Gail Carriger's Reviews > Newt's Emerald

Newt's Emerald by Garth Nix
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it was amazing
bookshelves: fantasy, historical, favorites, author-friends, victorian-primary, reviewed

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 such a surprise and so so good.

The magical system is a little underdeveloped but the characters are marvelous. Truthful is fun and engaging, her lover is a darling, and I really adored it. No major nookie but the romance element is sweet. Charming, quite quite charming.
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Reading Progress

Started Reading
May 20, 2014 – Finished Reading
May 21, 2014 – Shelved
May 21, 2014 – Shelved as: fantasy
May 21, 2014 – Shelved as: historical
May 21, 2014 – Shelved as: favorites
May 21, 2014 – Shelved as: author-friends
May 21, 2014 – Shelved as: victorian-primary
December 10, 2018 – Shelved as: reviewed

Comments Showing 1-5 of 5 (5 new)

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Kindred Spirit I also found this book very charming. I liked that I could still "feel" Nix's voice within, even though it was so different to his other books. I loved the humour and the characters and the fast paced story.


message 2: by Elias (new) - added it

Elias "Complete departure?" As a huge Nix fan, this really worries me. I don't mind him writing something different as much as I don't want him to change his style or, especially, do something romance-based. I always hold his books up as a benchmark for YA fantasy, and as an example of what YA fantasy books today should be like but aren't. My biggest issue is that they're now too romance-based, always with a love triangle that eats the plot (love triangles aren't always bad-- see The Hunger Games or The Infernal Devices, but I hate it when they become the focus of the story). I miss when YA was about action and magic, something that Nix always did so well. How much romance is in this?


TheCosyDragon I found this novel really disappointing to be looking for Nix's style. It's totally a dead loss to me. Good enough story, but not the way to introduce someone to fantasy. And yes, way too much romance for my taste.


Raye I found Lady Truthful and her escapades delightful! So appreciate the recommendation.


Amanda You mentioned Sorcery & Cecilia, so I was wondering if you'd read Wrede's Mairelon the Magician. It sounds like you'd like it a lot.


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