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?
I dunno if I’ve mentioned this before, but I love historic fiction and I love retellings, so… to say that this was pretty much guaranteed to be a great pick for me is an understatement. Plus, the writing was rumored to be the style of a Monty Python film, so I was ready.
And! I really enjoyed it. I love fiction that entertains, all the while teaching you a little bit about real history. My Lady Jane was pretty clear from the beginning that the story that was being told was not at all the story the history that we were originally introduced to, aka not entirely an accurate account of Lady Jane Grey’s reign. However, even by reading this creative, and magical, retelling, one could pick pieces of the real story from history. The book was already marvelous, and this aspect purely enhanced it for me!
My Lady Jane was packed with action, world-building, and just a generally interesting plot and characters! I adored the romance in this story, and the shifting of POVs allowed the narrative to be built very strongly. I am not traditionally a fan of changing POVs, but the way this book shifted was very smooth, especially considering some…afflictions that the characters went through during the course of the novel. I did find Edward’s POV to be a bit slow, but I believe that to be because he was not in the same space as Jane and Gifford for much of the novel, so that resulted in him feeling a bit more disconnected. However, his POV allowed some delightful character development for him!
That being the said, even if this story had been heavy with world building or drama, the tone allowed it every word to be engaging and fast-paced. I loved the tone and the storytelling that was used, and I plan to pick up every story that “The Janies” release. Their style is very humorous, and quick of wit, allowing one to feel like they’re in on an inside joke with every word that is written.
4 out of 5 stars.