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Between Two Thorns (Split Worlds) [Kindle Edition]

Emma Newman
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)

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Book Description

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


“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 

About the Author

Emma Newman was born in a coastal village in southwest England and currently lives in Somerset (UK). After graduating from Oxford University came stints in magazine publishing, website information architecture, and teaching. More information about her can be found at her blog Post-Apocalyptic publishing at Her first novel, 20 Years Later, was published in November 2011 under the byline EJ Newman from Dystopia Press. The author lives in Somerset, England.

Product Details

  • File Size: 542 KB
  • Print Length: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Angry Robot (March 5, 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00A9ET1C0
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #216,604 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
4.3 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
28 of 30 people found the following review helpful
This is the first book in the Split Worlds series. I got an eGalley to review through NetGalley(dot)com; thanks to Angry Robot and NetGalley for the chance to review this book.

The book follows three main characters. The first is a Mundane who is a drunk named Sam who stumbles into some faeries and Arbitrators. The second is a young woman named Cathy who is on the run in the Mundane world trying to escape her noble family who lives in the Nether. The third story focuses around Max who is an Arbitrator that is trying to unravel mysterious crimes involving disappearing blonde women. All of the stories end up being somewhat tied to one another.

To be honest this story is kind of all over the place. There are hints of a bigger story behind the events being focused on in this one, but those storylines are dropped and ignored later in the book. So, at times I was left wondering why these storylines had been started in the first place. My guess is everything will tie together better in future books, but in this book all the little bits lead to some confusion for the reader.

For me the most engaging story to follow was Cathy’s. She’s run away from the Nether (a world that parallels ours but is run by Faerie) to Mundanus (our world) to go to college and attempt to lead her own life. She’s run away from an abusive father and a male-dominated society that expects her to do no more than be a proper wife. Early on in the story she is found again and forced back into the privileged Nether society she was trying to flee.

Cathy was an engaging character and her story was one that is easy to follow and understand. I thought she was a bit naive at times though and wondered why Cathy didn’t work harder to ally with those who wanted to help her.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
By Ryan
Format:Kindle Edition
Between Two Thorns by Emma Newman is an offbeat urban fantasy published by Angry Robot Books. This is the first book in The Split Worlds trilogy (maybe series?), and all three books were published in 2013. Despite the rapid rate of publication, it is clear that these books have not been rushed, that a lot of time and effort has been put in, and I look forward to reading this series in its entirety.

Between Two Thorns does a lot of work upfront establishing a very complex setting. There are basically three realms - Mundanus which is our world where the humans (or mundanes) live, Exilium which is a fantastical world where the powerful fae live, and The Nether, a bubble of a world that exists in between Mundanus and Exilium, a world where the fae-touched people live, a world that seems to be a perpetual Victorian court society. Newman goes to a lot of effort with regards to the world building early in this book, and while I think it makes for a better story in the long run, I found that it took nearly 100 pages before I was really hooked by this story. I know it's probably a hard sell, but if you are having trouble getting into this book I hope that you give it at least 100 pages because I think the story delivered by the end of the book is worth that upfront investment.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition
Between Two Thorns. The Split Worlds, Book one. Emma Newman
I really expected to like this book but.....I found it confusing to begin and hard work. I usually like multiple points of view but sometimes they muddy a story, and so it was here for me. I'd just get to grips with one person and the surroundings and we'd change to another, and find everything different again. I think as its such an unusual world setting with different rules for each type of character, I needed to be with them longer. As it was I just felt I was getting to know them and- we'd jump to someone else, then just as I'm mentally sorting out that part of the story and ...yes all change again. Its a personal thing of course, and I'm sure others won't have the problems I did but it made it difficult for me to empathise with any of the characters, and that's essential for me to enjoy a novel. I have to feel that I'm sort of spiritually there, feeling the emotions and problems they face. Here to begin with I just couldn't really like any of the characters, they seemed very cold and emotionless. This book being the first of three has the difficult job of setting the new world and rules, along with a huge cast of characters, and once that's out of the way things get clearer. I have had this problem before with first books in a series and gone on to enjoy the rest of the novels. I did keep forgetting who was who, and how they all linked together and again as we get to know the settings and people that will get easier probably.
Anyway, having put out the downside, the stuff I didn't like, how did I go on from there? Well, about 30-35% in it began to come together for me and I became entranced with the settings and the story unfolding.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars high potential, engaging August 20, 2013
By Diana
I'd actually give this 4.5 stars, but with no room for half-stars, I bumped it up to a 5. I think the second book is a full 5 stars.
This is a very inventive book with strong complex characters and a strong created world, and complex conflicts that tap into themes centering on feminism, power, class and loyalty.

I disagree with readers who found the plot scattered or hard to follow. I found it pretty easy to follow and quite focused. You do have to have patience though and accept you won't understand some things until you read on. The threads come together as the book gains momentum.

There are at least 4 point of view characters. I think that's great, as it lets me understand characters who might not be sympathetic normally. I particularly enjoyed the points of view of Cathy and Will; they have completely different perspectives on duty, family, etc., and I liked understanding both. However, some people might find that difficult, as just as you're getting used to one character, you are pulled into another. It is not done in an orderly fashion some people might be used to (character x, then character y, then character z, then x, y, z). THe points of view shift based on what the plot needs are. So you can stay inside one character's point of view for several chapters, then shift to another for single chapter. This might throw some people off rhythm and may be what some people are talking about when they say the book seems unfocused. I myself liked it.

For people irritated with Cathy--without any big reveals, do realize she is an abuse victim and feels she has no way out, made a pawn by various more powerful players. That would make anyone panic. She does develop more as the book goes on, especially in the second book. I came to really like her.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic introduction into a very different Fae world
Very fun read after rather confusing and poorly drawn introduction. The world of spoiled Victorian Fae mixed with our mundane one was really a treat to read. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Stanislava Kohut
2.0 out of 5 stars Very Slow Book. I almost did not finish it ...
Very Slow Book. I almost did not finish it. I read a lot and it has to be very slow for me to want to put it down. Read more
Published 9 months ago by Mary
5.0 out of 5 stars not a word wasted
Well paced fun with truly like able characters and a twisty plot that doesn't rely on hokey coincidences or true love as the answer to all.
Published 9 months ago by robert s levitt
4.0 out of 5 stars Unique world building
I would actually give this four and a half stars (it is almost impossible to get five stars from me). Read more
Published 11 months ago by K A McDowell
5.0 out of 5 stars Book leaves you wanting the rest of the story.
The book kept my interest and I couldn't wait to read the next book. The author develops many character plot lines.
Published 11 months ago by Donna Rohling
5.0 out of 5 stars Vivid, engaging, engrossing, addictive 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. Read more
Published 11 months ago by IKnecht
4.0 out of 5 stars Very British
This was a great story but the language is very British. Be sure to pay attention because you will get confused. Not an easy read but it was entertaining.
Published 11 months ago by Galloda
5.0 out of 5 stars Between two thorns
A very delightful tale of humans, fae and other species. Yes, there is a lot of murder, but the lack descriptions of killings made it that more enjoyable. Read more
Published 12 months ago by marys
5.0 out of 5 stars Victorian Manners with Fae Magic Fun
I adore this book. I immediately purchased the other two after reading a chapter of this first one. If you are a fan of C. Read more
Published 12 months ago by Molly Glover
3.0 out of 5 stars Not mind-blowing, but still plan to read the next ...
Brought to you by OBS reviewer Valerie

2014 marks the fourth year I’ve been reading YA literature. Read more
Published 13 months ago by OpenBookSociety dot com
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