Tuesday, August 02, 2016

Review: A Little Knowledge by Emma Newman

A Little Knowledge
Series:  The Split Worlds Book 4
Publisher:  Diversion Books, August 2, 2016
Format:  Trade Paperback and eBook, 362 pages
List Price:  US$14.99 (print); $7.99 (eBook)
ISBN:  9781682302910 (print); 9781682302903 (eBook)

The long-awaited return to Emma Newman’s popular fantasy series, A Little Knowledge takes us back to the Split Worlds, where dynastic families feud across the ages, furthering the agendas of their cruel supernatural patrons.

“Emma Newman is an extraordinary new voice in SF/F.” ―Paul Cornell, Hugo Award winner, and author of London Falling and Saucer Country

Cathy and Will are now the Duchess and Duke of Londinium, the biggest Fae-touched Nether city, but they have different ideas of what their authority offers. Pressured by his Fae patron, Lord Iris, Will struggles to maintain total control whilst knowing he must have a child with his difficult wife. Cathy wants to muscle the Court through two hundred years of social change and free it from its old-fashioned moral strictures. But Cathy learns just how dangerous it can be for a woman who dares to speak out…

Meanwhile, as Sam learns more about the Elemental Court it becomes clear that the Fae are not the only threat to humanity. Sam realises that he has to make enemies of the most powerful people on the planet, or risk becoming the antithesis of all he believes in.

Threatened by secret societies, hidden power networks and Fae machinations, can Sam and Cathy survive long enough to make the changes they want to see in the world?

Melanie's Thoughts

A Little Knowledge, the fourth in Emma Newman's Split Worlds series, continues the story of the forthright Cathy, the Arbiter Max and the new Lord Iron, Sam. The story picks up not long after the events of book 3 All is Fair . Cathy and her husband Will are now the Duke and Duchess of Londinium and happily married. Well...that is happy with a small 'h'. Unbeknownst to Cathy she was spelled to love Will but that hasn't stopped her for fighting him and all of males of the Court for equality for women who are treated like chattel rather than human beings. She has more allies than ever before but still very much viewed as a meddler and out of control by the aristocracy. Will wants to do the best for Cathy but not at the expense of his position as the Duke.

Max is still an Arbiter even though barely anyone survived the massacre of the Bath chapter. When he finds a photo of his 'real' mundane father he is determined to find out what happened to his family along with the gargoyle that wears his soul in a necklace around his neck. Max fits this all in with his Arbiter duties despite not having many resources at his disposal.

Sam keeps up the discord in the Split Worlds by trying to shake up the Elemental Court by making the other Lords act a bit more responsibly both to to their workers and the environment. Needless to say after centuries of doing whatever they want this hasn't gone down well. As the new Lord Iron he is still trying to come to terms with his new power and wealth but when a mysterious stranger offers to help him with the Court he finds that he can't say no.

Can this unlikely trio avoid being spelled, charmed or shot at long enough to make a real change in the Split Worlds? I will leave you to find that out yourself.

I was really surprised to find out that the Split Worlds series continued after book 3. I was sure I had read the last of Cathy and friends so it was exciting to learn there was more to come. I will have to admit that I struggled for the first chapter or two trying to remember who was who and what happened in the last book as I had read it over two years ago. It didn't take long though for it to come back although a very short re-cap would have been useful. I like how Newman continued to develop the soulless Max and Sam was a more interesting character as Lord Iron. The only character I felt was the weakest this time was Cathy. If I had gone through what she had in previous books I would be a little more suspicious of the handsome and socially ambitious Will. Overall, I enjoyed this instalment but Cathy's plotline doesn't get interesting until the very end. Hopefully book 5 will come along soon.

The Giveaway

What:  One entrant will win a digital copy (ePub or mobi)  of Between Two Thorns by Emma Newman from the publisher. INTERNATIONAL

How:  Log into and follow the directions in the Rafflecopter below. Note that comments are moderated.

Who and When:  The contest is open to all humans on the planet earth with an email address. Contest ends at 11:59 PM US Eastern Time on August 14, 2016. Void where prohibited by law. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 years old or older to enter.

*Giveaway rules and duration are subject to change without any notice.*

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Between Two Thorns
The Split Worlds Book 1
Diversion Books, August 2, 2016
Trade Paperback and eBook, 334 pages

Beautiful and nuanced as it is dangerous, the manners of Regency and Victorian England blend into a scintillating fusion of urban fantasy and court intrigue.

Between Mundanus, the world of humans, and Exilium, the world of the Fae, lies the Nether, a mirror-world where the social structure of 19th-century England is preserved by Fae-touched families who remain loyal to their ageless masters. Born into this world is Catherine Rhoeas-Papaver, who escapes it all to live a normal life in Mundanus, free from her parents and the strictures of Fae-touched society. But now she’s being dragged back to face an arranged marriage, along with all the high society trappings it entails.

Crossing paths with Cathy is Max, an Arbiter of the Split Worlds treaty with a dislocated soul who polices the boundaries between the worlds, keeping innocents safe from the Fae. After a spree of kidnappings and the murder of his fellow Arbiters, Max is forced to enlist Cathy’s help in unravelling a high-profile disappearance within the Nether. Getting involved in the machinations of the Fae, however, may prove fatal to all involved.

Any Other Name
The Split Worlds Book 2
Diversion Books, August 2, 2016
Trade Paperback and eBook, 344 pages

Thought-provoking, wonderfully inventive, and filled with treachery and mystery, the soaring second book in the Split Worlds Series pulls Cathy, Will, Max, and Sam deeper into the twisted world of Fae-touched society.

Cathy has been reluctantly married into the Iris family and moves to Londinium, the magical Nether reflection of London, setting her on a collision course with the restrictive, high-pressure social circles that demand propriety and obedience, things the vocal and free-spirited Cathy cannot abide. Will, meanwhile, is trying to find a compromise for his new bride, but whispers in his ear are urging him towards dark deeds…

Sam, determined to dive back into the world of Exilium to rescue innocents, crosses paths with Cathy and Max once again as Max and the gargoyle uncover more information about the mysterious Agency and the chain of events that wiped out the Bath Chapter. Sacrifices, terrible deals, and dreadful revelations mark this second installment of Emma Newman’s wondrous Split Worlds series.

All is Fair
The Split Worlds Book 3
Diversion Books, August 2, 2016
Trade Paperback and eBook, 350 pages

Caught in the insidious designs of powerful puppet-masters and playing a life-or-death game for control, Cathy and her comrades face their greatest challenge yet: changing the balance of power in the Split Worlds.

Now at the heart of the Londinium Court, deceit and murder track Will’s steps as he assumes his new role as Duke. Faced with threats to his throne and his life, the consequences of his bloody actions are already coming back to haunt him...

Meanwhile, Cathy, wrestling with the constraints of the Agency and Dame Iris, comes to terms with her new status in Fae-touched society and seeks others who feel just as restricted by its outdated social rules. As Max works with Cathy to uncover the horrors that underpin Fae-touched society, he bears witness as the final blow is struck against the last Sorcerers in Albion…

Darkly imaginative, vividly detailed, and genre-defying in scope, ALL IS FAIR is at once a thrilling and intellectual journey into worlds beyond sight.


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