Hey, guys! I am super excited to be coming at you with a review of My Lady Jane by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton and Jodi Meadows. These three ladies wrote one of the most hilarious books I have ever read. They pretty much revised and rewrote a piece of England’s history and added magic and shapeshifting into it. And it worked. I was sold from the dedication page, guys. But before I get more into my thoughts, let’s just jump right into the review!
“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?”
Wow, this book was really good! I didn’t know what to expect going into this because I hadn’t really heard any buzz about it. No one on Booktube or the Blogging community were talking about it. But I ended up really enjoying this. This book was hilarious, well written, and had a really fantastic story line. The pacing was a bit slow at times, but it didn’t really bother me all that much.
Let’s talk about the way this story was told. We follow three unique perspectives (Jane, Edward, and Gifford), and one thing I definitely liked about this was we could always tell whose head we were in. They did not sound the same, which is something I really appreciate in a multiperspective book. I also loved how we got interactions with the narrators throughout the novel, and sometimes those were just my favorite parts because they were absolutely hysterical.
I loved every single one of our main protagonists. I thought they were all developed really well, and they really stood out to me as characters. I loved how much Jane loved her books, and how she was pretty much me, if I were to ever live in the 16th Century. She brought books to parties, refused to socialize, and would always make more room anywhere for books. Those scenes where G didn’t know what to make of her adoration of books were the greatest!
But I also really enjoyed G’s character. He’s a closet poet, which is very scandalous in this time period, and I loved how he was just constantly thinking of poetry, especially in relation to Jane. It just made me so happy and giddy. He cared about her so much, and she inspired so much poetry. I just loved how much he grew to love Jane, despite them being in an arranged marriage. I loved how he didn’t turn out to be a snake like his father, but ended up being the man that he didn’t even know he could be. And he did this for Jane. Also, he hated his father, but that’s besides the point.
I was hardcore shipping them ever since they met, essentially. It was so frustrating for them to obviously have feelings for each other, but Jane thinks he is a womanizer who hates her, and he thinks that she absolutely despises him, when in reality, they both really like each other. Eventually, they grow fond of each other and we watch as they grow real romantic feelings for each other, especially from G who was so worried about Jane all the time. He didn’t want her to get hurt, and it just brought tears to my eyes at times. The love story in this novel was done so well, and I love it so much.
Speaking of other characters, I really shipped Edward and Gracie as well, and I am assuming the love story we will be following next is the one between those two. That’s what the Lady Janies (the narrators call themselves this) were hinting at. It was so empowering to see such a strong, female character who defied all the rules about the way a woman should dress and act during this time. She wore trousers (oh, what a scandal!), and I think this is one of the many reasons he ended up falling for her. Also, she is Scottish, and that is a total bonus!
I need to talk about Lord Dudley and Mary. Mary was someone I immediately distrusted. I got a really weird vibe from her from the very beginning. Especially since she was anti-Eðian, and loved to watch them burn. She was a complete masochistic psychopath. And of course she ended up being paired up with the King’s most trusted adviser, Lord Dudley. I should have know not to trust him. He does have that horrid name from Harry Potter.
But the magic system was something that I really loved about this book. I loved how it wasn’t just black and white, with Eðians being good and the Verities being evil. Some of the Eðians are not the best people on the planet. And some view being an Eðian akin to being cursed. I also found it ironic that pretty much everyone can trace their heritage back to the Eðians, yet they complete forsake that part of themselves. I just loved the shape shifting aspect and how you never know what animal to expect them to be. Its always different than what you envision.
The plot was so interesting. It was so nerve wracking to watch Edward dying. I eventually started catching onto little things that pointed to him being affected by something other than The Affliction, which was a disease that was killing off the people. I thought the plot was super intricate, and I really did not think they would pull it off, honestly. It was very engaging, very action-packed, and very suspenseful. It kept me guessing.
Overall, I really enjoyed this book. I thought the characters and the plot were very complex, which I enjoyed it, and I loved learning more and more about Eðians and the magic system. I loved reading about the love story and seeing G and Jane fall in love; it was so beautiful. I loved how action-packed and suspenseful the story was, and I was in love with the humorous writing. Looking forward to the next addition to the series!
And there you have it! That was my review of My Lady Jane by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton & Jodi Meadows. What is your favorite aspect about Fantasy books? Comment down below! And that is going to be it for this post today. Thank you so much for reading this, I hope you enjoyed it, and I will see you next time.