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Split Worlds Books In Order

Publication Order of Split Worlds Books

Between Two Thorns (2013) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Any Other Name (2013) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
All Is Fair (2013) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
A Little Knowledge (2016) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
All Good Things (2017) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

The Split Worlds series is a series of novels by Emma Newman an author of dark urban fantasy novels, science fiction, and short stories. The Splits Worlds series is one of her most popular series of fantasy fiction novels with a dash of evil fairies, fantastical magic, and noir. Newman published the first novel in the series “Between Two Thorns” in 2013, which went on to spawn several more titles in the series. An avid gamer herself, Newman portrays incredible world building skills in the novels. The novels are set in the fictional world of Exilium, Nether, and Mundanus. Exilium is the land of magic separated from Mundanus by the Nether, where society is frozen in a mirror like state of Mundanus. However, before anyone can go live in magical Exilium they need to be born and raised in Mundanus, where they live in houses straddling the two worlds. The characters in the series recur over the course of the novels with many characters moving across the different worlds over time. The most important characters in the novel are the Fae lords of Exilium who lord over their human servants in the Nether. The novels tell the story of Catherine a daughter of the Rhoeas-Papaver, one of the most powerful families of the Fae, who runs away to go live in the real world. Catherine is rebelling against the patriarchal society back at home that imposes outdated Victorian restrictions on women. In essence, the novels are tales of rebellion, independence, and freedom from familial control as portrayed by the lead protagonist.

The series presents a good mix of characters with both good and bad people even as they have differing personalities and motives. Cathy the lead character is deemed by most an ugly duckling, particularly in the Nether where everyone is obsessed by beauty. She finds her fantasyland in Mundanus, where beauty is not so much celebrated, and where she can live as she wants. Engaged to the well-meaning but obviously culturally compromised William Reticulate-Iris, Cathy shows the backwardness of Nether society. On his part, William who is betrothed to Catherine without her consent, does not fit the definition of a cookie cutter misogynist. In fact, he believes that by marrying her he would be saving her from the emotional and physical abuse meted out to her by her father. Cathy sees herself as having a bigger mission and by rebelling against her father’s wishes; she believes that it would make men like Will acknowledge the need for change in their society. Over the course of the series, the characters grow a lot as they reach the high points of their careers, lives, and ambitions. All the characters experience pathos, tragedy, triumph, change, and real growth as the narratives progress. Max, William, and Sam go through lot together and experience firsthand how the decisions made by others and by themselves have the power to change the life of others. Catherine grows from the young woman seeking a fantasy life to a champion of woman rights, as she changes her world one day at a time.

Emma Newman combines all the elements of fantasy and science fiction including alternate worlds, fairies and other worldly creatures in her Split World series. Using a nuanced cast of characters, she uses the novels to offer a pointed critique of patriarchal societies. The Nether world is stuck in an age-old Victorian era societal structure, which is horrifying and charming at the same time. A few noble families that get their power and authority from the Fae of Exilium rule the Nether world. The family politics that influence the citizens of Nether mirror those of any society with too much power imbalances, though Newman puts more emphasis on the negative effect of patriarchal imbalance on society. Even as entertainment and lovely fashion adorn the streets, underneath the mask, men are holders of property and title, and have more freedom. As for the women, they are nothing better than glorified pets used to strike alliances through marriage between families. Mundanus, which is supposedly a more backward culture, does not subscribe to such old-fashioned cultural nuances as the Nether. Newman has included it all in the Split Worlds series with familiar sites remodeled, a crazy mix of domains, a dose of modern politics and culture, a fairyland and a Victorian world. She combines these aspects with interlocking desires, wants and needs, rivalries and jealousies to make for a gripping fantasy fiction read.

“Between Two Novels”, the first novel in the Split Worlds series is an intriguing novel that introduces the real world of Mundane, Exilium a magical land, and the Nether which is a type of barrier between the two lands. The noble that rule the Nether each have a patron in Fae as reflected in the surnames they take such as Rhoeas-Papaver family, which is under the protection of Lord Poppy. Between the worlds are the Arbiters and Sorcerers, who keep the peace and balance of things to make sure that the Mundanes and the Fae do not interact. The Nether is a world set in the Victorian era, which is a perfect fit given that it is mostly set in the Nether reflection of Bath – Aquae Sulis. The story starts with Catherine’s rebellion against her life and family, and subsequent flight to freedom in the Nether. She does not have any powers but has a strong will she uses to air her perspectives against the suppressive patriarchal society back home.

“Any Other Name” is the sequel to Between Two Thorns which sees Cathy dragged back home by her Fae family, and married off to Will a man she does not love. But even her husband Will does not have it easy, as his patron lord wants the Londinium throne, making it necessary for the new family to move to Nether’s London. Cathy now has to mingle and make new friends in London while Will is engaged in building alliances to aid his bid for becoming duke. Even as he has the best of intentions towards Cathy his wife, he has dark desires and temptations that frequently draw him off the path of virtue. Meanwhile, the Agency is under investigation from Max the arbiter, as he seeks to find out the mystery of a bizarre Bath Chapter incident. It is an amazing sequel to the first novel in the series as the characters are fleshed out even more, with their motivations, wants, and desires even clearer.

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