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Tarnish Hardcover – June 18, 2013
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From School Library Journal
Gr 8 Up-In this companion novel to Gilt (Viking, 2012), Anne Boleyn arrives in King Henry VIII's court amid whispers and stares from the courtiers. She knows her position is precarious; that she is talked about because of what she's done in the past and for the fact that her sister, Mary, is mistress to the king. Yet she is determined to be held in high esteem at court. Her brother, George, tells her she is too different to obtain that goal. She speaks her mind and gets into trouble. Enter renowned ladies' man Thomas Wyatt. He bets Anne that he can turn court favor to her side if she does as he asks. If the plan succeeds, he will have her in his bed because she will want to be there. After some thought she concedes and their game of courtly love begins. He pursues her and she encourages it. Soon she realizes that Wyatt's plan is working. People-especially men-are beginning to notice her. More importantly, the king has turned his attention to her. These developments excite her, but what she doesn't count on is Wyatt falling in love with her, and realizing that she loves him as well. She comes to understand the importance of love, but in the end rejects Wyatt in favor of the king. An un-put-downable historical romance.-Wendy M. Scalfaro, G. Ray Bodley High School, Fulton, NYα(c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
The court of Henry VIII flares back into life in this follow-up to Gilt (2012). Anne Boleyn collides with Thomas Wyatt, a poet and an important man of the court who might be a wise match for her, but Anne’s heart has been captured by her sister’s lover, the king. Torn between two very different men, Anne finds cold comfort in the other women at court, who consider her too French and unacceptably sharp-witted. Longshore captures the ensuing volley of emotions beautifully in dialogue that blends modern sensibilities with the cadence of Tudor English, creating a timeless setting for these ill-fated love stories. Anne’s situation is painted realistically, complete with rejected suitors and broken promises that underscore her value to the Boleyn family as merely a marriageable woman. Serious history students may object to Longshore’s tendency to experiment with the historical record, but this sweeping romance will encourage most readers to surrender gladly to the page. Grades 9-12. --Erin Downey Howerton
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At first I was worried about reading this novel for fear of getting attached to Anne and then having to read up until her death. This was especially a fear for me considering Anne herself is the narrator, and not a third party. However, Longshore pleasantly surprised me with the main subject of this novel: Anne's much disputed early years in court and her relationships prior to Henry VIII.
While the Showtime show, The Tudors, really explored some of the relationships between Anne, her brother, sister, and her father (although I'm not sure how historically accurate that could have been, but it was entertaining), I think that Longshore's depiction was much more sympathetic than that on the Tudors, and I would really love to imagine that some of those toxic relationships made Anne strive for the love and attention that being queen would give her. But the novel really showcased Anne's relationship with Lady Jane, Thomas Wyatt, and Henry and it was really entertaining to see the King slowly become enamored with one of the most infamous of his future wives.
Just remember that this novel is historical fiction. Longshore does a great job of explaining her motivation behind writing this novel and showing the world the young and vulnerable Anne Boleyn. I loved it. I loved Gilt, and now I positively adore Tarnish. I cannot wait until Longshore puts out more Tudor novels (I'm refusing to believe that it isn't happening!) or just more novels in general!
I think we all know the fate of Anne Boleyn. I keep remembering that clever, little rhyme:
King Henry the Eighth,
to six wives he was wedded.
One died, one survived,
two divorced, two beheaded
Now, I'm going to admit here that I read Katherine's Gilt and Tarnish in rapid succession. I devoured these books in two days. I know, TWO DAYS! I simply could not put them down. Why? Well, because Katherine's writing placed me in the midst of all that swirling political intrigue that made the Tudor period so very interesting to historians and romance readers alike. Perhaps most interesting of all, Katherine chose to tell the story of Anne before she met Henry VIII. The story starts with Anne's return to England from France and a return to a family who is deeply involved with the King's innermost circle. The interactions between the siblings - Mary, George and Anne - rang so true. The squabbles, the forgiveness and the understanding were incredibly moving and real.
But my favorite moments were between Anne and the poet, Thomas Wyatt. Their level of banter and yes, even snark, made me laugh. They snap, crackled and popped right off the page. Because I didn't know the historical details of what happened between them, I fell for every nuance of their relationship. Without any spoilers for Tudor-lite readers like me, let me emphasize how very much I loved the two of them, and I have a feeling that most of you who love a will-they-won't-they romantic plotline will, too.
Tarnish also reminded me of why I adore historical settings. With a setting this well researched, I felt like I fell right in step, alongside the characters. Katherine tells the story of real people with flawed but proud families who are trying hard to get ahead in their world. Sadly, this is a world filled with biases , assumptions and prejudices that made me cringe at times. I'm a firm believer that the best of stories make us think about our own world;Tarnish achieved that mark.
This summer when you get tired of beachy reads and want a story that will make you think while surprising you with its level of swoony romance, pick up Tarnish. Then promise me, you'll come back here and tell me if you understood Thomas or Henry more, and if you'd follow your heart or your head in matters of the heart.
Most recent customer reviews
Tarnish by Katherine Longshore was very nicely narrated by Leslie Bellair.Read more