Friday, June 14, 2013

Tarnish Blog Tour: Book Review and Giveaway

Pages: 416
Genre: YA Historical Fiction
Pub. Date: June 18, 2013
Source: Publisher for review
My Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

Goodreads says, "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."
Everyone knows Anne Boleyn's fate, but not many know what her life was like before she was to become queen and marry Henry VIII.  Anne was a newcomer to court and since she has spent many years at the French court, she has adapted many of their ways, which makes her a bit of an outcast.  Her childhood friend and notorious womanizer, Thomas Wyatt, has offered to help her make an impression at court and essentially be accepted. Anne not only wants to be recognized at court, but she also doesn't want to be controlled by a man, including her father.  She wants to have a voice and a say, which is unheard of for a woman during her time.  Things with Wyatt take an unexpected turn and on top of that, she eventually captures the king's attention.  Katherine Longshore's Tarnish is a captivating look at Anne Boleyn's life at court that will keep historical fiction fans flipping the pages despite the fact that we know her unfortunate fate.

Longshore's version of Anne Boleyn is everything I could want and more in Tarnish.  She is just how I imagined her and Longshore did an outstanding job bringing her to life. She felt well developed in Tarnish and not just some chess piece in her father's warped game that blindly accepts things and mutters yes or no. She's smart, witty, and feisty.  I've read many historical novels that deal with Anne Boleyn and I've got to say that this is my favorite portrayal; plus, Tarnish examines a part of Anne's life that most authors overlook. I enjoyed getting a glimpse into what her life was like at court before the king noticed her and how she dealt with the various pressures from her crazy family.

Thomas Wyatt, the well-known poet, attempts to "coach" her regarding how to be popular at court. Since he is a charmer, I kind of expected Anne to fall into his trap, but as Tarnish progresses, Wyatt took me by surprise. There's definitely more to Wyatt than just an eloquent philanderer.  The romance in Tarnish is done very well and there's much depth to it as it focuses on the big choices Anne has to make in life, which essentially deal with matters of the heart.  Should she follow her heart? Should she listen to her father? Can she be more than just someone's mistress?

I also like how Tarnish doesn't deal with the marriage of Anne to Henry VIII.  That has been played out by many an author and thankfully, Tarnish just focuses on Anne at court before things get serious with the king. Ultimately, I feel that is why Tarnish is like a breath of fresh air in the world of Tudor literature. 

My only issue with Tarnish is the length. It is rather a long read and when it comes to teens, I'd only recommend it to serious historical fiction fans and/or fans of Tudor history.  But hardcore history fans, like myself, won't mind the 400+ pages.

Once again Longshore has a hit a home run. I always think that I am over books about the Tudor court, but then she writes a brilliant version that keeps things captivating and fresh.  I can't wait to see what Longshore comes up with next.

Thanks to Rockstar Book Tours for having me be a part of the Tarnish blog tour. Gilt was my favorite young adult historical novel last year, so I am excited to promote Katherine Longshore's latest work.

If you want buy a copy of Tarnish which comes out June 18th, check out these links:
If you want to learn more about Katherine Longshore, refer to the links below:

I also have an exciting giveaway to share with you guys.  One winner will receive a pair of Anne Boleyn inspired earrings and a signed hardcover copy of Tarnish. So jealous! Those earrings are gorgeous! Also, two winners will receive signed copies of Tarnish.  Good luck and the giveaway is open to US/CA readers.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Follow the rest of the Tarnish blog tour:
June 10th- Tales of a Ravenous Reader- Guest Post
June 11th-  Hobbisites- Interview
June 12th - Mundie Moms- Guest Post
June 13th  Literary Exploration- Review
June 17th Good Books and Good Wine- Guest Post
June 18th  Two Chicks on Books- Guest Post
June 19th  Magical Urban Fantasy Reads- Guest Post
June 20th  Taters's Tall Tails- Guest Post
June 21st   Pageturners- Review

Thanks for stopping by,


  1. Sounds absolutely gorgeous! Can't wait to read this one :D


  2. Thanks for the giveaway!! i've read a lot of books about anne boleyn but I like the idea of reading about her from a YA standpoint.

  3. Beautiful earrings I love that kinda style!
    and after seeing and reading so much about anne boleyn this sounds so cool and how beautiful is that cover?

    1. I agree. Love the earrings and the cover. Thanks for visiting!

  4. Book looks promising, can't wait to give it a go!

  5. I did not read Gilt but I really want to read this. I am glad it is a different take on Anne Boleyn and focuses on her earlier years at court.

    1. I loved the fact that it takes place during her earlier fascinating! You might like Gilt as well, Christina! Thanks for dropping by!

  6. I'm utterly fascinated by Anne Boleyn Christina, but I've only read of her in The Other Boleyn Girl. It would be nice to read about her time prior to court and before she began all the games and ultimately got herself killed. Definitely need to give this a try!

    1. Me too! She is my favorite of his wives...loved all the drama! You should definitely check it out. Thanks for visiting, Jenny!

  7. I'm so excited for this book - I read a few books about Anne Boleyn when I was younger, so I'm very curious about this novel! Love that it focuses on her younger years.

    Fabulous review, Christina!

    (And whoa, those earrings are gorgeous!)

    1. That was my favorite aspect--the fact that it focused on her younger years. Thanks for checking out my review and I agree---awesome earrings!

  8. Really looking forward to reading this series!


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