My Lady Jane

My Lady Jane


Title: My Lady Jane

Author: Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton and Jodi Meadows

Series: N/A

Publisher: HarperTeen

Release Date: June 7th 2016

Rating:

Four Stars

Edward (long live the king) is the King of England. He’s also dying, which is inconvenient, as he’s only sixteen and he’d much rather be planning for his first kiss than considering who will inherit his crown…

Jane (reads too many books) is Edward’s cousin, and far more interested in books than romance. Unfortunately for Jane, Edward has arranged to marry her off to secure the line of succession. And there’s something a little odd about her intended…

Gifford (call him G) is a horse. That is, he’s an Eðian (eth-y-un, for the uninitiated). Every day at dawn he becomes a noble chestnut steed—but then he wakes at dusk with a mouthful of hay. It’s all very undignified.

The plot thickens as Edward, Jane, and G are drawn into a dangerous conspiracy. With the fate of the kingdom at stake, our heroes will have to engage in some conspiring of their own. But can they pull off their plan before it’s off with their heads?

– Blurb courtesy of goodreads.com

My Thoughts On…

…The Plot

“Put down the book.” She wanted to look away, as he seemed distracted from holding the trousers in place, but she couldn’t take her eyes off the book. What if he hurt it? What if he followed through with his threat?
“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.”

My Lady Jane was the book I received in my June Owl Crate box, and I am so so glad I did. Without it I don’t know if I would have picked this book up for myself and that would have been a massive mistake because My Lady Jane is an amazing story with an amazing take on the tale of Jane Grey.

I’ll admit I don’t know much about history’s Jane Grey, I learnt about her in school but only as a prequel of sorts to the reigns of Mary and Elizabeth Tudor. After all, what can you say about someone who was only on the throne for a handful of days before losing her head. The authors of this story though weren’t satisfied with that ending for Jane so they gave her a new one and, in my opinion, a better one.

Jane doesn’t want to get married, she has already faced four failed attempts by her parents to wed her off and she herself is perfectly content spending her days with her books. However when her cousin Edward finds out he is dying, leaving the throne of England without a suitable heir because he knows Mary cannot be the one to succeed him, he plans to marry Jane off and name her male children as his heirs. So Jane and Gifford Dudley find themselves attending their own wedding without ever having laid eyes on each other, and without Jane learning her intended husband spends his days as a horse.

“Your majesty, please reconsider,” Lord Dudley pleaded. “Your position will be much stronger with your husband as king. The people will see it as a sign of strength—”
She took a deep breath. “They need signs of my strength, not my reliance on the men around me.”

Before long though Edward takes a turn for the worse and there’s no more time for Jane to have any children to take the throne. Edward is gone, Jane is sitting on the throne, and Mary is amassing an army to march on London. And this is where the history book is thrown out the window; Edward, Jane, Gifford and a few others they trust begin to plot against Mary to take back the throne before she can launch her attack on the Eðian’s. But Mary has the Tower of London, the crown and an army, all Jane and Gifford have on their side is luck and a few Eðian’s.

One thing that I loved about this book, and from reading other reviews everyone else agrees, was the humour. The first part of the book was full of it, but in the second it seemed to fade into the background; which I understand. There was so much happening in the second part in terms of the plot and the character development but I still would have liked to see a little more of the humour that made me love this book.

…The Characters

“She was pleased her demure stature was finally good for something. It was an advantage at last. A boon. An asset. A virtue—She stopped herself from continuing her synonym spiral. There was work to do.”

Jane doesn’t want to get married, and finding out about her upcoming nuptials to Gifford are made all the worse when she discovers her cousin and best friend Edward is dying. Jane’s first love remains her books, and she is incredibly smart thanks to all the reading she does. She may not have experienced everything first hand but she knows a lot about a lot of subjects, and her knowledge comes in handy when herself and Gifford find themselves facing down bears, or ruling over the country, or trying to control the change from human to Eðian.

“G took another gulp, and thought about the best way to break the equestrian news. My dear, you know those four-legged majestical beasts of the land? Well, you married one!
No. That could not be the right approach.”

Gifford is a very devil-may-care character but not in a rebellious way. He spends half his life as a horse and has never really tried to live up to the expectations his father has for him (he leaves that to his older brother) or tried to control his change. Like Jane Gifford is not thrilled to hear of their approaching marriage but he doesn’t have much more choice in the matter than she does. Instead he tries to make the best of the situation.

Once they get past the awkwardness of their marriage, and how Jane discovers Gifford’s Eðian “quirk”, the two start to form a tentative friendship. But when Edward passes and Jane takes the throne there’s a divide that develops between them; how can Gifford rule by Jane’s side if he spends half his life as a horse? The two both want their marriage to work, and they both start to feel something more for the other, but there always seems to be something standing in their way.

“Poor King Edward, now under the ground.
Hacked his lungs out. They’ve yet to be found.”

Edward could have been a great king if he’s been allowed to grow older than sixteen. He isn’t a power hungry tyrant like Mary but he also isn’t a natural ruler like Elizabeth. Instead he is the same as a lot of other sixteen year old boys would be, too busy thinking of girls and having fun to pay attention to ruling a country. After he discovers he’s dying, and later after Mary takes his throne, he seems to grow up a lot more and starts thinking of his people.

…The Setting

“This is how we think Jane’s story should have gone.
It begins in England (or an alternate version of England, since we’re dealing with the manipulation of history), in the middle of the sixteenth century. It was an uneasy time, especially if you were an E∂ian (pronounced eth-ee-uhn for those of you unfamiliar with the term).”

Everyone knows how Jane Grey’s story goes in real life. She rules for a handful of days after Edward dies before Mary takes back the throne and kills her. Not really the makings for a happy story. But despite all the changes the authors made in My Lady Jane, for the most part, the history itself is still accurate, just with a little bit of magic added in. While the setting doesn’t really take precedence in this book we still see little glimpses of it, and of course the Tower of London plays a large part in Jane’s story. I do wish we’d been given more information on the E∂ian’s. While they are everyday for the characters in this book I, as a reader, would have liked to learn more about where they came from and how their magic’s worked because it’s something that seemed to affect everyone in so many different ways.


My Lady Jane is told not only from Jane’s perspective but from Gifford’s and Edward’s as well, which I think gave us a unique look at everything that unfolded to all three characters. It’s a hilarious book and although I don’t know if I would have picked it up for myself I’m glad I received it in my Owl Crate box because it’s a brilliant read and I highly recommend it.

What did you think of My Lady Jane? Was it a favourite of yours or could you just not get into the story? Let me know.

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46 thoughts on “My Lady Jane

  1. As far as interesting times in history, around the time of Lady Jane Grey and the Tudor dynasty has always been some of my favorite times to read about. The Nine-Day Queen. What a memorable name. I love reading about or watching anything having to do with English monarchs. Anyway, I love your review. I was so afraid this would stay true to history, and I held off on the book because I thought oh, how depressing? I’m glad it’s light and entertaining and that the ending deviates from history. Could you image how awful that would be? Plus, Lady Jane Grey in real life was only a teenager, so that would make it even more sad. Awesome review! I’m definitely reading it this month. I just realized the month is almost over. Where did summer go? I might not get to it until September.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh there’s so much about history I love reading about too, but in terms of the Tudor dynasty in school we focuses on Henry and Elizabeth, just kind of skimming over Edward, Jane and Mary.
      Well yeah, for someone who was only on the throne for nine days she’s definitely done down in history hasn’t she?!
      Thanks. I’m glad you liked my review, and yeah I was a little unsure when I saw the title because, well, if it ended the same as it does in history that would be a little depressing. Jane in this book was a brilliant character as well!
      God I know what you mean, soon we’re gonna be getting ready for Christmas! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’m surprised you didn’t learn more about the Tudors. I read most of what I know on my own because American history was more popular reading here, but I’m surprised you didn’t get a thorough history lesson on all of them. Their stories are so interesting. I’m supposed to receive this month’s OwlCrate box and I still haven’t read a single book in 5 months from their boxes. I better pull out My Lady Jane and sit it on my coffee table so I don’t forget. I can’t wait to read it and fangirl over it with you. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      2. We had a lot of monarchs to go through in our history lessons. I think if I’d taken the subject for GCSE and later A Levels we would have learnt more but I didn’t.
        I’ve definitely been a lot more interested in history recently so I may have to do some reading on my own.
        You should definitely pull out My Lady Jane, if you like the history of the Tudor’s you should like this book. Granted it’s not an accurate historical retelling but it’s a great story! 😀

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Good point. You guys have way more monarchs than we do presidents, and I can’t even remember all of them. 😂 Plus, there’s also some of the notable nobles to remember on top of that. I was actually kind of bummed they didn’t teach us any of this in school. I learned most of it on my own from reading books in college. Yeah, I’m kind of obsessed with the Tudors. I think I’ve read just about anything I could get my hands on. Not to mention all the movies and TV shows I’ve watched as well. I guess being American monarchies have always fascinated me. I’ve read a lot about French monarchs as well. I’d be interested in something like My Lady Jane, as far as the story, with someone like Marie Antoinette. That would be cool. I’m pulling My Lady Jane out of the box now. My OwlCrate just arrived. Time to start taking pictures. I haven’t done that in months. 🤗

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Oh yeah, the history of England’s monarch’s is a very long one, and that’s not even counting the nobles and all the princes and princesses who never made it on the throne.
        There seems to be a lot around about the Tudors, and don’t get me wrong they’re definitely interesting, but I always preferred the Victorian era and also some of the earlier ones as well. But we learnt more about the Victorians in school than the Tudors so that could be why.
        Ohh that would actually be really interesting, although honestly I’d read a book like My lady Jane for any historical figure who died too young (and there are a lot of those!)
        Ohh I hope you like this month’s Owl Crate, and I can’t wait to see your pictures for it either! 😀

        Liked by 1 person

      5. Ah, that actually makes sense since the Victorian era wasn’t nearly as long ago as the Tudors. I really like some of the fashion during that time. That’s true. There are way too many figures who died way too young. I already dumped the OwlCrate box on the table. I love opening these. It’s like getting a present each month. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Great review! I’m really glad to see that you enjoyed this book! 😀 I love reading hilarious books from time to time and this one sounds right up my alley. (I can’t wait to pick it up and actually read it.) I didn’t know that there were multiple POV’s in this one, it just makes me more exited about it, as I tend to enjoy reading books like that. Plus Jane sounds like a great character and I can’t wait to read about her. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Anna. Yeah I thought it was a brilliant book, definitely hilarious and that’s one of the things I loved about it as well. I know the feeling about needing a funny book every no and again.
      I enjoyed the fact that there were three POVs, it was an interesting take on the story and gave us a lot more visibility of all the chatacters as well. Jane was by far my favourite though! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I have to say, if it wasn’t for all the great reviews of that book, I wouldn’t have looked it up a little bit closer, and I am really glad I did. Loved reading your review, and you’ve convinced me that I need to add it to my TBR and read it as soon as I can. I’m always happy to read a book with a great humor, and glad as well because I feel like lots of books are dealing with important issues lately -and I am NOT against it, but sometimes, you need a light book, you know what I mean? Anyway, My Lady Jane seems like a nice change, and I am looking forward to read it! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I was kind of the same way, all the positive reviews really made me want to read this book. I kept bumping it up my to-read list with every review I saw!
      Thanks, I’m glad you liked my review and glad it could convince you to add it to your TBR list too. It’s a great story so I’m sure you’ll really love it as well.
      My Lady Jane is definitely a light book, and the humour was a nice change from some of the books I’d read both before and after! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Great review, Beth! I agree with everything you said, pretty much, right down to wanting more information on the E∂ians. I understand that’s not the point of the book at all and the fantasy is a very small part of it, but I’d still like a bit more information on them! I also agree that the humour faded a little bit in the second half of the book – understandable given that the plot needs to move faster, but (to me at least) the plot was nothing too special so I was quite aware about the lack of humour. 😛

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Reg! 🙂
      Yeah it was a great book, pretty much what I expected but still amazing. I just wish we’d got more information on the magic that seemed to play a big part in both the world and the story.
      I think after building up everything in the first half the authors needed to tie everything up and create a conclusion for all the characters, which is more than enough to fill up a book before any of the humour is added. Still yeah I was very aware of the lack of humour as well! 🙂

      Like

      1. The humour was definitely the highlight, I think – take that away and you lose pretty much the whole book! The magic was… more cute than anything, I think. I suppose it was necessary because there was no way Jane could’ve escaped the beheading if it weren’t for magic, so they kind of added it in and didn’t develop it that much. 😛

        Liked by 1 person

      2. For me the humour was the main selling point of the book. I heard about it in every review I read and it’s the main thing that made me want to pick this book up in the first place.
        The magic was cute I agree, probably why I didn’t mind so much that it wasn’t described in such detail you know? I didn’t see it coming that Jane could turn into a ferret though. 🙂

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  5. Wait… Were you describing Jane or me? Only in terms of reading and not wanting to get married right this second. Haha, this book sounds very interesting, and I’ve heard a bit about it. I’m actually quite eager to read this, although at first, I was a bit wary about what sort of character Jane would end up being, just because characters that love books normally end up being really stuck up. Whatever the case, I can’t wait to read 🙂 Great review!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ha, yeah that’s how I felt about Jane as well. I’d be happy spending my life with just my books at the moment!
      It’s definitely an interesting book, a unique take on the life of Jane Grey, and the humour and magic included just made it all the better in my opinion!
      I think you’ll really enjoy it, I loved Jane’s character so I’m sure you will as well. 🙂
      Thanks Grace! 😀

      Like

    1. Thanks Lauren! I feel like I would have been the same if I hadn’t received this book in my Owl Crate Box, all the positive reviews definitely made me move it up my to-read list!
      I thought it was brilliant, so I hope you really enjoy it too! 😀

      Like

  6. I keep reading reviews of this and thinking “Melissa, you need to pick this book up already!”. It sounds so interesting and I love what I’m hearing about the magic aspect and the characters. They seem like characters I would really love. I’m definitely going to have to pick it up soon! Great review. 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s how I felt about this book as well. I kept seeing loads of positive reviews and kept moving it up my to-read list because I needed to get started on it.
      Oh it’s definitely interesting, it was such a unique take on the life of Jane Grey, and the magic was a brilliant touch to the story as well. They’re characters I really loved as well, pretty much from the first page I was attached to them! 😀
      Thanks! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Been waiting patiently to read it. Has not been in my library yet as they are still waiting on their YA budget to pay for the order…the lady is really helpful though and will order a particular book if you ask her and she has the ability to…I love that they take requests! I’ll get it eventually…but I am glad you liked it, and if you liked it, then I know I’ll like it, too!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hopefully in that case it will arrive in your library soon, and I’m guessing you’re first on the list to borrow it as well. It’s great that you have people who can help you at your library, but I’m guesing you go there a lot so that probably helps! 🙂
      Oh it’s a great book, and I’ve yet to see a negative review for it so I’m sure you’ll love it as well! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Well, that’s the one that got me majorly started and obsessed…and since we have similar tastes, I went out on a limb. Another good one is called The Heretic’s Daughter, and it’s set in Salem Witch times…oh, that was a good one!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I’m sure if you liked it I will as well, like you said we do have similar tastes, and honestly it sounds really good as well.
        I’ll be sure to add The Heretic’s Daughter to my to-read list as well. If you have any other recs let me know! 😀

        Liked by 1 person

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