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.
When Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, and Jodi Meadows come together something magical happens! I have never read any of their solo novels, but I will read anything that they write together.
If you have read and loved My Lady Jane, the first book is the Lady Janies series, My Contrary Mary, the first book in a new series following famous Marys, will not disappoint. It is set in the same world and has many of the same themes. We are following Mary Queen of Scots, who I have always had a fascination with and whose story has been adapted in TV and movies many times. I loved this fresh take on her story and her romance with Francis- it was so charming!
If you are a fan of the CW show Reign, as I am, you will love all of the nods to the show that can be found throughout the book. There were so many laugh out loud moments and pop cultures references. I read this for a buddy read on Instagram, and those of us who owned a physical copy were tabbing all of the references, which is so fun.
There are also a lot of great side characters, particularly Mary’s ladies in waiting and Francis’ mother, Catherine ‘de Medici. There is a sapphic romance between two of Mary’s ladies that I was fully invested in as well.
I listened to My Contrary Mary on audio, and that is how I recommend reading it if you are an audiobook listener. Something about the jokes just land better that way! I will say that the humour won’t be for everyone. It is satirical and ridiculous, but I thought it was delightful! Also, while it is evident that the authors did a lot of research, this is in not way an accurate telling of Mary’s story, so don’t go into it if you are wanting to know her true history! Instead, this is the story that she deserved.
I could go on and on about this book, but I think it is time for me to rewatch Reign!
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