By Garth Nix
Published: October 13, 2015
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 woman cannot wander the city streets alone without damaging her reputation, and she disguises herself as a mustache-wearing man. During Truthful's dangerous journey she discovers a crook, an unsuspecting ally, and an evil sorceress—but will she find the Emerald?
Lady Truthful Newington is supposed to inherit the Newington Emerald and on her 18th birthday, her father brings it out so she and her cousins can see it. When the emerald is stolen, Truthful decides to go to London to look for it herself. She stays with her aunt, a talented sorceress who is able to disguise Truthful as a man. In the guise of a French gentleman and distant cousin, Truthful hopes to find out who took the emerald and retrieve it. Unfortunately she discovers that the thief was a powerful malignant sorceress who may be planning to use the emerald to free Napoleon from his prison. In the course of her search, Truthful also meets the handsome and infuriating Major Harnett who decides to help her find the emerald.
This is a charming historical fantasy set during the Regency period. It is an homage to Georgette Heyer and Jane Austen but with magic. I enjoyed the story and the development of the romance. There is humor as well as a little bit of suspense and adventure. I think the author did a good job of blending the historical Regency romance with just a touch of fantasy. Truthful is a fun heroine. She is plucky and resourceful and I loved how she saved herself and Major Harnett from scrapes.
I have never read Georgette Heyer (something I need to remedy) but I think readers who love Jane Austen would like this book as well as fans of Gail Carriger's Etiquette & Espionage series, Keeping the Castle by Patrice Kindl and A School for Unusual Girls by Kathleen Baldwin. I listened to the audio book version of the novel and I thought the narration was well done, particularly for Truthful's voice. I really enjoyed Newt's Emerald and I hope Garth Nix writes more novels like it.
Note: I received an ARC for review purposes courtesy of the publisher and Edelweiss but I ended up listening to the finished audio book instead