My Lady Jane was the winner for my TBR list this month and it was an awesome choice, so thank you for choosing it! This also works for Beat the Backlist, since it has been on my TBR since it came out. It works for the Harry's Trunk Scavenger Hunt as well for the category Broomstick: since traveling as an animal is pretty unusual transportation as is riding on your husband's back while he is a horse :)
The story is told in three perspectives by three different authors. First we have Edward Tudor, who in actual history, was king for six years and then died from an illness, but before dying named his cousin Jane as queen to try to prevent England from reverting back to Catholicism. Second, we have Lady Jane Grey, who in actual history, was queen for 9 days and beheaded by Queen Mary I. Third, is Gifford Dudley, who in actual history was Guildford Dudley, the son of Lord Dudley, Duke of Northumberland who led Edward to name Jane as successor. However the actual history of the characters does not matter much in the book I am about to review. :)
So in our story instead of the battle between Protestant and Catholics, we have Verities and Edians. Edians have the ability to change into animals, as evidenced by King Henry VIII, who could change into a lion and eat messengers whose messages he did not like. When we enter our story, King Edward is dying of "the Affliction." He wishes only to live and kiss a girl, but as he is told he will die in less than a year, he gives in to a plan by Lord Dudley to marry Jane to Dudley's son, Gifford, who is an Edian. The idea is to protect Edians and keep them from being killed by the Verities of whom Edward's sister Mary is one. Jane and Edward have a special bond as close as siblings and when she realizes it is Edward's dying wish, even though she would much rather just spend her time reading, Jane agrees to marry G as Gifford prefers to be called. However no one tells her G is a horse during the day, since his Edian ability is his "curse," and he cannot control his change. In the meantime, Edward realizes he is being poisoned by Lord Dudley and his sister Mary separately and with the help of his sister, Elizabeth, and his dog/ really an Edian, Pet, manages to turn into a bird and flies away. Jane in the meantime is crowned queen, which lasts only a bit, as Mary gathers forces and takes over. It is up to the new Edians, Jane and Edward, G, and another friendly Edian, Gracie to try to save the kingdom and protect the Edians.
First of all, the book is hilarious. The trio authors manage to weave a bit of history into their fantasy alternate history and provide commentary to remind us what is sort of based on history and what is a complete departure. The idea of Edians seems a bit confusing to explain, but is not confusing to read. I tend to not like historical fiction, because I am nit picky about sticking to the facts, but I love alternate history and this is one of the best. I loved the three perspectives and I don't know how they did it, but the three views tie into each other seamlessly. I would not have known it was three different authors had the names not been on the cover. I really want to try the other works by the authors, because I want to see if I can pick out who wrote what parts. I loved the personalities of our three main characters and I loved how well the secondary characters were portrayed. This did not feel like an almost 500 page book. I also liked how they brought in Shakespeare quotes and other cliches and then pointed out it was still a few years off until Shakespeare and other sayings. I highly recommend this one if you like alternate history and/or Tudor times. 5 cups of cocoa!