Publication Date: June 7, 2016
Reading Level: Young Adult
Pages: 512 (Bound Manuscript)
Source: New York Comic Con 2015
For fans of The Princess Bride comes the comical, fantastical, romantical, (not) entirely true story of Lady Jane Grey.
Lady Jane Grey, sixteen, is about to be married to a total stranger—and caught up in an insidious plot to rob her cousin, King Edward, of his throne. But that’s the least of Jane’s problems. She’s about to become Queen of England. Like that could go wrong.
"Would you like to paint my portrait, Sire? It will last longer." - Bound Manuscript page 218
I read this book in the midst of finals in December, desperate for something that could make me smile and give me a break from my seemingly infinite stress. MY LADY JANE was the perfect remedy for it all, and I am beyond thankful I was fortunate enough to pick up a bound manuscript of the story from New York Comic Con 2015.
I have always been fascinated by Lady Jane Grey. When I was twelve, I went to London for the first time as a student ambassador. We did everything tourist-y, were considerable freaked out by all the ghost stories revolving around London's royals, and were always in bed by ten. When I visited the Tower of London and learned about Jane and her husband, Guildford, carving her name into the wall before both of their executions after her nine day reign as Queen, I was fascinated. She stuck with me. So when I found out a comedic portrayal of this often forgotten part of history was being written, I could not resist! It truly is not easy being queen.
The Jane we meet in MY LADY JANE is a fiery redhead that would easily fit into modern day society. She is proud of who she is as a person and will stand up to everyone, especially her husband and cousin, King Edward, despite this being a ridiculously patriarchal society. She is intelligent, beautiful, and well-learned for her time and in general. A total bookworm, she devours what seems like several books a day and retains their knowledge like no other. Jane Grey is my type of woman.
And the rest of this cast are ridiculously strong as well. Edward is a complex character that goes through some ridiculous growth that still has me reeling. Jane's husband, Gifford (G for short because what a terrible name!) is equally as romantic and intelligent as Jane, it just takes him time to realize that. Edward's entourage also consists of a lovable dog named Pet, a grandmother everyone thinks is dead that emits really terrible odors, a ridiculously intelligent cousin named Bess with feline instincts, and a Scottish lady thief that's literally and figuratively foxy named Gracie. Gracie, let me tell you, reminds me a lot of Scarlet from the SCARLET trilogy by A.C. Gaughen in the best possible ways! Girls that are intelligent, funny, and can protect themselves physically? Sign me up!
The best part of this book, though, is the writing. For a book authored by three people, it flows so beautifully and does not seem choppy at all. The world-building is so spot on with the weaving of magic into historical times until, as the midlogue states, our three narrators throw history out the window and continue their tale as they see fit. The fantastical aspect of this novel is beautiful and unlike something I have seen before in this fashion, and I think readers will love it.
But, more importantly, people will love the book because it is outright hilarious. I found myself constantly laughing out loud and wanting more. It is so well done! This tragic tale turned into a downright hilarious alternate history with fantastical creatures and three narrators that interrupt the tale at the most ideal of times to make you laugh even further.
This book has it all: strong heroines and friendships, romance, hilarity, historical fiction, political scheming, creative insults, and even a battle or two. It is unputdownable and an absolute must read for any YA readers out there. If you do not pick up this book, you will forever regret it. I loved everything about this book, and finished it with a ridiculously satisfied smile on my face.
"That dog ate my scriptwork!" - Bound Manuscript Page 248
FTC Disclaimer: I received no compensation of any kind in exchange for my honest review.