This read along of Between Two Thorns was organized by the SF/F Read Along group on Goodreads, and has been broken down into four week chunks, each week participants are asked some questions on what they think so far.
There WILL be spoilers beyond this point – and Squeeing, lots and lots of squeeing!
As I’ve already mentioned, here is the breakdown of chapters listed here.
Week 1: Saturday 9th May, Chapters 1-9 hosted by Over The Effing Rainbow.
Week 2: Saturday 16th May, Chapters 10-18 hosted by On Starships and Dragonwings.
Week 3: Saturday 23rd May, Chapters 19-25 hosted by X+1.
Week 4: Saturday 30th May, Chapters 26-end hosted by Lynn’s Book Blog.
The fantastic banner that I have blatantly copied and pasted onto this post was yet again put together by Anya at On Starships and Dragonwings, based on the original cover art of the Diversion Books edition. (Artist unknown at time of posting.)
Between Two Thorns by Emma Newman.
Beautiful and nuanced as it is dangerous, the manners of Regency and Victorian England blend into a scintillating fusion of urban fantasy and court intrigue.
Between Mundanus, the world of humans, and Exilium, the world of the Fae, lies the Nether, a mirror-world where the social structure of 19th-century England is preserved by Fae-touched families who remain loyal to their ageless masters. Born into this world is Catherine Rhoeas-Papaver, who escapes it all to live a normal life in Mundanus, free from her parents and the strictures of Fae-touched society. But now she’s being dragged back to face an arranged marriage, along with all the high society trappings it entails.
Crossing paths with Cathy is Max, an Arbiter of the Split Worlds treaty with a dislocated soul who polices the boundaries between the worlds, keeping innocents safe from the Fae. After a spree of kidnappings and the murder of his fellow Arbiters, Max is forced to enlist Cathy’s help in unravelling a high-profile disappearance within the Nether. Getting involved in the machinations of the Fae, however, may prove fatal to all involved.
Between Two Thorns is book One of the Split Worlds series by Emma Newman. There are currently three books in the series with (I believe) two more to come. (Book four comes out a little later this year!). There are also a small number of short audio (podcast published) stories in the series. Emma Newman has also organized a lavish LARP in Bath based on these books (In 2016). I couldn’t go, but have been told by friends that did – that it was bloody excellent!
This is my week three post.
Week 3: Covering Chapters 19-25 – hosted by X+1 (One More).
1. Sam is our fish out of water – any sympathy for his predicament?
Sympathy? Sort of. I’m beginning to wonder about his wife and her boss… Are they connected to the Nether/Exilium somehow? The wife’s boss is described by Sam as oily, smarmy and a bit of a creep – doesn’t that sound a bit like a Fae? I think there might be more to Sam’s role than I previously thought!
2. Horatio Gallica-Rosa is claiming property to try to weasel his way into Aquae Sulis; and the Alba-Rosas are trying to weasel their way into Will’s good graces to stop him. Given what we know about Lady Rose, do we believe in the inter-Rosa feud, or is this all part of a plan? (if so, what do you think it is?)
It’s all a bit too convoluted for me… I think the feud might be a rather long winded camouflage for a massive Rosa conspiracy, but who’s to say that most of the Rosa’s actually know this! I smell a massive Fae puppetshow taking place amongst the Rosa families.
3. We get to see a lot more of Will this week. What do you make of him now we’ve got to know him better? Do you think Cathy should give him a chance?
I think that whilst Will is probably in a position to be more sympathetic with Cathy on many points, he needs to actually understand that Cathy isn’t like other Ladies of the Nether. He needs to have a little empathy and some facts. (As for his apparent attraction to a certain Rosa… I’m hoping it’s the result of some sort of subtle Rosa charm, not that he’s a cheating skeeveball!)
4. No sooner has Cathy survived Society – after a fashion – than she’s back in deep water with the Sorcerer and sent to Exilium. How well do you think she handled Lord Poppy?
I think she’s been quite lucky so far… either that or her wish to fulfill her potential has been having some unintended consequences for her behavior around and with the Fae. I think it’s been a fortunate alignment of Lord Poppy and Cathy’s interests otherwise that have so far been to Cathy’s advantage.
Well, that’s my week three post. Unlike my normal posts this one is actually EARLY, thanks to me having raced ahead to the end of Chapter 25 the moment I finished my last – weeks one and two post (Also, because the questions were posted by Imyril at X+1 a little early too! :D). What did you think? Anyone else have the most difficult time holding off reading any further – or did you cave and finish the book? 😀
I can’t wait to find out what happens next!