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Between Two Thorns (Split Worlds) [Audiobook] [Audio CD]

Emma Newman
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)

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Kindle Edition 3.83  
Mass Market Paperback 4.32  
Audio, CD, Audiobook 10.56  
Audio, CD, Audiobook, 26 Feb 2013 --  
Audio Download, Unabridged 9.20 or Free with 30-day free trial

Book Description

26 Feb 2013 Split Worlds (Book 1)
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?

File UnderUrban Fantasy [ Gargoyle Sidekick | Finder's Keepers | A Rose By Any Other Name | Manners ]
--This text refers to the Mass Market Paperback edition.

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Product details

  • Audio CD
  • Publisher: Brilliance Audio; Unabridged edition (26 Feb 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1469271621
  • ISBN-13: 978-1469271620
  • Product Dimensions: 17.3 x 15.7 x 2.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)

More About the Authors

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Product Description


"Emma Newman has built a modern fantasy world with such elan and authority her ideas of why and how the seemingly irrational world of Fairy works should be stolen by every other writer in the field. Her characters are complex and troubled, courageous at times and foolhardy. This book of wonders is first rate." - Bill Willingham, Eisener Award winner, and creator of Fables

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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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
4.3 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Enter the mirror city of Aquae Sulis 2 Mar 2013
One of the delights of starting any new urban fantasy novel is uncovering the rules of the new worlds you've just discovered. Between Two Thorns by Emma Newman tells the story of the Fae, and long-lived humans, referred to as the Fae touched, who all live a seemingly idyllic Victorian era existence in mirror images of Bath and various other cities throughout the world. Everything seems perfect, but beneath the paper-thin veneer of civility, power struggles and politics threaten to tear their society apart.

The best examples of the urban fantasy genre all have one thing in common. They ensure that their narrative is backed up by a whole heap of rock solid world building. This is where I think Between Two Thorns really excels. Newman has obviously spent time considering not only how the denizens of the worlds she has created would live side by side, but also how they would interact with one another. The Fae are an aloof bunch, seldom seen and seemingly only interested in themselves. Meanwhile, the Fae touched, those that live in the spaces between our world and the world of the Fae, are just as bad. They live in fear of their powerful Fae masters but care little for us poor old mundanes, their name for us normal humans.

Max is an interesting character, his role as an Arbiter (think magically-enhanced private detective/policeman) has changed him in ways we would find difficult to comprehend. He is charged with locating a missing dignitary and trying to keep the peace. Assisting him is a cantankerous sorcerer, an empathic gargoyle, a librarian and a computer programmer who just happened to be in the wrong place in the wrong time. They are an eclectic bunch and great fun to read.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Mirror City of Marvels 22 Mar 2013
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 Munadnus (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?
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Review: Between Two Thorns by Emma Newman 23 Mar 2013
I struggled to get into this one, and it took me some time to realise why. On the surface, it has everything I like in a novel - fantasy worlds, fairies and even a splash of the social intrigue that I enjoy in historical novels about court life. And it's set in Bath. As an ex-resident of the city, I carry a certain, biased fondness for anything set within its streets.

But despite all this, I just couldn't get going with it. I picked it up, read a little, put it down, read other books, and was generally unmotivated just to get it finished. I hate not finishing books, especially ones that I receive for review, so I plodded on with it and towards the end it did start to get a bit better. But not enough to payoff the slow start.

I think Between Two Thorns suffers for its multiple POV structure. There are several major players - some introduced early then promptly forgotten about, others not introduced 'til halfway through then given an inordinate amount of attention. It just felt a bit disjointed, and I couldn't decide who was important.

It's always the risk with multiple POV books that readers will like one character more than the others and consequently skip sections to get back to them, and I did feel a desire to do that in the early stages, before the disparate threads of narrative started heading towards a point of convergence.

When the climactic point of the narrative came together, it was quite a good payoff, and I enjoyed watching it all unravel. However, I was immediately then annoyed by the quite abrupt `Now you have to buy the next book' ending. I don't mind a bit of a cliffhanger, but there has to be some resolution. As I got to the final few percent on my Kindle, I just kept thinking `there is not enough space to wrap this up satisfactorily.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent and unusual fantasy of an unusually high standard...
A very unusual and original fantasy world combining myth ,folk lore and the modern day ,( but not as we know it). Read more
Published 26 days ago by Jeanette L. Lee-miller
5.0 out of 5 stars Original, engrossing, disturbing and brilliant
A fascinating world(s), peopled by richly imagined people. Whilst this work is influenced a little by previous works of the intersection between fae and reality, I haven't read... Read more
Published 2 months ago by J. Carter
3.0 out of 5 stars The world evolved, unfortunately the same can't be said for the Fae
Two worlds exist simultaneously, mirror images with one difference. The world inhabited by mere mortals is called the Mundane and the second, the Nether, is occupied by the Fae. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Cheryl M-M
4.0 out of 5 stars A very interesting start to a fascinating series
This fantasy novel is set in an imaginary Victorian-style word hidden beneath our everyday or mundane country. Read more
Published 8 months ago by Anne
5.0 out of 5 stars Slow, confusing start for me but became a real gem to savour and re...
Between Two Thorns. The Split Worlds, Book one. Emma Newman
I really expected to like this book but.....I found it confusing to begin and hard work. Read more
Published 9 months ago by Jeannie Zelos
4.0 out of 5 stars Layered and delicious, like a literary trifle
From time to time I come across a book (and author) able to absorb me so completely that its able to make me forget about the outside world. Read more
Published 11 months ago by TotoroMatt
5.0 out of 5 stars Richly-imagined and fully-realised urban fantasy adventure
I greatly enjoyed my first visit to the Split Worlds and am looking forward to the second novel in the series. Read more
Published 13 months ago by Mrs. B. S. Kemp
5.0 out of 5 stars A writer to watch
Emma Newman's first instalment in the Split Worlds series is fantastic.

She maps out an intriguing world of magic, alternate dimensions and society culture that kept me... Read more
Published 14 months ago by Verity Hayter
5.0 out of 5 stars A Magical Tale of a Hidden World
The best fantasy book I have read this year! I devoured it at a single sitting, engrossed as much by the concept as by the well rounded, believable characters and the confident... Read more
Published 15 months ago by Nick Johns
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliantly Modern Fairy Tale
This is a beautifully crafted story, the characters fit, the settings fit; everything fits. Reading it you’d expect it to be the author’s 4th or 5th book, but this is Emma Newman’s... Read more
Published 15 months ago by pnoris14
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