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My Lady Jane  By  cover art

My Lady Jane

By: Cynthia Hand,Brodi Ashton,Jodi Meadows
Narrated by: Katherine Kellgren
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Publisher's Summary

The comical, fantastical, romantical, (not) entirely true story of Lady Jane Grey.

In My Lady Jane, coauthors Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, and Jodi Meadows have created a one-of-a-kind fantasy in the tradition of The Princess Bride, featuring a reluctant king, an even more reluctant queen, a noble steed, and only a passing resemblance to actual history - because sometimes history needs a little help.

At 16, Lady Jane Grey is about to be married off to a stranger and caught up in a conspiracy to rob her cousin, King Edward, of his throne. But those trifling problems aren't for Jane to worry about. Jane gets to be queen of England.

Like that could go wrong.

©2016 Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, and Jodi Meado (P)2016 HarperCollins Publishers

What listeners say about My Lady Jane

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Hysterical Alternate History

I haven't had this much fun reading a book in a long time. Probably because it's been so long since I've read anything by Jasper Fforde. There were many laugh-out-loud moments in the reading of this book.

My Lady Jane is the story of Jane Gray who ruled England for nine days after the death of Edward VI (Henry VIII's son). But this isn't the story that you read in the history books. ("Part II: In Which We Throw History Completely Out the Window." Haha.) I didn't know what exactly the authors had changed when I started the book, and I liked that way because when I found out the central premise in the first chapter or so I was highly amused.

My Lady Jane was written by three authors, Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, and Jodi Meadows, and they obviously had a fantastic time writing this book together. I love, I mean really love, all the narrator asides. I thought it was really fun how they were so self-conscious and meta about the telling of the tale.

The audiobook of My Lady Jane was so stickin' fantastic. Kathrine Kellgren narrates the book. (She also narrated Austenland which is one of my very favorite audiobooks). Kellgren's narration definitely made the book even funnier. She hits it out of the park with her over-the-top, tongue in cheek style. (Is that enough idioms for one sentence or what?)

Now I'm kind of at a loss for what to listen to next, and it's been a long time since a book has wrecked me for any other book.

96 people found this helpful

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Jane Austen + Monty Python + Mel Brooks

This book is incredible!!! It's funny and clever. Full of good British humor and wit. The narrator is perfection. I absolutely adore this book. It's a must read.

38 people found this helpful

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Lives up to the very best 5 star reviews

Historical fiction/romance is not my thing, but this was on sale, read by K. Kellgren, and had a lot of good reviews.

I almost returned it in the first half hour as too cute, trying too hard, just not interesting - how could I ever get through a few minutes more much less the full 13+ hours?

THEN the magic happened - could hardly put it down for the next two days and intend to listen to it again when I need something absurd and cheerful. Also wonderful and weird.

Yes, Python, FForde, Adams, Pratchett fans, and probably quite a few serious history scholars and English lit majors are likely to enjoy it.

33 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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An Unexpected Delightful and Queenly Read

I go back and forth on whether "My Lady Jane" deserves a 4 or 5 star rating. This book truly impresses me for a young adult historical fantasy. However, I find the beginning a bit slow, which is why I hesitate to award it a 5 star rating.

"My Lady Jane" is truly a gem among the sea of mediocre young adult reads. This book has it all-- romance, history, action, adventure, intrigue, and a bit of mystery. The authors put in a lot of labor to research the historical aspects of the novel without sacrificing the fun and whimsical fantasy portions. I can see teenagers reading this book and suddenly deciding that they need to find out who Lady Jane Grey really is. They will whip out their cell phones and quickly scan the Wikipedia page about her. No matter where they find their historical research, I am always delighted to see more young people take an interest in history.

The characters are amazing! They are all distinct. Many are based on factual people, like Edward, Jane, and Gifford, to name just a few. In the audible version, the voice actors bring the characters to life with distinct tones that replicate the personality traits of each character. Jane, a bookworm know-it-all, is someone that I can identify with. She always has her nose in a book, a characteristic I embodied as a young girl. She is also very opinionated with her knowledge. As a woman in a time period when they are underappreciated, she is not afraid to speak her mind. Jane is brave, intelligent, ingenious, creative, and a strong heroine that makes a fantastic queen for the nine days she rules. All the female characters are well developed and strong role models for young girls everywhere. Jane's aptitude for leadership rivals her successor the future Queen Elizabeth, affectionately nicknamed Bessie. The weaker characters are the males, which I was ok with because the book is about Jane. Edward is my least favorite, but, then again, he epitomizes the ever whiny and petulant opinions of a teenage king. G grows on me, but he also started as a nincompoop who had to develop and mature quickly thanks to the influence of Jane and the ever present potential for war with Mary Tudor.

The characters are fun regardless of their role as protagonist, antagonist, or supporting character. The narrator telling the story is also a character and inserts her voice as a way to stop the action and reassure the readers that everything is going to be ok. These portions of the book remind me of a troubadour or a storyteller during a live performance. They are hilarious and keep the drama and excitement to a manageable proportion, so the younger readers do not walk away in utter fear that everyone is going to die.

The fantasy aspects provide a unique and flavorful twist to what some young people might term a boring historical reality. Pronounced "Eth-y-un," these people have the ability to transform into animal form. Meanwhile, the Verities want to exterminate the shapeshifter members of society. Hmm...does this conflict remind us of anything? Say...the Protestants versus the Catholics? The fantastical element to the divisions in England gives the book a fun and different grounding point for young readers who might not understand the religious reasons for fighting. The authors create an alternate reality and develop it substantially throughout the course of the book. I would love a companion read similar to "Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them" from the Harry Potter series.

The setting is nothing to call home about. It takes place in England, and it feels like England. There are castles, forests, and, of course, the tower of London.

The plot starts off extremely slow, which was the result of switching constantly between Edward's and Jane's perspective. The chapters change point of view between the cousins and G, but I find myself most excited by the chapters where Jane's voice is center stage. There is a lot of excitement in the book, a little bit of death, a pinch of romance, and even a mythical great white bear. I love the adventures of all the characters. There are some surprises, to be expected because the book gives an alternate history to what we think we know about Lady Jane Grey. Readers of any age will find themselves on the edge of their seats as they try to figure out how this whirlwind book will end.

Ultimately, the book has a humorous side--imagine Monty Python written by a woman. There are puns and many laugh out loud moments, although some of the British humor can get boring. Others harken it to a contemporary version of "The Princess Bride." It is a stretch because "The Princess Bride" definitely deserves a 5 star rating whereas this one hovers between a 4 and a 5 star rating.

Other than the aforementioned slow beginning, there are other reasons I rated the book down a little bit. I found some of the outcomes too predictable, especially considering the gendered reality of the time. I wanted there to be less emphasis on gender differences between the characters and even pull it back from some of the kid sentiments, such as "ewww, she's naked!" or "oh gosh, I do not know how to kiss!" Then again, I find that the authors probably tapped into the silliness of teenage immaturity rather well as it is meant for a young audience. I did like the happy ending even though it was a traditional and expected outcome. The twist regarding the poetry in the book was definitely foreshadowed.

Overall, I still want to rave about this book and highly recommend it to all the people who read my reviews. It is fun. It is different. It will make you laugh and look at a dark point of British history in an unique light. It is suitable for all ages. Plus, the audible version really brings the entire book to life. It is a perfect for bedtime or a long driving trip because the entire family can enjoy it. If given the chance, I will read the other books in the Lady Janie series. Kudos to the authors for their research labors. You taught us something about history while maintaining a lighthearted tone for the enjoyment of all.

22 people found this helpful

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Best narrator EVER!

Story was hilarious on it's own, but the narrator MADE it! Great time, great story. Highly recommend.

13 people found this helpful

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Interesting take

Not my cup of tea. I have to hand it to the authors for their creativity and attempt at humor,. I thought the narrator screamed to much, very irritating.

12 people found this helpful

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Big mistake

The performance by Katherine Kellgren RUINED this story. Too shrill and over-the-top. It drained all the fun out of the revisionist history of Lady Jane Grey. FYI, I enjoyed KK's narration on the Her Royal Spyness series, but this is awful.

11 people found this helpful

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Brilliant

Words cannot express how wonderful this book is. It's quirky, hilarious and a wonderful twist on history. The narrator is very dramatic, but it works so well for the story. You must read this book, it's getting added to my very prestigious favourite list.

11 people found this helpful

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Predictable

The only reason I listened to the whole story was because I paid for it. If you're over 16 years old this book is NOT for you.

10 people found this helpful

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Saucy & Sassy Fun

I haven't enjoyed a book this much in a long time. Channeling The Princess Bride, this is a tale of adventure, romance, and a horse--a cute horse who is also a man. They nailed the nods to pop culture, history, and classical lit. It's not often you get Shakespeare, Monty Python, The Game of Thrones, and the Catholic/Protestant struggles for the throne (and more) all in one place--while laughing and rooting for a rat (well, not really a rat--you'll see). This book is great for teens and up.

7 people found this helpful