I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Published by HarperTeen on June 7th 2016
Genres: Young Adult, Historical Fiction, Fantasy
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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.
Although I had heard of this book a few months ago, I really had no intentions to read it until I got an ARC copy when I attended YALLWEST a couple months ago. Getting physical ARCs is still a new thing for me and I felt compelled to read and review it – and I’m so glad I did! I hadn’t realized how hilarious and FUN this book was going to be! I hadn’t read any books by these authors except one – Incarnate by Jodi Meadows (which I loved BTW).
The setting of the story is loosely based on the real Jane Grey and King Edward Tudor VI, who was crowned king of England at the age of 9. The summary is a bit misleading because it doesn’t mention that there is magic in this world! It’s little hard to describe, but this is a historical fiction with a twist – it takes place in an alternate universe that has magic in the form of shapeshifters. The shapeshifters have a history of being oppressed by the people who aren’t shapeshifters, in parallel to the oppression of the Protestant church by the Catholic church during this time period. I loved how the authors were able to take real historical elements and weave them into this magical alternate universe – I thought it was pure genius!
Despite the fact that some of the book blurbs mention The Princess Bride and Monty Python, I hadn’t realized going into this book that it was a comedy. The Princess Bride and Monty Python are great descriptions of the type of humor in this book. The Princess Bride is one of my favorite books and, although I haven’t read it in years, I still remember it to be the funniest book I’ve ever read (I highly recommend it – especially if you’re a fan of the movie). Something that might be strange to some readers is that the authors, who call themselves the narrators of the story, break the fifth wall and often add in commentary or funny remarks to the story (which also happens in the Princess Bride – I need to reread this so I can review it for you guys!). While it might feel strange at first, it grew on me and I loved the playfulness that was added by having the narrators have their own voice.
I loved all of the characters in this book! This isn’t a book where you will make deep emotional connections to the characters of the books but only because it isn’t that serious of a book! Instead, I found the characters charming, funny, and adorable. I could almost envision the entire story playing out like a cartoon in my head, or a funny movie like the Princess Bride. They were just so cute and endearing. The book is told from 3 POVs – Jane, the king Edward, and Jane’s husband Gilford. I loved Jane’s POV the best – she’s a bookish, smart, and strong willed girl. I loved the feminist themes sprinkled throughout the book, despite the unrealistic nature of feminism in this time period – this is an alternate reality so who cares right??
Basically, I was taken completely by surprise by how much I loved this book. It’s definitely not a book to take seriously, and you may be disappointed if you go into it expecting more of a serious adventure historical fantasy – because that’s not what this is. I found this to be a hilarious, light, and enjoyable read that I think is perfect for a summer book. I recommend this to everyone who is looking for a book to make you chuckle, especially if you think you would enjoy the historical setting and parallels.
I loved this book so much that I want to share it with you! I’m giving away my ARC copy which is SIGNED. This giveaway is US only and you must be 18 or older or have parental permission to enter (I’ll need your mailing address if you win!). Giveaway ends in two weeks on June 20th! NOTE: This copy is also personalized to me and has my name in it! Only enter the giveaway if you’re okay with that.