My Lady Jane by Cynthia Hand, Brody Ashton and Jodi Meadows

Lady Jane Grey cover imageSummary: A very fictionalized retelling of Lady Jane Grey’s marriage and assent to the throne with magic.

My day job involves very significant data entry several times a year. This allows me to listen to audiobooks, but at some point, my brain begins to shut down, and I need not only fiction but very light and humorous fiction. My Lady Jane fit the bill perfectly.

My Lady Jane is historical fiction, similar to how A Knight’s Tale is a historical fiction movie. That is to say, historical events VERY loosely inspire them but should not be understood as at all historically accurate. Many narrator notes throughout the book suggest things like, up until this point, the story has been relatively historically accurate, but after this point, no history book will tell it this way. Even without the notes, this is a fantasy book in which the characters turn into animals through magic.

If you have some background in Tudor era history, this will be even more funny than if you do not, but it will be funny regardless of whether you know the history. In My Lady Jane, some people can turn into animals; those people are called Eðians. Up until Henry the VII, Eðians were officially persecuted. (Henry was a lion and when the king is a lion, it is hard to condemn him as an Eðians.) Under Edward that persecution has lessened, but not completely gone away. And since Edward is dying and he is only a teen and has not married or produced an heir, the line of succession is unclear. At this point in English history, no woman had been ruler. Mary was the oldest child, but she also supported continuing to persecute Eðians. So Edward eventually was convinced to support Jane Grey as his successor to keep Mary out of the throne.

Until this point, that is a spoiler, but it is also reasonably basic history, so it should not be too surprising. The real story of Lady Jane Grey does not have a happy ending, but my Lady Jane does, so I will not spoil that.

Some classify this as YA. I am unsure I would classify it as YA, but it is a chaste romance. There are all kinds of jokes about nudity and sex, but there is not actually any sex in the book. But I would not suggest it is appropriate for a 10-year-old, either. The satire and humor are pitched to adults or at least late teens; people younger than that will just miss most of the humor. I very much enjoyed this and I think I will probably pick up more from this series eventually. My Plain Jane is about Jane Eyre, and My Calamity Jane is about Calamity Jane, the 19th-century western star of the traveling Wild Bill show.

My Lady Jane by Cynthia Hand, Brody Ashton and Jodi Meadows Purchase Links: Paperback, Kindle Edition, Audiobook

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