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Newt's Emerald

3.64  ·  Rating details ·  5,118 ratings  ·  1,078 reviews
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, mustache included, as no well-bred young lady should be
Hardcover, 291 pages
Published October 13th 2015 by Katherine Tegen Books (first published November 29th 2013)
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Emma This page is for the novella version of Newt's Emerald. I'm assuming because it has been turned into a full-length novel, this version is no longer av…moreThis page is for the novella version of Newt's Emerald. I'm assuming because it has been turned into a full-length novel, this version is no longer available. (less)

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Average rating 3.64  · 
Rating details
 ·  5,118 ratings  ·  1,078 reviews

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Nov 20, 2014 rated it really liked it
[4 Stars] I'm going to say right from the start that this book is not for everyone. If I look at it objectively we have very little character development, ALL of the fantasy of manners tropes out there, a very predictable and sometimes too convenient plot, and a romance that could have used more development. That being said, I absolutely adored this. It's fluffy fantasy of manners with all the tropes I adore and the language and wit and writing style I adore, with a romance that was sweet if not ...more
Gail Carriger
This is a complete departure from Nix's previous YA work. It's adult regency romance meets gaslight fantasy. If you took Mary Robinette Kowal's Glamour series and crossed it with the Parasol Protectorate books you'd get something like this.

It's similar in tone to Sorcery & Cecelia in that it has a nice light touch with a plucky heroine. It features one of my very favorite tropes: girl disguises herself as a boy ~ w00t! It's not steampunk, but an alternate regency era with magic in it. It was su
Aug 30, 2015 rated it liked it
I picked up an ARC of this book at BEA 2015.

I adore Garth Nix's Abhorson trilogy, so when I saw he was coming out with a new book that was a fantasy of manners, I knew I had to have it. For those who are unfamiliar, a fantasy of manners can be best described as Regency period ideals with magic. Like fantasy+romcom+alternate history+historical fiction. The ones that I've read have been light and fluffy, and very tongue-in-cheek, so that is what I expected from Newt's Emerald and it did not disapp
Carol She's So Novel꧁꧂

Reasons why I read this title?

Members of the Georgette Heyer Fans group mentioned that Nix was a big fan of Georgette Heyer, & that this showed in this book. In fact, at the end of this novel, Nix mentions discovering GH when he was 13. While this shows in the language & the lighthearted tone, it doesn't come across in the plotting or the characterisations. All the characters - in particular the romantic leads - came across like this;

I never came to care about any of them and by
Danielle (Love at First Page)
3.5-4 stars

This was utterly delightful and so much fun! I lost track of the pages, with all the laughing - and a bit of swooning - I was doing. Newt's Emerald is an engaging throwback to Georgette Heyer and Jane Austen regency romances, only more campy and with a slight fantasy bent. Don't go in expecting much character development or a complicated plot; it's not meant to be taken too seriously but with the expectation of a rollicking good time. I really enjoyed getting to know Truthful (also kn
Apr 07, 2014 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I remember Garth Nix as an awesome author, I loved his rather dark Abhorsen, Sabriel, Liriel, books as a teen. A long awaited new one is coming out soon and I'm probably going to get it. However his venture into romance is lacking something ... aside from a logical plot I mean.

The romance is quite frankly awkward. The main characters barely have a complete conversation throughout the entire book. She is in love with Charles for no clear reason apart from the fact, maybe, that he's male and phys
“Where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.”


Garth Nix, an Australian bestselling author, has penned a terrific tale of magic and adventure in his book called, Newt's Emerald, that unfolds the story of a young teenage girl and her quest for finding her lost inherited treasure by dressing up as a man out into the streets and on her journey she meets a handsome man which finally leads to a passionate Regency-themed love story along with lots of adventures and magic.

I read this book because I enjoyed the author's Abhorsen series so much but this one is not quite as good. It is an odd little story really, like aGeorgette Heyer novel with magic thrown in. There are Regency ladies in lovely gowns, carriages and balls and then there are sorcerers and the odd fairy to add to the mix. The story was fun, the main characters were attractive and it was a pleasant light read.
Newt's Emerald is a deliciously frothy, magical Regency treat! I love the way it feels so like a Georgette Heyer novel-with-magic; the tongue-in-cheek tone is just pitch-perfect, and the magic fits into Regency life in a lovely and matter-of-fact way. The characters are enormously fun, from the elderly chaperone-with-a-sword-stick (and a fabulous magical wand!) to the various male cousins with their absurd plans for getting the stolen family emerald (a seriously powerful magical item) safely fou ...more
Laurie Anderson
Feb 22, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mel (Daily Prophecy)
Feb 20, 2015 rated it it was ok
Shelves: edelweiss, read-2015
It was a bit slow at times, but it does deliver what the blurb promises. I loved the gender-bender and banter. Review will follow.

Right. Remember that review I promised? I waited too long. Combine that with an unimpressive book and you get a confused Mel. I have a good memory, but I can not recall what happened.. Something about a diamond and a cross-dressed Lady, but that is practically what the blurb tells you, haha. I also vaguely remember banter between her and the love-interest, but I
Sep 01, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have a fondness for Regency stories (no idea why) and this had just the right amount of humour, silliness, peril for the main character Lady Truthful, girl dressing as a boy, naval gentlemen, period detail and dancing to be fun and light. (I didn’t get a great sense of the magic and fae connections to the story, so this only gets 4 stars.)
Nina {ᴡᴏʀᴅs ᴀɴᴅ ᴡᴀᴛᴇʀ}
Garth Nix + Regency Period = YES MUST BUY. Whether I'll love it or hate it, anything by Garth Nix, I have long learnt I cannot NOT read.

Plus, this book reminds me of A Matter of Magic and Sorcery & Cecelia: or The Enchanted Chocolate Pot, two series which I enjoyed in a light, teen/YA way!

So I can't wait to read this, and to see if Nix can work magic with one of my favourite time periods!

full review later--my rating biased based on love for the period and the works of this author! it sho
rachel ☾
3.5 stars

There are some books that - no matter how much you enjoy them at the time - are just not memorable. It’s not that a particular aspect of the story was unpleasant or that the writing style was all that bad, there is just something about the story that refuses to stick with you. Unfortunately, I think Newt’s Emerald falls into that category.

I think this may have to do with the fact that I had recently read Love, Lies and Spies, a similar historical fiction story. Ignoring the fact that it
Dec 20, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
As this book is 200+ pages I knew I’d finish it in a day, so I thought it’d be a quick and easy read, but I didn’t expect to enjoy it so much.

First off I just want to mention how much I love the name “Truthful”. It’s beautiful 🥰

As this book is a regency romance/ fantasy adventure, I fairly enjoyed my time reading this because of how easy yet exciting the writing was.

I loved how this book handled the (girl in disguise as a boy) aspect. At first I was iffy of how they’d make this romance spark
Jul 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
I’ve been meaning to read this for ages, and I’m not entirely sure what finally prompted me to pick it up — but hurrah that I did. If you enjoy Georgette Heyer’s work, you’ll probably enjoy this. It’s a little adventure very much along the same lines, only with magic as well. Girls disguising themselves as boys, a Pride and Prejudice moment for the romance, and daring escapades. The tone is light and witty, and okay, it’s not as though as it’s as deeply committed to being authentic as Heyer was, ...more
Newt's Emerald really is like a Heyer novel with magic and adventure. I loved it. The tone was so Heyer-like - witty and not taking itself too seriously. But unlike Heyer's, the focus was more on the mystery of the emerald than on the etiquette and balls and romance, which were there but in the background.

It also reminded me of Victoria and the Rogue by Meg Cabot but with less romance.

The magic is not a huge player throughout - mainly referenced but not experienced, so although I'd call th
Melissa McShane
This was fun and frothy--a lighthearted romp with plenty of excitement. I'd have enjoyed it more if it had had more depth; there are places where events are just glossed over in favor of getting to something more exciting. I also would have enjoyed more depth in explaining the magic of the world instead of, again, glossing over it. And there were other places where Nix appeared to put in details just so we'd know he'd done his research. Overall, though, very enjoyable and action-packed. ...more
Jodi Ralston
I'm a sucker for fantasy Regencies, and this one was cute.

The world-building worked well in this book, and some of the magic was quite unexpected, like the illusion embedded in a false mustache and the concept of spell-breakers. Some other things were more common fantasy ideas (magical stones like the titular emerald), but they fit well with the rest of the world-building. In addition to magic, there were also fairies; though not seen much, I liked the use of one in this book--and I wished we h
May 03, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2016
This is incredibly charming. I really enjoyed this. I do wish it was longer, and the world better explained. Actually, what I wish is that this was part of a larger series of books set in this world, because this world is all kinds of fun. Also, Newt is a really great protagonist.

Also, flouting convention note: The flouting works here. I think it's for a few reasons, one it's not a straight historical, it's a fantasy, which helps with disguises and such (disguises protecting identify and therefo
Jan 02, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2019
Predictable little story but fun on audio.
Dec 23, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2015
After a slow start, I ended up loving this. There's an ensorcelled (how great is that word??) fake mustache, a stolen emerald, and an heiress disguised as a Frenchman. Four very enthusiastic stars. ...more
Jan 17, 2016 rated it liked it
This is a likable book that starts off a little bland but gathers momentum pretty quickly to become, ultimately, a lot of fun.

As a person who has read a good bit of historical fiction set in this time period (Regency England), it makes me laugh when an author's research clearly consists of reading some other author's historical romance, and her (it's usually a her, Mr. Nix being a rather unexpected and cool exception) research consisted of reading a third author's historical romance (Georgette H
Nov 25, 2015 rated it liked it
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 car ...more
Jun 21, 2015 added it
After reading two long middle-in-a-trilogy books in row I needed something lighter and quicker and that's exactly what I got with Newt's Emerald. This book is a little bit silly and a whole lot of delightful fun. Plus as a huge fan of regency romance, it was a wonderful nod to a favorite genres. Along with the mystery of a lost emerald, are hidden identities, a cross dressing girl, balls, spies and high speed boat chases. I never fully became engaged in the magic of this world. I was more intere ...more
Mary Catelli
Dec 06, 2015 rated it really liked it
Adventure in an alternate, magical Regency.

At Lady Truthful's eighteenth birthday, her father shows her and her three cousins the heirloom emerald. She's too young for it, but it will give her power to command weather. Except that, in an incident involving a lightning strike, it vanishes. Her father, horror-struck, is afflicted with fever. Her cousins make foolish plans to recover. Truthful herself goes to her aunt, where she was about to come out, and with her help, disguises herself as a (male
Dec 05, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: reviewed
More Stephanie Burgis-esque than Heyer-esque - this is a magical Regency England romp, and it's entertaining and hilarious and fun. There are moments when it seems to poke fun at itself, but it's not doing anything Burgis, and Heyer before her, haven't done; it reads best not as commentary on a genre but as a worthy addition to it.

The title's a bit misrepresentative. This sat for ages because I had no idea what it was about, and I'd forgotten that one good review I'd read about it. So that's wh
3.5 stars. This was super cute and while I was very charmed, I wouldn't mind an even longer version with more teamwork, madcap adventures and investigations with the Major and Truthful. It worked for the style of the story but I couldn't help wishing for more details and more interactions and more buildup! Odd couple/buddy cops/mismatched partners in adventure is a FAVORITE of mine (especially with magic or regency shenanigans involved) so while I was getting all that wonderfulness I also wanted ...more
3.5 stars

Charming and occasionally sardonic, NEWT'S EMERALD is a delightful fantasy of manners. I loved the protagonist, Lady Truthful and her batty aunt Lady Badgery - kickass ladies are a must in historical fantasy. Although it was pretty predictable, I still really enjoyed the plot and I was invested enough to plow through the book quickly.

Full review to come!
A regency romance by Garth Nix? Tis true my friends. There was magic. Disguises and shenanigans. Mary Sue that I didn't hate.

It was a bit slow in parts, and predictable. I think it was a smart idea to keep this tale short. 3.5 stars.
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Garth Nix was born in 1963 in Melbourne, Australia, to the sound of the Salvation Army band outside playing 'Hail the Conquering Hero Comes' or possibly 'Roll Out the Barrel'. Garth left Melbourne at an early age for Canberra (the federal capital) and stayed there till he was nineteen, when he left to drive around the UK in a beat-up Austin with a boot full of books and a Silver-Reed typewriter.


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“… I wonder why she hasn't spread the tale."
"The only reason she would not is if she is ill or the story would somehow reflect badly on herself," replied Lady Badgery. "Otherwise, Portia Troutbridge has never been known to keep a scandal to herself."
"Oh, I do hope she is ill!" exclaimed Truthful. "I mean, only just ill enough to keep the news quiet for a little longer. Is that too dreadful of me?"
"Not at all," announced Lady Badgery. "It is a very reasonable desire. In the case of Portia Troutbridge I myself would wish for something much more severe. Scarlet fever, perhaps. Or the plague.”
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