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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.
ARC received for review purposes in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Written by three YA powerhouses, My Lady Jane isn’t a book that I could go into without any expectations. Oh I had them, and they were towering. For the most part, My Lady Jane was a delightfully fun and charming book, but towards the end, I started to feel small tinges of boredom attributing mostly to the length of the book.
– Let me get to the characters! My Lady Jane is told through the points of view of three adorable characters, Jane, Edward and Gifford. First things first, the three POVs were nicely distinct and very well-written, in my opinion. Out of the three though, Jane appealed to me the most with her bookish nature, quiet strength and open-mindedness. Throughout the book, she grows to learn to voice out her opinions and go after what she wants, even though the forces around her were clearly against her. She’s stubborn and reckless at times, but I never found her to be annoying in any way.
– Then, there’s Edward, Jane’s cousin and current King, who is also slowly dying it appears. Edward’s growth throughout the book was my favorite part about his story arc. As a King, he undeniably had a bunch of responsibilities that he wanted nothing to do with – really, all he wanted was to not die without ever beingkissed! Edward was kind, and open-hearted and a little bit naive in the beginning. When he finds out that people around him are trying to kill him, he slowly hardened, starting to view the world with a different lens. It was great watching Edward finally acknowledging his responsibility to his country and his people.
– I really really liked Lord Gifford (who would prefer if everyone called him G) too! He had the reputation of being a womanizer (he wasn’t), and the fact that he wasn’t truly considered a son by his father was hard on him, but he dealt with all that resentment he had for his family in a positive way. I was really happy to see him find love, companionship and joy with Jane eventually throughout My Lady Jane.
– My Lady Jane might have been a historical fiction book, but it also had a surprising supernatural twist to it. It was surprising to me because I clearly didn’t read the summary well. Anyways, some of the people in the world these author crafted, the Eldians, have the ability to change into animals. Eldians are forced to hide who they are because they are seen as a threat to society and killed viciously if discovered. I thought the supernatural twist was very clever. At first, I wasn’t sure, it seemed a little bit weird to me, but the authors weaved the politics of it brilliantly and I was definitely into that part of the book. The world building was great, the plot was fun, which made the book a blast to read.
– I adored the romances in My Lady Jane! They were so cute. I especially liked Jane and G’s romance the best. They were forced to marry for the sake of politics in the beginning thanks to Edward, and they don’t really like each other very much, at first. They had pre-conceived notions about each other, but slowly, as the story progressed, they were forced to get know each other and I absolutely loved watching them fall in love! Edward too finds love in this book, with a fiery, sassy and headstrong Scottish girl, who becomes a huge source of help to him in My Lady Jane. Their romance had a more forbidden feel to it, because he was English and she Scottish, but it wasn’t angsty or anything, which I appreciated.
– The length of the book! This book is quite massive at 512 pages, and while I mostly found the book to be enjoyable, the length started to get to me towards the middle. I felt like some scenes could have been cut down and the book subsequently shortened. I’ve read big books in the past, but here at some point, My Lady Jane started to feel very long, which eventually led to me wanting to skim the story.
– The first line of the summary of the book promises a comical story. Unfortunately, the brand of humor here didn’t work for me. Some of it was quite silly to be honest. I was expecting to be laughing my butt off throughout the book, but honestly, I never even cracked a smile once.
In the end, I mostly did have a good time reading My Lady Jane, but had the length been shorter, this could easily have been a 4 or 4.5 stars read for me. Despite that though, I think this book is very much worth the read, especially if you enjoy your historical fiction light, cute and fluffy!