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

anyothername

Cat 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 the final week of our readalong.  Such a lot of surprises this week.  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

 

What a surprising last few chapters.  A lot that I really didn’t see coming and the duplicity and two facedness is really quite staggering – in fact nothing seems to be as it first seems!  To the questions:

After her meeting with Miss Rainer, Cathy is determined to tackle the Agency and bring feminism to the Nether. What are her odds of success? Is Lucy a trustworthy ally?

Aww, I was so gutted for Miss Rainter – I hope that something can eventually be done to help her.  In terms of Cathy – it has given her a renewed purpose and dI think she stands a very good chance of success and I certainly think Lucy is trustworthy – which adds even more to my conviction that change is possible.  After all, I don’t think it will take too much to garner a lot of support from some of the other women in this society – particularly those not used to such privileged positions.  I really like that Cathy is finally embracing the world in which she has been born and trying to change it rather than simply run away – not that I blame her for wanting to run away – but having now been in the position to live in her world and ours I think, more than a lot of the other women in her world, she has a good idea of what she wants and the unfair situation in which they all live.  I predict a riot!  Of lace and frills and bonnets, but nonetheless a riot!

Will wants another chance at a happy ending for him and Cathy. Thoughts? 

I’m very unhappy with a lot that has taken place with Will but I don’t believe in cutting my nose off to spite my face.  That being said he’s got a lot to do to gain back some ground.  I thought we got to really see how powerful the charm was that has been used on him – which was interesting – was the charm used early on to ensure his desire even?  Not sure. It also served to highlight that he doesn’t really have strong feelings for Isabella because he wasn’t interested in staying with her, in spite of her best efforts, until she used the charm again.  As to his ending with Cathy we’ll have to see what happens to be honest.  They will both have to start to be a bit more honest and maybe make a fresh start.  I think that overall Will could become an ally for Cathy and help her to make changes, maybe slowly, but he’s also been to mundanus so perhaps he can be persuaded to help.  If they start to have feelings for each other then so be it.  I think Will possible has the makings of something different in him – at the moment he does seem to be running around like a headless chicken and he seems a lot more easily manipulated than Cathy.

Do you think Lord Iron is to be trusted? Is Sam making the right move by joining CoFerrum? Any thoughts on his wife’s death?

No, I don’t think he’s to be trusted.  I don’t know why but if something smells bad – then it usually is bad.  I really don’t know why Lord Iron got my back up tbh – just something about him offering Sam such a good deal – a job, a decent salary, the chance for revenge, an attractive relocation package, it all smacks of him really being prepared to offer Sam anything in order to lure him in.  And, you can’t help wondering that the things he is offering Sam just so happen to coincide very nicely with Sam’s own desires.  Hadn’t he, just literally seconds earlier, been thinking he would sell the house and move?  Isn’t he out of work?  Wasn’t he thinking of revenge?  Something is rotten in Denmark I think – could be wrong of course but I just don’t trust Lord Iron at the moment.  Plus, the whole attack in the park – it’s like Sam was being played – throwing railings like an Olympian, having his injuries plugged up with Iron – and wasn’t Leanne trying to call him at the time?  Maybe she figured out something was wrong and was trying to get in touch.  She didn’t die at the same time as the attack in the park but later.  Maybe whatever happened to Leanne will now happen to Sam too – or maybe that’s the intent.  I don’t know, I’m running off at all sorts of tangents.

Do you think Mercia is behind the deaths of the Sorcerers? If so, what sort of deal do you think he struck with Lady Rose?

I don’t know about all this now.  I’m starting to think that Ekstrand is a bit of a funny onion.  He called a moot that he didn’t attend – and then everyone died and coincidentally and happily for him – he’s still alive.  He comes across as ridiculously dotty but I’m just remembering his original appearance at the end of the last book where he came across as anything but dotty in fact quite impressive when he was wielding his sorcery – and you can’t help thinking that there are now very few sorcerers left – so, you have to look at motives and survivors.  At the moment it seems that there may be two sorcerers left?  Perhaps they have a deal – or perhaps they’re at loggerheads and have great ambitions to be the only one?  Or perhaps I’m crazy.

What are your predictions for the next book?

I think the next book has the potential for a lot of excitement.  Apart from what’s going on with Cathy and her own personal endeavours I think that there is something much bigger at the heart of this – I don’t know what it is to be honest, perhaps it’s a way for the fae to break out from their exile, maybe they’ve made alliances?  I don’t actually fully know what to expect but it seems that there is definitely something bigger at stake here.

As an aside, did anybody think anything odd about Sophia – when she was at the park and all the other children went home crying.  As though she was maybe being very cruel to them all?  Makes me wonder if she’s not what everyone thinks.  We know the fae massively use their families – could Sophia have been enforced upon the family?  There was the whole discussion about children from the last book and I thought it was very odd that Will’s family would so blatantly flaunt the rules – especially when they have such a domineering Lord who controls them so microscopically.  Could Sophie have been placed with them – is she a changeling of sorts?  I don’t know but that scene in the park made me wonder about her.

The other thought I had concerned Lord Poppy.  I couldn’t help wondering in the dual at the end – the boon he gave to Will meant that his opponent was drugged and his reactions massively slowed down.  The boon that Lord Iris gave to Will just stopped him feeling anything through the first few strikes, it didn’t stop him from being struck  – it just seems that Lord Poppy gave the most useful boon in that situation which makes me think that he’s maybe pulling the strings here more than I originally thought.  I just have to look at the motivation, who stands to gain. I’m really not getting a full grasp on the situation at the moment but it’s certainly intriguing.

We will be reading the final book in the series as a readalong so any interest in joining let me know or check out the Goodreads pages.  An announcement to follow shortly.

 

 

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

  1. Lynn E. O'Connacht

    I thought it was the Thorn making sure that all the Mundane witnesses had gone, though I admit that it took me a little while to read it that way. It does initially seem like it was Sophia that did something to them and I’ve not actually ruled that out. I just think that the Thorn not wanting witnesses and/or people able to intervene makes more sense.

    I’m… very curious about the Sorcerers and what’s going to happen there. It really is suspicious the way Ekstrand called a moot and then… didn’t attend. I had much the same feelings you did, I think. If we can take it at face value that it took great sorcerous powers to kill everyone at the moot that way, our options are Ekstrand, the Mercia Sorcerer or a yet unknown third party. And Ekstrand… You’re right about his competence at the end of the first book and it does stand a bit at odds with the Ekstrand we see otherwise, doesn’t it? Maybe that’s the only time we’ve seen the real Ekstrand?

    • @lynnsbooks

      You’re right about the Thorn – that’s not what I was meaning with Sophia though (I don’t think I wrote that part of my answer very well tbh). When she was at the park she was playing with other (mundane) children whilst Cathy and Sam were talking, then she came over to Cathy and said that all the other children had gone (and they all seemed to leave crying – and Sophia said ‘I didn’t do anything’). I thought it was a bit odd.
      I definitely don’t trust Ekstrand – there seems something a little bit of something that irritates me – he looks fair but feels foul!
      Lynn 😀

      • Lynn E. O'Connacht

        No, that’s exactly what I was thinking with Sophia and why I initially thought Sophia had done something, perhaps without realising it. (And this might still be true!) But Sophia is also a girl who’s spent all of her life so far living in the shadows, mostly on her own, and probably told constantly what she’s not allowed to do (which is basically everything ever) and blamed for everything that goes wrong around her regardless of whether it was under her control. I mean, we’ve seen how much the Iris family values perfection. I’m not sure why they’d stop demanding it just because they have to keep Sophia hidden.

        So it’s just as plausible that Sophia is just a lonely child, terrified of losing Cathy and Will because she thinks she was behaving badly and she’s been taught that if things go wrong they’re her fault. So she could just be trying to avoid being punished for disobedience. At her age, kids often think that big things that go wrong are their fault and she’s got more reason than most to assume that’s the case, I think?

        And, as I said, it’s also still possible that she DID do something to the other children, knowingly or not, and we’ll find out when she has to deal with a baby demanding chunks of Will and Cathy’s attention or sooner. It’s just having read the rest of the scene and the way the Thorn’s magic works that I think he’s the more likely culprit of what hurt the mundane children. I think Sophia didn’t have any reason to hurt all (or even any) of them. He did.

      • @lynnsbooks

        Ahh. Now I understand. So you’re thinking Thorn was clearing the park of witnesses before he arrived and that’s the reason why the other children were leaving in tears. That never occurred to me. And I think that makes perfect sense. Makes me feel a bit naughty for suspecting Sophie but that being said she could have hurt the other children in some way without even realising. After all she’s been very secluded for the majority of her young life. I still do think there’s something strange about the situation about Sophia. Particularly that the family have forbidden the rules in terms of the number of children they’re permitted and I wonder whether they’ve been forced to take her and keep her secret. I find it difficult to believe that they would have been able to keep this a secret from Lord Iris. Hopefully. All will eventually be revealed.

  2. coolcurrybooks

    Woah, that point about Ekstrand is interesting. Maybe Max is being played…

    There’s definitely some mystery surrounding Sophia. I don’t know if she’s a changling (or Will’s uncle’s child, which was another theory posited), but I think you’re right that something’s up with her.

    • @lynnsbooks

      Yeah, she came across as a little bit odd in the last few chapters – but I could have just misread it.
      And, I’m probably way off with Ekstrand – just clutching at straws!
      Lynn 😀

      • coolcurrybooks

        I think the other Lynn is suspicious of Ekstrand too, so you’re not alone.

      • @lynnsbooks

        Yeah, I just saw Lynn’s post. That’s a relief 😀

  3. Mogsy @ BiblioSanctum

    I had tons of thoughts about Sophia this week as well, and I love your theory that she may be a changeling! There’s definitely something up with her, I think it’s pretty safe to assume that the “rule of 3” with the Iris children remain unbroken – Sophie is an odd one out for sure, but I just don’t know how. I also suspected Ekstrand by the way, so I don’t think you’re off about your feelings. I can’t put together why I think he’s iffy, but it just flashed across my mind this week that maybe he could be a part of all this.

    • @lynnsbooks

      I’m probably totally off with both of those thoughts tbh. But, they sprung to mind and you know what they say about ‘fools rushing in…’
      Sophia – I think Lynn had a better idea of what was going on in the park and that Thorn had sent all the other children away in tears to get rid of any potential witnesses. Makes perfect sense (which is probably why I never thought of it!). That being said I definitely feel something iffy about both Ekstrand and Sophia. I hope we get some good answers in book 3!
      Lynn 😀

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