Publisher: Simon & Schuster Children's Books
Emerald St. John is in trouble. She has been condemned to marry a man she hates, her enemies are conspiring to have her pet bear torn apart in the baiting pits, and the man she loves is far awayon the high seas. And now she has stumbled into a web of spies with a plot to poison Queen Elizabeth I. To save herself and the kingdom, Emerald must beat the spies at their own game - which means transforming herself from a country girl into a lady of the court. Can she do it in time?
The blurb and this beautiful cover combination had me gearing up in excitement and it was a real delight to see it at the library just waiting to be borrowed by me. Now I'm a huge fan of historical fiction - as most of you know - but only so very few authors can actually pull it off. More so in young adult than adult fiction. Reminding me of the essence of Eve Edward's popular The Other Countess series which I loved, EMERALD was a light and a very entertaining read that I'm sure a lot will enjoy immensely. While I found the fast-paced storyline well-written, but I wished it could've been spaced out more. To see more development between the setting and the main characters. However it was still a great read.
I found Emerald's character easily appealable and she possessed the many personality traits we love and adore in our female heroines - the strong, intelligent and determined kind. Watching over her and seeing the transformation begin from a mere country girl to a strong-built-but-graceful young woman of the Elizabethan court, it was definitely something that was worth reading about.
The other characters introduced in the book - the main and supporting cast - were just as enjoyable as Emerald's character. However, I have only two tiny problems. When it came to the romance itself, I of course love the romance, but there wasn't much of it which was a real shame for me considering I thought it would be one of the main focuses of the book. After all, there's no historical fiction without some good old-fashioned romance. Apart from that, the other issue for me was the length of the book. Like I said above, I wished it was a little bit more spread out in the length department and perhaps if was written with another 100 or so pages, I would've given this book a higher rating.
Overall Karen Wallace did an amazing job in weaving EMERALD's tale of a light romance, an intriguing mystery, along with just the right amount of scandal to make it a great read. Containing some characters you will love and others that you will hate, I definitely recommend giving this book a go whether you buy or borrow. I recommend it to any fans of Eve Edwards or Anna Godbersen's books. If you love them, you'll this too!