ARC received from Viking (Penguin)
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.
Fantastic debut novel by Katherine Longshore.
I have always had a fondness for Tudor history. Especially the lives of those unfortunate enough to be part of the king's household.
Of all Henry's wives, Catherine Howard is the one I understand the least. Several books portray her as the used and abused young child of the Howard's. Used to further their place at court, and abused, ignored when the young woman fails to produce an heir. She is also portrayed as a conniving, selfish fiend who only lives to further her own pleasures.
Kitty is a young woman who is incredibly naive at the start of this book. The two are brought up together in the home of a duchess. Despite all, Kitty truly believes herself to be a friend to Catherine, not just a pawn in a bigger game. She learns the hard way, life at court is less than majestic. Catherine is indeed just a selfish brat who thinks more of herself than others. Or does she?
This is an incredible debut novel. I did not like Catherine Howard. I did not feel pity when she lost her head.
Kitty was a different character all together. I felt, at times, like yelling at her "She's just using you! Grow up and see the light!" Kitty still chose to believe the best of Catherine. Her character was amazingly loyal, but never boring.
I give this book 5 stars and hope Katherine Longshore writes more!!!