September 25, 2013

Tarnish by Katherine Longshore


Picture courtesy of Goodreads

Author: Katherine Longshore
Release Date: June 18, 2013
Pages: 448
Review by: Tessa

This is Longshore's second book about the wives of Henry VII. This one focuses on Anne Boleyn, his second wife and most famous wife.

Just for background knowledge Anne will be the mother of Queen Elizabeth I, but this is the story of her life before being royal.
Anne has been banned from court after a horrible incident that disgraced herself and her family, but by some miracle her father calls her back to court. There is only one problem, no one wants her back, not even her own brother. But ambitious Anne wants to catch the eye of the king. To do that Anne must erase all memory of her mistakes, so she calls in help from the infamous Thomas Wyatt. He agrees to help Anne if she will do something for him. Anne's plan is perfect but at court people rarely forget and they never forgive.

I was disappointed with this book. Longshore does an amazing job creating Anne's ordinary lifestyle, but fails to mention much about her extraordinary life as queen. She also misses the whole theme of the French war and Henry's battle with the church. Call me a history nerd, but I care about these things!

Her focus on the life of Anne before she married the king was unique. I liked seeing Anne as a real person, and not a Queen. The descriptions of her everyday life, her dreams, and her situation made me understand (a little bit) her decision to marry the king. 

Unfortunately, I found Anne to be shallow and naïve. She thought that by marrying the king she would get power and attention. She did get attention, but it ended with her in the guillotine. King Henry also irritated me. It made me sick to think that she is only his second wife--he has four more to go. 

The book is missing an ending, leaving too much to the imagination. So many questions that were not answered! Longshore accurately portrayed court in those days, but she does not elaborate on the rest of the historical context and how King Henry eventually killed Anne. Longshore skipped the ending of the "happy" story she spun. The book is more of a romance with a backdrop of medieval Britain. I believe the Longshore's first book in the series was better. If you want to read my review of Gilt click here.

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