Newt’s Emerald (Garth Nix)

Newt’s Emerald is a novel by Garth Nix.
Finished on: 30.5.2019

Content Note: misogyny

When Lady Truthful Newtington, called Newt by everyone, turns 18, she is set to inherit the Newtington Emerald that gives magical powers to its owner. But in a conjured storm, the emerald is stolen and Newt decides that she has to set out herself to get it back. Only that isn’t easily accomplished as a woman traveling alone. So, instead she dresses up as a man. In her disguise, she meets Major Hartnett who offers to accompany her on her quest. Despite his rough manners, Newt accepts his help and the two set off.

Newt’s Emerald is a quick, fun read that proves that regency romances and fantasy are a really good combination (in case you needed proof of that). But I was a little unhappy with the love story.

The book cover showing the silhouette of a city as well as several items (a sword, a tophat, a glove, an emerald heart).

Newt’s Emerald is really cute and has a lot of humor and charm – like Newt herself, although my favorite character was definitely her aunt (and her staff). The setting was also really lovely, though I sometimes felt that I don’t have enough historical knowledge to get everything. It wasn’t necessary for my enjoyment of the book, though.

What kept me from loving the novel despite all those good things was Major Hartnett. And since the romance is a pretty big part of the novel and it’s story, my dislike of him was a big problem. To get to the point: he is a raging misogynist and I just don’t see how that is romance material, even when it is later explained that his misogyny comes from the fact that he was hurt badly by a woman. That is an explanation, no excuse and to make things worse, I didn’t really see much development with his character away from that misogyny.

And so I flinched everytime the story turned to its romantic part, and that just ruined the otherwise good, well-written, creative book a little for me. It’s such a pity because there is otherwise so much good stuff here.

Summarizing: definitely not Nix’ best.

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