Between Two Thorns (Split Worlds Series #1)

Between Two Thorns (Split Worlds Series #1)

4.2 7
by Emma Newman, Sarah J. Coleman
     
 

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Something is wrong in Aquae Sulis, Bath’s secret mirror city.

The new season is starting and the Master of Ceremonies is missing. Max, an Arbiter of the Split Worlds Treaty, is assigned with the task of finding him with no one to help but a dislocated soul and a mad sorcerer.

There is a witness but his memories have been bound by magical chains

Overview

Something is wrong in Aquae Sulis, Bath’s secret mirror city.

The new season is starting and the Master of Ceremonies is missing. Max, an Arbiter of the Split Worlds Treaty, is assigned with the task of finding him with no one to help but a dislocated soul and a mad sorcerer.

There is a witness but his memories have been bound by magical chains only the enemy can break. A rebellious woman trying to escape her family may prove to be the ally Max needs.

But can she be trusted? And why does she want to give up eternal youth and the life of privilege she’s been born into?

File UnderUrban Fantasy [ Gargoyle Sidekick | Finder's Keepers | A Rose By Any Other Name | Manners ]

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“Emma Newman has built a modern fantasy world with such élan and authority her ideas of why and how the seemingly irrational world of Fairy works should be stolen by every other writer in the field.
Her characters are complex and troubled, courageous at times and foolhardy.
This book of wonders is first rate.”
Bill Willingham, Eisner Award winner, and creator of Fables

“Emma Newman has created a reflection of Bath that reminds one that charming is not safe. Between Two Thorns shows the darkness beneath the glamour of the social Season. Learning to be a young lady has never seemed so dangerous.”
- Mary Robinette Kowal, Hugo award winner, and author of Shades of Milk and Honey and Glamour in Glass

"With a feather-light touch, Emma Newman has crafted a very English fantasy, one brilliantly realised and quite delightful, weaving magic, mystery and parallel worlds together with ease. Newman may well be one of our brightest stars, The Split Worlds: Between Two Thorns just the beginning of a remarkable journey."
- Adam Christopher, author of Empire State and Seven Wonders 

“Emma Newman is an extraordinary new voice in SF/F.”
Paul Cornell, Hugo Award winner, and author of London Falling and Saucer Country 

"The world building was done really well. I think that it helped to enhance the story and draw me in deeper. The different characters were interesting to read about. Cathy was my favorite main characters. Her determination and spirit made her a strong character with a unique voice."
-The Life & Times of a Book Addict

 “Between Two Thorns is a book that is packed with a ton of things to entice the reader … I can definitely recommend this to readers of urban fantasy if you are looking for something different”.
-Shadowhawk, Founding Fields

“This was a well-crafted fantasy novel which makes a great start to a new series … I can’t wait to see what happens next.”
-Rebecca, Book Chick City

If you like a bit of fairy magic, the juxtaposition between ancient and modern, here and there, and you don’t mind being left in suspense for a good few months, you’ll really enjoy it. 10/10
-Hierath, Fantasy Faction

“Between Two Thorns is an excellent read and I highly recommend it to fantasy fans looking for something a bit different, particularly in the form of merging modern day settings with fantasy worlds.”
-Tsana, Tsana’s Reads

"I really enjoyed the world building as well. The way the ‘mundane’ world and the nether co-exist, the politics of court life, and the machinations of the fae (who lurk in the shadows) all combine to make the Split Worlds such an intriguing place to visit, and one I’ll want to visit again when the sequel, Any Other Name, is released in June and again when the final book in the trilogy, All is Fair, come out in October."
-Bart's Bookshelf

 "JK Rowling meets Georgette Heyer"
-The Guardian

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780857663207
Publisher:
Watkins Media
Publication date:
02/26/2013
Series:
Split Worlds Series, #1
Pages:
400
Sales rank:
423,047
Product dimensions:
5.40(w) x 8.40(h) x 1.10(d)

What People are saying about this

From the Publisher
“Emma Newman has built a modern fantasy world with such élan and authority her ideas of why and how the seemingly irrational world of Fairy works should be stolen by every other writer in the field.
Her characters are complex and troubled, courageous at times and foolhardy.
This book of wonders is first rate.”
Bill Willingham, Eisner Award winner, and creator of Fables

“Emma Newman has created a reflection of Bath that reminds one that charming is not safe. Between Two Thorns shows the darkness beneath the glamour of the social Season. Learning to be a young lady has never seemed so dangerous.”
Mary Robinette Kowal, Hugo award winner, and author of Shades of Milk and Honey and Glamour in Glass

"With a feather-light touch, Emma Newman has crafted a very English fantasy, one brilliantly realised and quite delightful, weaving magic, mystery and parallel worlds together with ease. Newman may well be one of our brightest stars, The Split Worlds: Between Two Thorns just the beginning of a remarkable journey."
- Adam Christopher, author of Empire State and Seven Wonders 

“Emma Newman is an extraordinary new voice in SF/F.”
Paul Cornell, Hugo Award winner, and author of London Falling and Saucer Country 


Meet the Author

Emma Newman was born in a tiny coastal village in Cornwall during one of the hottest summers on record. Four years later she started to write stories and never stopped until she penned a short story that secured her a place at Oxford University to read Experimental Psychology. In 2011 Emma embarked on an ambitious project to write and distribute one short story per week – all of them set in her Split Worlds milieu – completely free to her mailing list subscribers. A debut short-story collection, From Dark Places, was published in 2011 and her debut post-apocalyptic novel for young adults, 20 Years Later, was published just one year later – presumably Emma didn’t want to wait another nineteen… Emma is also a professional audiobook narrator. She now lives in Somerset with her husband, son and far too many books.

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Between Two Thorns 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 7 reviews.
Integrity_Consultants More than 1 year ago
Victorian London, Magic and Fae, oh my! This was positively remarkable! I loved the magic system as well as the socioeconomic and political systems. The characters are very well developed and the "worlds" were believable and shamelessly fun to visit. I devoured the entire series, three books currently, one right after the other over a 4 day period and loved every minute of it. Truly fascinating!
TheLifeofaBookAddict More than 1 year ago
Between Two Thorns starts off with Sam who is a Mundane being in the wrong place at the wrong time and witnessing a dead body being carried out of a building by otherworldly creatures He is caught before he has a real chance of escaping, and because the perpetrators cannot kill him, they instead bind his memory, so he will not remember anything. Sam ends up playing a vital role in the story, though his presence is scattered throughout the story. And then there is Max, who is an Arbiter. What makes Max interesting is the fact that he lack emotions because his soul was taken from his body. So everything that Max would normally feel is felt instead by the carrier of his soul. Max is assigned with trying to find the missing Dignitary. His job is made ten times harder seeing as the witness to the crime cannot recall anything…enter Sam. The picture perfect world of the Nether is not so prefect, and beneath that seemingly perfect facade lies a big struggle for power. This is the home that Cathy comes from. She is tired of living in the Nether, and by rules laid out by the Fae Lords. In an attempt to escape and live a normal life, she uses a spell to help her blend in as a normal college student in Mundanus. However, this life for her is short lived because she is soon discovered and forced back into her old live in the Nether. But she does not give up and will try just about anything to gain her freedom, including offering her help to Max. Final thoughts: The world building was done really well. I think that it helped to enhance the story and draw me in deeper. The different characters were interesting to read about. Cathy was my favorite main characters. Her determination and spirit made her a strong character with a unique voice. I thought this was fun story to get into. There seemed to be a lot going on and I had some questions regarding the reason behind certain things that were not answered. I am not sure if the writer did that on purpose or not. All the loose ends do not get tied up in this story because there is a sequel in the works. Hopefully the big questions get answered in the next novel. ** I received this book from Angry Robot / Strange Chemistry in exchange for nothing, but my honest review.**
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Brilliant, vivid, engaging, fast-paced, gripping urban/Regency fantasy. (This is a review of the entire Split Worlds trilogy. Because honestly, once I started, I couldn't stop reading, and devoured them one after the other.) For lovers of manners and action, period dramas and urban fantasy, black comedies and feminist firepower. The Split Worlds series is like "Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell" with a healthy dash of C.E. Murphy's "Urban Shaman," with much faster pacing and more engaging characters than Clarke's. The publisher's blurb honestly does the book an injustice, because the kidnapping of the Master of Ceremonies is such a macguffin that it's beside the point. The real meat of the book, of the whole arc, is Cathy. Cathy is from the Nether, a place between our world (called Mundanus) and that of the Fae. People in the Nether can work magic via charms and magical objects, and never age while they're there. But since nobody ages, the progress of civilization ground to a halt somewhere in the early 1800s and hasn't moved since. Women are property, men duel, marriages are arranged. Everyone is Society is either a noble from a particular great family, with all the obligations that implies, or a servant — which ends up implying much more. The great families are sponsored by particular Fae, who actively direct (and meddle in) the lives of those in the Nether. Cathy, having a functioning brain, quite reasonably objects to all this, and attempts to escape. And she does, for a little while... until she's found. Secondary plots include magical mass murders, magical kidnappings, insane sorcerers, an ordinary bloke with a collapsing marriage who happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time, political maneuverings reminiscent of the Tudors, dysfunctional family dynamics, and a wisecracking stone gargoyle with a sensitive soul (and his emotionless partner, the soul's actual owner). The first book starts a little slowly, and takes its time getting underway, but soon enough the inevitability of events create their own momentum, and you're frantically turning page after page to know more. Newman has a gift for leaving each scene just at the moment you're desperate to find out what happens next. Her characters are complex, rounded, and real — even to the point where you sort of want to shake them for their flaws! But they are each utterly believable for the place they live in and the lives they've lived. Even tertiary characters like the sorcerer's librarian feel like genuine people and not placeholders. Be advised that some of the plot lines won't quite make sense in just the first book, because they play forward into books 2 and 3. Don't give up; everything does get tied back in. Nothing here is accidental. There are a handful of spots where I felt like we spent too long with one character or not long enough with another, but they're so few that they don't detract from the overall splendid experience of the books. Thoroughly enjoyable and highly recommended.
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I really enjoyed this book, and am looking forward to reading more.