The Dangers of Your Own Family
By Emma Newman
Angry Robot, $14.99, 396 pages
Emma Newman’s Between Two Thorns tells the story of Cathy, a young woman of the Split Worlds, where select humans live in the Nether – a world between the everyday world – and Exilium, a land where the Fae have been imprisoned to keep them from meddling in the world. The humans of the Nether do not age while they live there, and their society is approximately 300 years behind the modern world. Cathy longs to escape the Nether, where as a woman, she has no say in her life or future and her family is ruthlessly obsessed with social climbing.
The novel itself is a delight, part Jane Austen novel of manners mixed with a contemporary fantasy novel. Newman doesn’t give the reader much back story or explanation of the world, instead leaving the reader to come to a gradual understanding as the story progresses. The story itself is compelling, and the secondary and primary characters are fully developed and have nuanced reactions to the events of the story. The level of the book would be appropriate for older YA readers, it might be slightly scary for younger readers, but was also enjoyable for an adult reader. Also, the book is the first in a series, so the ending does not tie up all the loose ends, but leaves the door wide open for the second book.
Reviewed by Katie Richards