Review Detail

Tarnish FeaturedHot
Young Adult Fiction 15510
Strong Companion for Gilt
Overall rating 
 
4.0
Plot 
 
4.0
Characters 
 
4.0
Writing Style 
 
4.0
What I Liked:
Having been greatly impressed by Longshore's debut novel, Gilt, I was eager to get my hands on the sequel, and thrilled when my friend April gifted me her ARC. I read it slowly over the course of weeks, snuck it in between my review commitments. While I do think Gilt held more appeal for me due to the less traveled subject matter, Longshore still brings something new to Tudor historical fiction with Tarnish.

Where Gilt's heroine merely accompanied the main players in the court, best friend to Henry's fifth wife, Catherine Howard, Tarnish goes back in time to Anne Boleyn. While numerous books have been written about Anne Boleyn, Longshore sets her story apart in a couple of ways. First of all, Anne is never queen in Tarnish, which takes Anne from her arrival in England from years in France through Henry's first real stirrings of interest in her. Longshore gives the reader a whole new perspective on Anne by only barely touching on King Henry's role in her life.

Most powerful and wonderful for me, though, was the feminism running through the novel. Anne Boleyn is a powerful character, a girl wholly unsuited for the time in which she lives. Well-educated, she speaks her mind, impertinent, clever and intimidating. While her wit brings her to the attention of Henry and other powerful men, history tells us that her scheming will also be her downfall. Longshore depicts Anne as a strong woman trapped, with no option of freedom. Her only choice is which man to rely on for life.

Longshore delves into the history and makes use of the rumored drama of the court. She puts forth here a genuine affection between Thomas Wyatt and Anne Boleyn, one that it's hard not to root for. Anne also has an entanglement with Henry Percy, and obviously the king, though for most of the novel he is involved with her sister. The King Henry VIII shown here differs greatly from the much older man in Gilt, still virile and alluring, though almost twice Anne's age. Longshore lays groundwork also for the scandalous rumors that she and her brother are too close that will eventually be part of the justification for her beheading.

What Left Me Wanting More:
Though I generally avoid fiction about this period of Henry VIII's life, because it's been so overdone, Longshore does a good job with it and brings her own slant to the tale. Her Anne Boleyn is one that I can sympathize with, but also convincingly selfish in motivation. I will say, however, that Tarnish felt a bit long. A lot of the reflection felt repetitive, and the pace was a bit languid.

The Final Verdict:
Katherine Longshore's historical novels have an automatic entry to my wishlist. Tarnish may not have been quite as wonderful for me as Gilt, but it's still a well done historical without doubt, and sure to delight readers of Tudor fiction. Longshore's author's note consists of a brief summation of her research and information on which elements of the novel drew from history, which is always a great resource for a curious reader.
Report this review Was this review helpful to you? 0 0

Comments

1 results - showing 1 - 1
Ordering
Already have an account? or Create an account
July 08, 2013
she seems like a good author
1 results - showing 1 - 1
Powered by JReviews

FEATURED GIVEAWAYS

Latest Book Listings Added

Bluebird
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
In 1946, Eva leaves behind the rubble of Berlin for...
Merci Suárez Can't Dance
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
Seventh grade is going to be a real trial...
When You Know What I Know
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
This harrowing, and ultimately hopeful novel in verse sensitively...
Between Perfect and Real
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
A moving YA debut about a trans boy finding...
The Cost of Knowing
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Dear Martin meets They Both Die at the End...
Gold Spun
 
4.8
 
0.0 (0)
If Nor can't spin gold, she can always spin...
 
4.3
 
0.0 (0)
Seventeen-year-old Dayna Walsh is struggling to cope with her somatic...
Small Favors
 
4.7
 
0.0 (0)
Ellerie Downing is waiting for something to happen. Life...
If You Go Down to the Woods Today (Brown Bear Wood)
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
Journey through a magical woodland, with poems to read and...
Bunny Will Not Jump!: Ready-to-Read Level 1
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
From the endless imagination of Jason Tharp comes a hilarious...
Milo's Christmas Parade
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
A new picture book from Jennie Palmer starring Milo, a...
Slow Down: 50 Mindful Moments in Nature
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Slow down to watch 50 nature stories that command calm...
Once Upon A Pizza: Eight Crazy Ways Pizza Wasn't Really Invented, And One It Might Have Been
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Everyone loves pizza, but how was it invented? ...
A Kid's Guide to Fandom: Exploring Fan-Fic, Cosplay, Gaming, Podcasting, and More in the Geek World!
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Help young fans get in touch with their inner geeks...
Awaken    Book 1 The A'vean Chronicles
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
SOME PEOPLE AREN'T DESTINED TO BE ORDINARY. With a...
Pipsqueaks, Slowpokes, and Stinkers: Celebrating Animal Underdogs
 
4.7
 
0.0 (0)
Underdogs, unite! Celebrated nonfiction author Melissa Stewart offers young readers...

Latest Member Reviews

Bluebird
 
5.0
"It's 1946 and Eva leaves behind destroyed Berlin for New York City. Eva carries a deadly secret. One that others..."
Incendiary (Hollow Crown #1)
 
4.3
"INCENDIARY is an intriguing YA fantasy with rebellion, magic, and intrigue. Renata was stolen from her parents as a child..."
Love and Other Sins
 
5.0
"Read it in one sitting and can’t wait to read the next one!!"
 
4.3
"This was definitely an interesting book. I really enjoyed all of the witchy aspects of the book! It starts off..."
Small Favors
 
4.7
"SMALL FAVORS is a compelling, spooky, and atmospheric YA fantasy/horror that keeps the reader guessing. Ellerie is a young woman..."
Sidelined
 
4.7
"Julian is looking forward to his senior year in Meridien, Texas. He wants to play football and hopefully get scouted..."
Spectacle
 
3.7
"WHAT I LOVED: Nathalie Baudin is an extraordinary girl even before she discovers her psychometric abilities. She’s just sixteen,..."
Somewhere Only We Know
 
4.0
"Everything I know about K-pop comes from thirsty Twitter fancams, what has made it into the American mainstream, and an..."
A Song Below Water
 
4.3
"WHAT I LOVED: Tavia and Effie’s world is ours with just a little myth-made-real on top. The Hart family..."
Tin Heart
 
4.0
"WHAT I LOVED: Marlowe has spent much of her life living on the edge of death thanks to a..."
Off the Record
 
5.0
"Content warnings: rape, sexual harassment, sexual abuse Once upon a time, I had an ambition to become a journalist...."
The Hawthorne Legacy (The Inheritance Games, 2)
 
5.0
"What I Loved: THE HAWTHORNE LEGACY, a sequel to THE INHERITANCE GAMES, is a book full of intrigue and mystery..."
The Cost of Knowing
 
5.0
"THE COST OF KNOWING is a heartbreaking and beautiful read about family, fate, and racism. After losing his parents and..."
Curses
 
3.3
"* I received an eARC of this book through Edelweiss+ for an honest review* “When..."
Between Perfect and Real
 
5.0
"BETWEEN PERFECT AND REAL is a heartfelt read about finding yourself and coming out. Dean knows that he is a..."
You Were Made for Me
 
3.3
"YOU WERE MADE FOR ME is a comedic YA contemporary/magical read about two friends, Katie and Libby, who somewhat accidentally..."
What I Like about Me
 
4.7
"WHAT I LIKE ABOUT ME is a charming and comical YA contemporary read that tackles some important themes. Maisie is..."
Yolk
 
4.3
"YOLK is an intriguing coming-of-age read that tackles, illness, mental illness, eating disorders, and unhealthy relationships. The story is told..."
When You Know What I Know
 
5.0
"'When You Know What I Know' by Sonja K. Solter is a beautiful story of a girl who is soul-searching..."
Better Together
 
4.7
"'Better Together' by Christine Riccio weaves together two well-known and engaging stories—that of 'The Parent Trap' and 'Freaky Friday'. When..."