Review: Newt’s Emerald by Garth Nix

newtsNewt’s Emerald
Author: Garth Nix
Publisher: Jill Grinberg Literary Management
Age Group: Teen & up
Source: Amazon
Good Reads  |  Amazon
Rating: 3.5 out of 5

Summary from Amazon:

After the Newington Emerald is stolen at the height of a conjured storm, eighteen year-old Lady Truthful Newington goes to London to search for the magical heirloom of her house. But as no well-bred young lady can hunt the metropolis for a stolen jewel, she has to disguise herself as a man, and is soon caught up in a dangerous adventure where she must risk her life, her reputation… and her heart.

Balancing twin roles as a young lady coming out in her first season and as an intrepid young man up against an evil sorceress isn’t easy, but Truthful has to manage it. Her father’s life and even the fate of England may depend upon her recovering the Newington Emerald!


3.5 out of 5

3.5 out of 5

My Thoughts

I saw a review for this book on another blog awhile ago, and just KNEW that I had to read it.  First, it’s set during Regency England!  Second, it’s about an aristracratic young lady, who dresses as a man to figure out who stole the family emerald!  And third, there’s a boy involved.  How could I now want to read this?

Anyway, I was pleasantly surprised to realize right away that Newt’s Emerald also has magic involved in the plot.  In this world, certain people have magical abilities, and it’s part of society.  Some people have stronger abilities than others.  And the Newington Emerald is a powerful talisman that can be used to perform powerful spells.  But that’s not the only reason that Truthful is set on discovering her family’s missing Emerald.  Her farther is desperate for it’s return because whenever the emerald goes missing, bad luck befalls the family.  Truthful is determined to find the emerald, but as a lady of society preparing for her debut, it wouldn’t be proper for her to investigate.  So Truthful, with the help and support of her great-aunt, comes up with scheme (involving Truthful disguising herself as a man) so Truthful can preserve her reputation, but also find the missing emerald.

You guys, this story was so much fun.  It’s only 200 pages, but page-count does not determine awesomeness, and Newt’s Emerald is full of it.  Truthful was such a lively main character.  She’s very much a lady, but she’s not afraid at all to get her hands dirty to find that missing emerald.  During her search she meets Charles, and he ends up helping her look for the Emerald.  Charles and Truthful definitely do not like each other much at first, and I really enjoyed watching them butt heads.

My favorite character, however, was not Truthful nor Charles, but Truthful’s great-aunt Ermintrude.  My first introduction to Ermintrude included her wearing a fez, and I couldn’t help but think of Doctor Who.  It was an pleasant comparison.  I didn’t just like Ermintrude because of her Fez-wearing ways, though.  She was such a fun character, and I loved that she supported Truthful in pursuing her Emerald.

doctor who fez

I didn’t find Newt’s Emerald perfect, though.  Although I did like Truthful, Charles, Ermintrude, and the other supporting characters, I still wanted more character development.  I also wanted more development in the romance department.  I really felt like if a little more time was spent showing why these two characters ended up liking it each other would have great improved the story.  I felt like all this potential was there, and just a little more would make this book amazing.

I really did like Newt’s Emerald.  If you’re a fan of Sorcery and Cecelia (and why wouldn’t you be?) then definitely give this one a try.  It’s just plain fun, and who doesn’t like fun?

About Quinn

I'm a twenty-something children's librarian at a public library in Central New York. I've long left my teen years behind me, but I love to read YA and children's books. I have two adorable dogs. Ginger is a mix between a poodle and havanese, and Daphne is Bichon Frise. Other things I love: Favorite Movie: Singing in the Rain Favorite Book: Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen Favorite TV Show: Monk
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