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A Reader of Fictions: The Tudors Main Title Theme - Trevor Morris

A Reader of Fictions

Book Reviews for Just About Every Kind of Book

Thursday, May 17, 2012

The Tudors Main Title Theme - Trevor Morris

The Royal Circle, Book 1

Author: Katherine Longshore
Pages: 398
ARC Acquired from: Penguin Young Readers Group via NetGalley

Description from Goodreads:
In the court of King Henry VIII, nothing is freeand 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.

First Sentence: " 'You're not going to steal anything.' "

This review begins with a confession. Intrigued? Here we go. Confession #1: I cheated on King Henry. Oh wait, that wasn't me! That was Catherine (like that narrows it down). Oops! I got ahead of myself. Actually, my confession is that, much as I love reading historical fiction, I really am not a huge fan of reading about the Tudors. They're a completely fascinating (i.e. batshit insane) family, especially during Henry VIII's reign. However, I have been burned by books and movies about these years before. I know everyone else loved The Other Boleyn Girl but both the book and the film were big fat DNFs for me. Because of this, I enter every Tudors thing with a larger than usual (and usual is prodigious) amount of skepticism. Well, this one I loved.

What We Want to Believe Henry Looked Like
Source: LA Times
One thing that often frustrates me about the Tudors, even the show (which I largely enjoyed) is the romanticizing of Henry. Partly, this is because he tends to be younger in much of the fiction, a lot of which focuses on Anne Boleyn. I'm not saying Henry doesn't come off as a womanizing bastard (he does), but he also generally seems like he gets so much play because he's attractive and charismatic. Again, I think that was fairly true when he was young, although I definitely think much of his appeal had to do with the crown even then. However, as he got older, he got fat and had serious health issues. I love Katherine Longshore for displaying Henry as what he really was.

What Henry ACTUALLY looked like.
Source: Wikipedia
I totally get why shows make Henry more attractive (who wants to watch some guy who looks like that?), but that doesn't make it accurate, and there's less of a reason for it in fiction. That seems unfair to say, but oh well. The same is true of Catherine, who is portrayed as a completely fetching blonde in the show, but pictures reveal her to be somewhat plain. In Gilt, Cat is described not as beautiful, but as vivacious and so charming no one can tell that she's not gorgeous.

What really drew me into Gilt, though, is Kitty. I identified so much with Kitty and her desperation. She has nobody and she wants so badly to believe that she has a real friend in Cat. She is loyal to a fault (a big one). For the most part, I really am not like Kitty, but I liked Kitty so much, and I just kept hoping she would make the right decisions such as avoiding ruinous people.

There are so many right bastards (both literally and figuratively I'm sure) walking around Henry's court. Women's options were so incredibly limited. Of course, there were also the freedoms that they had. I cannot believe how easy it was for women to be, well, easy. Even in a dormitory packed full of beds, with more than one girl per bed no less, girls managed to carry out affairs; there's nothing awkward about that. Don't even get me started on the rage I feel about how men could rape any woman they wanted to and claim that she wanted it, so obviously it's her fault. Instead, I will let Kitty send that message in my favorite quote. I love her when she has a backbone.

Gilt is truly wonderful. I laughed, I was grossed out, I was enraged and I nearly cried. Gilt really is a lot like a more historically accurate, YA version of The Tudors. There's sex, backstabbing and dirty jokes galore. I loved every single minute of it. If you enjoy reading all of those things, get thee to a bookstore anon!

Rating: 4.5/5

Favorite Quote: " 'Shut up!' I shouted. 'Why can you not see that my desire to be rid of you has nothing to do with feistiness or women's problems or fear of being caught, but has everything to do with you!' "

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Blogger Heather said...

Yes! Thank you for showing what the real Henry VIII looked like. I love The Tudors show, and while I like to gaze upon Johnathan Rhys Meyers lovely face, Henry was totally not that attractive in real life, especially in his later years, and the discrepancy drives me crazy, too.

In other news, I can't wait to read this! I love some good old Tudor baby mama drama.

May 17, 2012 at 10:51 PM  
Blogger Giselle said...

I'm not a fan of historicals OR Tudors.. O_O This is obviously not for me even with great characters. Oh, and you cheated with my husband!? BITCH!! >.<

May 18, 2012 at 7:31 AM  
Blogger Christina said...

Awww, too bad. You're going to miss some great dick jokes, lol.

Also, I didn't cheat WITH your husband. I cheated on him, if he's Henry VIII I am I am. That's all. ;)

May 18, 2012 at 8:36 AM  
Blogger Christina said...


May 18, 2012 at 8:38 AM  
Blogger Kayla Beck said...

I love historical fiction AND the Tudors (the family, not the show - haven't watched it), so this will probably be a win for me. Your review pretty much guarantees it actually. I'm waiting to get my copy in the mail as we speak. :-D

May 18, 2012 at 1:51 PM  
Blogger Christina said...

Yay! It's so much fun! I'm glad there will be MORE BOOKS. Seriously, you will love all of the dirty jokes. I snorted many times. :)

May 18, 2012 at 1:52 PM  
Blogger April (BooksandWine) said...

YESSSS! I loved Every Single Minute of Gilt as well. I loved that Henry was portrayed as gross in Gilt as well. I feel like I heard he was kind of hot in his younger years, but then when he got older he just let himself go.

And holy crap yes to every thing you said about Kitty how she is loyal to a fault and our hope that she'd make the right choices. And for me personally, I kept hoping Catherine would not be a slime ball. But, alas.

May 21, 2012 at 5:45 PM  

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