Title: My Lady Jane
Genre: Historical Fiction/Fantasy
My Rating: 3/5 stars
If you don’t know the tragic backstory of Lady Jane Grey, it doesn’t matter. All you need to know is that her young life was extinguished much too soon. She was eventually seen as a victim and martyr, poor thing.
Don’t be so mad, I haven’t spoiled the end for you.
In this story, our narrators Hand, Ashton, and Meadows attempt to rewrite history in a fun, clever way. Not only that, they give the story a happy ending, which is what I’m here for. If you know me at all, you’d know that I hate a sad story, and I was so excited to read a book where a tragic history gets retold.
This story has some serious fantastical elements to it, so there is no doubt that this is fiction. Instead of a religious tension between Catholics and the Protestants, this is a story about a division between people who can change into animals, Edians, and those who can’t, Verities. It’s so silly, it borders on ridiculous; yet somehow it works. The language in the book seems a little too contemporary, but I suppose when one of the main characters is a horse, you can afford to be a little lenient?
Jane Grey is arranged to be married to Lord Gifford Dudley (who also happens to be the horse mentioned above). She doesn’t discover this crazy secret until the morning after her wedding night, when she awakens to find her hungover husband has turned into an animal. He can’t control the change, unfortunately, and is doomed to be in equestrian form during the day and a man only at night.
Our newlyweds also despise each other, although surprisingly, this has nothing to do with the fact that the groom is a horse. (Can I mention this enough?) This is something that I can’t help but love: when two characters that seem to hate each other eventually catch feelings. It’s a popular trope, and maybe an annoying one to some, but I will always think it’s adorable.
I can’t say much about our King Edward because he had no personality. He was so tasteless and charmless and boring to read. And unfortunately, this was what eventually killed the story for me; although I found it funny and sweet and entertaining, the story only got slower and slower. I wanted to be into it, but I just kept skimming.
Also, another thing I thought was irritating: every time a character changed from animal to human form, they would be naked. It makes complete sense and I know this was vital to the story, but the characters wouldn’t shut up about it. Someone would change and all they could talk about was how naked they were. Like okay, we get it, they’re naked. Grow up.
All in all, it was entertaining and crazy enough to pique my interest, but not enough to keep me hooked. I’ll read any sequels just to see what happens, but they won’t be a priority read for me.