Author: Emma Newman
Series: The Split Worlds # 1
Trade Paperback, 334 Pages
Publication: August 2, 2016 by Division Publishing
Source: I received a review copy from the publisher in exchange for a honest review.
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 the first book in The Split Worlds Series by Emma Newman. This series actually came out a couple of years ago under a different publication but was recently republished with a new company and covers. There were two things that initially piqued my interest when I first heard about this series: faeries and magic. You can never go wrong with either. And I'm happt to report that this book did not disappoint! The Split Worlds consisted of 21st Century Mundanis (our world), The Nether world where the fae-touched resides (those with faerie blood somewhere in their family line) and Exilium, where the fae lords and ladies live. This book was very meticulous and multifaceted with a large cast of characters. With so much information, it felt overwhelming at times but Newman is a talented writer and she tied everything together perfectly. The beginning is slow, but once you get to the halfway point and end...it's so worth it!
As I stated before there is a large cast of characters and readers are following multiple characters and thread all simultaneously. First we have Catherine Rhoeas-Papaver. Catherine comes from one of the great families (high society) in the Nether but she hated her life there and has been hiding out and attending college in Mundanis. Then we have Max, an arbiter, like a policeman guarding the separation between the worlds as he investigates a missing person case. And finally we have William, Catherine’s betroth and Sam a mundane who has secrets locked inside his mind; characters whose roles are more secondary but just as important. While I thought Newman did a great job in the character development department, overall I have mix emotions regarding the characters. I thought they were interesting and they kept me engaged but I never felt a real connection to anyone. I hope with the world building and foundation set, Newman will focus more on the characters because for the most part, the characters felt like they were constantly running or moving…readers had very little chance to learn of their background/history. But this little issue doesn't mean I enjoyed the book any less...quite the opposite.
This 384 page book packed a whole lot! If you’re looking for a fresh and fun fantasy and unique take on faeries then I suggest checking out Between Two Thorns. Readers are left with a huge cliffhanger that will have them clamoring for the next book. Between Two Thorns looks to be the start of a promising series and I can’t wait to read the sequel and see what Newman has in store for Catherine, Max and the gang. Like I said Magic and Faeries, you can never go wrong with either.