Summary: Edward is the King of England. He's also dying, which is inconvenient, as he's only sixteen and he'd much rather be planning for his first kiss than considering who will inherit his crown... Jane is Edward's cousin, and for more interested in books than in romance. Unfortunately for Jane, Edward has arranged to marry her off to secure the line of succession. And there's something a little odd about her intended... Gifford is a horse. That is, he's an Edian (eth-y-un, for the uninitiated). Every day at dawn he becomes a noble chestnut steat - but then he wakes at dusk with a mouthful of hay. It's all very undignified... The plot thickens as Edward, Jane and G are drawn into a dangerous conspiracy. With the fate of the kingdom at stake, our heroes will have to engage in some conspiring of their own. But can they pull off their plan before it's off with their heads?
My opinion: Okay, my first review of an owlcrate book. I wondered whether I was going to like it. At least, it is the most important item in every box! When I read the summary, it sounds a little bit strange and at the same time funny, doesn't it?
I hoped it wouldn't be too weird.
The story takes place in the year 1553, when Edward Tudor is the King of England. But he is ill and will not even live long enough to produce an heir. His last will is his cousin Jane Grey to become the Queen of England once he is dead.
As you can see, the three authors lean on the historical facts in some ways. But they also add a little bit of magic and fantasy. Because what the history doesn't tell us is, that the world is devided in two groups of people. On the one hand there are the normal ones, who stay human beeings all the time. On the other hand there are the Edians. People who can, beside their human form, turn into an animal form as well, wich represents their character.
And in addition the world is devided in another way.
Some people think, that this ability is grand. There is actually a group of Edians called The Pack, that want to make the animal magic great again. They revolt against the kingdom. Many other people, called the Verities, think that being an Edian is an abomination and that those people have to be annihilated immediately.
So you see, being an Edian is a dangerous gift. But while G is on the Edian side for obvious reasons, Jane and Edward also admire this ability and they both dream of a time, when Edians and normal people can live side by side.
This is where the story begins. And now, Edward is very sick and decides, that his cousin Jane has to marry Gifford Dudley, called G. And that Jane shall be queen until she and G produce a male heir. Jane really loves Edward as her best friend, but she cannot understand this decision. Not only that he doesn't talk to her before, but also nobody thinks it's important to tell her, that her future husband is a horse about half a day. And after all, Jane doesn't need a husband, she only needs books. In this case it doesn't matter, that G seems to be a great husband nevertheless. ;)
While Jane quarrels with her situation, Edward discovers that there is another danger than the affliction and that people he thought he could rely on play their own game of throne. How to get out of the situation? How to get his first kiss? And how to make life safer for the Edians?
I had so much fun reading this book. All the characters are lovely, ironic and very human, even if they can maybe change into a horse, a ferret or a skunk. They are maybe nearly adorable as the characters of J.K. Rowling and I think it means a lot if I say something like that. And especially the situation between Jane and G brings a lot of funny moments to the reader.
G stepped backward, his hindquarters smashing up against the wall. This bedchamber was certainly not made with a horse (in his wedding night) in mind. Originally he had planned on sharing his equestrian news, gently excusing himself just before dawn, and trotting down to the stables. Of course, that plan would have required significantly less ale.
And not only funny but also a lot of romantic moments :)
"Sitting under the tree with you, listening to you read, has become one of the best parts of my day."
But seriously, this book has everything a good story needs. Stunning charakters, a great story and a big sense of humor. And also the serious topics don't get a raw deal. What does it mean to rule a kingdom? What if you couldn't trust your nearest ones anymore? How do you know that your feelings are real love? Big questions for our young characters.
And not to forget the great way of storytelling. The authors often speak directly to the readers and I like that very much!
This isn't in the history books, of course, but we'd like to point out that this was the first time a young man had ever tried that particular arm-stretch move on a young woman. Edward was the inventor of the arm stretch, a tactic that teenage boys have been using for centuries.
And of course, the best thing about the book is Jane and the way she speaks about her loevely books. Every booknerd will fall in love with Jane, and so did I ;)
To Jane, walking through Bradgate Park was the second-best way to escape any problem of Real Life. The first-best way, of course, was through books.
"Armies aren't very good about carrying libraries with them. I can't imagine why. We'd fight so much less if everyone would just sit down and read." (The best advice I've ever read!!! ;))
So you see, I'm more than happy with this first owlcrate book. An amazing choice, chosen with a lot of love, of that I'm sure. Maybe I should also mention that there is a letter from the author(s) in every box. A short text with an introdution or an explanation of the book you are going to read. That is quite adorable and I want to show you the letter from Cynthia, Brodi and Jodi below. I can't help myself but I wanted to read the book even more after I read this letter. (And I got the same feeling when I read the letters from the other two boxes!)
The title and the cover both fit very well, I think. Well the cover isn't that innovative, but therefore I really like the comments ;).
And now I have to apologize for the mistakes in this review. It's my first english text for years. I invite you to correct everything in a comment (Michi? Du vielleicht? ;)) Thank you, my dears!
Would you read this book again? Definitely!
Kindy supportet by Michi <3 Thanks a lot! This won't be the last time I need your help :)