Brazen by Katherine Longshore | Hardcover | Barnes & Noble
Brazen

Brazen

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by Katherine Longshore
     
 

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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

Overview

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?

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
PRAISE FOR KATHERINE LONGSHORE:

“A more literary version of “Gossip Girl” overlaid onto 16th-century England . . .”—The Los Angeles Times on Gilt

“I found my new favorite series . . . see for yourself why I couldn't put the book down.”—MTV.com on Gilt

“A good, juicy story . . . royally riveting for the reader.”—Booklist on Gilt

“The raw emotions and unflinching honesty of a young girl caught in a whirlwind of history shine through, keeping readers engaged to the end.”—Kirkus on Tarnish

“Swoon overload . . . Funny, witty and entertaining, Tarnish is a must-read for anyone wanting to add invigorating drama and sensual romance to their bookshelf.”—MTV.com on Tarnish

“Great for readers of romance, royal fiction and history, or those looking for a summer read that makes them think a bit, too.”—Shelf Awareness on Tarnish

"...readers will find themselves both fascinated and terrified as this independent young woman fights to live and love on her own terms." —Booklist on Brazen

"Longshore skillfully blends history with romance, weaving a compelling, poignant story of love, loss and betrayal." —Kirkus on Brazen

"Fans of the author’s other offerings about the Tudors—Gilt (2012) and Tarnish (2013, both Viking)—and the TV show Reign will enjoy this steamy historical romance, perfect for teens not yet ready for Philippa Gregory’s novels." —School Library Journal on Brazen

"This book makes a great entry for readers not yet introduced to the novels of Philippa Gregory and Alison Weir." —Library Media Connection on Brazen

VOYA, June 2014 (Vol. 37, No. 2) - Courtney M. Krieger
Mary Howard is a fourteen-year-old Duchess caught up in the tangled web of lies and deception of the Tudor court. After marrying King Henry VIII’s illegitimate son, Henry FitzRoy, she discovers her role as a pawn in a fierce struggle for power. With each insincere pledge of loyalty to the king and his queen, Anne Boleyn, the carefully woven fabric of sovereignty unravels to reveal political unrest and conspiracies to overthrow the monarchy. Forbidden to develop a relationship with her husband, she feels drawn to him and the secrets that he might be keeping. Brazen, historical fiction spanning the years 1533 to 1536, breathes life into historical figures and events by effectively depicting the frivolous nature of the aristocracy, as well as the danger and uncertainty of living under a volatile king who believes himself equal with God. From Mary’s perspective, the author weaves together facts and legends to provide depth to such prominent historical characters as Anne Boleyn, Queen Mary, and Henry FitzRoy. Readers who enjoy fast-moving plots full of suspense and intrigue will be disappointed because it moves painfully slowly. The buildup for the conspiracy alone takes half of the novel and leaves the reader bored and disengaged. Even readers who enjoy romances might struggle to finish this novel due to its repetitive, uneventful scenes. Educators and librarians should exercise their own judgment when deciding whether to add this novel to their shelves. Reviewer: Courtney M. Krieger; Ages 12 to 18.
School Library Journal
07/01/2014
Gr 9 Up—Married at age 14 to the illegitimate son of King Henry VIII, Mary Howard feels alone and confused at court. Her isolation is compounded by the king's command that she shall not share quarters with her new husband. Befriended by two other maids-in-waiting, Madge Shelton and Margaret Douglas, Mary makes her way through the tenuous waters of the Tudor court and explores the complexities of love, power, and duty. Longshore combines two remarkably unstable things in this dense novel: modern teenage sensibilities and King Henry VIII. Despite these tantalizing topics, repetitive text and a number of subplots make this a convoluted read. A brief author's note details the true history of Mary Howard and her companions at court. Fans of the author's other offerings about the Tudors—Gilt (2012) and Tarnish (2013, both Viking)—and the TV show Reign will enjoy this steamy historical romance, perfect for teens not yet ready for Philippa Gregory's novels.—Sara Saxton, Wasilla Public Library, Wasilla, AK
Kirkus Reviews
2014-04-30
In a companion to Gilt (2012) and Tarnish (2013), Longshore chooses as her heroine a member of Henry VIII's household less well-known than Catherine Howard and Anne Boleyn, the respective subjects of her earlier novels.Mary Howard FitzRoy's story provides a fresh perspective for a retelling of the cruel and tragic drama of the Tudor court. The child bride of Henry VIII's illegitimate son, Henry FitzRoy, young Mary has the misfortune to fall in love with her 14-year-old husband. Although marriage to the royal heir makes her a duchess and thus higher in rank than her haughty mother, her life as a royal wife is mostly frightening and lonely. The young spouses are forbidden to consummate their marriage for fear of injury to the male heir. Fitz is often away on court business, while Mary is alienated from her female companions and left to wait on the doomed Anne Boleyn. Mary's unsatisfying romance with her young husband plays out against a backdrop of court intrigue, power struggles, and the sequential rises and demises of Henry's wives. The couple plot to run away together, but they are held by the invisible ties of the powerful men who determine their destiny and those of the people around them.In this third novel in her trilogy, Longshore skillfully blends history with romance, weaving a compelling, poignant story of love, loss and betrayal. (family tree, author's note) (Historical fiction. 13-17)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780670014019
Publisher:
Penguin Young Readers Group
Publication date:
06/12/2014
Pages:
528
Sales rank:
815,371
Product dimensions:
5.70(w) x 8.40(h) x 1.70(d)
Age Range:
12 - 17 Years

What People are saying about this

From the Publisher
PRAISE FOR KATHERINE LONGSHORE:

“A more literary version of “Gossip Girl” overlaid onto 16th-century England . . .”—The Los Angeles Times on Gilt
 
“I found my new favorite series . . . see for yourself why I couldn't put the book down.”—MTV.com on Gilt
 
“A good, juicy story . . . royally riveting for the reader.”—Booklist on Gilt
 
“The raw emotions and unflinching honesty of a young girl caught in a whirlwind of history shine through, keeping readers engaged to the end.”—Kirkus on Tarnish
 
“Swoon overload . . . Funny, witty and entertaining, Tarnish is a must-read for anyone wanting to add invigorating drama and sensual romance to their bookshelf.”—MTV.com on Tarnish
 
“Great for readers of romance, royal fiction and history, or those looking for a summer read that makes them think a bit, too.”—Shelf Awareness on Tarnish

"...readers will find themselves both fascinated and terrified as this independent young woman fights to live and love on her own terms." —Booklist on Brazen

"Longshore skillfully blends history with romance, weaving a compelling, poignant story of love, loss and betrayal." —Kirkus on Brazen

"Fans of the author’s other offerings about the Tudors—Gilt (2012) and Tarnish (2013, both Viking)—and the TV show Reign will enjoy this steamy historical romance, perfect for teens not yet ready for Philippa Gregory’s novels." —School Library Journal on Brazen

"This book makes a great entry for readers not yet introduced to the novels of Philippa Gregory and Alison Weir." —Library Media Connection on Brazen

Meet the Author

Katherine Longshore is also the author of Gilt and Tarnish. She lives in Northern California with three British citizens and one expatriate dog.

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Brazen 4.3 out of 5 based on 1 ratings. 4 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
MissFictional More than 1 year ago
After reading and practically devouring this 500 page book in a day, I was hit with the realization that Brazen, despite its flaws, was one of my favorite reads of 2014. By now, I think I’m fairly familiar with Katherine Longshore’s style of writing, given that I've been loyally following her Tudor series. In my opinion, Brazen is her best novel by far. I can easily track her improvement as a writer; Gilt, her first novel, was okay-ish, while Tarnish, her second, hit me by surprise. Can you imagine my astonishment while reading her latest novel, which was near-perfect in execution? ← (call me cruel but that pun is totally intended.) If you need help, it was along the lines of wowthatwassuchanamazingbookwherecanIgetthenextone then CRAP THERE ISN’T GOING TO BE ANOTHER ONE then can I just sit here quietly drowning in my intense feels while I ponder the meaning of my life. Yes, my friends, this book was that good. Don’t let the synopsis fool you. While you may get the distinct impression that this is some sort of teenage fluffy romance novel disguised as historical fiction, that impression is far from the truth. You not only get romance, but you also get Tudor intrigue and women thinking ahead of their time (which is the best). I think Brazen is suffused with meaning and deep in terms of themes and emotional punch. And trust me, Longshore has quite a strong punch when it comes to that department. Brazen is equal parts historical and coming-of-age, which I think will appeal to those who aren't familiar with the historical fiction genre.  The first aspect I noticed was the fluid yet emotional writing, which captured my attention from the beginning and held it captive until the very last page. I don’t think my attention diverted at all in the course of this novel; an accomplishment which can be attributed to the lovely writing.  I actually did not appreciate the depth of Longshore’s characterization until I began to do further research on the characters. Even immediately after finishing the book, I felt as if I had intimately known each individual--or most of them, at least. The major characters--including Mary and Fitz’s group of Hal, Marge, and Margaret--are characters I feel deeply connected to and am considering doing a reread because of this attachment.  Strip this book of its historical setting, and you’d get a simple yet compelling coming-of-age story of a girl who is torn between speaking her mind and following the rules. When we first meet Mary, she is a timid, awkward girl who surely is not fit for marriage. Watching her grow into her skin as the novel progresses was perhaps one of my favorite parts of the novel, and this proves to me that Longshore would have a knack for writing contemporary novels as well. Also, the relationship between the girls--Marge, Margaret, and Mary--was done in a very realistic and genuine manner that is so different your typical YA novel. The only major flaw that stuck out to me was the dramatization of mostly everything. It made the plot, at times, seem a bit juvenile and contrived. I've noticed this in all of Longshore’s novels, and while it’s definitely downplayed in this novel, I can’t decide whether or not it’s a deliberate choice of the author. After all, who can deny the overall shallowness of the Tudor court? (Deliberate or not, it was still annoying at times.) I could go on for days on the value of Brazen and all its assets. The relationships, the historical accuracy, the wonderful prose, and, to put the cherry on top, the heart-breaking ending (not sure if that would count as an asset, though…)  When it comes to historical fiction, I’m extremely fastidious--so once I find a near-perfect embodiment of my love for the genre, I will never stop raving about it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
VeraciousRose More than 1 year ago
I've read and absolutely loved Katherine Longshore's other two books based on the Tudors, GILT and TARNISH, and I was intrigued by BRAZEN's tagline: "There's only one man Mary Howard wants - the one she's forbidden from having ... her husband". Once I started reading, I flew through 528 pages in less than three days. BRAZEN is the story of Anne Boleyn's cousin, Mary Howard, who married King Henry VIII's illegitimate son, Henry Fitzroy by arrangement at the age of 14. I started the story knowing nothing about Mary and enough about Henry Fitzroy to appreciate the journey even though I knew the destination, which made the story all the more bittersweet. BRAZEN is a richly layered love story about two teenagers who were bound together by the politics of King Henry VIII's court and risked death if the rules were broken. And can I say it now? Henry VIII had all the makings of a psychopath! If I had said that 500 years ago, my head would have landed in a basket. I have tremendous respect for writers of historical fiction, because I think they have a responsibility to those who are no longer here to tell their story. Katherine Longshore has a phenomenal voice for historical fiction, her attention to detail is just right, and she has a talent for tapping into the very soul of her characters and their story.