Monday, June 20, 2016

My Lady Jane

Author: Cynthia Hand, Jodi Meadows, and Brodi Ashton
Info: HarperTeen, copyright 2016, 512 pages

The comical, fantastical, romantical, (not) entirely true story of Lady Jane Grey.  In My Lady Jane, coauthors Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, and Jodi Meadows have created a one-of-a-kind fantasy in the tradition of The Princess Bride, featuring a reluctant king, an even more reluctant queen, a noble steed, and only a passing resemblance to actual history - because sometimes history needs a little help.

At sixteen, Lady Jane Grey is about to be married off to a stranger and caught up in conspiracy to rob her cousin, King Edward, of his throne.  But those trifling problems aren't for Jane to worry about.  Jane gets to be Queen of England.

~Goodreads Description

I'm going to attempt to keep my gushing to a minimum.  I'm going to fail, but dear readers, at least I've tried.  This book.  THIS BOOK!  I've had my eye on this beauty for months and finally got my hands on the copy from my local library.  Okay.  Confession.  I basically bribed our cataloguer to move this to the top of the stack of books to prep for shelving so that I could read it first.  I'm selfish.  A selfish, selfish librarian.

It's the story of Lady Jane Grey, but not.  It's really The Princess Bride meets Lady Jane meets Ladyhawke.  Brilliant.  Absolutely brilliant.  Lady Jane is the king's cousin.  The king is sick, believed to be dying.  The king's advisor comes up with a scheme to put his son on the throne, persuading His Majesty to marry Jane with said son in preparation of His Royal Highnesses untimely demise.  There is scheming, and contriving, and marrying, and unexpectedly the magic of transformation as humans become any number of animals.  Sounds weird, but it really is as brilliant as I mentioned earlier.

The story is supported by a narrator...or narrators, the hilarious voice of our talented authors who break in from time to time to clear up some misconceptions about history and the conundrum of ropes.  There are also quite a few parenthetical sidenotes (and we all know how much I LOVE a good parenthetical sidenote!) that add humor and fun details.  The dialogue is quick and witty, the character development is spot on even with the bouncing around of perspectives between His Majesty (King Edward Tudor), Lady Jane, and Gifford (her gallant steed of a husband).  And the books is loaded with fun pop culture references, especially from The Princess Bride which is only the most excellent movie of all time.

I shrieked, I giggled, I cheered, I shared quotes ad nauseam to my reading buddy Jessica, and I planned on rushing to the nearest bookstore to get my own copy.  But wait, dear reader, I didn't have to because it was in this months #Uppercasebox!  What?!  I now own a signed copy of this book?!  It was a good day.  A really good day.

There's history you know, and lots of history that didn't happen (but totally should have).  There's magic and mayhem and a whole ton of genius.  You should run and get a copy.  Seriously.  Run.  Stop reading, get on your bike, the bus, whatever, and go get a copy today.  You won't be disappointed.  And if you are, I'm sorry for you.


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