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Between Two Thorns (Split Worlds) [Kindle Edition]

Emma Newman
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)

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Print List Price: $14.99
Kindle Price: $5.38
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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:
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #154,294 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
14 of 15 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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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A fresh new voice, uneven results March 4, 2013
By Sue B.
Between Two Thorns has some interesting qualities to it, but the plot needs more focus. The story begins with Sam, a cheerful seeming guy who is a bit drunk and desperately needs to pee. This comic situation quickly turns horrifying when he witnesses some otherworldly creatures moving a body, and they take steps to silence him. This drew me in right away, but then another plot line was picked up with Cathy, a girl on the run from her family. A third storyline is then started with Max. The characters are engaging and the various creatures interesting, but it just became a lot to try to follow these plot lines, and to understand how the world of the story worked. Ms. Newman has a nice breezy style and a very creative imagination, but the plot bogged down for me. Things do more or less come together, but the overall experience is just okay, not as satisfying as it could be. I would recommend this only to fantasy fans interested in trying fresh new authors, and willingly to accept an uneven reading experience. Thanks to the publisher for my ARC.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Unique Fantasy Adventure March 11, 2013
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 façade 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.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A great start to this new trilogy! March 7, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition
I really enjoyed this original new fantasy world but I am going to say upfront that it has one heck of a cliffhanger. The world Ms. Newman created mirrors our own but it is enhanced by the touch of fae lords and has its own rules that the Great Families live by. Ms. Newman has woven together multiple realities and perspectives that create one really fascinating whole. The storyline unfolds slowly and sometimes in fits and starts, but if you can stick with it, you will find an intricately crafted and fascinating world filled with magic, politics, and intrigue.

The story is told mainly from the point of views of Cathy and Max. Cathy is a member of one of the fae-touched Great Families. She doesn’t want to live in the old-fashioned, male dominated society of the Nether and she doesn’t want to be under the rule of the fae lords. She wants to live her life in the human world, or Mundanus, where she is able to enjoy modern conveniences and freedoms. Max is an Arbiter, a member of a secret organization that monitors the activities of the fae lords and their families. During a mission gone badly, Max disconnects from his soul and ends up animating a gargoyle with it. Without his soul, Max doesn’t experience feelings or emotions; the gargoyle experiences everything instead. Max is investigating the disappearance of a prominent member of fae society and the murder of his entire Arbiter conclave. His investigation overlaps with Cathy’s return to her family and fae society and they have to decide if they can learn to trust one another and work together for their mutual benefit.

I really loved the chapters written from Cathy’s perspective. She was plucky and straightforward and quite clever.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars The world evolved, unfortunately the same can't be said for the Fae
Two worlds exist simultaneously, mirror images with one difference. The world inhabited by mere mortals is called the Mundane and the second, the Nether, is occupied by the Fae. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Cheryl M-M
4.0 out of 5 stars All the things I like - mass murder, rebellion, gargoyles, secret...
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? Read more
Published 2 months ago by Ryan
5.0 out of 5 stars Between Two Thorns: Emma Newman's Brilliant Fae-Touched Book
In Between Two Thorns, Book 1 of the Split Worlds trilogy, Ms. Newman invites you into a rich, complex world that includes the Nether, a place between the Mundane world (i.e. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Joe Frazier
5.0 out of 5 stars Victorian London, Magic and Fae, oh my!
This was positively remarkable! I loved the magic system as well as the socioeconomic and political systems. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Kelly Truelove
5.0 out of 5 stars Slow, confusing start for me but became a real gem to savour and re...
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. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Jeannie Zelos
5.0 out of 5 stars This is a top tier fantasy book
I met Emma Newman entirely by accident. Though met might be the right phrase. I was sitting in the front row for a panel at WorldCon and Emma was filling in for another panelist. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Richard F.
4.0 out of 5 stars A very interesting start for a new series
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... Read more
Published 7 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars high potential, engaging
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. Read more
Published 7 months ago by Diana
4.0 out of 5 stars Pick this flower out of the book garden!
I received this book in exchange for an honest review. I have given this book 4,$,$,$,$,! It was a unique take on Fae based society. Read more
Published 8 months ago by rabidfaery
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding
This was the first book by Emma Newmna that I have read and it will certainly not be the last. This was a great book and I really loved it. Read more
Published 9 months ago by mike allen
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