Any Other Name by Emma Newman. ★★★1/2
Trigger warning: drugging and rape
Any Other Name is part two of the Split Worlds series. And you absolutely must have read the previous book, Between Two Thorns, first. This installment begins less than twenty-four hours after the end of the last book, and the plot is completely dependent on the last book. This series seems to function more as a single story cut into parts than a series of self-contained stories. Thus this review will be containing spoilers for the previous book.
Any Other Name moves the focus to Londinium as Will and Cathy begin married life. Will maneuvers to become the new Duke, and Max and the gargoyle investigate the Agency. After all, trouble’s afoot in London and it’s Nether mirror…
I still feel like I have very little idea what’s happening, particularly when it comes to Max and the Sorcerer. Not that there aren’t still questions involving Will and Cathy. Why such the focus on them specifically being married? Why does Lord Iris want Will to be Duke when other contenders are centuries old? So far this series has been giving more questions than answers.
My feelings about this book are difficult to pin down because there’s still so much in the air. A large part of how I feel about it depends on the resolution and future handling of some of the plot points. If they are farther explored, all will be relatively fine. If they’re left as is…. I will be very angry. As is I spent a lot of time angry in this book. Mostly during sections involving Will. I’ve pretty much given up on him at this point.
Feminism and women’s rights (or lack thereof) play a large role in this series, particularly when it comes to Cathy’s sections. However I think it’s worth noting that so far the Split Worlds series hasn’t had any intersectionality when it comes to its explorations of gender. Pretty much everyone with focus is straight, white and either upper or middle class. I’m hopeful that the next book might look into the class intersection some more via Miss Rainer and the Agency, but I’ll have to wait and see.
I’m interested in seeing where everything goes, so I’ll be heading into book three. There’s so much that intrigues me about the Split Worlds. What’s going on with the Agency? What about the Sorcerers? The whole subplot involving Sam’s wife? Onward to All Is Fair!