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 gets to be Queen of England.
Like that could go wrong.
Ok, I know I tend to go full on fangirl about pretty much every book that I read, but oh my god this book is amazing. Seriously, if a fandom does not develop around this book I will go out and start one, because this has to be one of my favorite books so far this year.
SPOILERS FOR MY LADY JANE BEYOND THIS POINT!!!!!!
So first off let’s just talk about the writing style of this book, because it was definitely one of the best aspects. This is one of those books where the narrators are present to make notes and comments through the entire story, and it just suits the book so well! My favorite of these instances was probably when the authors assure the reader that they won’t kill a dog, because as someone who cares far too much about fictional animals that definitely took a load off my mind.
And then you have all the characters. I had no intention of getting so emotionally attached to fictionalized versions of English historical figures, but all of these characters were so well-written and had such amazing character arcs and I would honestly go write/read fanfictions about all of them.
We have three POV’s going through the whole book, the first of which following Edward Tutor, and I have to say that at first I was really concerned that Edward was actually going to die so Jane would become queen, so I was trying really hard not to be invested and failing terribly. I think Edward probably developed the most through the book, especially with his views on women (a fact that I am so glad was acknowledged by the authors). There’s also his relationship with Gracie, which I honestly loved so much. She was such a great character, and I really want to know more about her backstory and her time with the pack and what happened with her and Edward after the book.
Then we have Jane. Most of the female characters in this book are my queens, (in some cases quite literally), and Jane was just amazing. I absolutely love it when characters are also book nerds, and she was just this great mix of practicality, snarkiness, and getting excited about this borderline fangirl interest in EÐian magic that made her such a great protagonist.
And then we have Gifford. Oh my god I never thought I’d completely fall in love with someone who frequently turns into a horse, but here I am. Plus the whole thing where he sneaks out to go to poetry readings and the authors totally imply that he wrote Shakespeare that just appealed to the English major part of my brain and I just found myself really loving the character.
The relationship between Jane and G also developed so well. Like it was this great, believable slow burn romance, and towards the end it was so cute. Their second wedding was honestly the best, most adorably romantic thing I’ve read in a long time, and was such a good way to wrap up the book.
This also has to be one of the first books I’ve read in a while where no one I loved died, and that was so refreshing. Sometimes you just need to read a light, fun book, and this one definitely fits the description.
The fantasy aspect of the novel was also something I really haven’t seen before. We have the whole concept of EÐians where people can take on the form of an animal, and the transformations are often triggered by strong emotions and are really difficult to control, and the idea was used in such a creative way. Throughout the whole book you’re wondering who’s going to turn out to be an EÐian and what animal form they’re going to take, and the character’s POV’s while in animal form were so interesting and made for a really unique fantasy aspect.
Finally, I have to say that I completely love how actual English history was incorporated into the story. It was so cool that the authors kept the actual historical line of succession without actually killing anyone off and also incorporating a magical fantasy story, and it added so much to the cleverness and hilarity of the story!
Well that’s about it for my thoughts on My Lady Jane! Thanks for reading and see you next time!