Inspired by the works of Georgette Heyer and Jane Austen, Garth Nix's Newt's Emerald is a Regency romance with a fantasy twist. New York Times bestselling author Gail Carriger calls it "charming; quite, quite charming."
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?
At her 18th birthday party, Lady Truthful, daughter of Admiral the Viscount Newington, is presented with the fabulous Newington Emerald, an heirloom of great magical power which is immediately stolen by persons unknown. The Admiral is rendered insensible by the loss, and Truthful takes it upon herself to leave for London in pursuit. There she is swept up in the social scene and meets a dashing and mysterious soldier, Major Hartnett. The two take part in magical variations on familiar Regency elements having adventures, going to balls, quarreling constantly before recovering the emerald and, of course, falling in love. Nix describes meals and clothing in delicious detail; Truthful's birthday dinner, for example, consists of "turbot with lobster sauce, several boiled fowls, a turtle, a ham, and a quarter of a lamb with cauliflowers... followed by a gooseberry and currant pie, a soft pudding, and five different sorts of fruit." Although less memorable than Nix's Old Kingdom tales, this romance should please the author's regular readers and Georgette Heyer fans alike. Ages 13 up.