Monday, July 25, 2016

My Lady Jane by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, and Jodi Meadows Review

Title: My Lady Jane
Author(s): Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, and Jodi Meadows
Age Group: Teen/Young Adult
Genre: Fantasy/Historical Fiction
Series: N/A, standalone
Star Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars

I borrowed this book from my local library and reviewed it.

I won't mince words: This book is one of my favorites of the summer, the year, and probably ever. The concept is certainly unusual: a fantasy retelling of British history, chock-full of humor, wit, and pop culture references. Think The Tudors mashed up with Monty Python, and you'll have something close to My Lady Jane. I loved it, and I'm hoping that these three authors will collaborate again. (Please? It was absolute perfection!) The authors use the first half of the novel to lay the groundwork for the history that inspires it, and they use the second half to drive the novel home. It was so fantastic--I was literally laughing out loud the entire time I was reading. (If all 'history' was taught like this, I promise even the haters would happily be on board.)

There are three main characters in this book: Edward, as in Edward, the King of England, Lady Jane Gray, a young woman who loves books more than she loves people, (yay for a bookish main character! Always a good way to win over this reader) and Gifford, also known as 'G', Jane's reluctant spouse.  All three characters intersect, all different and equally witty and hilarious. This England, too, is not what you think: this England has magic, in the form of Edians (pronounced Eth-y-uns): people who can change into animals at will. Forced into a dangerous web of political intrigue, the three royals must unite (with many sparkling, wicked secondary characters) and save their country, despite all of the forces around them conspiring to have the crown for themselves.

As I said before, this book was just lovely, a breath of fresh air. I loved the way the authors spun history to such humorous and witty effect. It was pretty much perfect in every way--the pacing was breakneck, the prose flowing and full of sparkling humor, wit, and a treasure trove of pop culture references. It was so refreshing and fun and delightful, and it was a good thing to read after This Savage Song. It's something like a literary palate cleanser: it was fun and light and full of heart. The bottom line: A more than worthy addition to an already large bounty of young adult literature this year, My Lady Jane was a wonderful, humorous spin on English history--a gem of 2016! Next on deck: Girls on Fire by Robin Wasserman!

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