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Between Two Thorns (The Split Worlds) Kindle Edition

40 customer reviews

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Length: 400 pages Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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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 

"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

About 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.

Product Details

  • File Size: 1053 KB
  • Print Length: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Angry Robot (March 5, 2013)
  • Publication Date: 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
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #194,265 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Emma lives in Somerset, England and drinks far too much tea. She writes dark short stories, post-apocalyptic and urban fantasy novels and records audiobooks in all genres.

Her debut short-story collection From Dark Places was published in 2011 and her new urban fantasy series "The Split Worlds", described as "JK Rowling meets Georgette Heyer" by the Guardian, was recently published by Angry Robot Books. A year and a day of free short stories set in the Split Worlds are available at

Emma is represented by Jennifer Udden at DMLA. Her hobbies include dressmaking and playing RPGs. She blogs at, rarely gets enough sleep and refuses to eat mushrooms.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

28 of 31 people found the following review helpful By Karissa Eckert on March 1, 2013
Format: Paperback
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 5 people found the following review helpful By Ryan on February 5, 2014
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 By Cary on August 20, 2013
Format: Paperback
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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Molly on May 20, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
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. Robert Cargill, Neil Gaiman, Terry Pratchett, Douglas Adams, or the Brontes, you'll adore this new world Emma Newman has created for us. She skillfully weaves both a new reality and two new unrealities, leaving you simultaneously yearning for life in those more magical realms and clutching gratefully to your mundane freedom. The intricacies of Victorian manners and propriety blend seamlessly with potions, charms, artifacts, and wizards; you will wish Jane Eyre had such powers at her disposal!
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