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Newt's Emerald by Garth Nix
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Newt's Emerald (2013)

by Garth Nix

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This was a captivating romp with a captivating protagonist, a nicely paced mystery, and a competently handled romance. Highly recommended. ( )
  fred_mouse | Aug 18, 2017 |
Newt’s Emerald is a Regency fantasy inspired partly by Georgette Heyer’s novels, and it certainly reminded me of some of Heyer’s more madcap stories.

After a family heirloom is stolen, 18 year old Truthful sets off early for her Season in London, hoping she can retrieve the emerald before the season gets properly underway. With the help of her aunt, she adopts a disguise - and meets some people who agree to help her. But Truthful isn’t the only one who isn’t being entirely truthful about their identity...

Newt’s Emerald is very lighthearted and occasionally predictable, but it’s fun. ( )
  Herenya | Mar 14, 2017 |
This was a fun and engaging read about Lady Truthful's escapades to recover her stolen emerald!

This was full of excitement and laughs, with a lovely backdrop of regency England that had magic. Basically it fulfilled all of my requirements for a good book and it did not disappoint!

Happy reading! ( )
  hawaiianmermaid701 | Jul 7, 2016 |
This novel is a lovely light fantasy novel to read one afternoon.

Truthful, known as Newt, will inherit the Newington Emerald when she comes of age. On her eighteenth birthday, her father shows the emerald to Newt and her three male cousins with whom she has been grown up. A strange storm arrives at the exact moment the emerald is being admired. When the storm knocks out the window, there is a small amount of chaos until Newt’s father orders the storm to abate. Upon looking around, they all discover that the emerald is missing. Her father immediately collapses. When he is able, he explains that the family is tied to the emerald and bad luck will ensue if it’s in another’s hands. He suspects the cousins, but Newt knows it isn’t them. Newt decides to go early to London to find her emerald, for someone may be trying to sell it.

Newt arrives in London and determines that she can only go about her investigations freely if she is a man, so her aunt helps glamour her. She quickly finds a man who knows how investigations work: Major Harnett. Newt and Harnett with the help of Truthful’s aunt follow clues and face dangerous people and situations as they hunt for the thieves and the emerald.

I found the novel to be entertaining to listen to. It’s a mystery, romance, and dangerous investigation all rolled into one. I especially like that Truthful never has to be rescued; she is quite capable on her own and, in fact, saves many lives. Is this a great novel? No. Is it worth reading for a nice, tightly written mystery? Yes. ( )
  acargile | Apr 3, 2016 |
One the night of her eighteenth birthday, the ancient emerald that is Lady Truthful Newington's birthright disappears mysteriously. Concerned that worry for the missing emerald is damaging her elderly father's health, Truthful sets off for London with her old maid in tow, hoping to find the emerald when the thief pawns it. With all her male relatives gallivanting about on their own silly plans, there are no men Truthful can trust to undertake the search, and so, with her great-aunt's glamour carefully applied to a fake mustache, she dresses as a man and searches London herself. Her not entirely convincing disguise rapidly draws the attention of the British intelligence service, who fears that "he" is a French agent. From there Truthful becomes embroiled in a magical plot against Britain that includes nefarious maids, death curses, and pirates.

In some ways this book is very charming. It is written in the style of Heyer's regency romances, with much of the annoying classism and sexism taken out and replaced with fantasy. Magic in this 1820s England is fairly commonplace and unremarkable, but to my eyes was delightful. I loved the way magic was sprinkled casually throughout the story, like how many people use plated jewelry to avoid touching metals that are hurtful to their fey ancestry, or when Truthful wonders aloud why Napoleon was immured in rock instead of executed, and is told, '"Can't kill him," said Leye shortly. "Hang a master of death magic, that's like giving a thief the key to your front door."' But the writing is sometimes a bit clumsy, as in the climactic scene " Truthful's arrow sped true, sprouting shockingly from Lady Plathenden's eye, the azure fletching no longer the only piece of color, a sudden scarlet spreading down the shaft.". And Truthful herself didn't seem entirely coherent or believable: sometimes she's incredibly prissy and incapable, and then other times she's punching out pirates. I also wish her romance had been built up more (although to be fair, the romance here is at least as fleshed out as most of Heyer's). Basically, I enjoy the premise and overall effect of this novel, but Nix usually writes with far more skill. ( )
  wealhtheowwylfing | Feb 29, 2016 |
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On Lady Truthful Newington's 18th birthday, an ensorcelled heirloom emerald disappears from her house in the midst of the commotion caused by a magic-induced storm. She is due to go to London in a month for her introduction to society and decides to leave for her Great-aunt Lady Badgery's home earlier than planned. With her great-aunt's help, Truthful disguises herself as cousin Henri, the Chevalier de Vienne, to search for the emerald, and soon finds herself caught up in potential romance and adventure.
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