My Lady Jane

My Lady Jane

Book - 2016
Average Rating:
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Edward is the King of England. He's also dying, which is inconvenient, as he's only sixteen and he'd rather be planning his first kiss than who will inherit his crown. Jane, Edward's cousin, is far more interested in books than romance. Unfortunately, Edward has arranged to marry her off to Gifford secure the line of succession. And Gifford is, well, a horse. That is, he an Eðian (eth-y-un, for the uninitiated) who becomes a chestnut steed every morning, but wakes as a man at dusk, with a mouthful of hay. Very undignified. The plot thickens as the three are drawn into a dangerous conspiracy, and have to engage in some conspiring of their own. But can they pull off their plan before it's off with their heads?
Publisher: New York :, HarperTeen, an imprint HarperCollins Publishers,, [2016]
Edition: First edition
Copyright Date: ©2016
ISBN: 9780062391742
0062391747
Branch Call Number: YAFICTION Hand
Characteristics: xi, 491 pages ; 22 cm

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b
booknrrd
Sep 21, 2017

A 2018-2019 Missouri Gateway Readers Award preliminary nominee (grades 9-12).

An alternate history in which Tudor England is divided not into Anglicans versus Catholics but shapeshifters (Edians) versus non-shapeshifters (Verities). Bookish Lady Jane Grey is rather surprised on her wedding night to discover that her new husband is a horse by day. She is even more surprised a few days later to discover that her cousin, King Edward VI of England has died and named her his successor. And so begins our rather odd but fun novel.

Jane Grey is one of my favorite obscure English monarchs. I remember watching the Cary Elwes/Helena Bonham Carter movie when I was younger. A fun book. At times it was a little too over the top for me.

MelifluousView Jul 29, 2017

Delightful! It was funny and witty. It had characters that annoyed me a little at first, but then drew me in and made me love them. What a fun read!

r
Reyna_Avila_Grace
Jun 20, 2017

A fun book (not bad, I just have a very specific star rating system). I thought it was interesting how the authors took a rather depressing period of history and turned it into a romance, comedy and fantasy all at the same time. You have to be in the right mood to read it though. A light-hearted read with fun, occasionally fourth-wall breaking narration that worked really well with the book (although sometimes there were random feminist comments that seemed pointless). I'd recommend it if you want a light, fun, quick (looks like a big book but I finished it in a day), read with romance.

red_rabbit_806 Mar 15, 2017

Did not like this book! Bad writing, bad plot, bad character relationships... the list goes on and on. Now I know this is supposed to be a comedy not a work of art, but it wasn't funny and some of the relationships were problematic.
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Plot
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First of all I felt there wasn't a memorable plot at all, with the 'edians' (can't do the special character) not even being necessary, except to add some 'funny' scenes. And I honestly don't remember what happened for a good 70% of the book.
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Writing/Language
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Bad! A lot of modern language was used, and at times I found myself bored by the writing. (Maybe this is because there were three writers). But anyway, non-memorably bad. And not funny.
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Historical Inaccuracies
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While I know this was intended to be 'alternate reality' I have to say there were some things which could not be explained by the fact that it's a different reality. I'm not a history expert so I may be wrong. But there are a few things.. Such as them drinking tea when tea had not spread to England until visitors to China tried it. Also the way Gifford has a nickname is likely incorrect as I don't believe the idea of haveing everyone call you by a name other than your given one was widespread. Also wouldn't it be rude to be so familiar with such a high ranking person?
[SPOILER ALERT] At the end it is revealed that G wrote Shakespeare's works. This is definitely not a plausible theory, and I could give you a long rant about this. But I won't :)
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Characters
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I felt Jane was a stereotypical bookish girl, and also not interesting.
'G' was a really annoying person, and not a filled out character.
The king wasn't at all interesting.
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Relationships
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SPOILER ALERT
This book was on some feminist booklists, so I assumed the romance would be at least acceptable. But NO. Gifford actually puts Jane in a CAGE. I'm sorry, but someone who puts you in a cage does not deserve your respect. Especially if they are a sexist who wants to 'protect' you. Maybe he had her best interests in mind, but she could make her own decision.
Grace as the kings love interest had no other plot outside of being the 'tough' girl.
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So- don't read this. It's just not worth your time.

g
goddessbeth
Feb 18, 2017

This was perhaps the most-voted book during my Book Reaping last year, and countless numbers of reader friends recommended it to me. So I'm glad I only waited this long to read it, and not longer (as I've done with so many others). Friends, you are wise!

My Lady Jane is a fantastical romp through an actual period of history- post-Henry VIII, his sickly son Edward (Katherine Parr's child) had the throne relatively briefly, then changed the line of succession to hand it to his cousin Jane Grey, who had it for all of nine days before Mary (Catherine of Aragon's child) took it, beheaded Jane, and then proceeded on her "Bloody Mary" reign (where she slaughtered non-Catholics like it was going out of style). The authors, inspired by the actual Jane Grey's bookishness, intelligence, and sassiness, wanted to create a happier ending for her. So they turned it into a historical fantasy, with magic as well as actual historical figures and events. I'm not sure I've ever before read a historical fantasy that melded actual history with highly fantastical elements, so that was a fun new thing.

This book is filled with self-aware humor. The authors break the third wall, the characters are glib (although they also show growth and development throughout the book), and the violence and sex themes are ridiculously light considering the actual history (e.g., no one gets beyond kissing and they BARELY get there) so those never overtake the light-heartedness of the book. Given that I like that style of self-aware humor (Eli Brown's Cinnamon and Gunpowder, Bren Tripp's The Accidental Highwayman, anything by Terry Pratchett or Neil Gaiman, etc.), the writing was right up my alley.

It's also fairly seamless- always a nice thing when the book is co-authored. Each author took a character, so the chapters vary in narrative voice. But the voice is consistent, and there's nothing contradictory in the weaving of all three MCs.

If you enjoy both historical fiction and fantasy (and you like the contemporary themes of feminism, and tongue-in-cheek humor), I recommend this. I think Disney fans would enjoy it as well, overall (Gracie just constantly struck me as Merida or Mulan, Jane struck me as Tiana in many ways). I found it a breath of fresh air in my reading schedule, and had fun playing "spot the pop culture or Shakespeare reference".

b
badwolf82
Jan 18, 2017

Funny and witty and a tad absurd, I mean one of the characters spends most his time as a horse, but it works! If you loved the Princess Bride this story has the same feel, almost a story within a story. An engrossing story with romance, action, a bit of history and fantasy that will having you laughing along the way.

b
burgundy_fox_61
Jan 06, 2017

It's a great book, it's an easy read on way of saying it's not super heavy.

Beatricksy Nov 09, 2016

Cute. Oh, so cute. It's a most charming, light read, with an adorable magic system. It's ultracolorful, painted by people who clearly love stories. Worth all the time.

mvkramer Oct 20, 2016

This very humorous alternate history deals with the not-actually-very-funny historical Jane Grey - who was queen for nine days before being executed. History in complicated in this novel by the fact that some people - including Jane's new husband - can turn into animals. Very funny, anachronistic, 4th-wall-breaking, sweet and extremely well-performed by the audiobook reader. A breath of fresh air!

kirstd31 Oct 04, 2016

Fun read. Historical fiction and magic to tell you what really happened to Lady Jane.

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booknrrd
Sep 21, 2017

booknrrd thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

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chelseasc
Jan 27, 2017

chelseasc thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over

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burgundy_fox_61
Jan 06, 2017

burgundy_fox_61 thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over

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