Friday, June 29, 2018

#Review - My Lady Jane by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, Jodi Meadows #YALIT #Fantasy

Series: The Lady Janies # 1
Format: Hardcover, 512 pages
Release Date: June 7, 2016
Publisher: HarperTeen
Source: Publisher
Genre: Young Adult /  Romantic Comedy

In the tradition of The Princess Bride comes a fantastical, romantical, hilarious(ical) adventure inspired by the true story of Lady Jane Grey—or, “an uproarious historical fantasy that’s not to be missed” (Publishers Weekly, starred review).
Lady Jane Grey, sixteen, is about to be married to a total stranger—and caught up in an insidious plot to rob her cousin, King Edward, of his crown. But that’s the least of Jane’s problems. Jane’s about to become Queen of England.

Like that could go wrong.

In My Lady Jane, coauthors Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, and Jodi Meadows have created a one-of-a-kind fantasy featuring a reluctant king, an even more reluctant queen, a noble steed, true love, and only a passing resemblance to actual history—because sometimes history needs a little help.

My Lady Jane is the first installment in The Lady Janies series by co-authors Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, & Jodi Meadows. Let's get the facts out of the way first. This is a story about a real life historical figure named Lady Jane Grey who spent 9 days as Queen of England before... See, I'm pushing you towards actually looking up to what she really happened to her. You need more HISTORY in your lives! The authors have manipulated and tweaked and completely rearranged major details. 

They added a touch of magic to keep things interesting. So really anything could happen. The authors then added a bit of hijinks, romance, action, adventure and plenty of fun where history gets turned on its bloody head. The year is 1553. In this world, there are those called Edian. The E∂ians were blessed (or cursed, depending on your point of view) with the ability to switch between a human form and an animal one. That second group (known as Verities) believed that human beings had no business being anything other than human beings.

And because Verities were largely in charge of everything, E∂ians were persecuted and hunted until most of them died out or went deep into hiding. The story begins in the middle of tense times, with an increasing animosity brewing between E∂ians and Verities, a teenage king with a tenuous grasp on the throne of England, and a young lord and lady who have no idea their destinies are about to collide. Totally against their will.

As King Edward is being told he only has months to live, his cousin 16-year old Lady Jane Grey is being forced into marrying a complete stranger (Lord Guildford). Jane, who has been previously betrothed numerous times, loves to read and research history, philosophy, and religion. Jane is also notoriously willful which has left four previous suitors in the dirt. Jane really doesn't care for G when they meet. First, they have to marry at night. NIGHT, I say unto thee! Why in bloody hades must one be married at night!!!

Second, she believes the rumors about his womanizing, especially since nobody, including her best friend, or his family, failed to tell her the truth about her intended. The twisted part is that Lord Guildford is what the authors called a undomesticated horseman who lives an entirely nighttime existence. Horse by night, human by day. Even though it believes it to be a curse, he wouldn't change the freedom of what being a horse brings to him. The twist part is that the two have such a rollercoaster ride of emotions that you can't hope and keep your fingers crossed that things work out for them. 

Since this is a retelling of the famous Tudor family, let's say that the Verities are Catholics, and Edian's are Protestants. The country is on the cusp of a war between the factions due in large part because the Edian's can shapeshift, and the Verities hate them for that. The Verities are all about burning, beheading, and whatever it takes to keep the Edian's from gaining any power. So, here we have a King, Edward, who has never kissed a girl, or fallen in love, on the edge of dying at a very young age. After changing the rules of succession, suddenly Jane becomes Queen. But.....

By the way, I liked this Edward. I especially loved his relationship with not only Jane who he grew up with, but his sister Bess, who you can call Queen Elizabeth. Then there's Gracie who refuses to call him King, and is really an interesting character. Lady Grey is a feisty girl with intelligence and things are going to drive you wild once you get through the story and discover the twists. Next, there is G, for Guildford he considers his "condition" to be a curse, others consider it a blessing, including Jane who would love to be able to shapeshift. Naturally we have the villains, who, I will just call her Bloody Mary and you can figure out who I am talking about.

“Very funny, my lady. And that reminds me"---he pointed a finger at her---"no horse jokes."
He was making it too easy. "Ah, my lord, why the long face?"
"That's it!”

Curiosity oftens sends me on researching different historical characters so, let me just say that these are historically accurate characters with a modern day spin and twist to make them have totally different lives than they actually lived. Yes, they all existed. They all played a part in the days of the Tudors, including Elizabeth Tudor, the sister to Mary and Edward. The story also includes Mary Queen of Scots. The story is actually broken into 2 parts. The first part is where history is pretty much followed as it apparently happened, while part 2 is history manipulated by the authors to fit their twisted imaginations. It definitely works.

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