For me, the thing about historical fiction that always grabs me is just how much I invest in the characters. Especially when it’s derived from actual history. I’ve always loved history and always loved losing myself in imagining what peoples’ lives were like then. I first fell in love with the Tudor era after watching The Tudors series on Showtime. If a character intrigued me enough I would spend time googling them and reading their Wiki page (because we all know that’s the most accurate internet source for history!). I’m by no means a fanatic, but I enjoy it at the moment I’m being consumed by it.
I never thought to look into King Henry’s son because, in the tv series, he dies as a young boy, so imagine my surprise to have him be the love interest in Brazen. And I didn’t recall Mary Howard at all from the show. I know! I really shouldn’t be using the show as a point of reference but not having studied this in school or anything, it’s the only thing I can go from, okay?? Okay.
There’s so much at stake in Brazen and it makes for quite the page-turner. Mary and Fitz’s marriage is arranged, so they don’t really know each other, but there’s an instant pull between the two that only grows stronger as time goes on. They’re hardly ever together, even after being married, but they get to know one another and fall in love in spite of the separation. It was one of the sweetest, strongest relationships I’ve read. I completely believed in their love for each other and I wanted them to have their happily ever after, even knowing that was unlikely because, hello! It’s The Tudors!
Another amazing part of Brazen was the friendship between Mary, Madge, and Margaret. Those girls went through so much together and their relationships were tested often. There were a lot of positives and even some sad disappointments in the end. You’re also going to read about people you know something about: King Henry VIII, Anne Boleyn, and so on. You actually get to see Anne Boleyn’s execution in Brazen through the eyes of Mary, who in this book is friends with her. I loved that aspect of this story.
Brazen completely stole my heart. The characters set up shop in my heart from page one and stayed there until the last page. The writing was so enthralling and moving. This was my first Katherine Longshore read, but it won’t be the last.
Brazen by Katherine Longshore
Series: Gilt #3
Published by Viking Juvenile
Pub Date: June 12th 2014
Format: ARC | Source: Blog Tour
Genres: Historical, Romance, Young Adult
Buy the book! | Goodreads
Mary Howard has always lived in the shadow of her powerful family. But when she’s married off to Henry Fitzroy, King Henry VIII’s illegitimate son, she rockets into the Tudor court’s inner circle. Mary and “Fitz” join a tight clique of rebels who test the boundaries of court’s strict rules with their games, dares, and flirtations. The more Mary gets to know Fitz, the harder she falls for him, but is forbidden from seeing him alone. The rules of court were made to be pushed…but pushing them too far means certain death. Is true love worth dying for?
6/2/2014- Literary Exploration– Review
6/2/2014- The Anne Boleyn Files– Guest Post
6/3/2014- Romantic Reads and Such– Interview
6/4/2014- Page Turners– Review
6/5/2014- Magical Urban Fantasy Reads– Guest Post
6/6/2014- Parajunkee’s View– Interview
6/9/2014- Gone With The Words– Review
6/10/2014- Tales of the Ravenous Reader– Interview
6/11/2014- Bewitched Bookworms– Guest Post and Review
6/12/2014- Two Chicks on Books– Guest Post
6/13/2014- Mundie Moms– Review
6/13/2014- Fiktshun– Interview