Thursday, January 16, 2014

Tarnish by Katherine Longshore | Book Review

Tarnish is a companion/sequel to Gilt, also by Katherine Longshore.  (And there's a third companion coming soon!)  I say "companion/sequel" because Tarnish follows a completely different set of characters, but the setting is the same, just slightly later chronologically.  In Tarnish the main character of Gilt is still present but not active.

Tarnish follows Anne Boleyn as she navigates the often-treacherous waters of the English royal court.  Before the book begins, she has already suffered shame in her blatant pursuit of the king, has been exiled, and then re-instated at the court at the beginning of the book.  Her sister, Mary, is the king's not-so-secret mistress and her brother, George is the court drunk.  Anne falls into an unlikely friendship with the court poet, Wyatt.  They make a bet:  will Wyatt be able to convince a member of the court to propose marriage to Anne, or will Anne end up falling into Wyatt's bed?  Thus follows the very tricky "dance" of life in the royal court...

I loved this book!  Lately I've been so enamored with books that take place at the royal court of some European country or another.  I love the dresses and the politics and the flirting and the danger and the intrigue.  This book had an added plus:  Anne Boleyn, clean.  Seriously.  Tarnish takes place during Anne's mid-teens, before she's become the walking talking scandal that history will remember her as.  For most of the book she's a virgin and proud of it!  Crazy.  So even though the book features Anne Boleyn as the main character, you could easily hand this book to a teen.  While this book is a wonderful next step from Gilt, it would be totally conceivable to read this as a standalone.

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