Reading/Interest Level: Young Adult
Author: Garth Nix
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
To honor her birthday Lady Truthful’s father shows off the precious and magical emerald that she is to inherit until the event takes an ominous turn and the jewel is stolen. Determined to recover the gem, Truthful heads to London, where with the help of her eccentric aunt, she disguises herself as a man to make inquiries. Her efforts reveal that something more sinister is afoot and with the help of an able former Navy officer, the thief is identified and the chase is on. When the pair is kidnapped and Truthful is unmasked because of her successful efforts to rescue them, it looks like the Lady will be left out of the hunt. However, Truthful is determined and as the officer tracks the criminal she finds ways to remain at his side until they defeat their enemy and admit their mutual attraction for one another.
A delightfully unexpected story from Nix, this novel pays perfect homage to the regency romance greats like Austen and Heyer. The mixing of magic into a regency setting is nothing new, but Nix’s take on the genre is playful and charming. Truthful is portrayed with such honest sincerity it is hard to not cheer her on through her many harrowing adventures. The language and tone convey the setting with pitch perfect accuracy for fans of the genre. Overall the majority of the plot is expected but Nix’s twists, the whimsy of the characters, and just the right touch of magic ensure that it is anything but trite. This book is a delightfully lighthearted read for anyone but of particular interest to those who swoon over Mr. Darcy.