I received this book through NetGalley as a granted wish by the published Diversion Books. I also got it in exchange for an honest review. I’m thanking NetGalley and Diversion Books for granting me the wish and providing me with the copy of this book.
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? Goodreads.
About the book:
Author: Emma Newman
Book length: 384 pages
Published: February 25, 2013
Series: The Split Worlds #1
Genre: Fantasy, YA, Urban Fantasy, Fairies, Fae, Paranormal, Magic, Fiction
Rating: 4 out of 5 quills
Started reading: August 1
Finished reading: August 5
“I assume the gargoyle does not require refreshments?” “I don’t think so. Should it?” “I imagine not, sir, being of a stone constitution, but I find it best to never assume anything when it comes to matters of unnatural animation.”
What did I think about the book?
I must say, I liked it a lot, but it took a lot of effort to get the feeling of the book. It was so confusing in the beginning… The storylines flowed into each other within chapters. Most of the time when that happened, I had to read back to see the switch in POVs, mostly it was when turning the page, so yeah it was confusing.
What made it more confusing in the beginning of the book was that you got plunged into multiple storylines, instead of the descriptive getting to know the characters. I had to read like half of the book before I understood what the story was really about.
When I did understand the story, it became a lot more fun for me to read. I started to like the story a lot. It’s not your typical faerie story, girl falling for handsome faerie etcetera, etcetera.. I like the fact it takes places in three dimensions… I do love the shadow names of British places. London becomes Londinium, Bath becomes Aquae Sulis. Same name, only in the Nether they’re using the old Roman names.
I love Exilium too, the perfect prison, which doesn’t look like a prison at all. Too beautiful to think it is one. I like that deceiving part of it.
When I finally rolled into the story completely, I loved the storyline. I love Catherine and her fiery character. How stubborn one can be. I can’t imagine what it’s like to be in her shoes. To have a future decided for you. I’d run as well I guess. Where women are truly oppressed, she ran away and fought to be a version of herself to be proud of as a woman. Living alone, taking care for herself and choosing whom to love. Living a normal human life, but unfortunately for her, she’s not your typical human. She live in the Nether and has to cope with a Victorian like lifestyle. Your family is your pride, your place in society is important and you do not get to choose whom you marry and what your future will be like. As a woman you will obey and bear children, be a perfect example of what your family stands for and be a good girl in society. This is still an important issue in our world. Women around the world still live in these conditions, without fae nonetheless, but without a free will too. I think it’s a good move from Emma Newman to use such a tough issue in her story. It makes it easier to talk about I think, less of a taboo.
In Mundanus, our world, Sam doesn’t know what has happened and his life is turned around immediately . A turn so extraordinary that his life will never be as it was before. A human, or mundane, in Exilium and the Nether. A human seeing things he never dreamed of. Living a life he never dreamed of. Can he be the hero and live an interesting life like he kind off wishes for?
Max, the Arbiter, is a completely different story. Not a fae, fae-touched or a mundane. A being with a dislodged soul, no emotion. Until he uses a gargoyle for a connection with his boss. When things turn out a disaster, his dislodged part fills the gargoyle. I loved the gargoyle, his feelings and his humour. A walking and talking gargoyle in our world, how amazing and funny!!
Then you’ve got the sorcerers, we meet one in particular, Mr. Ekstrand. I love how the sorcerers function, it’s so funny. They’re supposed to be really, really old, but still need lessons in how to react to people, like what to say on their wedding day? It’s adorable I think, makes them a bit naive, while they run big parts of the country and have a lot of wisdom… in sorcery…
Last, but not least, we have the fae lords or patroons. They have an interesting role in this book. Deceiving and charming, witty but dangerous.
I did like this book enough to read the next book, I hope I’m used to the switching in storylines now so I can enjoy the second book more than I enjoyed this one. I like books to flow, to be read without confusement. This one confused me, but flowed at the end. I loved the story, characters and world-building though. So I gave it four quills.
In case you’ve missed these:
- #ReadThemAllThon excitement!!
- Sunday Post #2. August 14
- #43 Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief.
- #42 Wake The Hollow. [NetGalley]
- #41 The Lost Symbol.