SF/F Read Alongs: Any Other Name By Emma Newman. (Week 3)

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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, one week chunks, each week participants are asked some questions on what they think so far.

There WILL be spoilers beyond this point – and possibly swearing, prepare for profanity!

As I’ve already mentioned, here is the breakdown of chapters listed here. (Click on the links to see my posts for those weeks!)

Week 1: Monday 6th June, Chapters 1-6, hosted by Over The Effing Rainbow.
Week 2: Monday 13th June, Chapters 7-13, hosted by x + 1.
Week 3: Monday 20th June, Chapters 14-20, hosted by Lynn’s Book Blog.
Week 4: Monday 27th June, Chapters 21-End, hosted by The Illustrated Page.

The Book:

Any Other Name by Emma Newman.

Any Other Name (The Split Worlds, #2)

Thought-provoking, wonderfully inventive, and filled with treachery and mystery, the soaring second book in the Split Worlds Series pulls Cathy, Will, Max, and Sam deeper into the twisted world of Fae-touched society.

Cathy has been reluctantly married into the Iris family and moves to Londinium, the magical Nether reflection of London, setting her on a collision course with the restrictive, high-pressure social circles that demand propriety and obedience, things the vocal and free-spirited Cathy cannot abide. Will, meanwhile, is trying to find a compromise for his new bride, but whispers in his ear are urging him towards dark deeds…

Sam, determined to dive back into the world of Exilium to rescue innocents, crosses paths with Cathy and Max once again as Max and the gargoyle uncover more information about the mysterious Agency and the chain of events that wiped out the Bath Chapter. Sacrifices, terrible deals, and dreadful revelations mark this second installment of Emma Newman’s wondrous Split Worlds series.

Any Other Name is book two of the Split Worlds series by Emma Newman. Check out my posts from the Between Two Thorns read along before reading the Any Other Name posts. My week one post can be found here. My week two post here.

This is my week three post for Any Other Name! (Posted a little early because I CAN!)

Week 3: Monday 13th June, Chapters 14-20, hosted by Lynn at Lynn’s Book Blog.

1. Cathy has her first meeting with Lord Iris. What were your first impressions? And what do you think it is that Lord Iris and Poppy both now ‘see’ in Cathy??

I don’t think that Lord Iris is as ‘interested’ in Cathy as Poppy. Iris seems almost indifferent to Cathy other than her making herself useful in producing a new generation of Irises… I think Cathy is actually being used as some sort of pawn in a game of Fae politics, Poppy favours her for some mysterious (and only known to him) reason – but she’s still a pawn.

2. We had an insight into Amelia and also an insight into Cornelius – what are your thoughts on the two of them now and also how does this make you feel in terms of Will?

It seems Amelia has been manipulating Will secretly with some sort of infatuation charm – throughout her interactions with him in Between Two Thorns. But it will be interesting to see just how much of an extent the charm has been in control of Will, as opposed to his libido. I’m going to say this now, Amelia is a manipulative bitch – but how much of her actions were of her own choosing as opposed to a Rosa family plot?

Cornelius seems to have thrown his lot in with Will, siding with him to ensure he and his sister can ascend back into society… but I’m not sure Will can trust him beyond that, If Cornelius gets a better offer – I bet he’ll switch sides faster than… faster than something very fast indeed!

As for how I’m feeling about Will… any sympathy I had for his unknown plight as a victim of a Rosa manipulation charm were quickly incinerated by his own use of a charm on Cathy… BARSTARD IRIS!

Yup, Will is definitely a lost cause!

3. It seems that everyone is puzzled by Will and Cathy’s match. Even Will jokingly (or not) wonders if he’s being offered up as a sacrifice – any thoughts as to why Will and Cathy as oppose to their more ‘suitable’ siblings?

I’ll re-iterate my thoughts that Cathy is a pawn (held by Poppy) in an elaborate game of Fae maneuvering, I think Will is also a pawn (for Iris) and that their marriage has been orchestrated by the Iris & Poppy – possibly in some plot against each other or some other Fae. I’m sure it will all become clear – eventually.

4. Let’s just discuss the consummation of the marriage and the overall feelings afterwards? Thoughts please.

<Extreme expletives edited out so as not to offend those with even hardened tolerances!>

5. Max and the gargoyle, how do you think the investigation is fairing? What do you make of their tactics?

We really need a proper name for the Gargoyle… who is in effect half of Max. Maxoyle?

I think they’re making slow, but definite progress. As for their tactics… I think they’re a bit questionable… hmm.

6. Sam and his marriage. Any more thoughts about Lord Iron or Neugent?? What about the other couples who had rings forged?

I’m not at all certain what role Lord Iron and Neugent are going to ultimately play In this story, but I have a theory about Neugent and his history of couples/wedding rings. I think he somehow drains one of each couple of their vitality/energy/life or some such – resulting in their death and Neugents long life/youth! That may explain his seemingly inconsistent appearance of age in Max’s investigations? Maybe Neugent IS Lord Iron?

7. Obviously please feel free to add other thoughts to enlighten me – I had so many more questions about Sophie not to mention the insufferable Dame but thought I needed to stop!!

I’m also still wondering about Sophie (Does Iris know about her/was she his idea?). But I’m also wondering about The Agency (Other than spite, why was Miss Rainer’s status and whereabouts kept from Cathy? Will Miss Rainer play an active role in events to come?). Also, will the competition for Londiniums Duke’dom erupt into physical violence? Will certainly seems to be worried!


That’s my week 3 post on Any Other Name. I really, really hope that I won’t be swearing as much in my week four post!

(Update!: It just occured to me… the shopkeeper in the charm shop… what if he has some hidden connection to either The Agency or the Elemental Court? Because, where does he get a charm powerful enough to hide Cathy for so long from a FAE lord???)

What did everyone else think?


7 thoughts on “SF/F Read Alongs: Any Other Name By Emma Newman. (Week 3)

  1. I read it that Neugent looks older than his age (he seems 50-ish but he’s allegedly only 30-ish). He could be manipulating records somehow, or maybe he’s also being drained by Lord Iron (I’m totally with you on the life drain theory).

  2. I think we decided that the gargoyle was Dave? I could be misremembering. He definitely does need a name, though. It’s a pity Xam is so close to Sam or we could just spell his name by reversing ‘Max’. That’d fit the part where they’re the same person, technically. (Does the gargoyle still count as the same person if he’s been split off from Max for so long, though?)

    Oooh, yes, Miss Rainer. She’s certainly offered Cathy up a new mystery to look for. She seems to be under some kind of Charm? Given how ruthless the Agency seems, I suspect that they consider the Charm appropriate punishment for teaching Cathy to think for herself, but I have to wonder with the way Miss Rainer is hinting at Cathy here whether there isn’t more to the Charm than we currently know.

  3. Yeah I really didn’t want to expound my thoughts on question 3 either, since I didn’t want to be at the computer all day, and despite my feelings for Will I’d actually like to have a chance at completing this book lest I get myself too worked up and tear it all to pieces.

    I am with you on the life drain theory as well. Curiously, Sam only described Neugent to Max which got no response, but I bet if Sam had a picture, Max would recognize him. I think there’s a good chance he could be Lord Iron himself too.

    And Sophie – I’m very curious about her. I think the “rule of 3” still holds, and that the narrative is strongly hinting that Sophie is the illegitimate daughter of Will’s mother and uncle.

  4. Pingback: SF/F Read Alongs: Any Other Name By Emma Newman. (Week 4) | Hisham El-far's Bloggy Thing

  5. Pingback: June 2016 – My Bookish Month in SFF. | Hisham El-far's Bloggy Thing

  6. Pingback: Review: Any Other Name by Emma Newman. (The Split Worlds #2) | Hisham El-far's Bloggy Thing

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