My Lady Jane by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton and Jodi Meadows – 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?
“He wanted to tell her she’d have more room if she’d just get rid of her books, but he supposed that in her case, it would be like telling a mother she’d have more room if she threw out her children.”
I’d seen this book A LOT on litsy and Instagram but never really felt like reading it. Then one day I saw the dedication and decided to take a chance on it as it sounded hilarious. It took me a while to get into it as I just couldn’t seem to connect with the characters and story but then I fell in love and couldn’t put it down. The authors use the bare bones of Lady Jane Grey’s reign as the Nine Days Queen to weave a story of magic and prejudice that mirrors the contemporary tension between Protestant and Catholics. Then they simply decide to depart from historical events completely and I became even more engrossed.
“Because he was English and that’s what the English do under stress: they drink tea.”
The main character of Jane was incredible. She’s independent, intelligent, and I can completely relate to her love of books. The reader is then introduced to her intended-husband Gifford (I hated the name G which he used though!) who’s hiding a pretty big secret. Their blossoming romance developed slowly and thus felt more realistic, and the banter between them was brilliant. It was the women in this story who got things done, challenging societal norms and fighting for their happy endings. I loved all the bits of history peppered throughout the story and the nods to famous people, even going so far as to suggest the real identity of Shakespeare!
“Dearest Jane, Sorry I made you marry a horse. Your father-in-law is trying to kill me. Send help.
What I loved most about this book was it’s witty, feel-good approach. It was a book I simply enjoyed from beginning to end and one that kept me thoroughly entertained. The narrator’s notes and interludes were a hilarious addition and I often laughed out loud at their creative play on history. I gave this book five stars because I simply enjoyed it so very much. The next book in the series is a retelling of Jane Eyre featuring ghosts. You don’t need to have read My Lady Jane to enjoy My Plain Jane as they both stand-alone – although a couple of characters do have a very brief cameo. If you’re hesitating about trying this book, I would definitely recommend giving it a go.