My Lady Jane by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, and Jodi Meadows
HarperTeen (June 7, 2016)
The Lady Janies (Brodi Ashton, Cynthia Hand, and Jodi Meadows) set out to tell the entirely (but not really) true story of Lady Jane Grey.
Before we get into The Lady Janies tale, let’s review what the history books tell us about Lady Jane.
At the age of sixteen, Jane is married off by her cousin King Edward VI to Lord Guildford Dudley, son of John Dudley, the Duke of Northumberland. Upon the king’s untimely death, Jane becomes Queen of England, due to Edward’s wishes in his will. Her reign is short lived, however. We’re taking nine days short! When Edward’s half-sister Mary, a.k.a Bloody Mary, overthrows Jane and crowns herself as queen, Lady Jane and her husband are locked away in The Tower of London and are later both beheaded.
Much of history remains the same in this new tale, expect for several significant details. Let’s focus on three main ones- without giving away any spoilers, of course.
1. The Edians
In the middle of the sixteenth century, people were blessed or cursed (depending on how you look at it) with the ability to transform between human and animal form. We’re talking full fledge animorphs. As you might imagine, some people found this ability to be rather magnificent while others were utterly appalled. Because the latter camp was largely in charge, the Edians were persecuted and hunted. That was until King Henry VIII discovered he could transform into a lion and decreed that Edians weren’t all that bad after all.
2. Gifford (call me G)
Jane’s betrothed Gifford is a horse. Every day at dawn he becomes a noble chestnut steed, but transforms at dusk back into his human form. The two must learn how to navigate being newly weds who can only spend half the day together as humans. You would think having to adjust to an arranged marriage would be challenging enough without the husband turning into a horse during the day aspect.
3. King Edward wants his first kiss
The King wants nothing more than to experience his first kiss. He is only fifteen after all and girls are so much more interesting than ruling and making decrees.
My Lady Jane is the first novel I can remember reading with more than one author. I was concerned if the writing styles of each author wouldn’t flow well together or if it would be obvious which author wrote which part. Totally not the case! The story is so fun and enjoyable, and extremely well written! The humor is fabulous. Too often I found myself laughing out loud! A dash of Princess Bride, a pinch of Monty Python, and a sprinkle of Shakespeare are all the ingredients in this comical retelling of Lady Jane Grey.
My favorite part of the novel is all things Jane. During her lifetime Jane was considered the most educated and well read lady of her time. It comes as no surprise the Lady Jane in our tale spends her days with her nose buried in books. She’s a true book lover through and through. Her #bookstagram feed would be royally sought after. The banter between Jane and G is not like the typical YA love drama. It was fun to see their relationship grow and change.
If you enjoy comical and fantastical tales with a bit of romance, or enjoy a good retelling of history then I recommend you check out My Lady Jane.
Long live The Lady Janies! May their pens continue to retell history as we only wish it could be!