My Lady Jane
by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, and Jodi Meadows
Edward is the sixteen-year-old king of England, and he happens to be on his deathbed, unfortunately. He’s pretty upset about this considering he would rather be planning how to get his first kiss than planning who to give the crown to when he dies. His counselors persuade him to name his cousin Jane as his successor. However, to secure the line of succession, Jane needs an heir. Which means she needs a husband. Edward agrees to marry her off to Gifford (call him G). Jane would rather read all day than become a married lady — or the queen — and G has a few secrets of his own — like he spends his days as a horse. Edward, Jane, and Gifford become wrapped up in a plot to save England. Can they take back the kingdom before it’s off with their heads?
“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 LADY JANE is nothing like any book I’ve ever read, and yet combines the best of all the books I’ve ever loved. The story takes place in sixteenth-century England during the reign of the famous Tudor family. I knew nothing but the name ‘Tudor’ before reading this and am now pleased to say I understand the line of succession, the names of the rulers (and the many wives…) and how it all played out. And I never felt like I was getting a history lesson.
I don’t want to give too much away because this book is best enjoyed with surprises intact, so I’m not going to tell you anything more about the plot, except that you will LOVE IT. The dialogue was quip and funny and the whole book was totally over the top, but in the best way possible. Jane was a heroine that many of us can relate too – she loves books above all else wants nothing more than to spend her days filling her head with knowledge. But when the time comes, she is also a bad ass lady who will stop at nothing to protect her friends and to do what’s right.
I really enjoyed that this book was a spin-off of history. It makes me sad for the real Lady Jane Grey, who I wish history could have seen more of before she was unjustly beheaded. I wasn’t sure what to think of the Eðian storyline at first — certain people who can turn into animals? It sounded far-fetched and unbelievable but ended up being just the right touch of magical realism. It just WORKS within the story and I didn’t question it at all as I read. In fact, it made for some of the funniest most enjoyable parts of the book. It’s of course a retelling of the infamous Protestant/Catholic divide of the time, but instead the divide is between Eðians and the Verities who hate them for it.
Jane, Edward, and Gifford are all unique and developed characters who I loved equally and who were all equally essential to the storyline. Some books with multiple POVs leave me feeling like I love one character and don’t want to switch to the other, but that was not the case here! Even though the chapters switched off between each character’s POV, the story continued on very neatly and never felt jumpy.
MY LADY JANE will keep you engrossed until the end. It will make you laugh out loud and fall in love with the characters and never want the story to end. After 512 pages, I still wanted more!