Book Review: Tarnish

Tarnish CoverBook: Tarnish by Katherine Longshore

Published June 2913 by Penguin|334 pages

Where I Got It: the Nook store

Series: None, but it’s set in the same world as Gilt and Brazen

Genre: YA Historical Fiction- Tudor England

You can find Tarnish on goodreads and Katherine Longshore on Twitter, Facebook and her website

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.

What I Thought:

After reading Gilt a couple years ago and really liking it, I knew that I would really like Tarnish.  Which I did!

Tarnish focuses on Anne Boleyn, well before she gets involved with Henry VIII.  Which was actually really refreshing, since so much out there seems to focus on her time with him.  I really liked seeing Anne as a teen, and her time at court, especially since she’s newly arrived at the English court after coming over from France. Knowing how everything ends for Anne made Tarnish so much more interesting, because I feel like it starts at such a good place for Anne, and how she became the woman she was.

I thought Longshore did such a great job at showing how Anne really was a product of her time, and how marriage really was her only choice…and that her marriage prospects grew dimmer, because of some decisions she made.  I did like how her relationship with Thomas Wyatt progressed, and that it went much deeper than anyone else seemed to realize.  I think it allowed Anne to figure out what she really wanted, and how much more confident she was by the end of the book.

The family dynamics of the Boleyn family were really interesting in Tarnish.  I don’t typically think of her family, and how her relationship with them shaped her, but through her relationships with her sister, brother and father, you that some of what Anne has done has been influenced by them.  Her sister being the mistress to the king likely had a big impact on Anne’s relationship with Henry, and you have to wonder if that’s why she held out for so long with him.  I’m still not sure how her brother or father influenced Anne as a person, but by the end of the book, you start to see hints of how manipulative Anne could be.

I loved how Henry’s court was portrayed, and how much innocent flirtation there was.  One thing that I noticed in Gilt- which also really came through in Tarnish- was that Longshore took some liberties with history while creating this world and story that seemed really accurate.  She has a way of writing about people we all know and showing how complicated they really are, while making them easy to relate to.  I felt like I was transported back to Tudor England and dropped right in the center of Anne’s world.  I also really liked the author’s note at the end of the book, explaining where she got her inspiration and why she wrote the story the way she did.

Let’s Rate It:

I didn’t fall in love with Tarnish, but I really liked that Tarnish focused on a teenage Anne Boleyn who was insecure.  I also liked that it was at the very beginnings of what would be her relationship with Henry VIII. Tarnish gets 4 stars.

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3 thoughts on “Book Review: Tarnish

  1. Nice review. 🙂
    I remember reading Gilt last year and highly enjoyed it that I was excited for Tarnish to release and was eyeing it ever since it came out. Sadly, I never really had the chance to pick it up but after reading your review, I couldn’t wait to read it and so I hope to pick this one up very soon. ^_^

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