Monday, August 26, 2013

Mark This Book Monday: Between Two Thorns by Emma Newman!

A very unexpected surprise in the shape of a Fae based book that I really enjoyed for the next Mark This Book Monday entry!

Between Two Thorns (The Split Words, #1)Between Two Thorns by Emma Newman

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Between Two Thorns is the first book on the Split Worlds series. We are introduced to Cathy who has been living on the run in Mundanus Manchester, Max an Arbiter that polices the interactions between the Fae, their puppets and the humans, Sam a human that had a night drinking in the pub go terribly wrong when he gets mixed in the affairs of the Rosas and William, one of those touched by the Fae and at their service.

Since it's the first book there's a lot we need to learn about the Nether, Mundanus and Exilium, and the different races that inhabit them. We're taken through 4 different points of view in the story: Cathy, Max (and his gargoyle), Sam and Will. Every bit of narration seems to be a bit disconnected at first, but little by little it all adds up, and contributes to getting a bigger picture of this world.

Right from the start I felt so much for Cathy, she has made some very hard choices and has worked very hard to get away from her family and the Nether and it's outdated Victorian rules and restrictions. She's always wanted more and was never good at complying with what was expected of her. Once her protection is blown she's dragged back into her family and the restrictions and obligations of those tied to the Fae, expect that it seems that Cathy is the only one that thinks like that, while the rest of the society can't understand what her problems with their way of life are.

Max is a hard character to get to like, since he feels no emotions and only cares about doing his job, protecting the innocents and find out who destroy his chapter and all his fellow Arbiters in Bath. His character is complemented by the gargoyle that for a fortuite event got reanimated and had Max's emotions tranferred to him. We also got the Sorcerer who is Max's top boss and quite powerful but inept on human interactions.

Sam's your regular bloke, he likes going out for a beer to the pub with his best friend and is married to Leanna, a fierce ambitious woman working hours without end. He goes out one night and witnesses something he shouldn't have and from then on is dragged into the Split Worlds affairs.

William is once of the Fae touched, and his the perfect example of what an inhabitant of the Nether should be, charming, sociable and skilled at navigating all sort of intrigues and politic affairs.

All these characters are so distinctly written and despite my affections for them changing a bit on the course of the book they feel so very real! The plot is more complicated than you might think on the start of the book, because every time there's a discovery through one of the stories, it adds another layer of deceit and misdirection. It doesn't seem to escalate so far, and despite all of Max's detective work, what gripped me more was Cathy's plight once returned to the society she despises and how she doesn't give up on trying to find a way to escape it while trying to navigate intrigues worth of any old royal court!

I'm not usually a fan of stories about the Fae and their twisted politics, but the way Emma weaved this story and the focus on not only the Fae politics but a big femininistic outlook, I thouroughly enjoyed it and I'm very much looking forward to continue reading this series!

A very well deserved 3 and a half stars.

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  1. Wonderful review. Never heard of this book but it sounds interesting.

    1. I added it on GR cause it sounded interesting enough but when I got the ARC of the third book on NetGalley I knew I had to move the books up on the list and they're a lot of fun!


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