catherine gets her wish, but it's not at all how she dreamed it would be. Life at court is messy and full of deception and manipulation, but Kitty is beyond loyal to her dearest friend. Although at times it seems like Catherine only keeps her close to make sure her secrets stay just that.

I liked how Gilt was from the perspective of Kitty rather than Catherine. I'm sure most of us are familiar with King Henry's string of wives, but what about the people closest to them? Sure, it's dramatize for the sake of fiction, but it's still interesting to learn more about the lesser known people of the time. Despite being best friends all their lives, Catherine does treat Kitty quite poorly and takes advantage of her loyalty. Then when she's queen, she's even worse, since it's now Kitty's duty as her chamberer to do her bidding. I felt awful for Kitty a lot of the time, because she's forced to keep so many secrets which will eventually be her downfall, because she has knowledge of treason. Catherine is definitely one of those love to hate kind of characters.

However, I found myself annoyed with both of them in the middle of Gilt. Catherine could best be described as self-centered and boy crazy at the start, but once she's married to Henry, she becomes incessantly whiny. I could not stand her most of the time! On the other hand, Kitty was too goody-goody and perfect. She always does as she's told and goes along with everything, not really forming opinions of her own.
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Format: Hardcover
It's really hard to believe that Gilt was Katherine Longshore's debut novel, the writing was well perfected and you would think she has been doing this for years. Gilt is set during the Tudor Era and Longshore kept the tale of Cat and Kitty very engrossing right to the very end.

Gilt is about Kitty Tylney and Cat Howard who also was in real life the fifth wife of King Henry VIII. The story starts off with the two only dreaming of being part of Court life and then thanks to Cat's charming and mischievous ways their dreams become reality. Cat becomes queen and makes her closest friend Kitty one of her chambermaids. And what follows is a whole lot of lies, betrayal, deception and scandal mixed in with beautiful gowns, handsome men, and lavish parties.

If you know history you know things don't end to great for the characters in this book I was actually left feeling a little sad and I hate the fact that I got no closure with Kitty's character as far as her love life went. It was all very bittersweet.

As far as the characters are concerned I could not stand Cat she was just so vile, spoiled and rotten to everyone around her especially Kitty who already had no backbone when it came to their friendship and allowed Cat to take advantage of her in well...everything. Kitty was loyal to the core to Cat even at times when she should have been selfish and for once thought about her happiness. When it comes down to it Gilt was centered around their friendship. That is what kept me reading. The relationship between the two girls fascinated me while pissing me off at the same time.

In the end I loved reading Gilt. Even though I've been reading a lot of paranormal and fantasy books lately my love for historical fiction still remains.
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Format: Audible Audio Edition
I received this audiobook for review from the publisher. I did not receive any compensation for my review, and the views expressed herein are my own.

This historical fiction novel by debut author, Katherine Longshore, takes place during the time of the Tudor Era.

Kitty Tylney is the best friend or, more appropriately, servant of Catherine Howard (aka "Cat"), who longs to become a member of the nobility. When the opportunity arises that King Henry VIII is looking for a new wife (after the disastrous and short-lived marriage to his fifth wife, Anne of Cleves), he chooses young Cat who is about 30 years his junior.

I feel that I am in the minority here when it comes to my opinion on the book. While I do enjoy historical fiction, I have to admit that I found this novel very hard for me to get into. I surmise that my difficulty in enjoying the story stemmed from my inability to connect with the characters. I do not have to like a character to enjoy the story, but a good author should evoke a strong emotion from the reader, whether it be love and adoration or disgust and revulsion! I felt neither but, rather, was "ho-hum" about the story.

Cat reminds me of a spoiled, petulant child who always gets her way. She cares nothing for her "friends," and routinely uses them whenever she fancies to get what she wants. She cares more about her looks, material possessions, and station than anything of real importance. I did not care for her character at all. I even had a hard time liking Kitty, who considered herself a friend to Kat but also did not fool herself that she was more than she was: She had nothing and was nothing without Cat. I wanted to like Kitty, I really did, but I had a hard time respecting her choice to become a martyr for Cat.
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