In my spare time, I've been reading My Lady Jane by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton and Jodi Meadows. This book is a YA historical reimagining of the life of Lady Jane Grey, who was Queen of England for nine days as a teenager and then beheaded. While I haven't been one to fully embrace the YA explosion of late, I kept hearing what a charmingly funny book this was and I do love humorous takes on history (Blackadder marathons are my favorite). Besides, 16th Century historical fiction is the best.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It undoubtedly falls into the category of a light read, but I did learn a great deal by comparing this reimagined history in this book with Lady Jane Grey's Wikipedia page. The Lady Jane of this book is a total book worm who brings a book to court so she won't be bored. The real Lady Jane was a very educated woman and very well-read. She was married off as a teenager and her father-in-law did plot to make her the successor of King Edward, son of Henry VIII,
My Lady Jane adds an unusual magical element to replace the far too serious religious wars of the time period. In the book's world, certain humans are able to turn into animals. Because those with this magical ability are persecuted, this fact is usually hidden leading to humorous discoveries, such as Lady Jane discovering her new husband spends his days as a horse.
The book is told from the perspective of three characters: King Edward, Lady Jane Grey and her new husband Gifford. At times the writers address the readers directly and this technique is used well until the end of the book. In wrapping up the book, I do think the narrator's addressing the reader is overused. A quick parenthetical quip is amusing, but it becomes overdone.
That being said, this was still a very enjoyable read and I recommend it.