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Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Audiobook Review: Gilt by Katherine Longshore

SERIES: The Royal Circle, Book #1
AUTHOR: Katherine Longshore 
NARRATOR: Jennifer Ikeda
PUBLISHER: Penguin Audiobooks
FORMAT: Unabridged audiobook, 8 hrs 46 mins
GENRE: Historical Fiction, Young Adult
ISBN: 9781101563212
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 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. She always put aside her own happiness and felt she was undeserving of anything for herself.

The pace of the book was very slow, and I was rather bored for the most part. However, the last third of the tale picked up, and I was happy to see Cat and Kitty get their comeuppance! Overall, I had high hopes for this debut but was disappointed. It is my understanding that there will be additional books in the series, all featuring different people from the Tudor Court. I am really on the fence as to whether I will continue with the series. My love of historical fiction and the time period makes me want to give it another go, but we shall see.

Jennifer Ikeda is a new-to-me narrator, and I thought she was very good. I loved her British accent, and I will definitely look for more audiobooks from her. Honestly, if it weren’t for her excellent narration, I may not have finished the audiobook. The audiobook was enhanced with instrumental music to introduce different sections of the book, and I felt that the music was a great tie-in to the time period.


  1. I'm surprised considering I've heard such raving reviews for thi, and one blogger named it as once of the best of 2012...I'm not a big historical fan, so I don't know if I'll read Gilt after all.

    Lilian @ A Novel Toybox

    1. Hi, Lilian. As I mentioned in my review, I really feel like I'm in the minority with my opinion. Most people seem to really love it. If you are not a big historical fiction fan or lover of the Tudor Era, I'd say to skip it.


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