Between Two Thorns

March 22, 2013 - 2:16 pm No Comments

Between Two Thorns
Author: Emma Newman
Publisher: Angry Robot
Page count/size: 416pp
Release Date: 7 March 2013
Reviewer: Theresa Derwin

In this new Urban Fantasy, part one of the Split Worlds trilogy, we meet young Cathy, or Catherine Rhoeas-Papaver, a woman who wants to escape the constraints of her faux Victorian existence in Aquae Sulis, the Nether mirror image city of Bath, a magical place in which the Fae co-exist with selected humans. Cathy has escaped and is living hidden in Manchester Mundanus (the real world) hiding out from her family. She is doing well until she is found by Lord Poppy, Lord of the Fae Court who insists she return to the Nether for her coming of age. He removes the charm from her that hides her from her family, so before you can blink, she is dragged back to Aquae Sulis by her brother Tom and informed by her father that she is to marry young William, a highly prised stud from the Iris family.

Whilst all of this is going on, Max, an Arbiter (magically-enhanced private detective/policeman), is investigating the disappearance of humans from Mundanus and the disappearance of Cathy’s uncle, a powerful politician in the world of the Nether.

It is when we enter the world of the Nether and Aquae Sulis that things really sparkle (though not in a horrible vampire/fairy way). Newman’s world building is exemplary, as is her characterisations. Max in particular with his ‘partner’ the gargoyle (I will say no more here) is great fun. As Cathy has to relearn her manners, there are plenty of moments to find humour.

I am not going to fill out this review with a mass of reasons why this book is so good. I’m just going to share this; I started reading and was enamoured. I read this on my kindle, and suddenly looked to see I was fifty percent in and wondered how I’d got there. I then looked and saw I was sevent-five percent in and got upset. Why? Because my journey through the Split Worlds was near an end and I was dissapointed. It has been a very long time since I have read a book that has enthralled me to the extent I become miserable at the thought of it ending. Well done Newman. I want more.

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