Thursday, July 7, 2016

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

Title: My Lady Jane
Author: Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, Jodi Meadows
Genre: Young Adult, Alternate History, Fantasy
Source: HarperTeen via Edelweiss

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.
Review by Nara

My Lady Jane was absolutely fabulous. A comedy alternate history of 16th century England complete with fantasy twist: there was very little to dislike about the novel. I do think you have to be in the right frame of mind to read this one though- I absolutely loved it because I was completely in the mood for a light comedy style novel after reading a whole bunch of epic fantasies.

The humour was just on point. It's that dry/subtle flavour that's often seen in British comedy, which is interesting because all three authors are (to my knowledge) American. I loved the dedication as well, which was something like "sorry England for how we're going to twist your history" and definitely set up the tone of the rest of the novel. There was also a lot of breaking the fourth wall, which I'm actually a huge fan of with these sorts of novels, and I'm happy to say that it didn't feel heavy handed at all.

I loved the characters and the story as well. Instead of the conflict between the Catholics and Anglicans that went on in our history, in this alternate history, the conflict is between the "Verities" and the "Edians", Edians being people who can shapeshift into various animals (and anyone who knows Jodi Meadows knows there's going to be a ferret involved somehow haha) and Verities being a group that think that Edians are unnatural and should be hunted down. While this wasn't one of those plots with twists that wow, the story felt cohesive and suited the overall feel of the novel.

I honestly want these three authors to rewrite every interesting story in the history of England. Or even the history of any country in the world. I will literally read anything by them.

Overall: 9/10
Plot: 5/5
Romance: 4/5
Writing: 5/5
World Building: 4/5
Characters: 4/5
Cover: 2/5