Books, Reviews, Uncategorized

Book Review: My Lady Jane by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton & Jodi Meadows

Title: My Lady Jane

Author: Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton & Jodi Meadows

Series/Standalone?: Book #1 of The Lady Janies

Number of Pages: 512

Goodreads Link.

Synopsis:

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?

Synopsis taken from Goodreads.

What I Liked

  • The Setting! This book is categorized as Historical Fantasy, which might be my least expected new favourite niche genre! I loved the historical setting in this book, it takes place during the Tudor era in England after King Henry VIII has died and his son Edward VI is now King of England. The story begins when Edward is beginning to get sick and is asks his doctors “So, what’s wrong with me?” and the doctor is like:
Uh Oh Sandman GIF by DreamWorks Animation
I mean how do you tell a King that he’s about to go into the eternal slumber?? And how do you tell that to a King who’s father liked cutting off his wives heads??

And so after being told that he’s about to pop his clogs, Edward sets out to arrange who takes the throne after him – and chooses his cousin, Lady Jane Grey. And while he was at it he finds Jane a husband too. What a busy body…

Now I know for a FACT that I am not the only one who, upon hearing that a book has ✧・゚: *✧・゚:* royal themes *:・゚✧*:・゚✧ I just sit there like:

There is just so much potential in royal settings!!! The court drama! The betrayals!! The schemes!! Just endless entertainment really.

But in this one it’s a historical royal setting (though a lot of the story takes place with the characters being on the run, which is always fun!! TAVERN SCENES!!!!) but it has a fantasy vibeee! Which may or may not have had anything to do with my finding this book extra fun.

  • The Characters! I loved reading about all the characters (save one… more on that later), but to be really specific, I loved reading about Jane and G! The banter! The sarcasm! The arranged marriage enemies to lovers!
“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?"
"Neigh."
"Was that a horse joke?”

- My Lady Jane by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton & Jodi Meadows
  • The Fantasy Element! As I said earlier, this is a historical book with a fantasy twist, and as a self proclaimed history buff (albeit a buff for mainly Welsh history) I was pleasantly surprised to learn that the authors kept the original conflicts that we know of historically and then just.. made them into a fantasy plot? Like, during the end of the Tudor period – more specifically when Edwards’ eldest sister Mary ruled (which is the time frame this book takes place in) – the big, prevalent conflict was Catholic vs Protestant. In My Lady Jane you see less about religion and although it’s got that same kind of conflict it is instead between Eðians and Non-Eðians (who don’t like Eðians because they exist, tbh they just all sound jealous that they can’t turn into animals). I thought that was a pretty cool switch up!
  • The Narration! This book had me giggling every other chapter, it was just the perfect amount of sarcasm and wit and I enjoyed it immensely.

What I Didn’t Like

  • One of the Characters! I’m going to be real honest right off the bat… didn’t like Edward… he kinda sucked, and I’m a bit sad that one of the side characters, Gracie, pretty much just fell into his lap (quite literally burst into the English country side like “oh hello! we’re going to travel together now!”) and then almost instantly became just his love interest. Like, the second they started romancing it was like “There we go! Gracie is now Edwards romantic partner! No need to ever learn anything more about her!”
She was Scottish and there was so much potential for there to be a rivalry/romance thing because he’s not only English but an English KING but then her character was just… there for the last 100 pages. Still sad about it.
  • Bess (Elizabeth I) I liked Bess. I thought she was a great character and an even better sister… however, I saw someone on Goodreads say that she was giving up her life and everything for no reason, and at first I disagreed because I was all “She’s helping her broo!!” but the more I think about it, the more I sit there all:
“But why?? Why is she helping him?? Especially when it says at the start that Elizabeth and Mary were raised elsewhere?? So, her and Ed weren’t raised together?? Why is she so devoted to getting him back on the throne??”
  • Sometimes Jane would just decide that she needed to do something all by herself and like.. “honey, I’ve just read the first two hundred pages and both you and I know you can’t do anything of this calibre by yourself.” But did that stop her? No. No it didn’t. She just kept doing things by herself as if she just forgot everything else that had happened quite literally in the span of a few days. By the end I just:

Overall

As a whole, My Lady Jane was a light, fast paced and fun read which I really liked! I’m so glad I reached for this one when I did, and am partially ashamed that I didn’t get to reading it sooner – but yet!! When I read this, it was the exact type of book that I wanted to read in that moment, which I think made me enjoy it more. Because I was in the mood for a quick, fun, doesn’t-require-much-brain-power-to-crack-the-secret-codes book. And that’s what I got.

Rating

4 Stars!

Have you read My Lady Jane?? What did you think?? Did you enjoy it?? Have you read the other books by this author trio?? Do you recommend them??

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