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Monday, July 11, 2016

My Lady Jane by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton and Jodi Meadows

My Lady Jane is definitely an original take on the historical novel. The authors took many liberties while writing this book. They more or less rewrote history and romanticized the short reign of Lady Jane Grey. It's full of satire, whimsy and witty dialogue. While the concept of shapeshifters in Tudor England and the situations the characters find themselves in are absurd, the whole thing simply works!

Lady Jane is a wonderful character. She would rather spend her day with her nose in a book than playing nice with the people of the English court. (I think this will resonate with so many readers!) So when she finds herself crowned Queen of England, not only is she confused, she has to find the courage to not run away. Luckily for her, her reign is short (nine days!) when her cousin Mary usurps the throne. While most of what happens in the first part of the book is loosely based on fact, the second part is mostly all fiction.

The book could have worked without the paranormal aspects but I think it adds just enough whimsy to make the story a little more special. Eδians are shapeshifters that transform into an animal form in their time of need. I love how the authors used the Eδians vs. Verities (the Eδians haters) conflicts to replace the Protestant-Catholic feud. Religion is a touchy subject to begin with so I think the authors found a nice loophole to avoid touching the subject. The way the Eδian lore is incorporated in the book is seamless, as if it's truly part of history.

Overtime Eδians can learn to control their ability to shift back and forth between their human and animal shapes, but Gifford (call him G) is stuck as a horse by day, only to shift back to his human side at nightfall. G and Jane are forced into an arranged marriage and they couldn't be more different. Jane has always envied Eδians but she never imagined being married to one. Actually, she never imagined being married to anyone, after so many failed attempts. G and Jane eventually learn to trust each other and even to love each other. Their story is a crazy and adventurous one so I'm glad the authors decided on a happily ever after, instead of killing them off, like real history dictates.

Although King Edward VI died at a young age and thus began Lady Jane's reign as Queen, the fictionalized Edward survived. His point of view was my least favourite of the three (I absolutely adored Jane and G so they were hard to beat), probably because he continuously had his head up in clouds (you'll know what I mean once you read the book). As confused as he may have been as a king, he did redeem himself in the end.

If you love whimsy and satire, I highly recommend picking up this book. I didn't except to love this book as much as I did. I love historical England books, especially the Tudor era (although my favourite is the Victorian Era) so I wasn't sure how I was going to like this reimagined story. As long as you keep an open mind, and don't take it too seriously, this retelling will surely make you chuckle.

Long live the Queen!

stephsig moon

P.S. The Lady Janies (what the trio of author call themselves) are having an event on their blog to celebrate Lady Jane's nine days of reign (July 9th - 18th). Check it out to win some awesome prizes!

Tynga is a 32 years old mom of two, from Montreal, working as a lab technician in an hospital specialized in heart disease. In her free time, she enjoys reading all things Paranormal and photography.

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1 Person left their mark:

  1. From the cover, I never would have thought this book to have paranormal elements but I'm curious to see how the authors incorporated it into the story. Nice review. Glad you liked the story :)