All Good Things (The Split Worlds #5) by Emma Newman

allAll Good things is the final instalment in Emma Newman’s split world series.  I must admit that I had my concerns about exactly how this would all conclude but I feel that Ms Newman has pulled out all the stops to give her readers a satisfactory ending to this story.  If you haven’t read the previous books in the series be aware that spoilers will be lurking below.

As the story begins we have a scenario where Cathy has finally escaped from her husband Will and is staying under the protection of Sam (Lord Iron).  It may grate on her a little to need Sam’s help in this way but his property is protected and Will cannot find her while she remains there, on top of this Bea, the powerful sorceress who we learned of in the last book, is also staying at Sam’s and has offered to help Cathy to learn some basic magic so that she can rely on herself – however, in return she does expect Cathy to help persuade Sam to assist with her plan to change the Nether forever.

Meanwhile, back in the Nether, Will is desperate to find Cathy.  His family have become super powerful but his status is far from secure.  If it becomes apparent that his wife has deserted him he will be forced to give up his position and his patron will be very displeased.

Finally, Rupert, the only Sorcerer now left, is making plans to retaliate against Bea.  Using Max and the gargoyle to assist him he’s come up with a cunning plan although he’s perhaps being a little less than truthful about the impact his plans will have on others.

So, there are a number of things going on here and the story really does move along at a fast click. In fact in that respect it’s quite a step out of character from the previous instalments which felt like they had a softer, more character driven approach.  In fact one of my only criticisms is that the book had an almost rushed approach.  I think it probably could have been easily extended and in fact that would have helped to retain the feel of the previous books.  As it is it feels a little like the author wanted to bring this to a conclusion and so there was almost a sense of urgency to the read.  I’m not saying that it spoiled the read at all but it just felt a little different in style than the other books in the series.

What I really enjoyed about this was the sense of completion in terms of a number of the characters.

Cathy, who has struggled with a way to bring equality to the Nether society finally seems to come to terms with the fact that she will probably never succeed – or at least she might set the ball rolling but no obvious differences are likely to occur in her lifetime.  She needs a different approach and she comes up with a very radical solution.  One that won’t be everyone’s cup of tea and will involve a lot of upheaval but nonetheless a solution.  I felt that Cathy’s character really developed.  She is much more determined and even though she has doubts she’s confident enough to push ahead with her plans.

Will – well, I kept hoping that Will was just misguided, or foolish.  He had moments where he almost redeemed himself but basically they were all fairly shallow gestures in the end.  I’m not going to elaborate on what happens to Will here other than to say that he becomes a lot more involved with the fae and once again makes the mistake of trying to make decisions for Cathy.  He is so misguided!

Sam is coming to terms with his role in the world as Lord Iron and is trying to make reparations for the damage caused to the environment by his predecessors.  In a way he doesn’t really play too large a role in this book other than being a supporting character for Cathy.

Max and the gargoyle, who are a great double act, have really come along.  Max is finally coming to terms with the horror of what really happened to him and with the gargoyle as his emotional barometer is becoming a lot more sympathetic. I loved this pair of characters and thought their concluding storyline was great.

The only disappointment in terms of the characters was Lucy.  I’m not going to give away any spoilers but I couldn’t really get my head around what happened in terms of her.  It just didn’t sit right for me somehow or was simply too much.

However, in spite of a couple of niggles I really did think that this was a very good conclusion to the story.  Ms Newman has managed to find an ending that I would never have guessed, she solves a couple of puzzles along the way and although she ties up a lot of loose ends she even leaves the tantalising possibility for a return to some of the characters from this series.

I received a copy through Netgalley, courtesy of the publisher, for which my thanks.  The above is my own opinion.


Waiting on Wednesday: Brother’s Ruin (Industrial Magic #1) by Emma Newman

“Waiting On Wednesday” is a weekly meme created by Breaking the Spine.  Every Wednesday we get to highlight a book that we’re really looking forward to.  My book this week is : Brother’s Ruin (Industrial Magic #1) by Emma Newman

brothers-ruinThe year is 1850 and Great Britain is flourishing, thanks to the Royal Society of the Esoteric Arts. When a new mage is discovered, Royal Society elites descend like buzzards to snatch up a new apprentice. Talented mages are bought from their families at a tremendous price, while weak mages are snapped up for a pittance. For a lower middle class family like the Gunns, the loss of a son can be disastrous, so when seemingly magical incidents begin cropping up at home, they fear for their Archie’s life and their own livelihoods.

But Archie Gunn isn’t a talented mage. His sister Charlotte is, and to prevent her brother from being imprisoned for false reporting she combines her powers with his to make him seem a better prospect. However, maintaining the charade will mean masquerading as Archie’s assistant, and delaying or destroying her own plans for marriage.

When she discovers a nefarious plot by the sinister Doctor Ledbetter, Charlotte must use all her cunning and guile to protect her family, her secret and her city.

Oh yes, colour me happy.  Emma Newman, gaslight fantasy, nefarious plots!  Sign me up.

Due for release from Tor in May 2017

A Little Knowledge (The Split Worlds #4) by Emma Newman

alittleknowledgeA Little Knowledge is the fourth instalment in the Split World series by Emma Newman which brings to us three worlds.  Firstly a little background to the world created by Ms Newman.  Exilium is the world of the fae, Mundanus is the world of regular humans living in the modern era and the Nether is a completely different world which sits in between the two and keeps them blissfully unaware of each other.  The Nether is a world stuck in time, it feels a little like a regency period world.  The people there are each aligned to a fae Lord and Lady, they’re known as puppets because their actions are dictated by the whims of the fae.  The worlds are ‘policed’ by arbiters, each belonging to their own chapters and each one with it’s own sorcerer.   So, that out of the way lets move on and catch up with the story for No.4 – with a customary spoiler alert that if you’re planning on reading this series then spoilers may be lurking below.

At the start of ALK Cathy is once again experiencing the frustration of dealing with life in the Nether.  At the end of the last book she’d made a stand and the ending felt like a great leap forward but, from the beginning, we can see that life in the Nether is pretty much going on as it was before, stuck in time with the women in society treated as property to be bartered for position and wealth.  Meanwhile we have the alternate threads developing – Sam is floundering in his world, he knows little about the elementals and is already making enemies.  Max and his gargoyle are still taking measures to protect innocent people from being tampered with by the fae and are uncovering mysteries from the past and the sorcerer Rupert is trying to re-establish his chapter.

The one thing that all of these books have in common is that they’re quite difficult to review without cutting to the chase and giving away massive plot points!  In a way, these books are like little soap operas, similar to the world of the Nether, progress feels slow and yet, like a good soap opera, the storyline is addictive and makes you want to read more.

These stories are very much character driven and that’s what I’m going to focus on here.  Cathy is still desperately trying to help the ladies of society and to empower them to have a voice, Will, meanwhile, makes all the right noises in that direction but behind the scenes is not quite the charmer we would like him to be.  I’ve never really trusted Will and after this instalment I frankly wanted to slap him very hard or just hit him with a heavy object!  I won’t elaborate further but OMG he really did make me so angry!  And, as if the actions of the men from the Nether wasn’t bad enough we have those women who, in their own fight for power, enable the men to be so utterly chauvanistic  I thought there was a fascinating development with Max’s story in which we start to learn a little about his past and how he came to be an arbiter.  I really enjoyed his story arc and hope for more in that respect.  Sam, well, like I mentioned, and actually almost similarly to Cathy, he’s finding his new status difficult to adapt to until he makes the acquaintance of a character who approaches him from one of the Chapters to seek a commission. This is also an intriguing storyline – one that I’m not sure whether or not I feel worried about yet!

This is certainly my favourite of the books so far.  There were a number of revelations and the ending really does set the stall out for the next book which I’m really looking forward to reading.  At the end of the book Cathy has taken a very firm decision and definitely one that will cause ructions – it’s going to be very interesting to see how everything pans out.


Friday Firsts – A Little Knowledge by Emma Newman (Split Worlds book #4)


Friday Firsts is a new meme that runs every Friday over on Tenacious Reader. The idea is to feature the first few sentences/paragraph of your current book and try and outline your first impressions as a result. This is a quick and easy way to share a snippet of information about your current read.  Stop on by and link up with Tenacious Reader.



‘Cathy listened to the argument, weighed its merit, and considered her response carefully, as the Duchess of Londinium should. “This is bullshit.”

That also summarised most of what Cathy had discovered about being Duchess of Londinium.  She’d had high hopes – once she’d overcome the sheer dread of having such high status – that the title of Duchess would confer upon her enough power to really make a difference in fae-touched Society.  In reality the only power Cathy had was confined to areas in which she had no interest whatsoever.’

My First Impressions

Being the fourth book in the series I have a very good idea (as you might hope!) about what this series is about.  This opening scene clearly gives me the impression that even though Cathy left on something of a high note at the end of the last book, things haven’t panned out as she hoped since then.

Other books in the series:

  1. Between Two Thorns
  2. Any Other Name
  3. All is Fair


What are you reading right now? Did it start out strong? Feel free to join in.

All is Fair (The Split Worlds, #3) by Emma Newman

All is FairAll is Fair is the third book, in the Split Worlds series by Emma Newman, that I’ve been reading as part of a readalong.  This is an unusual world where fae exist – in exile and the mundane world in which we live is separated from the fae by the Nether world.  I’m not going to elaborate too much on the previous books because, and maybe wrongly so, I’m going to assume if you’re reading this review you’ve already read the first two and, if you haven’t you really need to do so and you also need to beware of spoilers).

So, at the end of the last book Will has finally achieved the throne of Londinium in a rather ignominious way, Cathy is recovering following the attack upon her person, Max and his sidekick the Gargoyle are still investigating the deaths at their Chapter and Sam is becoming more embroiled in this alternative world than he ever suspected with the Elemental Court now playing a key role in his life.

How can I describe the Split World series.  It’s a series set in the modern world – with a period regency style world jostling alongside it seperating the mundanes from the fae and the elementals.  A world where nothing is ever quite what it seems and behind the morning dresses and polite afternoon teas is unrest.  This series is a slow burner, there’s no mad action here, things happen at their own pace and yet underneath, simmering under the surface are a number of storylines that are gradually heating up.

And, I have to hand it to Miss Newman, she writes these characters in a way that just makes you fume!  Literally!  Well, personally, I think she’s writing the characters in that way.  For example Will.  He’s a noble from the Nether world, he’s privileged and used to having what he wants but he’s also quite indoctrinated into this world and so, although he seems like he might change it seems that every other thing that he does right he does another three things that will just infuriate the socks off you.  Yes, this is a very sexist world, the women in the nether are repressed and those that speak out or either silenced using charms or transported elsewhere.  The Agency help with this.  The Agency are a strange and corrupt organisation.  They keep things running smoothly in this world but they’re far from above world.

Now on top of this we have the fae who are quite a bunch of schemers.  A surreal bunch of characters, scheming and wicked.  We also have the sorcerers – sorry I forgot to mention them earlier – of course there is a massive scheme afoot, one that I can’t mention.  What I can say is that the newest edition to the sorcerer’s world is very interesting – Rupert.

It’s difficult to say too much here.  There is a grand sweeping plot and so it would be very easy to spoil the story.  What I can say is that by the end of the story the foundations have been laid for change and things look as though they’re about to get very interesting (by which I mean go to hell in a handcart).

I’m very much looking forward to No.4.

I received a copy of All is Fair from the publisher through Netgalley.  The above is my own opinion.




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