Any Other Name (Split Worlds #2) by Emma Newman, readalong week 1

any other nameCat has been forced into an arranged marriage with William – a situation that comes with far more strings than even she could have anticipated, especially when she learns of his family’s intentions for them both. 

Meanwhile, Max and the gargoyle investigate The Agency – a mysterious organisation that appears to play by its own rules – and none of them favourable to Society. 

Over in Mundanus, Sam has discovered something very peculiar about his wife’s employer – something that could herald a change for everyone in both sides of the Split Worlds.

Today is week one of our readalong of Split Worlds by Emma Newman.  The schedule is below and a link to the Goodread’s page here.  Feel free to jump on board or join in with the comments and if you haven’t read the book please be aware of spoilers below.

Week 1: Monday 6th June, Chapters 1-6, hosted by Over The Effing Rainbow
Week 2: Monday 13th June, Chapters 7-13, hosted by x + 1
Week 3: Monday 20th June, Chapters 14-20, hosted by Lynn’s Book Blog
Week 4: Monday 27th June, Chapters 21-End, hosted by The Illustrated Page
1. Cathy’s wedding day arrives, and her mother wasn’t joking when she said she’d make sure Cathy would go through with it. What are your thoughts/feelings on Cathy’s forced circumstances?
Her parents are just so horrible – drugging her like that.  No.  Just no.   The fact is arranged marriages did and do take place, Cathy’s circumstances are different because she’s being kept in a place against her will but she’s a pawn in a bigger game that she’s not yet aware of.  It seems to me that she’s a very unusual choice for such an important match for these two particular families which gives me pause for thought.  At the end of the day she’s going to be no less easy to control now she’s married – I don’t think Will is going to give her bruises or beat her into submission and drug her after all!  Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that Cathy isn’t suitable for the marriage I’m just wondering why these two particular families thinks she is when clearly they don’t approve of anything about her – why not choose her sister who seems desperate to please?  I really think something else is happening here.
2. On the way to the ceremony, we get some surprising insights into Cathy’s father’s background and why he treats his daughter the way he does. Does this change your opinion of him at all? If so, what do you make of him now?
It doesn’t really change my opinion to be honest – it’s not to say I don’t have some sympathy, I’m sure that fighting in the war must have been absolutely traumatic for him so that does make me feel bad for him but why did he choose that particular moment to open up to Cathy?  It seemed like a thinly disguised shot at ‘look, we have a lot in common’ or an even more thinly disguised shot at making her part from the family with good feelings towards them and recognition of what is expected now she’s marrying into another family – he even said he regretted not talking to her earlier – well, he had time to do so – so what stopped him.  I feel like I’m being very harsh on him but I can’t really forgive him for beating Cathy all the time.  I understand that the society they live in has different expectations but even so his behaviour just is awful to me.  You could even argue that given his own personal experience and anger at the situation he found himself in he might have had more sympathy for Cathy.
3. The wedding itself, and the honeymoon, brings some unavoidable truths with it, for Cathy and Will both. Does their behaviour in this part of the book change what you think of them/their outlook?
No, I think at the moment my feelings for the two remain the same.  On the face of it it would be easy to say that Will is trying – but that’s only to Cathy’s face, his own thoughts are quite a different cup of tea – he seems like he’s being compliant but at the end of the day he’s expecting to have a lot more freedom that Cathy – even a mistress already in the planning – not to mention constantly reflecting on his flings whilst on tour.  Cathy – well, at the moment she seems almost like her own worst enemy.  In fact the way she’s behaving makes me have doubts about how she ever managed to escape in the first instance.  I want to shake her and tell her to stop being like a headless chicken. And that charm – how totally ridiculous.  How can you put a charm on somebody that will cause a mark on them even if their own brother gives them a harmless kiss on the cheek?  What about if you have an accident and somebody has to help you – they can’t touch your skin (for example a doctor) without you being marked?.  If I was Cathy I would keep the gloves off and let everyone shake my hand – that way she’ll be covered in marks – I’m sure that the family wouldn’t want that any more than Cathy as surely it would be terrible for their reputation not to mention their future plans.
Ohh, I’m being so grumpy about the two of them – they both seem to be acting so immature though!

8 Responses to “Any Other Name (Split Worlds #2) by Emma Newman, readalong week 1”

  1. Lynn E. O'Connacht

    I feel like I’m being very harsh on him but I can’t really forgive him for beating Cathy all the time.

    I don’t think you’re being harsh on him. He’s a horrid person and this hardly even comes close to beginning to make amends to Cathy for what he’s done. He’s not sorry about it at all. Ugh. And that was before you noted that he might well have a lot of ulterior motives to open up at that moment that I’d never considered.

    • @lynnsbooks

      Yes, I can’t help feeling that he only shared that piece of information with Cathy to try and reel her in and make her feel sorry for him and forgiving of his actions. They’re a very manipulative family after all and Cathy is now outside of his control so he has to try something else to keep her in line.
      Lynn 😀

  2. imyril

    I like your idea of shaking hands and flaunting the marks – Cathy doesn’t care about her reputation after all.

    I did appreciate that she finally recognised she needs to move on from Josh. She literally wished him away – there’s no way back from that that doesn’t involve a Fae Lord.

    • @lynnsbooks

      I think Cathy has the guts to just have the marks and flaunt them. It was a sort of sad moment about Josh wasn’t it? I wonder if he still thinks of her – or if he’s too busy??
      Lynn 😀

      • imyril

        I think she’s barely if ever even crossed his mind 😦

      • @lynnsbooks

        Yeah, you’re probably right!

  3. Mogsy @ BiblioSanctum

    LOL I love how all of us are on the same page this week with regards to our grumpiness. Honestly, this week I wanted so badly to jump into the book and shove Cathy’s dad ass first out of that moving carriage, preferably into a urine puddle or oncoming traffic. The gall and sheer arrogance of him to even presume his situation had anything in common with his daughter’s. I agree, it also felt like a very strange time to have this conversation, not just right before Cathy’s wedding, but also in terms of why the author might have put this scene right here.

    And that charm, ugh. No wonder Cathy ran away from all this BS!

    • @lynnsbooks

      Her family and Will’s are just horrible. Make you not to never find the ‘Nether’.
      Lynn 😀

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