ABOUT THE BOOK
My Lady Jane
by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, & Jodi Meadows
The comical, fantastical, romantical, (not) entirely true story of Lady Jane Grey. In My Lady Jane, coauthors Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, and Jodi Meadows have created a one-of-a-kind fantasy in the tradition of The Princess Bride, featuring a reluctant king, an even more reluctant queen, a noble steed, and only a passing resemblance to actual history—because sometimes history needs a little help.
At sixteen, Lady Jane Grey is about to be married off to a stranger and caught up in a conspiracy to rob her cousin, King Edward, of his throne. But those trifling problems aren’t for Jane to worry about. Jane is about to become the Queen of England.
But if you are a bucker of the system, a friend of truth, an ally of love, and a believer in magic, then read on.
I am going to try my best to write a review on My Lady Jane, when in reality I'm still processing how I feel about the book. I enjoyed it, really. It was a light, fun read (you know, if you can forget about the whole betrayal thing). It's quite an interesting take on the history of Lady Jane Grey and the events that took place during and surrounding her time as the Queen of England.
You get a sense of the tone of the story from the very beginning, with an introduction from our authors. It's rather comical, and I really loved that about My Lady Jane. Our authors take a dark part of history, do some research, and decide that there's another kind story there. Yes, it does change the events a bit, but that's okay.
My Lady Jane tells the story of three main characters: King Edward Tudor, Lady Jane Grey, and Gifford Dudley--son of the kings most trusted advisor Lord Dudley. Unfortunately, it becomes very clear early on that King Edward is dying of "the Affliction" and therefore must make a decision as to who will succeed him after his death, in which he decides that the perfect candidate would be his cousin Jane. With the help of Lord Dudley, they devise a plan for Jane to marry Gifford Dudley, in order to secure what they consider to be a more worthy leader: a male heir.
"But that would mean that Jane would only have a husband by night. What kind of marriage would that be?" "Some people would prefer such an arrangement. I know my life would be a lot simpler if I only had to attend to my wife in the hours between dusk and dawn."
This all happens during a time of great tension between their people: those who can change back and forth from an animal form to a human form--Ethians--and those who think Ethians are abominations--Verities.
"The Affliction" seemed like a terribly inconvenient way for a king to die.
Throughout the story, our three main characters are in a race against time, mainly to keep themselves from dying. From "the Affliction," from those wanting them dead, and to keep the throne from "Bloody Mary." And of course hilarity ensues throughout much of the book. I loved the sense of humor throughout the entire story, and I loved the writing styles of each of our authors. Each character had their own voice, making them stand out from each other. I loved that Jane was a complete bookworm and that she had a knack for getting herself out of sticky situations. She was kindhearted, yet she always stood her ground on what she thought was right. She wasn't the type of person to let anyone just walk all over her. She stood up for herself and those who couldn't do it for themselves. Edward was the kind of person who always had everything handed to him (hello.. he was a king), but he soon found that being king didn't always come in handy, especially when people were conspiring against you to take your throne. Gifford was such a kind man, and I'm really glad that Jane ended up with him; however, in the beginning, he was rather foolish and apathetic about a lot of things. And he didn't really care much about anything, until he realized that maybe he had something worth fighting for. I was very glad for his character growth.
Even though I consider this to be a very well written story, with funny moments all throughout the book, and a very interesting take on a part of history, I am sorry to say that it just didn't live up to my expectations. I wasn't completely wowed by it. I can't really say what it was that didn't make me love it like so many others have. I've been racking my brain trying to figure it out, but maybe that's just it? There was a lot of hype surrounding it and I guess it just got to my head? It was a very cute read though. I did enjoy the story; it just didn't wow me like I was expecting it to.
And now, I will leave you with a few of my favorite (and amusing) quotes:
In another feat, this one of self-restraint, Jane did not smack the woman's head with her book.
Most of the time he greatly preferred the company of dogs to the company of men.
And since this was supposedly the first day of his happily-ever-after, he could only conclude that marriage consisted of four solid walls, a door too small to squeeze through, and a window too high to jump from.
He woke up with a lantern burning bright next to his head, and a knife at his throat. Because that was the kind of night he was having.