Title: Between Two Thorns
(The Split Worlds – Book 1)
Author: Emma Newman
Genre: Urban(ish) Fantasy
Rating: 3.5 of 5
The main thing that this book has going for it is the worldbuilding. Without giving away too much (since the author reveals her world a little bit at a time), much of the story focuses on a society existing parallel to our own that operates along the lines of the regency era under the patronage of fae/fairy lords and ladies.
The plot largely revolves around Catherine Rhoeas-Papaver, a member of “fae-touched society” who no longer wants to be a part of it. Plot threads include Jane Austen-esque high society maneuvering, political intrigue connected to the fairy court, and a possible kidnapping. The writing is okay. The pace is relatively slow, and most of the characters are pretty flat, but the main characters (especially Max the Arbiter) are interesting and the worldbuilding is great.
This is not a stand-alone book. It wraps up some of the mystery elements, but provides little resolution to other major threads. Outside of major epic fantasy, I’m not a huge fan of “resolve a couple minor plot points but force you to read my next book to follow the main story” approach, but for me good worldbuilding covers a multitude of sins and I’ll probably read the next book in the series when I get the chance.