Published by HarperCollins on June 7th 2016
Genres: Historical Fiction, Paranormal, Young Adult
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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
“My lady,” he said gallantly, “I’m willing to stop whenever you are. Perhaps you’d be better off sticking to more womanly pursuits, like embroidery or music or-“
She bashed him in the ribs.
4 1/2 stars. This was so much fun. So much fun. Turns out that a good laugh at my country’s expense is exactly what I needed right about now.
Before you pick up this book, make sure of two things:
1) You know what you’re about to read. This is a silly, lighthearted historical comedy, full of Monty Python-style jokes, puns and mockery. I also thought the story was very well-executed, but don’t be expecting a high-angst drama (beyond the comical variety).
2) Be in the mood for it. Like I said, it’s a very specific type of book and it won’t suit everyone. I usually prefer tension, action and “oh shit, what’s going to happen next” books. But I sat down to read this wanting something funny, entertaining and undemanding. That’s what I got.
If you meet those two requirements, there’s really nothing to dislike. This book does exactly what it promises and it does it very well. It’s the kind of
laugh snort embarrassingly out loud story that will get you some strange looks from other people. I just couldn’t stop giggling to myself.
“I asked him to change back to talk to me, but he won’t,” Jane said. “It’s disrespectful to remain a horse in the bedchamber, I should think.”
This is a Tudor retelling set during the reign of the young Edward VI. In this reimagining, instead of the infamous divide between Protestants and Catholics (fostered by Henry VIII’s disregard for the Catholic church), we see a war between Verities and Eðians. The latter have the power to shapeshift into various animals, and the former hate them for it.
Mocking sexist attitudes and the ridiculous social graces of the 16th Century upper classes, the story unveils the “true story” about Lady Jane Grey – the one that history has hidden from us.
She was a woman who wore pants. She couldn’t be trusted.
I’ve already said that it’s very funny, but for such a light, silly book, it is remarkably well-plotted. The story itself, behind the quips and hilarity, is compelling and features all kinds of royal backstabbing, secrets and craziness.
It is a warm, lovable, over-the-top rewriting of history and I enjoyed every minute of it. Unlike most funny books, the humour remains constant throughout, never running dry or feeling forced. I only hope this trio of authors continue to write comedy together. Because it dazzles.