We’ve started our read along for Between Two Thorns by Emma Newman! I fell in love with Emma’s writing with her sci-fi release, Planetfall, so I had to jump in to discover more of her work by going back to read her Split Worlds fantasy series :D. This week we’re discussing chapters 1-9, so spoilers below!
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?
The Nether world sounds like a pretty typical fantasy world in that they are stuck in older traditions and rely on magic instead of technology. It is pretty fun to see the perspective of a girl breaking out of that world and into ours, given how classic that sort of world is! I like Cathy a lot and I especially like her governess for risking it all to expose her pupil to new thoughts.
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?
It’s a fascinating premise since it does on the one hand seem that it could improve the reliance on someone who has to make impartial decisions, but a lack of sympathy may not be the best quality in a police officer either. And clearly something isn’t working since some of them got corrupted anyway! I really like that gargoyle, I have to admit, ha.
3. Even more mysterious is Sam’s accidental involvement in the mystery. Any thoughts on the hapless mortal and what might become of him?
I honestly didn’t really give him much thought after that intro to the world, so it was funny when he showed up again. It seems so often those are throw away characters just to introduce the villain. I’m quite curious how he will be involved in the story since he doesn’t fit a typical role all that well. I assume he’s going to have to find out about the Nether world eventually if he’s going to stay involved in the plot ;-).
I’m really loving the start of this book. Normally I’m not particularly partial to Fae or portal fantasies, but this is different enough with the magic that I’m hooked. What do you think so far?
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