I needed a fun book to kind of fly through after “Idaho” (which is a really great book and you can read Gia’s review of it here: Idaho by Emily Ruskovich). So I picked up a not so historical fiction retelling of the story of Lady Jean Grey. For those who are not familiar, she held the title of Queen of England for nine days prior to being beheaded in spectacular fashion.
This book is like historical fiction meets magic meets fantasy all in one and it diverges significantly from the real story. We work our way through some true events in history leading up to Elizabeth I becoming Queen but with different players and circumstances. So Bloody Mary (Mary Tudor) is prejudiced against the group of humans who can turn into animal versions of themselves. She wants to rid the world of these people much like she did in the Catholic vs Protestant history of truth where she executed anyone who wasn’t Catholic.
The book flips between first person narratives of Jane, her husband Gifford, and Edward VI (who is the current king at the outset of the book). I went through a rabid Henry VIII stage so I have a pretty strong cursory knowledge of the time, the people involved and what went on so I thought this book was especially amusing and they did a nice job weaving in truth with fiction. This book is also the first of what will be three books and it appears the second will be released next year and is a fictionalized look at Jane Eyre and Charlotte Bronte and the third is regarding Calamity Jane.
There’s nothing groundbreaking in here but it’s really fun and funny, especially regarding the role of women and also old school romantic notions. I laughed out loud several times and was sad to see it end. I will be checking out the next two books in the series for sure!