Hardcover: 512 pages
Publication Date: June 7, 2016
“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 is about to become the Queen of England.”
For everyone who knows there was enough room for Leonardo DiCaprio on that door. And for England. We’re really sorry for what we’re about to do to your history.
My Lady Jane was such a huge surprise for me. I didn’t expect to love it was much as I did. I’m actually having a hard time finding anything wrong with it. This book is very self-aware of its humorous and parodic nature and the authors effectively maintained the comicalness of their characters and storyline all the way through to the end. So, this will basically be a review of me gushing about how much I love it.
The strongest aspect of My Lady Jane is its comedic effect. I found this entire book to be laugh out loud hilarious. From beginning to end, it is all good-natured fun with an enjoyable twist on history. The authors make great use of running gags (such as comments on a character’s nose, or horsey jokes regarding Gifford) that never failed to coax a chuckle out of me.
“No horse jokes,” he said.
“My lord, I apologize for the horse joke. If you put down the book—unharmed!—I will give you a carrot.”
He brandished the book at her. “Was that a horse joke?”
“Was that a horse joke?”
In its own way this book is a fluffy regency romance, perfect for those who enjoy a good bit of YA romance and history mixed together. As a result, we’re given a cheeky romp of an adventure punctuated by witty dialogue and lovable characters.
Besides the comedy, the characters are also very well-developed. Jane is a slightly uppity bookworm with a big heart and a clever mind. She is independent, confident, and more than capable of taking care of herself. She’s incredibly relatable and easy to root for. And Gifford (or G as he likes to be called) is ridiculously charming and lovable. His relationship with Jane takes a while to develop, but their romance turns out to be one of the funniest and sweetest pairings I’ve read in a while.
“I know I’m not inspiring much confidence at this point, but there’s something else I thought I’d bring up.” She lifted her eyes to him. “I love you more than I love books.”
Other characters, such as Grace and Edward shine in their roles and are also entertaining and likable versions of their historical selves (though I’m not sure if Grace is an actual historical figure).
The authors do a fantastic job in creating a narration that breaks the fourth wall and directly addresses the audience to acknowledge the silliness of the events and to further explain that this book is a “revised” history and that it is not at all to be taken seriously. The invasive narration only adds to the humor and makes it all the more amusing.
Each character has so much personality and there’s just enough action and romance to keep you entertained and held in suspense. I suppose the only flaw is that the ending is predictable but in the best way. So, no complaints there.
All in all, this is an incredibly funny and well-meaning book that is made to make you smile. A perfect pick-me-up for those who need a laugh or two.