Between Two Thorns Split Worlds #1) by Emma Newman readalong final week
Today is the final week of our readalong of Between Two Thorns by Emma Newman. The schedule is below and a link to the Goodread’s page here. Please be aware of spoilers below and also look out for notification of a readalong for No.2 if you want to jump on board.
Part 1 – Monday 9th May: Chapters 1-9, hosted by Over The Effing Rainbow
Part 2 – Monday 16th May: Chapters 10-18, hosted by On Starships and Dragonwings
Part 3 – Monday 23rd May: Chapters 19-25, hosted by x + 1
Part 4 – Monday 30th May: Chapters 26-End, hosted by Lynn’s Books
Well, book No.1 has reached it’s conclusion and I find myself with plenty of questions! Even though this first book in series was a reread for me I’d forgotten a lot of the story and this reread has reminded me of how much this book leaves up in the air! Not a bad thing to be honest but it definitely feels like a first in series type of book! So, to the questions.
1. We seem to have a number of separate threads even by the end of the book – what do you make of it all so far. Were you surprised by any of the final revelations?
I think the biggest surprise for me by the end of the story was the conclusion that Max reached in his investigation of the death/murders at the Chapterhouse. I also think that the Sorcerer is a very odd sort of character and I can’t really put my finger on what’s going on with him yet but I’m definitely keen to find out. My thoughts are definitely a bit of a jumble with all that took place although at the back of my mind I feel like everything will lead back to one thing, not sure yet what that will be – unless perhaps one of the fae!
2. What are your impressions of the world that Emma Newman has created here?
I like the originality of the idea. The fae world and the mundane with the nether in-between acting as both protectors and servants for both sides. I found it easier to focus on it during this readalong because I think when I picked up the book originally I was too determined to find out what was going on and raced a little to the end. I also really enjoy the different periods. Newman has created an excellent opportunity to bring us a regency type period drama with all its own dilemmas whilst at the same time giving us the modern world which allows her to address all sorts of issues – in particular relating to sexism and the class structure. I was a bit horrified during the final revelations and the punishments being dished out about this ‘agency’ that would swoop in and place people elsewhere – such as brothels (like the one Will visited whilst on his tour!!)
3. Do you have any favourite characters so far? Any characters that you’re still not sure of and who do you positively dislike?
Well, Will is a person who makes me conflicted. Every time he does something right he then follows up with an immediate gaff. I like that he and Cathy finally tried to work together in the last few chapters. I don’t like it that he was a glory stealing hound but I can kind of see his reasoning for that – after all if Cathy had been at the centre of everything uncovering all sorts of nefarious plots everyone would have focused more on HER than on the PLOTS. But, okay, whilst I can get over that issue I don’t like that in the next breath he’s saving the Rose girl (sorry, can’t recall her name) who was plotting along with her brother and the rest of the families. He’s too fickle when it comes to outside appearance. He’s made disparaging remarks about Cathy and how plain she is and is then prepared to help a woman, purely based on the fact that she’s beautiful, and yet she was trying to make him into a bit of a fool – presumably he wouldn’t have been so anxious to help a woman in similar circumstances if she was a little less easy on the eye! I don’t know, he’s a product of his upbringing I suppose which leaves him as scared to step out of the bounds of society as everyone else and which in turn gives him a bit of a wishy washy lack of backbone type of feel.
Cathy. Conflicted again. I like her but sometimes just want to shake her somehow – she doesn’t always think on her feet although she definitely improved as the book went along.
Max and the gargoyle – you have to take them as a double act. Max can seem a little lacking somehow some times – but that’s because he does lack a soul – which is currently housed inside the gargoyle. Taken as a double act they’re a good team that I enjoy reading.
Sam, interestingly, and although from a different era, Sam can come across as rather sexist. I still hold out hope for him and his wife (although I do wonder if she’s already given up with the marriage – time will tell). He’s not a bad guy but comes across very much as a bit like the rabbit in the headlights but hopefully he will gain a bit more charisma in the next book.
Lord Poppy – I like him – he’s odd, rude and dangerous but as far as fae go I like his strange eccentricity and I picture him with a knowing glint in his eye. I have the impression that nothing is how you suspect with him and it’s going to be interesting to see how he’s involved in the next book.
4. What are your predictions for moving into the next story?
Well, I have no idea – hopefully we’ll find out a little more about the Chapterhouse murders and what exactly is taking place in the nether world. It seems to me that there’s some sort of take over bid going on between Bath and London – and just how much of this is being engineered by the fae will be interesting to see.