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? (Summary from Amazon.com.)
A Regency romance with fantasy elements…of course I was going to like this book! 🙂 It’s actually the first thing I’ve read by Garth Nix, and I believe it’s somewhat atypical for him, but I’m still interested in reading more of his backlist now. I think my favorite thing about this book is the light, bright tone throughout. Even though the novel’s stakes are fairly high — the missing emerald is an ancient and powerful jewel capable of causing significant havoc — the plentiful humor and Regency elements make the book a very light, pleasant read. I also enjoyed Truthful’s adventures as a man, especially because they allowed her and her love interest truly to get to know each other, beyond the superficial interactions between ladies and gentlemen in Regency society. The actual romance wasn’t totally satisfying for me; it starts off with a nice slow build, but the resolution is extremely abrupt and comes very late in the book. But overall, I really enjoyed this novel, and so should any fan of the genre!