My Lady Jane
By: Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton and Jodi Meadows
The first section of this review will be spoiler free.
This book, reminiscent of Princess Bride, uses humour and a bit of magic to retell the story of Lady Jane Grey. I have added the goodreads synopsis below:
Lady Jane Grey, sixteen, is about to be married to a total stranger—and caught up in an insidious plot to rob her cousin, King Edward, of his throne. But that’s the least of Jane’s problems. She’s about to become Queen of England.
Like that could go wrong.
This is not a typical book for me to read. I rarely read historical fiction but I had heard so much about this book that not reading it was no longer an option! And boy am I glad I read it. It is rare that a book actually makes me laugh out loud, but I even had to put it down a few times because I was laughing too much. The authors took the rather tragic and widely unknown story of Jane Grey, and made it into a fun and sweet story, full of magic and a bit of romance. The characters were all so much fun, especially Jane (I just related to her so much, by the end I just wanted to be friends with her). It was cool to see historical figures we know so well, such as Elizabeth I or bloody Mary, portrayed in such a new and unique way. The book is written with three narrators; Jane, her cousin King Edward and Gifford (her husbend to be). The multiple viewpoints worked very well with this story, especially since the characters all experienced different things. The authors also sometimes added their two cents which might not be for everyone but I thought it fit well with the style of the book.
This is the kind of book you need to not take seriously. It is fun and light hearted, but if you’re not a fan of historical fiction or monty python-esk comedy, this will not be the book for you. Though be warned if you do pick it up and think you will enjoy it, you may want to clear your schedule because I for one could not put it down!
Jane was by far my favourite character, especially since her love of books rivalled my own. I also loved how the authors took such a heavy topic like the protestant Catholic divide and added a magical twist. Instead of warring religions there was people who could turn into animals and those who could not. The fact that Gifford was stuck as a horse during the day may at first seem like an oddly silly joke, but it was so well done that I was equal parts amused and concerned for him. Him and Jane were also so freakin adorable, like just look at this quote where he is trying to decide on the best way to tell Jane about his horse problem:
G took another gulp, and thought about the best way to break the equestrian news. My dear, you know those four-legged majestical beasts of the land? Well, you married one! No. That could not be the right approach.My sweet, have you ever had a difficult time deciding between man or beast? Well, now you don’t have to! Again, he thought better of this tactic. Sweet lady, there are those of us who sleep lying down, and those of us who sleep standing up. I can do both. No. You know how some men claim to have another, perhaps hairier side? Have you ever cursed the fact that your loved one has just the two legs? Did you know that horses have incredible balance?Hey! What’s that over there? And then he would gallop away.
Honestly I am still laughing! Edward was also a fun character, especially once I got past the whole ‘I thought I would get to marry my cousin’ part. Also, It was nice to see them all get a happy ending, even though we all know that in real life it didn’t work out that way.
If you are looking for a light hearted, comical and slightly romantic read, this is the book for you.
And here are a couple more of my favourite quotes (honestly there were too many to choose from):
Armies aren’t very good about carrying libraries with them. I can’t imagine why. We’d fight so much less if everyone would juste sit down and read
No horse jokes,” he said.
“My lord, I apologize for the horse joke. If you put down the book—unharmed!—I will give you a carrot.”
He brandished the book at her. “Was that a horse joke?”
“Was that a horse joke?
My Rating: 4.5/5 stars