I was thrilled to get an advanced review of My Lady Jane at the RT Booklover's convention. I grew up on the Princess Bride (movie and book) and have always loved the pathos of Lady Jane's story--the nine-days queen, a sixteen-year old girl caught up in the wrong politics at the wrong time. How could I resist a story that promised the spirit of the Princess Bride while rewriting Lady Jane's tragic history? My only worry going in was that the story wouldn't live up to the hype.
Luckily, it did so. This is not a short book (three fully fleshed out POVs will do that), but it read like one. And the three main characters are each distinct and adorable. Jane, of course, who would rather read books than get married--particularly not to a handsome, aloof lord with a secret (and the rather dreadful name of Gifford). King Edward, who signs the decree ordering his cousin Jane to marry, to protect the succession since he is clearly dying and his sister Mary, next in line, is equally clearly an unthinkable candidate, given the growing tension between the Verities (who advocate blood purity) and the Ethians (a d with a cross through it), who transform into animal shape. King Henry was a notorious Ethian, known to transform into a lion and the original source of "don't eat the messenger" (because the king, of course, did). And Gifford, better known as G, who is an Ethian himself, unable to control his ability, and spends his days as a horse. When the course of history brings the three of them together, they'll have to use all the wits and skills at their command to outfight Mary--or history may repeat itself, after all, and the story will end with their deaths.
I loved each of the three characters (though I related to Jane the most). The story has a light-hearted historical touch--enough to know the authors have done their research, but the novel mixes historical settings and customs with occasional contemporary lingo in a way that shouldn't work, but totally does.
Fun, funny, adventurous and romantic, this story has something in it for nearly everyone.