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Book Review

Publisher's Note:

Inspired by the works of Georgette Heyer and Jane Austen, Newt’s Emerald is a Regency romance with a fantasy twist. New York Times bestselling author Garth Nix presents a charmed world where everyone has something to hide. After Lady Truthful’s magical Newington Emerald is stolen from her, she devises a simple plan: go to London to recover the missing jewel. She quickly learns, however, that a …

Newt’s Emerald

by Garth Nix

Overall Book Review:

Newt’s Emerald is simply a lot of fun. It manages to be light-hearted, easy to read and adventurous in a delightful alternate Regency England setting. The protagonist, Lady Truthful, is loveable and spunky, a dramatic heroine ready to face adventure, even if it means dressing up as a weak and unimpressive young Frenchman. Garth Nix does an excellent job of immersing the reader in a magical Regency setting, complete with an extensive vocabulary and a strong emphasis on etiquette, with a few handsome young men thrown in for good measure.

However, the story does nothing ground-breaking. It’s a pleasure to read, but predictable and without a great deal of character development or world-building with regards to the fantastical elements of the story. This is a good fit for readers looking for a fun spin on a regency romance or a book to ease into YA fantasy, but not for someone looking for a hardcore fantasy novel or a complex original story.

Content Analysis

Profanity/Language: 12 mild obscenities, 1 derogatory name.

Violence/Gore: Storm causes property damage; man tells war stories; injuries and deaths are reported; carriage accident with no injuries; character wishes another to be seriously ill; woman is accused of poisoning two men; a character is shot in the arm; a character attempts to curse another; two instances where characters fight; character orders other characters drowned; character stabs another several times; character is shot at; character is knocked unconscious; character is lashed to the front of a ship with the intention of drowning them; conversation discussing a character being hanged; a character is kidnapped; a character shoots another; a character kills another character; discussion about people killed in battle; a character shoots another with an arrow, killing them.

Sex/Nudity: A dress in called shockingly low cut; mention of somewhat immodest fashions; several conversations discussing marriage; young men ask a young woman to dance; characters dance; character holds another around the waist; character sits on another’s lap romantically; a character kisses another; characters profess love for each other; characters kiss.

Mature Subject Matter:

Death of parents, serious illness, theft, gender roles, impersonation, societal norms.

Drug/Alcohol Use:

Mentions of drinking; adults drink alcohol at dinner; men drink rum punch and get slightly drunk in an extended scene meant to be comical; suggestion of being bribed with gin; mention of smoking and gambling at a men’s club; men drink use cigars, use snuff; characters get drunk on alcohol fumes; drinking alcohol is considered a societal norm and adults drink several times in various circumstances.

Overall Book Rating

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About the Reviewer

I was homeschooled from kindergarten to grade 10, which gave me a love for reading. Growing up books were an integral part of my life, and I’ve always been able to make time to read. I’m most widely read in YA fiction, but fantasy is becoming my favorite genre. My free time not spent reading is mostly spent outdoors camping, riding a bicycle, or otherwise enjoying nature. I’m also a science nerd with a special interest in entomology.