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Monday, November 3, 2014

Tarnish by Katherine Longshore

Title: Tarnish
Author: Katherine Longshore
Type: Young Adult
Genre: Historical
Tea: Raspberry Black Tea, can be subtle, but also full of zest.
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars.

"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." (

Tarnish is the third book I read by Katherine Longshore. It is a companion novel to her two others, Brazen and Gilt. This novel is predominantly about Anne Boleyn, though she does play a role in all three books. There have been tons of books written about Anne Boleyn. "Not another one!" you say. But this is not your typical Anne book. In Tarnish, Katherine Longshore gives you a look into Anne's history and what her daily life is like living at the castle as a ladies maid to the queen. Also what it is like to live in her sister Mary's shadow, who also happens to be Henry VIII's mistress.

I really enjoyed this portrayal of Anne. Katherine Longshore doesn't show her as a power hungry, man-stealing girl. She's your typical teenager that just wants to fall in love, preferably with the right man. Unfortunately her goals start to shift when other people try to meddle with her love life, among them her father and the poet Thomas Wyatt.

All I can say is I'm so glad I didn't have to deal with the drama of living in court. We think school is bad? That's cake compared to what these people dealt with on a regular basis. Anne's tribulations echo a lot of what teenagers go through in school: do I listen to what everyone else says? Do I follow my own dreams? How doe these rumors even start? And what do I do if that older guy that I think is cute starts giving me attention?

I liked seeing Anne in a different light that she is often written. Katherine Longshore does a fantastic job of getting insider her head and giving the reader lots of information while still telling a compelling tale. If you are interested in Anne's beginnings, I would suggest this book. It can give you a taste and you can decide if you want to learn more about this doomed queen, who really was just a girl like everyone else.

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