From Goodreads: 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.
My Thoughts: I was very surprised by how much I liked this book because I had no idea what to expect when I picked it up. Gilt is a Tudor era story but is told differently than any other Tudor book I have read. Even though I know the whole Catherine Howard story, Gilt was unique retelling of it and kept my interest throughout the book.
The narrator is Kitty, Catherine Howard's childhood friend, and follows their youth in the Duchess of Norfolk's household, Catherine's marriage to King Henry VIII and her subsequent execution. Kitty is definitely a 'follower' in the beginning of the story who seems a little lost while Catherine Howard is kind of a 'mean girl' who will do anything to get what she wants with no thought for the consequences. Kitty is a great character; it was neat to watch her find her voice and sense of self. She starts off very shy and self-deprecating but really comes into her own as the story progresses. Catherine was a total brat. I am always kind of curious as to what her personality was really like when I read a book about Catherine Howard. In Gilt, she was a hateful, selfish girl who loved using people to get what she wanted. I felt bad for her in the end but I didn't like her much.
The story did include a romance between Kitty and one of the Duke of Norfolk's retainers, William. It was pretty sweet but was unresolved when the story ended. Gilt is supposed to be the first book in a trilogy so I am hoping to get to see more of Kitty and to find out what happened between her and William. 4 stars.