Any Other Name Read Along Part 1

After finishing up the first book in Emma Newman’s Split Worlds series, Between Two Thorns, the read along is now heading over into book two, Any Other Name.

Here’s the hosting schedule for this read along:

Week 1: Monday 6th June, Chapters 1-6, hosted by Over The Effing Rainbow
Week 2: Monday 13th June, Chapters 7-13, hosted by x + 1
Week 3: Monday 20th June, Chapters 14-20, hosted by Lynn’s Book Blog
Week 4: Monday 27th June, Chapters 21-End, hosted by The Illustrated Page

The Split Worlds is an urban fantasy series. There’s the ordinary human world and the world of the fae. In between is the Nether, a timeless land where humans with fae patrons live in a society reminiscent of the Victorian Era. Between Two Thorns left plenty of plot threads in the air, from murders and mayhem to arranged marriages. Let’s get started, shall we? Spoilers under the cut.

1. Cathy’s wedding day arrives, and her mother wasn’t joking when she said she’d make sure Cathy would go through with it. What are your thoughts/feelings on Cathy’s forced circumstances?

At first I thought she was in shock, but there’s that dawning realization that she’s been drugged. Yikes. That was even worse than I suspected.

Initially I was thinking that Cathy could just slip away after the ceremony itself – it might even be easier since she’ll be out of her family’s hands. But now I don’t know what she’s going to do. It’s not just her family that’s the problem, it’s the faerie lords. How do you escape those? Not to mention the reveal of the wedding band…

I honestly don’t know how Cathy’s going to get out of this, but I’m hoping she does.

2. On the way to the ceremony, we get some surprising insights into Cathy’s father’s background and why he treats his daughter the way he does. Does this change your opinion of him at all? If so, what do you make of him now?

It might offer a better understanding of his motivation, but it doesn’t change my opinion of him at all. He’s still horrible.

If there was one thing I got from the scene, it was the inkling of the prediction that Cathy may end up changing her goals. While her desire for escape is entirely understandable, I wonder if over the course of the series she’ll begin to aspire for more. Not to entirely escape the Nethers but to change it in some way, to help others who may face her predicament.

That sounds like it would be even harder than merely escaping. The Nethers must have changed before – they’re speaking recognizable English and have updated their customs, even if they’re still several hundred years behind Mundanus. But power remains in the hands of the same few people, namely the Fae and the Patroons.

3. The wedding itself, and the honeymoon, brings some unavoidable truths with it, for Cathy and Will both. Does their behavior in this part of the book change what you think of them/their outlook?

Well, I’m very angry with Will, especially about that veiled threat at the end about how he won’t wait forever (I’d look up the direct quotes, but my digital library copy is a pain and a half). However, I’m not really surprised. We’ve previously seen how much he believes in social propriety and the existing system, and what he said here was in line with that. He is also again utterly refusing to try and see things from Cathy’s view.

That’s about it from my thoughts for this week. I do notice that I’m enjoying the Sorcerer a lot more in this installment. Maybe I didn’t pay enough attention to him before?

My prediction for the future is that Max and the Sorcerer will start looking into the Agency.

The only copy of Any Other Name the local library had was a digital one. I had to create an account Hoopla using my library card to check out the book, which turns out I can only read on my laptop (I was hoping to download it to my Kindle). This is about my least favorite method of book reading, although I’ve done it before for the ARC of On the Edge of Gone. Oh well. At least this series reads relatively quickly.


7 Comments Add yours

  1. imyril says:

    I’m hoping that Will’s veiled threat is largely hot air born out of frustration rather than something he can make himself go through with. This is the big test of character; he’s failed most of the small ones though, so I guess I shouldn’t get my hopes up.

    That’s an interesting point about Cathy’s goals – I hadn’t considered that, but it would make sense (and I think make for a more interesting and rewarding series arc)

    1. I still think Will will get some character growth, but he’s trying my patience at this point.

  2. @lynnsbooks says:

    What a great answer to No.2 – I hope that Cathy decides to up her goals too.
    Will – I’m not really on page with him yet – he makes very small efforts and then feels like he’s trying really hard – it’s only their wedding night and they didn’t exactly have a long engagement! So I don’t know why he’s bitching about how much longer he’s prepared to wait! Not to mention still fancying himself with a mistress and when he’s not thinking of her dreaming of his love conquests back on his grand tour!
    Lynn 😀

    1. I got the feeling Cathy was having the very beginning of some sort of thought in that scene, and I think a goal change is what it’s about. While I totally agree with her wish to escape, the word “selfish” did seem to get to her. However, I doubt the result will be anything like what her father intended.

  3. Ooooooh, I like the idea of Cathy changing her goals. I can see that happening, yes, but I hadn’t really thought about it as a possibility.

    And ugh. Will. I had happily blanked out that threat from my memory. *hits him with a pillow*

  4. Yeah, at first I thought Cathy was in shock too, but then the realization finally snuck in and dawned on me and I was like, oh god, please no. I think it’s so funny how all of us are on the same page this week with our anger. I had been wavering on Will for the entire first book, and with this one my opinion of him just plummeted to a new low. I don’t know if it’ll ever improve, to be honest, after the jaw droppingly insensitive and dense things he said to Cathy. Serious, “I won’t wait forever”? Okay there Will!

    1. This is the most unified reaction I’ve yet seen from the read through.

      I feel like Will’s character is more likely to have an upward arc than a downward arc, but I’d better see changes soon.

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