Posted in Rated Q, Urban fantasy

All Is Fair

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Author: Emma Newman

Genre: Urban Fantasy

Rating: Q

Synopsis:

William Iris struggles to keep the throne of Londinium whilst hated by his own court and beset by outsiders, while Cathy discovers the legacy of her former governess. But those who dare to speak out about Society are always silenced. Sometimes for good.

While trying to avoid further torments from the mercurial fae, Sam finds himself getting tangled in the affairs of the Elemental Court. But an unexpected offer from the powerful and enigmatic Lord Iron turns out to be far more than Sam bargained for.

Max and the gargoyle are getting closer to uncovering who is behind the murder of the Bath Chapter and the corruption in London and Max finds the gargoyle’s controversial ideas harder to ignore. Can he stay true to his sworn duty without being destroyed by his own master, whose insanity threatens to unravel them all?

Bluestocking’s Learned Opinion: After I finished Any Other Name, I wondered how the author was going to be able to finish this series in one more book. There was a lot of plot to wrap up. She did it. It was definitely not quite what I was expecting, which is why I gave it the Q rating. The ending of this series was very anti-climatic. Some parts of the ending were completely out of no where. (Like the whole, who is killing all the chapters subplot).There was no clues in the prior books. It was a little bit disjointed. The book ended with a new beginning for all of the major storylines. I feel that perhaps the author made the ending this way so that in future she could return to this world. There was still plenty of adventure left that just wasn’t touched.

This was my least favorite book in the entire series. I really felt let down by how the author handled the ending. It was lacking in umph. To read or not to read? I would read it, but just don’t expect some breathless conclusion.

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Posted in Fantasy, Rated E, Teaser Tuesday, Uncategorized, Urban fantasy

Any Other Name

Any Other NameTeaser:

“Error? I’ve been working in my capacity as procurement manager for over eighty years, and I have never once made an error in my staff requirement calculations.”

“That makes today an interesting day for you then.”

Author: Emma Newman

Genre: Fantasy

Rating: Exceeded my Expectations

Synopsis:

Cat has been forced into an arranged marriage with William – a situation that comes with far more strings than even she could have anticipated, especially when she learns of his family’s intentions for them both.

Meanwhile, Max and the gargoyle investigate The Agency – a mysterious organisation that appears to play by its own rules – and none of them favourable to Society.

Over in Mundanus, Sam has discovered something very peculiar about his wife’s employer – something that could herald a change for everyone in both sides of the Split Worlds.

Bluestocking’s Learned Opinion: Generally, second books in a trilogy tend be be rather dull (think the Empire Strikes back). Not so with this book. The Fae lords are up to something. Well Lord Iris is, and Lord Poppy is looking for anything he can hold over Lord Iris. Lord Iris is moving William into a high societal position. It is not clear for what purpose he is doing this.

I have to say that I didn’t really like William in this book. He’s too craven for my liking. He knows Cat didn’t want to marry him. Rather than earn her trust so that they could eventually have normal marital relations; he drugs her under the orders of Lord Iris because Lord Iris insists that Catherine have a child by a certain period. I thought William should have asked the head of his house to lift the curse on Cat so that she can touch other men besides males of his own family. That really was something that should have been disclosed prior to the marriage. Then there is the whole infidelity thing. Talk about taking a serpent into the bosom. Has it never crossed any man’s mind that a woman might be using physical charms for power? Apparently not. I think this guy deserves whatever happens to him.

As much as I disliked Lord Poppy, he’s extraordinarily charming once you’ve been introduced to Lord Iris. Man Lord Iris is extraordinarily cold and calculating. I got the impression that Lord Poppy did actually like Cat. Lord Iris sees the members of the Iris family as tools to be used and discarded.

With both of the supernatural elements in this series, I was a little bit perturbed to discover that there is yet another power. Remember how faeries don’t like iron. So there is a Lord Iron.

Anyway, this is shaping up to be a world class fight for the last book in the trilogy. I don’t know how the author is going to tie off all the loose ends unless she makes the last book really long.

**Smiles in ecstasy at the thought.**

The last book comes out next month!!!

Posted in Fantasy, Loved It

Between Two Thorns

Between Two ThornsTeaser

Max swayed, wondering if Axon had a syring in the car. Was he becoming addicted?

Author: Emma Newman

Genre: Fantasy

Rating: L

Synopsis:

Something is wrong in Aquae Sulis, Bath’s secret mirror city.

The new season is starting and the Master of Ceremonies is missing. Max, an Arbiter of the Split Worlds Treaty, is assigned with the task of finding him with no one to help but a dislocated soul and a mad sorcerer.

There is a witness but his memories have been bound by magical chains only the enemy can break. A rebellious woman trying to escape her family may prove to be the ally Max needs.

But can she be trusted? And why does she want to give up eternal youth and the life of privilege she’s been born into?

Bluestocking’s Learned Opinion: I saw this book as I was wandering the fantasy section in Barnes and Noble. I liked the premise; so I bought it. I really enjoyed entering the world of Faeries. Most of the fantasy that I read is of the witch/wizard variety. The only thing I know about faeries is that they don’t like iron.

The premise of Ms. Newman’s world is that those who are “Fae touched” live in the Nether. It is a world that is not where the Fae lords dwell, but not where mortals live. It is a land where sun and moon do not exist. It is an ageless world. The Fae touched live in houses that are anchored to the mortal world. Fae touched children spend enough time in the mortal world to reach adulthood. Once girls come of age (think Victorian come of age), they move back into the Nether and never age. Once boys come of age, they do world travel for a few years before coming back to the Nether. When both girls and boy come of age, they can ask their Patroons for a boon. Typically, children ask for what their parents tell them.

The Fae touched are part of families whose patron’s are the Fae lords. The Fae lords all have flower names i.e. Lord Poppy, Lord Iris, Lady Rose, etc. The Fae lords are a wee bit mercurial.

The main character of this story is Catherine Rhoeas-Papaver. In case you were wondering a papaver rhoeas is the scientific name for a red poppy. As you can imagine, Lord Poppy is Catherine’s family’s Patron. The family’s symbol is the red poppy. Anyway when Cathy comes of age, she asks her patroon to be able to attend a university in the mortal world. She was granted this request because these sort of requests must be granted; however, she royally pissed off her patroon as well as her family. Once Catherine gets to college (she’s also sent with two minders), she pays for a charm so that her family couldn’t track her; then she ran away. Eventually Lord Poppy finds Cathy; but he stays mum on how he accomplishes this. He seems to have taken quite the fancy to her because she is different from the rest of Society. He grants her three wishes. If you weren’t aware, wishes from the Fae are fraught with a great deal of peril.

Cathy’s story is interspersed with the whole mystery of the Master of Ceremonies being missing. As it turns out the Master of Ceremonies is her uncle, and he’s probably the only person in her world who actually likes and appreciates her for being herself. Cathy does end up being part of solving what happened to him, and she does it while trying to sort of follow the society rules. Unfortunately, she doesn’t get the credit for it. There’s a subplot. Catherine’s parents have decided to marry her off to William Reticulata-Iris (who is rather fond of the mortal world too). It is an excellent match and will bring advantages to both families. It is a strange match because Cathy is not considered to be pretty, and in the Nether beauty is everything. Of course, neither Cathy or William really wants the marriage.

Anyway, it is quite clear from the amount of characters introduced that this will probably be a really sizable series. I do like the fact that there are several types of “powers” in this book for example Fae, sorcerers, and Elements. I can tell that there is about to be a major clash between the parties. Anytime you have so many stagnant systems, it is almost inevitable that someone is going to make a power play.

The book is part Downton Abbey, part Tudor, and part Harry Potter. It is definitely not a children’s book. For all the advantages that come with living in the Nether world, the Fae-touched live on the knife’s edge of destruction. This is definitely once fantasy world that although I like reading about, I would never want to live in it. The people of the Nether are very much slaves. Immortality doesn’t make up for having no say so over one’s life.

I read this book very quickly; then I went and bought the second the book the very next day. I finished that book in an evening. There is a third book coming out in October and it’s killing me.