My Lady Jane by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, and Jodi Meadows

My Lady Jane by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, Jodi Meadows

Title: My Lady Jane
Author: Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, and Jodi Meadows
Series: N/A
Pages: 512
Publisher: HarperTeen
Release Date: June 7th 2016
**I received an ARC copy of this book through a giveaway hosted by Bedtime Bookworm, which does not influence my review.**

      “Edward (long live the king) is the King of England. He’s also dying, which is inconvenient, as he’s only sixteen and he’d much rather be planning for his first kiss than considering who will inherit his crown….
      Jane (reads too many books) is Edward’s cousin, and far more interested in books than romance. Unfortunately for Jane, Edward has arranged to marry her off to secure the line of succession. And there’s something a little odd about her intended…
      Gifford (call him G) is a horse. That is, he’s an Eðian (eth-y-un, for the uninitiated). Every day at dawn he becomes a noble chestnut steed—but then he wakes at dusk with a mouthful of hay. It’s all very undignified.
      The plot thickens as Edward, Jane, and G are drawn into a dangerous conspiracy. With the fate of the kingdom at stake, our heroes will have to engage in some conspiring of their own. But can they pull off their plan before it’s off with their heads?

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If you’re familiar with the history of England, you may recognize some of the names in this novel. The plot of My Lady Jane follows the brief rule of Lady Jane Grey as Queen, the successor of King Edward VI. Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, and Jodi Meadows play a lot with history, taking a very small snippet in time and creating a new way of looking at these historical figures. While much of the story aligns with history as we know it, the authors have a lot of fun rewriting this time period. For example, many know that King Henry VIII separated from the Roman Catholic Church and while history books tell us it was bred from his desire to divorce his wife, as she failed to provide a male heir, the authors create an alternate history where the existence of Eðians, humans able to transform into animals, is the actual cause. A schism between Verities, those opposed to Eðians, and those in support of them fuels much of the political schemes in the novel. The tone of the book is rather light as the authors poke fun at their characters and embrace the silliness of their story. The whole concept is a bit ridiculous, but through humor and good-natured characters, the story works. It doesn’t hurt that the commentary by the narrators is downright hilarious.

The characters in the novel are very likable. The young king Edward has never had much to worry about and when he’s given the news that his illness is fatal, he can’t stop thinking about all the things he wasn’t done and will never be able to do. At the beginning of the novel Edward is exactly what you’d expect from a young ruler who is used to getting everything he wants. In many ways, he’s very naive and doesn’t know how the world works beyond the walls of his castle, but through some rather strange circumstances, he gains a better understanding of the world and his place in it. He has a very close relationship to his cousin Jane Grey and a complicated relationship with his sisters Mary and Bess. Edward has moments of inadequacy that stem not just from his illness, but from the legacy of his father King Henry VIII which looms over him.

Jane Grey is known for her love of books. She has an insatiable thirst for knowledge and has no interest in getting married. Her love for her cousin makes her agree to the arrangement with Gifford Dudley. As an Eðian, Gifford spends a lot of his time away from court. His father is more comfortable with him keeping his ability a secret as many in the kingdom do not approve. Unlike many Eðians who can control their transformation, Gifford is a the mercy of the rising of the sun, spending his days as a horse. Jane and Gifford’s marriage does not get off to a good start. Both resent the other and come into the marriage with very inaccurate ideas about the other. I really liked how their relationship unfolded, as they end up being very good for one another. Gifford gives Jane a different perspective about Eðians than the romantic one she’s acquired through her books. Jane’s kindness and concern for others changes the way Gifford looks at the world. He begins to see beyond his own problems and finds enjoyment in helping others.

My Lady Jane is full of laugh out loud moments, will have you hoping for a different outcome than what the history books have written, and will leave you craving more inventive novels that fuse together humor and historical fiction.

Rating: 4/5

★★★★

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23 thoughts on “My Lady Jane by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, and Jodi Meadows

  1. I’ve heard some people complain about the historical inaccuracy about this book. Which is strange considering the blurb gives off no exceptions for historical accuracy. 😄 It sounds like a lot of fun actually! It seems to have a very whimsical feel and I love the authors’ tone from the blurb. It makes me really curious. Great review!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Well, considering one of the characters spends his days as a horse, one can assume this isn’t going to be historically accurate. It’s so much fun, very light-hearted. I’ve heard a lot of bloggers compare it to The Princess Bride, and I agree, it’s in the same vein. Thanks!

      Like

  2. When I first heard of the book I wasn’t too curious but the more and more positive reviews I’ve been seeing has actually enticed me to finally buy it. I hope I get the chance to read it soon, especially since you liked it!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’ve been so many reviews about this book recently, and most have been pretty good. From what I’ve been reading, Jane sounds like a great protagonist, especially as she uses the knowledge she garners from books to help understand the world around her.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. The Tudor court always particularly interested me when I was younger, and therefore I’m pretty well versed in the story of Lady Jane Gray. I’ve never quite seen a historical fiction like this one, I’m definitely planning on checking it out.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I think I will have to add this to my TBR. I love the integration of history, fantasy, romance, and suspense…and it seems to be done quite well. Plus, humor is so hard to write in novels, but these laugh-out-loud moments has thoroughly piqued my interest. Great review! I really liked how you included the bit of history for us…thoughtful as alway, Alicia.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I just bought this book yesterday, and I cannot wait to finally read it! I’m looking forward to the humorous aspect of it…I need a good laugh! Great review (which is actually what prompted me to buy the book finally, haha)

    Liked by 1 person

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