Newt’s Emerald by Garth Nix

Published: October 2015Goodreads badge
Publisher:
Allen and Unwin
Pages: 242
Format: Paperback
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
★   ★  ★  ★ – 4 Stars

On her eighteenth birthday, Lady Truthful, nicknamed “Newt,” will inherit her family’s treasure: the Newington Emerald. A dazzling heart-shaped gem, the Emerald also bestows its wearer with magical powers.

When the Emerald disappears one stormy night, Newt sets off to recover it. Her plan entails dressing up as a man, moustache included, as no well-bred young lady should be seen out and about on her own. While in disguise, Newt encounters the handsome but shrewd Major Harnett, who volunteers to help find the missing Emerald under the assumption that she is a man. Once she and her unsuspecting ally are caught up in a dangerous adventure that includes an evil sorceress, Newt realizes that something else is afoot: the beating of her heart.

In Newt’s Emerald, the bestselling author of Sabriel, Garth Nix, takes a waggish approach to the forever popular Regency romance and presents a charmed world where everyone has something to hide.  

Having not read the blurb beforehand and diving straight in simply because it was a Garth Nix book, this wasn’t at all the story I was expecting. That isn’t to say it wasn’t wholly enjoyable. I learnt about the regency, historical, and magical elements as I went. It wasn’t until the end that I realised exactly what it was but this didn’t dampen my enjoyment at all.  The story is full of real-life history but is laced with magic and fantasy as well. I love that one of my rare experiences to a historical regency romance is through Garth Nix and his elements of magic and fabulous storytelling.

I loved this style of regency romance. I am sure it isn’t the way a historical regency romance is meant to be but the story was funny and enjoyable and I was pulled along through the pages. The story was compelling, and the characters were complicated and unique with relationships, histories, and grudges. I’ve taken a shine to regency stories with a touch of magic and supernatural of late and this is a great addition.

I loved the disguises and the subterfuge, the fact Newt has plans while also having no real plan at the same time is fantastic. There are tongue in cheek moments, the story is light and not overly complicated but detailed enough to set the story which is all I needed.

The story ends with a grand masked ball which is what you want from your regency stories. Plus all the flirting and bickering and secret disguises makes it even more enjoyable. This is a fantasy in a regency setting, not a classic regency which, knowing nothing about the genre, I think it means Nix can do whatever he pleases and the story will be magnificent regardless.

You can purchase Newt’s Emerald via the following

QBD | Booktopia | Book Depository

Dymocks | WorderyAngus and Robinson

 Fishpond | Amazon | Amazon Aust | Audible

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: