Read Along: Between Two Thorns by Emma Newman – Week One




| Week One |

Welcome to the Read Along of Between Two Thorns by Emma Newman, organised by Lisa at Over the Effing Rainbow.

Welcome to the first post in the Between Two Thorns Read Along! The first novel in The Split Worlds series has got off to an interesting start and, with a good dose of intrigue and excitement even at this early stage, looks set to be a fantastic read. This week Lisa at Over the Effing Rainbow has some juicy questions to kick off the Read Along!

Here’s how the schedule looks:

Week 1 (Monday 9th May)

Chapters 1-9 – hosted by Over the Effing Rainbow

Week 2 (Monday 16th May)

Chapters 10-18 – hosted by On Starships and Dragonwings

Week 3 (Monday 23rd May)

Chapters 19-25 – Imyril at OneMore.org

Week 4 (Monday 30th May)

Chapters 26-End – hosted by Lynn’s Books

There will be spoilers!

If anyone would like to join in with the Read Along, just head on over to the Goodreads group page and sign up.


| Week Four Rating |


| The Questions |

| 1. |

Let’s tackle the setup, first of all. The world of the Nether is caught between the Fae world and ours, and is also apparently too old-fashioned for Cathy, our escaping protagonist, to want to live in. What were your first impressions given her views on her home and family?

Only a short way into the novel and I’m already thoroughly intrigued by this fascinating and rather complicated world! Even though we’ve only just begun to explore the relationship between the Mundane, the Nether, and the Fae world beyond, it already presents a delightful clash of classes, cultures, tradition and history which will do doubt prove central to the storyline.

The modernity of the Mundane world and the ability for the Fae-touched to interact with it, gives a flavour of realism to this magical affair, and the introduction of a protagonist who has come from an entirely different world only to have become rooted in our own, seems like a refreshing take on the genre.

Cathy is already a fascinating character who seems to be burdened with curses, wishes and a mysteriously complex past which looks set to unfold over the course of the novel. A girl who seems to have been lost in her upbringing, preferring the forbidden lessons of her governess, Miss Rainer, to the tradition of Fae-touched life, Cathy is an oddity of her kind. With the exception of her brother, it seems as though her home life was less than a happy one and, with an abusive and controlling father and something of a manipulative mother, it’ll be fascinating to see how she will cope with the imminent loss of her freedom and her return to the Fae court.

The introduction of the mysterious Shopkeeper and his subsequent betrayal of Cathy, along with the arrival of the dangerous Lord Poppy, lends a powerful and unpredictable air to the storyline – one which is fascinating from the start and looks set to give Cathy a run for her money! Oh, and I just love that irritating little faerie!!!

| 2. |

There appears to be corruption and murder afoot among the Arbiters, a sort of supernatural police, and it doesn’t lead to good times for Max. What do you make of the magical soul surgery that the Arbiters undergo to do their jobs?

A supernatural police force severed from their souls and seemingly incorruptible? What’s not to love?! The Arbiters and Max’s story arc are definitely a highlight within this section of the novel and have provided a tense and exciting narrative from the get go. With thousands of questions raised but very few answered, Between Two Thorns looks set to take us on quite the ride through to hell (or perhaps just the Nether) and back.

The concept of the soul chain is wonderfully unique and completely fascinating. They exhibit an inherently twisted quality which brings a sinister undertone to the Arbiters – a faction who already seem a powerful, dangerous and relentless force! The dramatic events which culminate in the destruction of the Bath Arbiters, and the sinister undertakings of the London Chapter, make Max’s narrative incredibly difficult to pull away from – and that’s without the introduction of the wonderfully comedic Gargoyle! I can’t wait to see what happens next!

| 3. |

Even more mysterious is Sam’s accidental involvement in the mystery. Any thoughts on the hapless mortal and what might become of him?

The unfortunate Sam brings a touch more humour to the storyline with his ridiculous introduction to the Fae world. There is definitely something about him – or about an unknown object in his possession – which has given pause to the Fae, and their subsequent decision to considerately bludgeon the memories out of him leads one to suspect that something is most certainly afoot. Sam, the Fae who nicked his wallet, the one who dropped dead in his office, and not to mention the body they were carting off pre-bludgeoning, all look set to lead us down a very intriguing path!

Stay tuned for the next instalment of this Read Along on 16th May

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8 thoughts on “Read Along: Between Two Thorns by Emma Newman – Week One

    1. Haha – no it doesn’t, does it?! Doesn’t stop them trying though! This has been a great start – it feels like an easy read but a thoroughly enjoyable one!

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  1. Good point about Cathy! Rather than a protagonist from the modern world being thrust into an antiquated fantastical society it’s the reverse, which is pretty unusual. The Arbiters seem to be the fan favourite among everyone so far! I can’t wait to see how deep the conspiracy goes…and is the mysterious Lady Rose involved somehow? Hmmm. I guess we’ll see soon enough! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I was going to chime in on this point too – Cathy playing out an inverse portal fantasy had slipped me by, and it is a great take on the idea! I’ve had time to develop a bit more sympathy for her (or maybe I’ve had my friends talking about how awful it was to be a young woman at the Split Worlds Masquerade LARP – not that they didn’t have an AMAZING time, because they did, but it was hard work in terms of the control others had over them and their lack of agency – the culture of the Nether is no fun for independently-minded girls).

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Indeed! I’m looking forward to growing more of a rapport with Cathy as, so far, she is the least captivating character to me! Though I am enjoying it as a whole immensely. I look forward to seeing what happens when you subject an independently-minded girl to Nether incarceration!

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    2. The Arbiters definitely seem like favourites – it’s quite the exciting story arc! I’m so looking forward to delving into all these mysteries… Curses! Conspiracies! Murder! Mayhem! This novel already has it all 😀

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