Title/Author: Tarnish by Katherine Longshore
Publisher/Date published: Viking Juvenile, June 18th 2013
How I got this book: bought it, because HOW COULD I NOT??
Buy this book at: The Book Depository
Goodreads summary: Anne Boleyn is the odd girl out. Newly arrived to the court of King Henry VIII, everything about her seems wrong, from her clothes to her manners to her witty but sharp tongue. So when the dashing poet Thomas Wyatt offers to coach her on how to shine at court - and to convince the whole court they're lovers - she accepts. Before long, Anne's popularity has soared, and even the charismatic and irresistible king takes notice. More than popularity, Anne wants a voice - but she also wants love. What began as a game becomes high stakes as Anne finds herself forced to make an impossible choice between her heart's desire and the chance to make history.
So do any of you by chance remember how much I LOVED Gilt?? Because I totally did and combine this with my Tudor obsession and GAH YOU JUST HAVE THE PERFECT NOVEL IN TARNISH!!!
Excuse me while I continue to gush.
I cannot even begin to explain how much I love books of the English court and in particular of Anne Boleyn (and Elizabeth I) because she is SUCH an interesting historical figure! I mean, can you imagine if she'd had a son and lived? How different the world would probably be? I really need to read The Boleyn King in which this turn of events is explored.
I LOVE that Katherine Longshore doesn't villify Anne, as is done in so many of the novels set around these events. Anne is an actual person here and not just a backstabbing, manipulating girl who makes a dramatic rise AND fall. I felt how Anne just wanted to be accepted and mostly just wanted to be seen as a person instead of a sister/daughter to be sold to the highest bidder. And of course every author takes some poetic liberties with the truth, but I really feel that women didn't have much other choice than to try to rule through men and I FELT this.
This is probably why I love Katherine Longshore's books so much, because I actually FEEL what's happening in history and all of the people in it seem to come to life and become real people with goals and emotion and not just flat things on a page. And I LOVE THIS! It's so nice to see Anne's vulnerable side! To see George in a different light than I did in The Other Boleyn Girl and to just see the beginning of Anne's rise to power.
I think this is also the first novel ever to make me care about Thomas Wyatt. I never thought much of him, but in Tarnish this man has hidden depths and is actually swoonworthy! And I KNOW things don't work out, but I was so rooting for him! Even though he's married and it's kinda despicable and yadayada, I KNOW OK and I still loved him.
I also loved that Jane is Anne's friend and not just the horrible person she is depicted as most of the time. She mostly comes on scene in these novels as the jealous, nagging wife and here she actually stands up for Anne. Even though there are some awful moments in which you see how she could evolve to become this person in history.
This one quote nearly killed me:
"I have but a little neck," I tell the king. "It will not hurt if the blow comes clean."
KILLED ME! TEARS! ALL THE TEARS!
All the events are so bittersweet because I know what actually goes down in history and every time I read about it, I still start wishing things will turn out differently this time, but I know they can't. I liked that Katherine Longshore leaves us with a somewhat happy Anne, at the beginning of her relationship with the king with the whole world open to her and not with the sad events that I know will happen to her later on. All of the hard things she will go through.
Bottom line: I LOVED THIS BOOK! SO MUCH! I cannot even begin to explain the genius that is Katherine Longshore's writing, but I just get all these feelings while reading it and I love to see history come to life and just GAH GO READ IT! ALL OF YOU! You won't regret it, it is AMAZING!
My rating: 5+ stars
Made me crave: strawberries