I received My Lady Jane in the June Owlcrate subscriptions box (I am loving that service!), and was honestly a little disheartened at first. I’ve never read historical fiction before, and I wasn’t a huge fan of the cover of the book. But what was at first a begrudging beginning to my journey reading this book turned out to be a pleasant experience.
My Lady Jane follows King Edward, his cousin Jane, and Gifford (preferably G), who is an Edian/Ethian, which means that he turns into an animal – a horse in his case. King Edward is dying, and he needs to secure his succession on the throne, so he marries his cousin Jane to Gifford and names her and her heirs as the rulers of England. Betrayal ensues. There are de-thronings. There’s a love triangle. People turn into animals. Stuff gets weird.
Goodreads summary for My Lady Jane:
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.
My Review for My Lady Jane:
Honestly, this was probably where the book needed the most work, if not through the actual delivery itself. The plot was fairly basic: the King is dying, he needs to secure his line of succession. Love triangle. Betrayal. Adventure. “Happily ever after”.
So I will touch on this. I think the authors could have done a better job at telling this story in order to create more suspense. There were moments throughout the novel where the authors would interject, interrupt the action, in order to “remind” the reader or “inform them” of certain things when, for me, I just wanted them to deliver the story and trust that we as readers could understand how stories work – we know that things might not work out perfectly for all of our characters. You don’t need to tell us.
This historical fiction novel was pleasantly surprising to me. The story is interesting because it is set in our world, so the authors spend less time world-building. But the fantastical elements add a new twist. This leaves a lot of space for authors to dedicate to character and plot development (something I wish the authors here would have done with My Lady Jane).
I think this might have been one of the best features of the book. My Lady Jane is heavily female-oriented. The personalities were all mostly different from one-another. Plus, the fact that each character had flaws was refreshing. Nobody was too-perfect, and there was a fair amount of humor.
It was good, but it wasn’t excellent. I enjoyed it, but maybe more for the fact that it opened my eyes to historical fiction. It wasn’t bad at all, but it could have easily been much better.
I give this book 4 stars out of 5.
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