My Contrary Mary by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, and Jodi Meadows ~ 512 pages ~ to be published on June 22, 2021 by HarperTeen
Welcome to Renaissance France, a place of poison and plots, of beauties and beasts, of mice and . . . queens?⠀
Mary is the queen of Scotland and the jewel of the French court. Except when she’s a mouse. Yes, reader, Mary is an Eðian (shapeshifter) in a kingdom where Verities rule. It’s a secret that could cost her a head—or a tail.⠀
Luckily, Mary has a confidant in her betrothed, Francis. But after the king meets a suspicious end, things at the gilded court take a treacherous turn. Thrust onto the throne, Mary and Francis are forced to navigate a viper’s nest of conspiracies, traps, and treason. And if Mary’s secret is revealed, heads are bound to roll.
I received this audiobook for free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review. Thank you to NetGalley and HarperTeen for the audio ARC!
I am a huge fan of the Jane series by these three ladies, so I was super jazzed when I found out about the Mary series! I am also a big Tudor family history dork, so the first book being about Mary, Queen of Scots was also very exciting. I was totally ready to dive back into the world of Verities (normals) and E∂ians (shapeshifters).
First, I would like to say that this series consistently makes me laugh out loud. I love the little witty asides, and the clever ways of including current pop culture in a historical novel. The fact that one of the characters has visions that are scenes of movies from our lifetime was funny and clever. This group of ladies also writes so well together. Each author writes one of the three main characters, but they blend together so seamlessly. And I also never know which author has written which character. The writing style of each compliments the others so well.
I really enjoyed all of the characters in this story. I loved getting to learn a little bit more about Mary’s history. I am aware that some of this didn’t actually happen (obviously haha), but you can also tell that the authors put in a fair amount of research in order to make it as historically accurate as possible in this type of alternate history story. Mary was stubborn but very likable; Ari was a little frustrating but also very interesting; and Francis was spoiled but lovable. I liked how each was a flawed character, but you still liked them all. I had my moments with Ari, but they turned it around for me in the end.
I was excited that they took us back into the same world as the first book of the Jane series, My Lady Jane. No spoilers, but you get to interact with some of the characters from that book, which made me squeal with joy when it happened. Getting to learn more about the politics of the Verity and E∂ian world was also an unexpected plus for me. I tend to not really care or enjoy political stuff in my fiction, but it was well done and entertaining here.
I really liked the romance between Mary and Francis, as well as the one between Ari and Liv. They all behaved like teenagers, which was good, since that is exactly what they are. It was believable and precious.
All in all, this was a very funny book with some good historical research and a sweet love story. I am very excited to see which Mary they decide to tackle next! Also, if you haven’t read the Jane series, go get it now!! It will help tide you over until the next Mary book is out!
I gave My Contrary Mary 4 Stars!!
Are you interested in learning more about this book/series? Check out the links below!
Have you read the Jane series? Are you interested in an alternate history of Mary, Queen of Scots? Are you into humorous retellings? What are some of your favorites?
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Love and happy reading,