Rating: 1-5: 5+
Genre: Alternate History, Fantasy, Humor, Romance
What did you like about the book? Just before young King Edward died, he appointed his cousin, Lady Jane Grey as his successor. Jane ruled England for a total of nine days until Edward’s half-sister, Mary, staged a coup. Using these facts as a starting point, the authors (there are 3!) have set the action just prior to Edward’s death in an alternate England in which many people are able to transform into animals. (Jane discovers after her wedding that her new husband turns into a horse every morning.) Narration shifts between Edward, Jane, and Jane’s husband, Gifford, with plentiful humorous interjections from the authors. This highly entertaining blend of history, fantasy, humor, and romance will likely inspire readers to find out Jane’s true story which is, unfortunately, a lot less fun than the book’s version.
Anything you didn’t like about it? In the initial chapters, it appears that Edward (who is narrating at that point) is fated to die a slow, painful death. Some readers may not want to stick around to suffer through that with him.
Who should buy this book? Appropriate for middle schools libraries, high school libraries, and public libraries.
Where would you shelve it? Shelve with fantasy? Romance? Humor? Historical fiction? It could go almost anywhere, but it probably won’t spend much time on the shelves anyway.
Should we (librarians/readers) put this on the top of our “to read” piles? Yes!
Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City: Mary Melaugh, Marshall Middle School Library, Billerica, MA
Date of review: 7/24/16