The Qwillery | category: Between Two Thorns


The Qwillery

A blog about books and other things speculative

The Split Words by Emma Newman - New Covers!

The new covers for Emma Newman's Split Worlds series have been revealed! The Qwillery is thrilled to have the new covers from Diversion Books to share with you. The Split Worlds is a fabulous series that you can learn more about at Emma's Split Worlds site.

In addition to republishing the original 3 novels (Between Two Thorns, Any Other Name, and All is Fair), Diversion Books will publish 2 additional Split Worlds novels. Read more about that here at Emma's blog where she revealed the titles for the 4th and 5th Split Worlds novels - A Little Knowledge (2016) and All Good Things (2017). The first three novels will be out soon!

I think that the new covers for the series are as wonderful as the original covers. I particularly love that the color theme has been preserved. What do you think?

Between Two Thorns

The Split Words by Emma Newman - New Covers!

Any Other Name

The Split Words by Emma Newman - New Covers!

All is Fair

The Split Words by Emma Newman - New Covers!

A Little Knowledge

The Split Words by Emma Newman - New Covers!

The Split Words by Emma Newman - New Covers!
Click to Embiggen
(Original covers on top; New covers on bottom)

Melanie's Week in Review - December 1, 2013

Melanie's Week in Review - December 1, 2013

I hope all my American friends have had a great Thanksgiving. I can't believe it is now December and only a few weeks away from 2014. It feels like time is melting away....even more so when I realised it was time to write this post and I hadn't read very much. I am blaming work for my lack of reading. Not only is it 'tis the season to be jolly' it is also 'tis the season to infect your colleagues with your lurgy' which I have to say doesn't make for such a joyous lyric. It was a positive germ factory in my office this week and needless to say I am now sick (please insert sympathy here).

Melanie's Week in Review - December 1, 2013
I wasn't very successful getting back on track reading new books but in an effort to make myself feel better I went back and re-read Once Burned and Twice Tempted from the Night Prince series by Jeaniene Frost. These were really quick reads, especially the second time around and I didn't tax myself too much with the plot (mainly because I had read it before). I prefer this series to the Night Huntress series and think I am the only person on the planet that doesn't get all excited about Cat and Bones. Leila and Vlad are way more interesting of a couple especially as Leila gets only a little mad at her vampire hubby for skewering his enemies in their dungeon. I also like the way that Frost ends each book. Rather than a big dramatic cliff hanger Frost has all the action earlier on (but still close to the end of the book) and then finishes practically mid-sentence. Each time I have read these books I always have to go back and check that there weren't any pages I had missed reading as they end so abruptly.

Melanie's Week in Review - December 1, 2013One book off my TBR that I did manage to read was Between Two Thorns which is the first in the Split Worlds series by Emma Newman. I got this book from NetGalley even though it was first published by Angry Robot back in February (2013). I wasn't immediately grabbed by the story which switches between Mundanis (where we, normal mundanes live) and Aquae Sulis which is in the Nether, an alternate world set more or less in 18th/19th century England and where the leading families are supported by a fae lord. Everyone is kept in line by the Arbiters who are effectively the police and who carry their souls around their neck in a pendant. There are several characters to keep you busy including Sam, a mundane who has witnessed a crime he has been charmed to forget, Max an Arbiter who is cut off from other Arbiters and whose soul now resides around the neck of a gargoyle and Cathy, who has escaped her overbearing parents to live in Mundanis. These characters all come together to try to solve the crime Sam has witnessed.

In the early chapters of the book the scenes would rapidly change between these three characters but it was Max and the Arbiters who I found the most difficult to come to grips with. I couldn't really understand the significance of why Arbiters had their souls implanted in a necklace and I am still not entirely sure other than perhaps being a plot device. None of the characters were particularly likeable but I did think Cathy was slightly more sympathetic. Cathy was trying to escape an arranged marriage and life of virtual servitude to a man she neither liked or respected as she tries to hide in Mundanis. Cathy also has all the best lines and my favourite was when she was wishing she was back at home (in Mundanis) playing Mass Effect rather than standing by the punchbowl in a crinoline heavy ball gown in Aquae Sulis.

Between Two Thorns was one of the reasons why I ended up reading the Night Prince series again. I couldn't really concentrate on the plot that kept rapidly switching between characters. It wasn't until mid way that I was actually engaged in the story. I did end up really enjoying this book and Newman leaves us with a great cliffhanger and I am off to find book 2 (and possibly 3 if I am super naughty).

Melanie's Week in Review - December 1, 2013
In the midst of feeling sorry for myself and my impending cold I decided I need something else to read that I could get through really quickly. I had a quick look at what Amazon thought I should be reading and came across Damon, the first in the Protectors series by Teresa Gabelman. This book had good reviews on both Goodreads and Amazon but I wasn't impressed other than with my ability to read it in only 2 hours. I thought it was too stereotypical of the genre (vampire based PNR) and had a few direct similarities to the Sookie Stackhouse series where humans used vamps for their blood. I predicted every plot point and thought the characters were a bit one dimensional. Other readers enjoyed this book more than I but I felt a tad let down as I didn't think it lived up to all the stars it seemed to get.

That was it for me on the reading front. I am hoping I am more successful next week getting back on track. I hope you have a great week and until my next WIR as always, Happy Reading.

Interview with Emma Newman, author of The Split Worlds series - May 4, 2013

Please welcome Emma Newman to The Qwillery as part of the 2013 Debut Author Challenge Interviews. Emma's adult debut, Between Two Thorns (The Split Worlds 1) was published in the US/Canada on February 26, 2013. (Yes, I realized very late this an adult debut!)  Any Other Name (The Split Worlds 2) will be published in the US/Canada on May 28, 2013 followed by All is Fair (The Split Worlds 3) in September.

Interview with Emma Newman, author of The Split Worlds series - May 4, 2013

TQ:  Welcome to The Qwillery.

Emma:  Thank you, I'm delighted to be here!

TQ:  When and why did you start writing?

Emma:  When I was 4, according to my grandmother, although I don't remember it! I'd been beavering away at her kitchen table for a while and when she asked what I was doing, I said "Writing a story, Nana."

I do remember writing stories throughout my childhood and into my teens. I think there were a number of reasons, chief amongst them being a disappointment that real life didn't have anything fantastical in it and writing to escape a lot of family troubles and upheaval. Certainly in my teens, writing fiction was my primary form of escapism. Well, that and Star Trek: The Next Generation.

TQ:  What would you say is your most interesting writing quirk?

Emma:  I don't think I could truly say any of my quirks are interesting. Right now, the only thing that comes to mind that could be considered a quirk is that every time I sit down to write something new I say out loud: "I give myself permission to write complete and utter crap." It helps me to combat fear and the dreaded internal censor.

TQ:  Are you a plotter or a pantser?

Emma:  Both. I outline major story arcs – across each novel and across the series – and I outline character development and key decisions/actions as far as I can. Then I outline about five chapters or so – just single sentences, some details occasionally if it's a complex scene and then I write them. Once they are done – or earlier if the plan doesn't fit – I outline the next five. I can't plan any further ahead than that as the story evolves once I'm inside the scenes. Sometimes a decision seems realistic in planning, but when I'm there, really inside the character's heads, it just doesn't work. I like that though – I would be worried if it didn't happen, because it would be likely I was writing dull characters without their own internal consistency and motivations.

TQ:  What is the most challenging thing for you about writing?

Emma:  Managing fear. Well, I find that the most challenging thing about life, really, and seeing as writing is my passion, my livelihood and what I want to do for the rest of my life, it only makes sense that it's the biggest challenge.

The fear makes it hard to start, hard to finish, hard to let others read it – the list is endless. It also makes it so hard to know if anything I'm writing is any good. I think that's a universal problem though; I've had many conversations with fellow writers along those lines.

TQ:  Describe Between Two Thorns in 140 characters or less.

Urban fantasy - and a dash of noir - with feuding dynastic families, supernatural patrons, mad sorcerers, evil faeries and nice cups of tea.

TQ:  What inspired you to write Between Two Thorns?

Emma:  It grew organically. It started with a flash I wrote about a shopkeeper, an unhappy customer and a faerie in a bell jar and that turned into a weekly flash serial before I realised that what I was actually doing was building a world for my next series of novels.

So I suppose it kind of crept up on me.

TQ:  What sort of research did you do for Between Two Thorns?

Emma:  I visited several of the locations in Bath and London and took photos (I'm a bit of nerd when it comes to real world locations in books) and I read a lot of material about Regency and Victorian England, Anglo-Saxon politics, key events in British history and a lot of fairy tales. I've also read a lot about chemical elements, but don't want to give too much away.

TQ:  Who was the easiest character to write and why? The hardest and why?

Emma:  Sam was the easiest as he's just an average bloke who falls down the rabbit hole, so to speak. He's a mundane computer programmer living in Bath with an unhappy marriage, so I didn't need to make huge leaps of imagination to figure out how he'd react to the weird things that happen around him.

I think the hardest character was Cathy. I wanted her to be angry but not petulant, selfish but sympathetically so and she brings in a lot of the feminist themes that I really wanted to get right. It's been interesting seeing how people have reacted to her – I'm happy to say that many, many more people love her than I worried would be the case!

TQ:  Without giving anything away, what is/are your favorite scene(s) in Between Two Thorns?

Emma:  That's really hard to answer without giving anything away! When Lord Poppy first talks to Cathy is one of my favourites because he is just so delightfully horrid.

TQ:  What's next?

Emma:  Well, the second Split Worlds novel "Any Other Name" comes out in June and I've just handed in the third novel "All Is Fair" to my editor at Angry Robot. That's due out in October, so it's a busy year.

I'm starting my own podcast, so that's what I'm working on next, and, of course, the next novel but I can't say anything about that yet!

TQ:  Thank you for joining us at The Qwillery.

Emma:  And thank you for having me!

The Split Worlds

Between Two Thorns
The Split Worlds 1
Angry Robot Books, February 26, 2013 (US/Canada)
Trade Paperback and eBook, 400 pages
March 7, 2013 (UK)

Interview with Emma Newman, author of The Split Worlds series - May 4, 2013
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 Under: Urban Fantasy[ Gargoyle Sidekick | Finder's Keepers | A Rose By Any Other Name | Manners ]

Any Other Name
The Split Worlds 2
Angry Robot Books, May 28, 2013 (US/Canada)
Trade Paperback and eBook, 400 pages
June 6, 2013 (UK)

Interview with Emma Newman, author of The Split Worlds series - May 4, 2013
It’s been an interesting year…

Cat has been forced into an arranged marriage with William – a situation that comes with far more strings than even she could have anticipated, especially when she learns of his family’s intentions for them both.

Meanwhile, Max and the gargoyle investigate The Agency – a mysterious organisation that appears to play by its own rules – and none of them favourable to Society.

Over in Mundanus, Sam has discovered something very peculiar about his wife’s employer – something that could herald a change for everyone in both sides of the Split Worlds.

File Under: Fantasy [ How Grotesque | Taking Tea | Lords of Misrule | Sorcerous Magic ]

All is Fair
The Split Worlds 3
Angry Robot Books,  September 24, 2013 (US/Canada)
Trade Paperback and eBook
October 3, 2013 (UK)

[cover not yet revealed]
In love and war nothing is safe.

William Iris struggles to keep the throne of Londinium whilst hated by his own court and beset by outsiders, while Cathy discovers the legacy of her former governess. But those who dare to speak out about Society are always silenced. Sometimes for good.

While trying to avoid further torments from the mercurial fae, Sam finds himself getting tangled in the affairs of the Elemental Court. But an unexpected offer from the powerful and enigmatic Lord Iron turns out to be far more than Sam bargained for.

Max and the gargoyle are getting closer to uncovering who is behind the murder of the Bath Chapter and the corruption in London and Max finds the gargoyle's controversial ideas harder to ignore. Can he stay true to his sworn duty without being destroyed by his own master, whose insanity threatens to unravel them all?

File Under: Fantasy [ Grotesquerie | The Throne of London | Elementary, My Dear | Among Many Thorns ]

About Emma

Interview with Emma Newman, author of The Split Worlds series - May 4, 2013
Emma lives in Somerset, England and drinks far too much tea. She writes dark short stories, post-apocalyptic and urban fantasy novels and records audiobooks in all genres. The first book of Emma's new Split Worlds urban fantasy series called "Between Two Thorns" was recently published by Angry Robot Books. She is represented by Jennifer Udden at DMLA. Her hobbies include dressmaking and playing RPGs. She blogs at, rarely gets enough sleep and refuses to eat mushrooms. You can sign up for a year and a day of free weekly stories set in the Split Worlds at

Website  ~  Split Worlds  ~  Twitter @EmApocalyptic

Review: A Little Knowledge by Emma NewmanThe Split Words by Emma Newman - New Covers!Melanie's Week in Review - December 1, 2013Interview with Emma Newman, author of The Split Worlds series - May 4, 2013

Report "The Qwillery"

Are you sure you want to report this post for ?