Reading/Interest Level: Young Adult
Author: Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, and Jodi Meadows
Lady Jane Grey didn’t have a happy ending in real life, but the narrators in this book are determined to give her a better story. Her cousin, King Edward, has decreed that she should marry a stranger so that her child can be their heir to the throne instead of his sister Mary who is bloodthirsty towards the group of people who have the ability to turn into animals. Shortly after Jane marries Lord Gifford (or G, as he prefers to be called) and discovers that her husband spends most of his time as a horse, she finds out that she is now the queen of England. Told in three different perspectives, Edward, Jane, and G all race to end the conspiracy to put Mary on the throne, save their own lives, and fall in love.
This book is delightfully fun with charming characters, laugh-out-loud moments, and unexpected rewrites to history. History lovers will appreciate the attention to historical details, but also the irreverence the authors have in making the history move to suit their story. It’s not a book to be taken seriously. The characters are all charming: Edward who just wants to kiss someone before he dies, Jane who doesn’t go anywhere without a few books and prefers them to people, and G who isn’t sure he wants the responsibility of being a man over the ease of being a horse. Even though the characters are written by different authors, the narrative voice feels the same and the tone and humor is consistent throughout the book. The slow romance is nicely done, and the journey to get the right people on the crown is full of excitement. Fans of The Princess Bride, witty pop culture references, history, and books will enjoy this hilarious retelling of a tragic event.
*Contains nudity, mild language, and mild sexual references.