Hilarious. Just--hilarious. Perfectly wonderful as an audiobook.
you know the story of Lady Jane Grey, the Nine-Day Queen of England,
you know it has a tragic ending. This story, not so much. In alternate
history at its best (or at least most fun), Jane's story has become an
adventure and romance that involves shapeshifters, kings, thieves, and
one husband who happens to be a horse (at least part of the time).
prefers books to boys, and runs through lists of synonyms in her head
when stressed. She is stubborn and smart and resourceful, but not enough
to escape a wedding to a boy she's just met. After all, how do you
refuse your dying cousin's last wish, when he also happens to be your
best friend AND your king?
Gifford spends each day as a
horse and each night as a human. As an Eðian (shapeshifter) who can't
control his change, he is the despair of his father, Lord Dudley, who
nevertheless plots to marry him off to Jane. G. is content to be a
horse, most of the time, but his family's political maneuvering and the
arrival of his bossy new bride might spell the end of his equilibrium.
is the king, which you'd think would be satisfying. Except he's a
teenager, dying of a slow disease, and the main problem on his mind is
that he wants to be kissed. That, and take care of the country, which is
gearing up for a bloody fight between the Eðians and Verities
(non-shapeshifters). So he's easily convinced to change the line of
succession and name Jane his heir, right before his oh-so-convenient
At least, that's what's supposed to happen. What
actually happens as we follow these three characters is a funny,
perilous, snark-filled journey that goes from hilarity to danger and
back as quickly as Jane can finish one of her books.
Those of a
geeky persuasion will enjoy the added layer of references to popular
culture and Shakespeare, but all readers who want a fast-paced,
humor-filled adventure with a dash of romance will find this history is
one worth learning.