Author: Garth Nix
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
Newt’s Emerald is a stand-alone young adult book that takes place in a fantasy historical setting. I picked it up because it sounded like a fun and light romp.
On her 18th birthday, Lady Truthful’s enchanted emerald is stolen right from under her nose. While the emerald is supposed to only work for the women in her family, in the wrong hands it could still be exploited. So, she takes it upon herself to find the emerald. Disguised as a man, Lady Truthful takes to the streets to track down the thief. But first, she has to dodge the suspicion of Major Hartnett who suspects her of being a spy.
This was a fun young adult book. I’m not huge on the “woman disguises herself as a man” trope, but it worked for me here. Lady Truthful is ballsy but I liked that she acted her age at times. She’s also pretty prideful. So, when Major Hartnett bruises her ego she goes out of her way to make his unjustified assumptions about her seem true. This led to some of the more amusing scenes in the story.
The missing emerald case was entertaining, even though I was a little disappointed that the villain remains on the sidelines for most of the story. We never really get a good idea of her, she kind of just appears once in a while. The story is mostly centered around the interactions between Hartnett and Lady Truthful, which for a romance fan like me, was ok. The interactions between the two of them, with Truthful in and out of her disguise, were the highlight of the book.
Overall this was a fun story. I think it would work best for young adults on the younger age spectrum.