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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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review 2016-12-31 02:04
#CBR8 Book 133: My Lady Jane by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton and Jodi Meadows
My Lady Jane - Brodi Ashton,Jodi Meadows,Cynthia Hand

According to history, when King Edward VI, Henry VIII's son died young and childless, certain noblemen who wanted to make sure a ruler of the Protestant faith ruled the country put his young cousin Lady Jane Gray on the throne. She ruled for nine days, before Mary Tudor arrived with her armies, removed the poor girl and had her beheaded. This book bears a vague resemblance to that story.

In the England of this story, the conflict in England isn't between Catholics and Protestants, it's between non-shapeshifters, also known as Verities, and shapeshifters, better known as eðians (pronounced eethians). King Henry VIII himself turned into a great big lion, on occasion, but even so, the eðians are generally hunted and distrusted by the populace in general. Princess Mary is staunchly against them and want them all killed, while young King Edward and his best friend and cousin, Lady Jane Grey read everything they can about them and would like nothing more than to discover eðian abilities of their own.

Sadly, Edward appears to be dying. He has been told by Lord Dudley, his chief adviser and his physicians that he's suffering from "the affliction" and that he is unlikely to have long, certainly not long enough to marry and produce a male heir. Luckily Dudley has a plan to secure a succession that will make sure an eðian-friendly ruler ends up on the English trone. He suggests that Edward change the line of succession to ensure that his cousin Lady Jane's heirs inherit. Of course, Jane needs to be married to produce heirs, but Dudley has just the candidate. His younger son, Gifford. There is the minor difficulty that Gifford Dudley is an eðian and spends every day from sunup to sunset as a magnificent stallion, but any heirs would be conceived at night anyways, so Dudley is sure Jane wouldn't mind too much.

When the extremely intellectual Jane finds out that she's to be married off within a few days, she travels to the Dudley estate (carrying with her a suitable supply of books to entertain her) to meet her intended. Unfortunately, because of some rather shameful nightly pursuits, Gifford (just call him G) has let it be known that he's a rampant womaniser. It's more socially acceptable than what he gets up to. Hence his older brother mistakes Jane for one of his younger brother's many suspected floozies and Jane believes her impending husband is a lecherous libertine (he's not, he's actually a poet). Nor does anyone deem it appropriate to tell her about her husband's eðian status, so she has quite the surprise the morning after her wedding, when the groom turns into a big horse in the middle of her bedroom.

As Edward takes a rapid turn for the worse shortly after the wedding, his sister Elizabeth warns him that he mustn't trust his physicians and he realises that Dudley is up to no good, and that Jane may be in terrible danger as well.

This is a delightful farce of a book, where we follow the points of view of Edward, Jane and G (he never liked the name Gifford) as the story progresses. Since there are three authors, I suspect each of them took one character and wrote their sections. Having loosely based the first half on actual historical events (if you ignore the shapeshifters), the second half is pure fantasy and a lot of fun. The book is clearly inspired by The Princess Bride, with the narrators occasionally interrupting the narrative to address the reader directly. Readers will recognise that most of Gifford's poetry is strikingly similar to that of one William Shakespeare. There is humour reminiscent of Monty Python and Blackadder, while at least one plot development brings to mind the lovely Ladyhawke, one of my favourite eighties movies (I'd love to get a version with a non-synthy soundtrack).

I've seen this book included on several best of 2016 lists, and while I'm not sure I enjoyed it enough to include it in my top ten of the year, it's a very enjoyable romp from start to finish. My one complaint is that the book is a bit long and I think some of the parts in the second half could have been edited a bit more. As a huge fan of Tudor history in general, and having always been sympathetic to poor Lady Jane, the nine days queen, who really didn't have much choice in the matter and was a political pawn her entire life, it was nice to see a story that reimagines a much happier ending for her. Possibly not the book for you if you take your history very seriously, but highly recommended for anyone who wants a fun, creative and irreverent reimagining of history.

Judging a book by its cover: While on first look, this may seem like any old historical novel, with your red-headed girl in Tudor era clothing and a big red font bringing your attention to the title, you need only take a closer look to see that there's more here. In little "hand-written notes" and arrows pointing to the girl on the cover, the writers explain that "Sometimes history gets it all wrong". The other notes say "It's not easy being queen" and "Off with her head".

Source: kingmagu.blogspot.no/2016/12/cbr8-book-133-my-lady-jane-by-cynthia.html
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review 2016-10-12 08:11
My Lady Jane - Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, Jodi Medows
My Lady Jane - Brodi Ashton,Jodi Meadows,Cynthia Hand

"No horse jokes," he said.

"My Lord, I apologise for the horse joke. If you put down the book-unharmed!-I will give you a carrot."

He brandished the book at her. "Was that a horse joke?"

"Neigh."

 

This book is by far one of the funniest (if not THE funniest) book I have read this year. Usually, I'm not the sort of person that reads books that are known to have quite large  elements of comedy in them, nor do I usually read books that are written in the third person narrative, all I know is that I am so glad I gave this book a shot.

 

'My Lady Jane' follows three different perspectives, King Edward the VI, Lady Jane Grey, and Gifford whose stories are intertwined from the get-go. If I'm being totally honest I didn't really care that much for Edwards perspective for the most part as I found Gifford and Jane's perspectives to be funnier and more light-hearted in the face of danger, while Edward tended to be whinier and caught up in his own mind. I do, however, understand that he is meant to come across that way as he is, well, the king. 

 

I was also unsure how this book would go and fit together, being written by three different authors but I personally believe that it went very well. Contrary to my own belief I enjoyed the little author's notes type things in the middle of a paragraph, as it meant they were able to have quirky input as to historical inaccuracies, or just where the story got a little bit off track.

 

All in all, I would thoroughly recommend this book to those that are lovers of historical fiction (and maybe even people that are just a fan of history with a few twists), and people that need a light-hearted yet serious read to occupy their time.

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review 2016-09-13 14:00
The Mirror King
The Mirror King (Orphan Queen) - Jodi Meadows
This book picks up right where The Orphan Queen left off and the action never stops. I was holding my breath so much while reading this book. Tensions are already high with the coming destruction of the wraith and now Wil's identity has been revealed to everyone in the Indigo Kingdom and she struggles as she tries to control her magic and take back control of her kingdom.
 
Wil is a continuously growing character. She wants to be the queen that her people need but she's struggling with how to become that person. How do you go from being an orphan, living on the streets and fighting to survive to being a queen and being responsible for an entire kingdom? She manages, but not so gracefully at first. It's a learning experience for her and her friends as they navigate how to run a kingdom and deal with the wraith. 
 
Wil and Tobiah's relationship is what made this story for me. I'm not big on romance but I just couldn't help it with these two. No matter the obstacles that get in their way they keep coming back to each other. And Tobiah's list at the end was just...Wow... I cried happy tears.

I am so glad we got to see more of James in this book! The mystery surrounding his miraculous healing in The Orphan Queen is finally revealed and I was completely blown away. Did not see that coming. I can't say much without spoiling the ending but James is a true hero with unyielding loyalty for those he cares about. The wraith boy, Chrysalis, worked his way into my heart. He is like a child, only wanting to please but he goes about it the wrong way and without thinking of the consequences. He was so devoted to Wil. I wish she would have showed him a little more attention because that's all he really wanted. I can't help but wonder if she HAD shown him more affection, would he have acted differently? Grown more compassionate and sympathetic, even more human? The ending was perfection. The entire book was a whirlwind of emotions. Of love and loss. Of adventure, action, magic and best of all, hope. This is one of those series that will stay with me for a long time.
 
-BW
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review 2016-09-11 15:01
The Orphan Queen
The Orphan Queen - Jodi Meadows
Wilhelmina is an orphaned princess, her parents were murdered and her home kingdom of Aecor was conquered by King Terrell of  the Indigo Kingdom 10 years ago in what is known as the One-Night war. Now she and her band of refugees, known as the Ospreys, are preparing to take back their kingdom. Wil and her best friend Melanie are infiltrating the palace under the guise of a duchess and her companion from Liadia to obtain information that will help them reclaim Aecor.
 
Wil has developed many talents over the years. She is an excellent fighter, a spy and a thief, master of forgery and a magic user- more specifically she is an animator, she can bring objects to life and command them to do what she wants. Magic is forbidden now and this is a secret she has kept to herself. Magic has created the wraith and it is slowly spreading across the world, poisoning the land and turning animals and humans into enormous monsters.
 
Black Knife is a masked vigilante in the Indigo Kingdom. He is feared by some and commended by others. He spends each night apprehending criminals and fighting wraith monsters that enter the city. I suspected his identity early in the book and I'm glad I was right. Black Knife and Wil's relationship has to be my favorite part of this entire book. I fell in love with him instantly and enjoyed following Wil along as she slowly did too.

The rest of the characters were pretty one dimensional to me. I would have liked to learn more about Patrick and Melanie and even Prince Tobiah. Maybe we will get more of them in the next book?

Overall, The Orphaned Queen is a spectacular fantasy world full of magic, romance and secrets. Well written and kept me hooked from the beginning.  Oh and that cliffhanger ending- How could you do this to me, Jodi??? Starting the next book right away!
 
-BW
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