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review 2017-11-21 08:45
Recenzja
Moja Lady Jane - Cynthia Hand,Jodi Meadows,Brodi Ashton

„Tylko wydaje ci się, że wiesz, jak było.
Oficjalna wersja jest taka, że dawno temu
żyła sobie szesnastolatka imieniem
Jane Grey, którą zmuszono do małżeństwa
z kompletnie obcą osobą, a wkrótce potem
stanęła na czele państwa. Królowała przez
całe dziewięć dni. A potem straciła głowę.
Dosłownie.”

Król Edward jest w wielkich tarapatach – według swego lekarza jest umierający. Zawsze mógłby zmienić lekarza, jednakże nie ma pewności, że ten nowy powiedziałby mu coś innego. Tak więc, nie musząc martwić się rządzeniem, bo od tego przecież ma ludzi, i raz na jakiś czas składając podpis na jakimś dokumencie, którego nawet na dobrą sprawę nie czytał (bo niby czemu miałby to robić, skoro zostało mu coś przedstawione do podpisania, to on może to na spokojnie zrobić), po konsultacjach z jednym
z doradców wpada na genialny pomysł! Skoro mężczyzna nie może przedłużyć rodu, bo nie wie nawet, czy dożyje narodzin potencjalnego (zakładając, że to syna by miał), zawsze można się uciec po pomoc do – kogóż by innego! – kobiet.

„- Sire? – ponaglił go książę Dudley.
Edward otrząsnął się ze wspomnień.
- Chcesz wydać Jane za mąż – zdradził
się z podejrzeniami. – A czy wiesz
już za kogo?”

Jane kocha książki i właściwie nie widzi poza nimi świata. Nic ani nikt inny nie jest jej potrzebny do szczęścia. No, może poza faktem, że jej największym marzeniem jest być Eðianką – nie do końca mityczną, bo żyjącą i mającą się w angielskim społeczeństwie całkiem nieźle, tajemniczą rasą ludzi, która posiadła zdolność zmieniania się w zwierzę. Decyzja Edwarda ją zaskakuje, ale nie ma możliwości sprzeciwu, bo jej matka już dawno straciła nadzieję na wydanie córki za mąż, a poza tym – któż jest na tyle odważny, by odmówić królowi?

Gifford, przyszły mąż Jane, całe dnie spędza w postaci konia. Król zostaje poinformowany o tym fakcie, jednakże zajęty swoją zbliżającą się śmiercią oraz chęcią osadzenia na tronie kogoś innego niż jego własna siostra, nie tylko nie przejmuje się tym zbytnio, ale nie czuje się też osobą upoważnioną do poinformowania kuzynki o tym – jakby nie było istotnym – fakcie.

„- Dajcie mi znać, gdy tylko król będzie
gotowy mnie przyjąć. Mam do niego

pilną, niecierpiącą zwłoki sprawę.
- Oczywiście, milady – zapewnił strażnik (…)”

Nagle Anglią wstrząsa chaos. Edward znika, Jane musi zasiąść na tronie jako pełnoprawna władczyni, Dudley, ojciec Gifforda nie tylko mówi królowej, że ciało jej kuzyna jest w tak złym stanie, że ta nie może go zobaczyć, ale też próbuje nią sterować, jej mąż wciąż znika na całe dnie, a Maria koniecznie chce pozbawić ją głowy noszącej koronę, by samej objąć rządy w kraju o którym sądzi, że jest jej dziedzictwem i wytępić wszystkich zmiennokształtnych, których serdecznie nienawidzi. Niektórzy Eðianie zaczynają zdobywać coraz większą władzę nad społeczeństwem, zastraszając je, podczas gdy inni wolą się ukryć i w ogóle nie przyznawać do tego, kim w rzeczywistości są.

„Szare oczy Bess zwęziły się, gdy jej wzrok padł na Marię.
- Edward jest prawowitym dziedzicem tronu Anglii,
ponieważ nasz ojciec ogłosił go dziedzicem.
Król może przeznaczyć koronę, komu tylko chce.”

Co wyszło z pomieszania historii z fikcją literacką i wymyśloną rasą ludzi, która umie zmieniać się w zwierzęta? Moim zdaniem – całkiem niezła historia, trochę wybijająca się ponad przeciętne, choć ze zbyt dużą ilością dowcipów zwanych potocznie sucharami, niektórymi bardziej denerwującymi niż lubianymi postaciami i akcją, która momentami zbytnio się ślimaczyła. A jednak uważam, że warto było ją przeczytać. Może chwilami czułam się znudzona, ale ogólnie oceniam historię raczej na plus niż na minus. Czy sięgnę po następny tom? Pewnie tak. Nie lubię zaczynać historii i jej nie kończyć. Ale to, że wskoczy ona wysoko na listę tego, co chciałabym przeczytać, jest mało prawdopodobne.

„- Jane, chcę, żebyś wiedziała, że twój
pocałunek jest jak dzieło sztuki…
- Mniej gadania, więcej całowania.”

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review 2017-09-29 11:04
Before She Ignites was a slow burn but worth it
Before She Ignites (Fallen Isles) - Jodi Meadows

I received this book for free from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

 

A spoiled, privileged, none-too-smart girl with a mental illness is thrown into the most awful of jails and must content with a cruel prison guard who is determined to uncover the secrets that put her there.

 

Mira is the Hopebearer, nothing more than a pretty face and a voice for the Luminary Council to placate their citizens due to a treaty named after her. Mira holds no real power, and she discovers this when she uncovers something she shouldn’t have and tries to do the right thing, culminating with her being tossed into an underground jail known as the Pit. Mira suffers from anxiety and panic attacks which I think are written quite well. She is obsessed with numbers and continues to count throughout the novel, without her illness being magically cured by the end. She spends most of the novel in the jail, and we see the lead-up to her imprisonment through flashbacks as she slowly reveals her secrets to us and to a cruel guard determined to make her like even more miserable.

 

Meadows shows her skills as a writer by slowly uncovering the truth not only about why Mira was thrown in jail, but about the people who put her there. I don’t really want to say much else because it’s better to go into this novel unspoiled and reveal it for yourself. I really enjoyed all aspects, especially as Mira began to realise her world was not the way she thought it was. She goes from a soft-skinned pawn to a stronger young woman who figures out that although she has been in a gilded cage her entire life, her voice can be used as a weapon.

 

The use of short flashback scenes cut between the current timeline of Mira in prison helps to not only reveal what led to her demise, but also develop the characters of her best friends and to see more of the dragons that Mira loves so much. It creates a kind of cliffhanger at the end of every chapter: You want to know what’s going to happen next in the current timeline but you also want to see more of Mira’s life pre-prison. You really get the sense of Mira’s privileged lifestyle as she bemoans all of the luxuries she’s missing in prison and her obsession with food is completely understandable when she is starved and tortured.

 

I think my only problem with this novel is that Mira spends an awful lot of time in prison and stubbornly doesn’t spill her secret the first chance she is given. I don’t really understand why she keeps the secret for so long. I feel that if I were in her position I’d be telling everyone I could. The more people that know, the less the bad guys can get away with what they’re doing. However, it’s a very small issue and the rest of the novel is thoroughly enjoyable. I’m really looking forward to the sequels.

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review 2017-07-17 02:39
My Lady Jane
My Lady Jane - Brodi Ashton,Jodi Meadows,Cynthia Hand

If you’ve ever wondered what it might have been like if William Goldman of The Princess Bride fame had written and directed some sort of Ladyhawke/The Tudors mashup for a YA audience, get yourself a copy of this book. It’s a bit of silly revisionist history featuring Tudor England with shapeshifters. I was after a light, fluffy read, and this fit the bill pretty well. I found it very entertaining, though the narrators’ asides got more annoying as the story progressed, and the references to Game of Thrones, Monty Python, The Princess Bride, etc., induced more eye rolls than giggles. And I really felt rather sorry for the way Princess Mary was portrayed. Poor Mary! You deserved better.

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review 2017-07-07 08:26
whimsically lighthearted Royal Romp
My Lady Jane - Brodi Ashton,Jodi Meadows,Cynthia Hand

This was a good old-fashioned Alt History with romance and loads of snarky quips. Silliness and an effervescent reimagining of some real life Tudor tragedies ensues and a good time is had by some. On a personal note, I really enjoyed Jane! I loved her obsession with all things biblio, surely a love we can all relate to....the smell of the books, the palpable excitement associated with the start of a new adventure, the places you go and lives you lead, the actual feel and weight of the thing, and all the other blissful -philias accompanied with the ownership of a book. I especially enjoyed Jane's relationships with her cousin, King Edward VI, and her husband G. This quasi-historic, multiple POV retelling has a strong plot, likeable/ relatable characters and an inspiring re-imagining of a happier ending for those unfortunate Fortunates. Be aware: this feels rather lengthy at times. This is especially true if you're in the mood for something gripping or deeply life altering because if that's what you're craving this is not your book. It is, however, a whimsically lighthearted (often mind numbing) royal romp. SO, you've been warned!. Okay Alternative History buffs and Fantasy folks... unite and devour this exceptionally fun, well written, cohesive, tri-author gem.

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review 2017-01-19 00:00
My Lady Jane
My Lady Jane - Jodi Meadows,Brodi Ashton... My Lady Jane - Jodi Meadows,Brodi Ashton,Cynthia Hand This is such a weird book and I loved it. There were some plot holes here and there which is the only reason why I am giving this 4 stars.

This is an alternate story to Lady Jane and here is some information for you people out there who don't know who Lady Jane Grey is.

Lady Jane Grey (1536/1537 – 12 February 1554), also known as Lady Jane Dudley or the Nine-Day Queen, was an English noblewoman and de facto monarch of England and Ireland from 10 July until 19 July 1553.The great-granddaughter of Henry VII through his younger daughter Mary, Jane was a first cousin once removed of Edward VI. In May 1553, she was married to Lord Guildford Dudley, a younger son of Edward's chief minister, John Dudley, Duke of Northumberland. When the 15-year-old king lay dying in June 1553, he nominated Jane as successor to the Crown in his will, thus subverting the claims of his half-sisters Mary and Elizabeth under the Third Succession Act. Jane was imprisoned in the Tower of London when the Privy Council decided to change sides and proclaim Mary as queen on 19 July 1553. Jane was convicted of high treason in November 1553, which carried a sentence of death, although her life was initially spared. Wyatt's rebellion of January and February 1554 against Queen Mary I's plans to marry Philip of Spain led to the execution of both Jane and her husband).


In this alternate story, the entire world (at least England, Scotland, and France) have humans (Verities) and Edians (human beings who can shape-shift into animals).

We find out King Henry VIII could turn into a lion and from there his different wives were either Verities or Edians. England right now has many Verities who want to wipe out the Edians totally.

This story has three different POVs and each works quite well. We have King Edward VI (the boy king who dies in our history), Lady Jane (Queen of England and Ireland for 9 days) and her husband Gifford (otherwise known as G).

I have to say my favorite POV was honestly Edward. He tries to be a good king, but once he is told he has "The Affliction" he knows that he will die soon. He is led to bypass his two half sisters (Mary and Bess) in the line of succession and instead names Jane instead.

We readers quickly find out that there are shenanigans afoot to put Jane on the throne as a figurehead only with her husband really being king. That quickly gets dealt with and somehow Mary gets put on the throne and is out to destroy Jane, G, and anyone else standing in her way since she wants to kill all Edians.

The overall plot really is about the Verities and Edians fighting it out (metaphors for the Catholics and the Protestants). I did mention some plot holes here and there, and one big one for me really is that there was this whole thing about our band of heroes going to France for help and King Edward talking to the current King of France about how terrible women are and they are not fit to rule (don't worry Edward doesn't believe it and feels sick even saying that out loud). The King agrees to help based on stopping Mary from sitting on the throne. However, with the ending, you are telling me the King of France did not get super ticked by those turn of events?

The fact that each of these author's took a different POV and managed to make the plot run as smoothly as they did gives them high kudos from me. There are humorous comments made throughout the entire book that will have you smiling and even laughing. Some reviewers have likened this book to "The Princess Bride" or "Monty Python" in book form. I think those are great comparisons. If you like either of those things, I think this will be the book for you.
I thought the flow was just okay though. Sometimes it felt like we just got to a very interesting stopping point and then the story would be thrown to another character.

The setting in this alternate England really works. I loved the idea of people shape-shifting into animals. The random lines thrown out about King Henry VIII eating people who displeased me cracked me up too. I also loved finding out what animals some of our characters turned into as well.

The ending leaves us with a Happily Ever After and I for one was glad to see it.
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