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All Is Fair (The Split Worlds) Paperback – 19 Sep 2013

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Product details

  • Paperback
  • Publisher: Angry Robot (19 Sept. 2013)
  • Language: Unknown
  • ISBN-10: 0857663259
  • ISBN-13: 978-0857663252
  • Product Dimensions: 13.1 x 2.6 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 75,824 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


"Emma Newman has created a reflection of Bath that reminds one that charming is not safe. Between Two Thorns shows the darkness beneath the glamour of the social Season. Learning to be a young lady has never seemed so dangerous." - Mary Robinette Kowal, Hugo Award winner, and author of Shades of Milk and Honey and Glamour in Glass "With a feather-light touch, Emma Newman has crafted a very English fantasy, one brilliantly realised and quite delightful, weaving magic, mystery and parallel worlds together with ease. Newman may well be one of our brightest stars, The Split Worlds: Between Two Thorns is just the beginning of a remarkable journey." - Adam Christopher, author of Empire State and Seven Wonders "Between Two Thorns is magical, exciting, and clever. It manages to conjure a world that feels completely natural but also mysterious, sometimes dangerous, sometimes funny, combining several different kinds of urban fantasy into one story, and capturing a lovely sense of modern Britishness that is reminiscent of other fantastic British fantasy. I'm eagerly awaiting the sequel!" - Fantasy Faction "An enchanting novel from Emma Newman, an urban fantasy that has no sign of tattooed women in leather pants. A headstrong scion and an investigator discover dark doings in the outwardly genteel world of Bath's secret mirror city." - Paul Weimer, SF Signal "Between Two Thorns really was an unalloyed pleasure to read and it's hard to write a review for it that isn't just gushing - Newman has created a unique blend of urban, historical, and crime fantasy clothed in a Regency veneer. Between Two Thorns is delicious, engrossing, and enchanting and, so far, my debut of the year." - Mieneke van der Salm, A Fantastical Librarian "a modern fantasy that playfully mixes magic and interesting characters into an intriguing mystery." - John DeNardo, Kirkus Reviews "Treading similar thematic ground to the likes of Clive Barker's Weaveworld and Neil Gaiman's Neverwhere, Emma Newman's first Split Worlds novel still manages to be a wonderfully iconoclastic affair. I feel like I've only been given a tantalising glimpse through a fantastical doorway." - Pablo Cheesecake, The Eloquent Page "Between Two Thorns is a fascinating new take on the fairytale myth, and it keeps the elegance and old-fashioned glamour we tend to associate with the fae whilst adding a fresh modern perspective." - Ros Jackson, Warpcore SF "Wow, what a book! I can't remember when was the last time I enjoyed reading something so much - a stunningly original take on the Faerie myth and worthy beginning of one of the most exciting fantasy series on the market today." - Kris at Upcoming4me "Missing people, kidnap, three wishes, charms, deception and Grand Tours collide in a story that's part fairytale, part fantasy, part Jane Austen, with a sprinkling of bonkers brilliance." - Sarah Watkins, And Then I Read a Book "As with all first of series there are slow moments and a lot of details that need to be absorbed but I felt that Newman did a very good job of introducing and creating a world of dangerous politics, magic and a resentment for those of us that were born on the wrong side of the barrier." - Beth Syler, Sky Rose Reviews "This novel draws you in from the very first, tempting you with magical creatures set against present day Bath. I tried only reading one chapter just to test the writing style, etc but found myself, a few hours later, having read a vast amount of the book - It sits beautifully within my favourite type of fantasy novel, fairy tale within the present day." - Sarah Bruch for SF Crowsnest "The world-building in this novel was very strong and was what transformed this novel into something distinctive." - Christal at Badass Book Reviews "Between Two Thorns had good prose, great characters, and was a well done mystery. I recommend it to anyone who loves faeries, high society related books, and/or a good mystery." - Momo the Mome Rath at Where the Mome Raths Outgrabe "a solid start to a great new fantasy trilogy that will be enjoyed by anyone who enjoys urban fantasy, stories about the Fae and detective stories." - Elloise Hopkins "The sensory language was fantastic - especially when we were in the Nether or in Exilium. That's where Newman really shines the most - showing us entirely new worlds that are only connected by a thin string, and that are absolutely gorgeous to behold." - Usagi at Birth of a New Witch "I enjoyed every minute of these split worlds. The fairy-tale mythology, fantasy, sci-fi-mystery, police procedural, romance and all the other genre-bending elements worked together seamlessly." - Merikay Noah, Popcorn Reads "Good fantasy is the ability to not only tell a good story set in a different world - but to create that world with beautiful worlds. Evoke it in the reader's mind. Where it comes alive and leave the impression as if one visited there. Newman definitely has a gift for that." - Deniz Yildiz, Closet Geeks and Slow Mo "What I want from an alternate, magical reality is a mix of the expected and the surprising, and Between Two Thorns does a good job of delivering that, primarily through the use of some off-beat points of view and the addition of some unique flourishes." - Steven M. Long "Between Two Thorns is a book that is packed with a ton of things to entice the reader - I can definitely recommend this to readers of urban fantasy if you are looking for something different" - Shadowhawk, Founding Fields "This was a well-crafted fantasy novel which makes a great start to a new series - I can't wait to see what happens next." - Rebecca at Book Chick City "Between Two Thorns is an excellent read and I highly recommend it to fantasy fans looking for something a bit different, particularly in the form of merging modern day settings with fantasy worlds." - Tsana Dolichva, Tsana's Reads "gimme the next book! This one wraps up most, but not all, of the mysterious web that Newman weaves - just enough threads are left dangling to keep me intrigued, so I'll definitely be buying the second book to find out where those threads lead." Lisa, Over the Effing Rainbow "This is a book that contains MANY THINGS. This can be tricky sometimes - [but] Newman managed to corral the different worlds, characters and machinations to deliver an engaging read that left me wanting more." - Kathy at Kindle-aholic's Book Pile "If you like a bit of fairy magic, the juxtaposition between ancient and modern, here and there, and you don't mind being left in suspense for a good few months, you'll really enjoy it. 9 stars out of 10." - Fantasy Faction

About the Author

Emma Newman was born in a tiny coastal village in Cornwall during one of the hottest summers on record. Four years later she started to write stories and never stopped until she penned a short story that secured her a place at Oxford University to read Experimental Psychology. In 2011 Emma embarked on an ambitious project to write and distribute one short story per week - all of them set in her Split Worlds milieu - completely free to her mailing list subscribers. A debut short-story collection, From Dark Places, was published in 2011 and her debut post-apocalyptic novel for young adults, 20 Years Later, was published just one year later - presumably Emma didn't want to wait another nineteen - Emma is also a professional audiobook narrator. She now lives in Somerset with her husband, son and far too many books. You can find Emma online at and or on Twitter@EmApocalyptic.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Verity Hayter on 4 Oct. 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
All is Fair is the third entry into the Split Worlds series, and just as fabulous as 'Between Two Thorns' and 'Any Other Name'.

If you haven't read any of these books, I couldn't urge you to rectify that more strongly. I am apparently incapable of putting them down once I open them. Emma Newman details a sumptuous tale of society culture, political intrigue, death and love spread over three dimensions - the Nether (a Victorian-esque society), Mundanus (Earth as we know it) and Exilium (where the Fae are imprisoned, yet seem to maintain great power over their subjects).

'All is Fair' picks up in the aftermath of the attack on Cathy, and her story is interspersed with that of Arbiter Max and his gargoyle, trying to uncover who is behind the fall of their Chapter and the apparent war on the Sorcerors, while Sam is trying to pick up the pieces of his human life where nothing is as it seems.

Beautifully told, and intricately detailed, I finished this book two days ago and am still wondering about what could happen next. I really hope this is not the end for Cathy, Will, Sam and Max and have my fingers crossed for a fourth instalment.
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Format: Paperback
This series just keeps getting better and better. It’s easily my current favourite series. Emma Newman’s world building is superb; it’s simultaneously simple to imagine yourself in the world she has created and excruciatingly difficult to explain it to someone who hasn’t yet had the pleasure.

If you are one of those yet to discover the Split Worlds, please get yourself a copy of Between Two Thorns, the first in the series, and prepare for full immersion.

I don’t want to talk about plot too much – it’s too hard to avoid spoiling earlier titles in a series when reviewing mid-series books. What I will say is that the plotting is tight and intricate. We retain the central story of Cathy and her struggle against the Victorian values of Society in this instalment, as well as various brilliant sub plots from the first two titles, along with some newly-added threads. The plot as a whole is like a spiral, getting tighter as we approach the core. I can’t wait to see where this will all end up!

The real strengths of this series, however, lie in the setting (think I may have mentioned amazing world building already…) and characters. Cathy is one of those protagonists I’d love to meet and would expect to get along with, and I am loving Will more as the series goes on. Max and the gargoyle are one of fantasy’s greatest comedy pairings, and yet have genuine depth as individuals. And now I feel bad for not mentioning the hapless Sam, whose chance involvement with the fae world is clearly heading for its own interesting (and please not too catastrophic) conclusion.
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Format: Paperback
All is Fair is the final book in the Split Worlds trilogy. It's impossible to discuss it without giving spoilers for the previous books. If you haven't read Between Two Thorns and Any Other Name and do not want to be spoiled best turn away now, because HERE BE SPOILERS!

After far too long I'm finally reviewing All is Fair, the concluding volume of the Split Worlds. It's no secret that I absolutely loved the previous two books and that I adore Emma Newman. So with that disclaimer and caveat it'll come as no surprise I loved All is Fair as well. Cathy's story developed in a direction I had expected, but what I hadn't counted on was the extent to which Newman would take it. And there was a huge twist in both Max's and Sam's stories, which kept me on my toes until the end.

As in the previous books, the main story arc is Cathy's; she's settling in to her new role as wife and Duchess of Londinium. In Any Other Name I finally got on board of the good ship "Cathy and Will" and while I still liked them as a couple and they certainly seem to be genuinely developing feelings for each other, I did have my doubts at certain points in the novel. This was mostly down to Will, who came across as not that nice of a person at points. Much of this is due to the pressure he is under from Lord Iris, but some of it is just Will staying in the tradition of Nether Society and being uncertain of Cathy's loyalties. Meanwhile, Cathy needs to build bridges and mend fences to get where she wants to take the Nether society, not least with Will, as he's the first one she'll have to convince if she's to be successful. I really connected with Cathy, especially due to her struggles when re-entering the London Court.
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Format: Paperback
Cathy's just starting to settle into her life with William and now she's Duchess of Londinium, with all the excruciating social engagements that brings. But she's not got time to socialise, she's got to free her old governess, Miss Rainer and take on The Agency, who are extorting money from all of fae-touched society in the name of housekeeping. Meanwhile Max is still trying to find out who killed his chapter with the gargoyle at his side.

Argh, William seems to make so much headway and then will go a think or say something drenched in fae-touched misogyny. He gives her a library! But he's really not keen on Cathy making waves and Cathy is hellbent on her mission to make life better for women in their world. He also appoints her a bodyguard, Carter, who turned into a character I loved despite him being a man of few words.

As always, Max the arbiter and the gargoyle were my favourites and oh my god, they actually made me cry. When you get there, you'll know which bit. The Battenberg. Sob. There was more of a sense of them being two sides of the same person in this instalment too. Ekstrand is losing it and there's the introduction of another sorcerer who I really liked, even if just for his grasp of modern life. There are also glimpses that the magical world is maybe not so antiquated all over the country.

The pace was a bit slow for much of the story. I think this is caused by so many different plot threads going on. Sam's involvement with Lord Iron doesn't seem relevant to Cathy's story for the most part and it broke up the pace. And there's still plenty of political manoeuvring and sneaking about. It does all speed up towards the climax and it suddenly became gripping. I do love the unique world Emma has created in this series, where two cultures collide, and there's some great bits of humour.

Review copy provided by publisher.
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