All Is Fair Read Along Part 1

Welcome back to the read along of Emma Newman’s Split Worlds series! You can find my posts for the previous two books, Between Two Thorns and Any Other Name, in the “Split Worlds Read Along” tag.

Emma Newman’s Split Worlds series is an urban fantasy series where the human world (Mundanus) is separated from the Fae world (Exilium) and the space in between is the Nether. The Nether is occupied by human families sponsored by Fae patrons, and their social customs are reminiscent of the Regency or Victorian era. The series has a very fantasy of manners feel, although it also has some investigations by the Arbitrators, who are responsible for keeping the Fae from meddling in Mundanus. The books absolutely must be read in order, so if you’re interested in the series, you should start with the first book, Between Two Thorns. 

This week covers chapters one through six of book three, All Is Fair. Questions are provided by Lisa at Over The Effing Rainbow. Spoilers are below the cut.

We get to visit the Agency in more depth than before here. What are your thoughts/predictions on their shady goings-on after what we’ve been shown?

Yikes! That scene in the basement was worse than anything I was expecting. Also how freaky is it that there are children who grow up in the Agency? I wonder what their lives are like.

They’ve clearly got lots of power but not enough to take on a sorcerer. The most disappointing thing about it is that Ekstrand’s not going to take them on. Although… I remember back in the previous two books he’d sometimes talk about his opinions on different days. At the time I just assumed he’s being quirky or something, but from what Max and the gargoyle say, it sounds like he has concrete personality differences on each day. Maybe on another day of the week he’d feel like destroying the Agency? I can only hope so.

The Agency needs to go down, but I don’t know how that will happen. Ekstrand’s decided to use them instead of destroy them, and Cathy’s being hampered by black mail.

Will finally realizes he may have made certain mistakes with all his assumptions… Do you think he’ll step up and correct them, or is it too late for him?


I’ve stopped expecting anything from Will.

“It’s nice not being called ‘puppet’ all the time.” Max and Cathy seem to be coming to a better understanding of each other and their situations. Max also seems to be coming around more to the gargoyle’s (more emotional) point of view. What do you make of their scenes here, and do you think he and Cathy can become true allies from here?

So there’s something I’ve started to wonder about. What will happen if Max gets reunited with his soul? Will he basically be the gargoyle?

I’ve also noted that aside from maybe Lucy or Sam, the gargoyle is the character who’s been the most empathetic towards Cathy. It’s clear that he likes Cathy. Actually I read him as possibly having a crush on her. What I’m wondering about now is if Max is reunited with his soul, would Max have those feelings for Cathy?

For most of the series I’d been assuming that Cathy and Will would end up together, since that’s the most familiar story (see TVtropes Marriage Before Romance or Perfectly Arranged Marriage). Given the last book, I don’t think we’ll be getting the usual pattern. Or at least I sincerely hope not. Hence, my question: what if Max is reunited with his soul? Nascent love triangle?

I think whether Max can be an ally to Cathy depends on a lot of things, including what the limits of the soul divide are. The sorcerer subplot seems very much in flux.

Things take an interesting turn for Sam with Lord Iron, following Leanne’s funeral. Do you have any new thoughts about might be going on here after the discussion they have at Lord Iron’s house?

I’m still really confused.

Maybe Neugant’s dying because of the same thing that killed all those spouses?

I still think Leanne could possibly be alive.

Honestly I just have no idea what’s going on.


2 Comments Add yours

  1. For the longest time I was thinking “Marriage Before Romance” or “Perfectly Arranged Marriage” as well, but so far this series has proven not as tropey as I expected. I do like the idea of a Max/Gargoyle and Cathy pairing!

    1. I doubt we’re getting any answers on anything in All Is Fair, but it’s fun to speculate. 🙂

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