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Book Review: My Lady Jane by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, and Jodi Meadows (4/5)

28 Nov

I decided to read this book to help me fulfill a time period in my When Are You Reading? Challenge. I’d seen it on other people’s blogs through the years but never been too tempted by it before. It looked fun, but how much could there be to say about a woman who ruled for nine days. Well, a lot. And with some magic and a tons and tons of sarcasm. This book ended up being a really fun read that I enjoyed a lot.


Cover image via Amazon

My Lady Jane (The Lady Janies #1) by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, and Jodi Meadows

Summary from Amazon:

At 16, Lady Jane Grey is about to be married off to a stranger and caught up in a 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.

Like that could go wrong.

I immediately loved the 3rd wall breaking and the sarcastic comments and the very honest internal dialogue. This book was fun from the beginning. While Jane meets the almost required ‘modern girl in a historical setting’ trope that all good YA historical novels seem to have, I still liked her. I wasn’t ready for the magical elements to this plot but they did make things fun. I would have liked a better explanation of the curse, but it’s something I can live without and I wonder if it’s better explained in the next book.

The characters were a little too comical to be credible. There were things they did and said that seemed genuine, but then there were moments that were too over-the-top and I could really believe. It helped the tone of the book and made it fun to read as I was being entertained. You don’t expect a comedy to be filled with the most realistic people.

I was always cheering for Gifford. I wanted good things for him. I felt like he got a bad deal, being the second son, but his father and brother did all they could to make his life even harder. The way he cared for and protected Jane were very sweet and I was glad the way things ended up for the two of them.

Edward was raised to be king and was always told he was a great king. I thought it was really relatable when he started to question that, and wondered how much he wanted to be king. I’ve been thinking a lot about what we teach our children and what we encourage them to chase and how much that’s in their best interest so this struck home with me. I was glad when Edward thought about things for himself and realized his sister would make a strong ruler. (I’m not calling this a spoiler because it’s basic history. Sorry if you didn’t know.)


Cynthia Hand Image via Goodreads

There isn’t a single part of this story I would say I liked more than others. It was well paced with highlight moments coming at fairly regular intervals that kept me interested and excited for what would come next. I loved how Jane would become a thesaurus when she was angry, listing synonyms. I thought it was very sweet and it was consistently employed through the book.

Gracie’s character seemed unnecessary to me. I’m hoping she comes up in a later book, or else what was the point of her? Edward’s attraction to her didn’t motivate him much and her tie to the Pack could have been skipped. I have to assume she’ll play a larger role later in the series or I would think she’d have been cut.

The audiobook was narrated by Katherine Kellgren. Oh. My. Gosh. She was incredible. Her narration made this book for me. I’m sure I would have liked it if I’d read the text, but her sarcasm, her dramatics, and her variety of voices were incredible. I couldn’t wait to start this again and have Kellgren read to me. I would pick out other books she’s narrated in a heartbeat.

The Ethian/Verities opinions are a softened version of the Catholic/Protestant differences that dominated this period of history. The distaste for Ethians by Verities or the tolerance of them defined the reigns of King Henry VIII, Kind Edward, Lady Jane, Queen Mary, and Queen Elizabeth I much in the same way their changing opinions of Catholics and Protestants defined the time period. I liked this way of talking about it without the story being about religion.

Writer’s Takeaway: The sarcastic style and internal dialogue of the characters was great for a YA audience. I’m not sure it would go over as well for a younger or older audience, but it seemed perfect for this spot in between. It felt realistic and I’m sure I’m not the only one who was full of sass in my teen years. Some of the things these characters thought or said were things I would be embarrassed to admit I thought or said, but that made it more fun to read.

Overall, a fun read that I enjoyed. Four out of Five Stars.

This book fulfilled the 1500-1699 time period of the When Are You Reading? Challenge 2022.

Until next time, write on.

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My Lady Jane by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, and Jodi Meadows | The Book Corps
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My Lady Jane by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, and Jodi Meadows | The Mermaid Behind the Books