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3.61  ·  Rating details ·  327 ratings  ·  48 reviews
Emerald St. John is in trouble. She has been condemned to marry a man she hates, her enemies are conspiring to have her pet bear Molly torn apart in the baiting pits, and the man she loves is far away on the high seas. And she has stumbled into a web of spies with a plot to poison Queen Elizabeth I. To save herself and the kingdom, Emerald must beat the spies at their own ...more
Paperback, 288 pages
Published November 2011 by Simon & Schuster UK (first published July 7th 2011)
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Average rating 3.61  · 
Rating details
 ·  327 ratings  ·  48 reviews

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Jul 15, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-for-review
Sometimes a book is just simply a pleasure to read. Emerald is one of those books. It is so easy to get into and the writing let’s you sink right into it like a favourite armchair. It is historical novel set in the sixteenth century which explores the themes of power and courage.

When Emerald’s father dies, she and her brother Richard are sent away from their family home to live with their Aunt and Uncle at Hawkstone Hall. Emerald is just seven at the time and cannot understand why her father wo
Oct 29, 2011 rated it it was amazing
The Short Story? – One of those undiscovered treasures, just waiting to be read and enjoyed! Filled with evil noblemen, dirty little secrets and a scandalous plot to kill the queen, Emerald is fast-paced and adventurous. A strong heroine, a love story and a plot to be foiled, Emerald is a spectacular historical YA that’s bound to be a crowd pleaser!

The Long Story? – I haven’t read a historical YA in ages and I forgot how much I enjoyed them! I really enjoyed reading Emerald. It’s authentic, it’s
Sep 17, 2021 rated it liked it
Emerald is a historical fiction set during Tudor times. It follows Emerald who is betrothed to a horrible man at a young age. She must find a way to break off the betrothal and marry the man she truly loves. I found the story a little far-fetched, but it was easy and quick to read.
Aug 19, 2011 rated it it was ok
This review was written for The Review Diaries:

This blurb and this cover combination had me set up to be really excited when this book came out a few days ago. Unfortunately though, it turned out to be quite a disappointment.
Having read the brilliant books by Eve Edwards set in Elizabethan England, I suppose I was expecting a high standard of writing, but I was sadly let down.

The book is an exercise in what happens when you ignore the rule of ‘show not t
Jade Walker
Aug 06, 2011 rated it really liked it
Original review at

You may not know this about me, but I love a good historical. It's for this reason that Emerald first drew me in. well that and the completely gorgeous cover, I mean I know girls in pretty dresses are all over YA book covers these days but I will honestly say this is on of the most beautiful covers I've ever seen and the dress and the background just screams HISTORICAL, which is why I've been coveting this book ever since.

This book did really
Apr 12, 2014 rated it did not like it
It was okay. Not my cup of tea. Annoying characters (in fact, all of them are annoying except for one or two)

Favorite lines
"I'm stupid with cards, Your Majesty," I told her. "I don't like gambling and my conversation is mostly about vegetables."
@Gold is only down because it lacks polishing," replied the a Queen."
Feb 09, 2011 marked it as to-read
Shelves: wishlist
I LOVE the sound of this one!
Sarah (Head Stuck In A Book)
Emerald is an historical novel set in Elizabethan England.
When Emerald's father dies she and her brother Richard are sent to live with their Aunt and Uncle at Hawkstone Hall.
Emerald is seven when she's sent away and can't understand why she can't stay with her mother.
The story moves ahead to Emerald at the age of 16, her brother Richard is at sea, she doesn't get along with her cousin Arabella and the only person she's close to is her Aunt Frances who is like a mother to her.Her mother (whom Eme
Jul 22, 2015 rated it liked it
'Emerald' by Karen Wallace, is a good introduction to YA historical fiction but it isn't exactly Eve Edwards. I'm not exactly certain what I was expecting from this book, but what I got wasn't bad at all.
The story centers around a spirited young woman called Emerald and how she has to eventually save the kingdom from her own mother no less. The book had plenty of twists and turns to keep the reader guessing leading one way, then another the next which I think made this book enjoyable enough to
Apr 25, 2011 rated it liked it
I will start off by saying that this was a thoroughly entertaing book. It did have its problems but I will get to that in a moment. This book surrounds a lively young girl named Emerald. She lives with her Aunt and Uncle and rather horrible cousin Arabella who has been banished from court and torments Emerald as she finds country life dull. Things begin to get a little bit interesting. First comes the arrival of her surprise fiance who is a fat slobbering idiot then there is the arrival of the h ...more
Sammee (I Want to Read That)
This was such fun to read! For some reason I don't read much historical fiction but on the basis of this one I really think I should.

I really liked the character Emerald. She was strong and determined - but also easy to like - and I was glad that she wanted to 'save' herself. Arabella was a great character too - as much as I wanted to hate her at times I couldn't quite manage it. And Sarah and Meg proved brilliant additions - and of course I adored Molly the bear!

The romance, I must admit, was v
Aug 13, 2011 rated it liked it
Not quite Philippa Gregory but a good introduction to historical novels for YA's. I liked the fresh goodness of Emerald compared to the haughty spoilt-rottenness of Arabella. I admired Emerald for her loyalty to her undeserving cousin & of course, I love a happy ending though this feels like a first in a series. ...more
May 17, 2012 rated it it was ok
I really enjoyed the plot to this book! it was very well thought out and kept me guessing.
But there was too much adult content and I wouldn't recommend it for YA. If it hadn't been for the grown-up content I would give it 3 or even 4 stars, but, as it is- 2. :/
It was good enough to finish, but not good enough to keep. :)
Becca Housden
May 03, 2019 rated it it was ok
I felt that this book was ok, at best. It was a sweet, light read but there were aspects which I didn’t enjoy and was irritated by.
The timeline seemed very confused, especially regarding the pregnancy. Sometimes it felt like it was going very quickly, other times it seems like there were very long stretches of time which didn’t match how big Arabella would be.
In addition, much of the interaction between the characters and the dialogue felt stilted. The author appeared to have plot points and m
Jun 18, 2022 rated it did not like it
No. It's childish and unnecessarily crude and redundant about certain unsavory themes. And then there's the aunt being calling out from beyond the grave... Didn't care much for theMC anyways. Makes getting through my TBR easier 💃🏿

Madison Looby
Feb 10, 2022 rated it it was amazing
I re-read this book all the time. I find emerald relatable. If you like Drew Barrymore's Ever After? You'll love this. ...more
Mar 21, 2022 rated it liked it
This book was absolute garbage. Also low-key was that blackface? With Sam????? And him being the Turkish merchant??????? And let’s not forget she’s 15 the whole book and THE MAIN PLOT IS THE SUBJECT OF MARRIAGE?? Also babe you don’t love him you’ve known him for 10 pages. So problematic don’t read this book ever. I can’t believe it was published.
Nov 12, 2011 rated it really liked it
Emerald has been informed of her betrothal to Lord Suckley, whom she has never met, but has heard horrible things from her cousin Arabella. She hopes her brother, Richard would be able to help her stop this marriage, but why has Richard been oddly reluctant to speak to her? Aunt Frances, who she grew up to love like her own mother, and her uncle both seem to despise Lord Suckley as well, yet they refuse to help her escape this marriage. Everyone in the household’s afraid to defy her mother’s wis ...more
Apr 27, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: teenage-fiction

This book has been shortlisted for the Lancashire Book of the Year 2012 Award (LBOY) and I am determined to get through all ten books before June.

Emerald is an inquisitve and accomplished young girl who knows how to take care of herself. But there are forces at work to break her down. Under her mother's threatening rule she must marry the vile Lord Suckley and become what Emerald refers to as "breeding stock".

The premise is intriguing - Emerald is not the typical Elizabe
Feb 22, 2013 rated it liked it
This was one of those books that kind of makes me want to stab it and rip out the pages at times. Don't get me wrong, I thoroughly enjoyed it and it is definitely worth a read but some parts were a little bit lacking. I love romance in novels so of course the romance between sam and emerald interested me however it did not interest for long as this, and a lot of other points in the novel, seemed to be rather rushed though. There was no bridge from friends to lovers, it seemed as if one minute th ...more
May 05, 2016 rated it it was ok
Shelves: read-in-2016
I knew nothing about this book before my friend gave it to me to borrow, after declaring how much she’d loved it. So I didn’t know what to expect and I came to it unbiased.
Unfortunately, from the very start I didn’t like it.

In my opinion, it lacked the elegance, sophistication and swoony romance that I think good historical fiction should have. The writing was simplistic, bland, and the story had too many twists and turns that the author seemed to have written in without planning it through to
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Cass -  Words on Paper
(3.5 if I take into account the way I feel about it in full, 4 if I just say "Hey it was really entertaining")

+ A strong and intelligent heroine whose inner strength grows as the plot thickens. I really really liked the progression of her character development. Even though I never got a feel that I knew her inside and out, she was a good heroine and would make a good role model for impressionable minds.
+ An adequate amount of research was made ~ as far as my knowledge goes, the historical
I wanted to like this - I really did! But sadly that was not the case.

Emerald (she's named after her eyes of course...) is your typical goody-two-shoe heroine. She is ahead of her time in her way to think and act, which, of course, sets her apart from everyone else. She is beautiful without knowing it and she has a pet bear. Why? I have absolutely no idea, she just does. If this is the norm in her world, I don't know either, because Emerald never bothered to tell me, or if she did I don't rememb
Dani Neira
Jun 05, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: uk
I normally really like this sort of thing, but this one didn't leave a great impression on me. All I could think of was things that didn't seem quite right. For example, Emerald and Sam fall desperately in love after having...what, two conversations? And they never even argue.
Also, Karen Wallace had a great plot going for her, with secrets and lies and mysteries to unravel, but I couldn't feel the tension. Wallace is not a bad writer, but I honestly think she could have played it up a bit more.
This is a historical fiction book set during the time of Queen Elizabeth 1st. The main character Emerald St John who lives with her aunt and uncle and cousin. Near the start of the book, Emerald finds out that she is to marry Lord Suckley who is a horrible man. Her brother returns home with his friend Sam who tells Emerald about a plot to kill the Queen. Emerald agrees to help by listening to people when she visits her mother's house.

This was a quick read. I thought it was an ok story at times
Feb 03, 2011 rated it did not like it
I am such a sucker for YA Historical fiction with a pretty cover.
I ordered ths paperback all the way fom the UK based on this.

This book was a clunker.
Cardboard characters.
Annoying heroine.
Flat romance which was sudden and wooden.
Ugh- what a waste of money and time.
Oct 25, 2011 rated it liked it
I recommend it to any fans of Eve Edwards or Anna Godbersen's books. If you love them, you'll this too!

Full review: http://talesoftheinnerbookfanatic.blo...
Nov 25, 2011 rated it liked it
It was a good story and I liked the characters, but there wasn't much depth in the story at all. Only the characters had a little depth. It was just a little vague, if you ask me. However, I did enjoy the book and it had me hooked sometimes. ...more
Jan 03, 2012 rated it really liked it
I'm a sucker for YA historical fiction, especially anything set in the Tudor/Elizabethan era, and Emerald did not disappoint. Intriguing plot, love-at-first-sight romance, and a main character that, while a little anachronistic at times, is easy to root for. This was a good, light summer read. ...more
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