Between Two Thorns (The Split Worlds #1)
Released February 26, 2013
Urban Fantasy / Faeries / Mystery
Something is wrong in Aquae Sulis, Bath’s secret mirror city.
The new season is starting and the Master of Ceremonies is missing. Max, an Arbiter of the Split Worlds Treaty, is assigned with the task of finding him with no one to help but a dislocated soul and a mad sorcerer.
There is a witness but his memories have been bound by magical chains only the enemy can break. A rebellious woman trying to escape her family may prove to be the ally Max needs.
But can she be trusted? And why does she want to give up eternal youth and the life of privilege she’s been born into?
Sometimes I come across books where I just don’t seem to have words to review them. Often it’s because they left me in a quivering mess of raw emotion that I will wallow in for days. Other times it’s because the world is so well built, so vivid, so complex that pushing it to arm’s length to analyze it is near impossible. Between Two Thorns was the later, making it difficult to go to bed at night because I needed to read just one more chapter. Making me crave reading time at incredibly inappropriate times of the day, like sitting in a meeting with my boss or on a call with a client. I expected withdrawal shakes to set in at any moment.
Emma Newman has created a world where faeries make sense, one that I want to crawl in and sit in a corner as all the madness unfolds. It’s filled with characters both odd and oddly human though at its core, it’s just a who-done-it with a lot of growingly complex character interactions laid over top. In The Split Worlds, there are essentially four sets of people, a concept that, having started reading the book in a near comatose exhaustion, was a bit hard to follow until about 50 pages in. There’s the real world, the one we mundanes trudge through everyday life and the place the Arbiters – humans with their souls detached from their bodies and stored elsewhere – assist magicians from the whims and tricks of faeries.