Have I mentioned any time recently that Garth Nix is my favourite author? Not in a few months, apparently. Well, he is. Has been for a long time. So when I realised he had released a new book (albeit in digital format only), I had to get hold of it.
This book is totally, completely, a million miles away from anything Nix has ever released before. It’s a Regency Romance – historical fiction set in the early 19th Century with a focus on the love story. While it does have the addition of magic, it’s a million miles away from the rest of Nix’s books which are high fantasy, space operas, and certainly not romances, even if they do have romantic subplots.
Newt’s Emerald, in any case, tells the tale of the Lady Truthful Newington, who is in London in search of a precious family heirloom which was stolen from her home. Unfortunately, it being the Regency era, women are not permitted to be out alone, and certainly not in search of an emerald, which may lead to all sorts of impropriety, thus the only solution is for Truthful to disguise herself as a man and embark upon as many adventures as she can possibly cram into 200 pages.
This book was a complete departure from Nix’s previous style, as I have mentioned before, but it was certainly a very enjoyable read. Much lighter and frothier than most of his other books, with a certain amount of farce, mistaken identity, deliberate confusion, the stringent social mores of the time and a healthy dose of ballgowns, dancing, and the inexorable falling in love with your gallant supporting male character, I read this book in two days and enjoyed every word of it. It’s not as good as Nix’s other works, but it’s still thoroughly enjoyable.