**Disclaimer: I received a free early access copy of My Contrary Mary by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, and Jodi Meadows through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you to NetGalley and the publishers for this opportunity.
My Contrary Mary by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, and Jodi Meadows is the first in their new series about famous Mary’s. This particular book is more of a direct sequel to My Lady Jane, about Lady Jane Grey. This particular book focusses on Mary, Queen of Scots, prior to her marriage to Francis and the events that lead up to it and that follow it. I rated it four stars on Goodreads. It was published on June 22nd, 2021.
Here’s the summary from Goodreads:
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 was really excited to continue on in the world that was created in My Lady Jane. I liked the concept of historical shapeshifters and that being a prominent conflict during that particular historical period. The world is was really easy to dive back into, and I loved seeing the different shapeshifters and how certain aspects of the world had evolved since we first learned about them. I loved how they layered historical fact with their own creativity. They way they throw in anachronisms is really fun too.
The humour in this story is on par with the Lady Janies series. The authors are very funny and I really enjoy how they balance the high stakes of the story (there are literally kingdoms on the line) with keeping the story light and fun with good humour. I found myself chuckling at various moments, which I really loved.
The novel features three points of view. We get to read through Mary, Francis, and Ari’s perspectives. I liked each of the characters and I enjoyed what they brought to the story. They had distinct voices and they all actively contributed to the plot. I think I liked reading from Mary’s perspective the best, but I did also really enjoy Ari and Francis as well.
There was really good progression through out the novel. There was enough tension to keep you reading, but it took some good moments throughout to sort of allow you to catch your breath and appreciate what we’re learning about the characters. There were some twists that left you wondering about what might happen next.
Overall, this was an excellent addition to the world these three authors have created, and I’m really glad that I read it. I highly recommend that you check out their books if you haven’t already, and I especially recommend that you check out My Contrary Mary.