Published by HarperTeen on June 7th 2016
Source: Author Review Copy
Genres: Young Adult, Historical, Romance
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For fans of The Princess Bride comes the comical, fantastical, romantical, (not) entirely true story of Lady Jane Grey.
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.
Are you looking for a book that will make you giggle until your sides hurt?
One that is extremely witty, with the most hilarious dialogue?
One where you fall in love with each and every one of the ridiculously awesome characters?
Then congrats, because you’ve come to the right place.
My Lady Jane was full of wit, on both the characters’ and the narrators’ side, and I couldn’t stop reading. It is hands-down, one of my favorite rewrites of history. Hand, Meadows, and Ashton did a FABULOUS job in using both real parts of history and revised versions, that all mashed together to make a beautifully-crafted story.
I could spend days describing how perfect everything fit in the end, and how the history geek in me was ecstatic about the parallels in history. Remember Henry VIII, the English king with a bunch of wives (six, to be exact) and essentially created another religion? (Fun fact: to attain an annulment with his first wife, he created the Anglican church, which put the king at central authority instead of the Pope.) This story is about his children. And a couple of nobles, and with a smattering of magic that’s added to create a bit of flare.
‘I’m marrying off my cousin to a horse,’ he muttered.
I’m not going to talk much about the magic/sorcery that the authors added in here. It’s something that you have to experience yourself, while reading! It’s super fun, and I love how it fueled certain events in the story, rather than be an awkward add-on that was just randomly inserted in the story to make it more interesting. The world and this magic is quickly explained in the prologue of the book, in a way that really fit the writing style. We’re basically told a story, where sometimes the narrators will insert a little aside to the readers that breaks the fourth wall to add their own little explanations. It’s simply ingenious, actually. The story lends a very light-hearted feel this way, and once the witty interactions with the characters are added, you get a very entertaining and humorous read.
BUT LET’S TALK ABOUT THE HUMOR. Holy crap – I love these characters to bits. They felt oh-so-real, and were a blast to read about. The dialogue was absolute perfection, and I can recall stopping for five minutes JUST TO LAUGH about a certain scene. Multiple times throughout the story. I honestly can’t stress how much I loved the characters’ internal dialogue and how down-to-earth their thoughts and feelings were. Not to mention it also showed really amazing character development as well.
‘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?’
As for the characters themselves, well, they’re freaking superb. Lady Jane Grey is super intelligent, which certainly reflects what we know from history. She’s forward thinking and doesn’t need a man to boss her around. SHE LOVES BOOKS. You can always find her nose in a book! (Sounds like some people we know?) And she’s not afraid to say what she thinks. Unfortunately for her, young ladies did not have much autonomy of their lives during that time, and thus she gets into an arranged marriage with a guy she’s set to marry – in a week.
Arranged marriage is a trope that I simply love to read about in romance. So it isn’t surprising that I loved how it went with this book, too. But there’s a tiny problem… Her husband, Gifford (but call him G!) isn’t exactly human during the day. *ahem* Now that that cat’s out of the bag, more about him: he certainly doesn’t want to marry a girl like Jane (even though he didn’t really know her), so we get a pretty antagonistic relationship in the beginning of the marriage. Ensue the most comical dialogue you can think of. He’s always been the second son, possible bastard, and overall disappointment of the family. But with Jane, he can actually be his own person. And possibly break a curse that may or may not exist on him. 😛
But in the midst of all that are assassination attempts, successions to the throne and de-throning, and running away from the crown. Another POV we get to read about is Edward, who is the king. Also, please note, young king that is ingenuously backwards-thinking in an adorable way that changes throughout the course of the book. It all begins with him finding about his assassination attempt, of course.
I’m smiling as I write this review, because thinking of this book makes me all bubbly inside. Are you ready for a wild ride that revisits the best side of history? One that deviates from what we originally thought happened, with the addition of magic and down-to-earth characters that are so easy to love? Then be prepared for My Lady Jane, because this stupendous book is all that and more.
Rating: 5 out of 5
Thank you Lady Janies for the giveaway!