Week 3: Any Other Name Read-Along


Our thanks to Hisham for the read-along banner!

We’re gaining steam on our read-along of the The Split Worlds series this month, continuing with the second book Any Other Name! If you’re interested in joining this Read-Along, visit the SF/F Read-Along group for more information and to join the discussion.

Any Other Name

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.

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Week 1: Monday 6th June, Chapters 1-6, hosted by Over The Effing Rainbow
Week 2: Monday 13th June, Chapters 7-13, hosted by x + 1
Week 3: Monday 20th June, Chapters 14-20, hosted by Lynn’s Book Blog
Week 4: Monday 27th June, Chapters 21-End, hosted by The Illustrated Page


1. Cathy has her first meeting with Lord Iris. What were your first impressions? And what do you think it is that Lord Iris and Poppy both now ‘see’ in Cathy??

Mogsy: Lord Iris makes Lord Poppy look like fuzzy baby chick. I mean, for all his nefarious ways, at least Lord Poppy fits the idea of what I think of when I picture a fae lord, i.e. manipulative, sometimes malicious and destructive, likes to play games, etc. However, it appears that Lord Iris has no compunctions about getting straight to the point, using direct threats and other such unsavory methods to get what he wants. Seriously, he’s terrifying. As for what the two of them see in Cathy, I really have no idea at this point. But I’m willing to bet it’s not as simple as the reason she gives Lord Iris.

2. We had an insight into Amelia and also an insight into Cornelius – what are your thoughts on the two of them now and also how does this make you feel in terms of Will?

Mogsy: Ah, so our suspicions on whether or not Amelia might be pulling Will’s strings with magic have been answered. I have to say it’s hard to feel any sympathy for Will at this point, but I suppose this does change things, knowing that his choices and actions might not have been all his own. To be honest, right now I’m feeling plenty of antipathy towards the whole damn lot, and I’m quite okay with that.

3. It seems that everyone is puzzled by Will and Cathy’s match. Even Will jokingly (or not) wonders if he’s being offered up as a sacrifice – any thoughts as to why Will and Cathy as oppose to their more ‘suitable’ siblings?

Mogsy: I confess, I hadn’t thought about this at all. I even remember reading about Will’s pondering about the sacrifice, but at the time I thought nothing of the implications so I can’t say that I have any theories on this as of this moment. We already know there’s something going on with Cathy, but it would be interesting though, if it turned out there’s something “special” about Will as well.

4. Let’s just discuss the consummation of the marriage and the overall feelings afterwards? Thoughts please.

Mogsy: How have things suddenly gotten so soap-opera-ish? I have many feelings on the way things happened, and none of it really good. Suffice to say if I went into all of my thoughts we’d be here forever, so I’ll just say that the entire situation has left a bad taste in my mouth, as well as this sick sense of dread in pit of my stomach that someone’s going to get hurt.

5. Max and the gargoyle, how do you think the investigation is fairing? What do you make of their tactics?

Mogsy: It’s not going as well as it could be, but I don’t think trying to threaten Cathy or blackmailing her is going to help much. I can see why they needed to press her harder, though; despite being the “supernatural police” in this world, poor Max sure has pretty dismal resources at this disposal. What I’d really like now is to learn the significance of those documents they lifted about Horatio!

6. Sam and his marriage. Any more thoughts about Lord Iron or Neugent?? What about the other couples who had rings forged?

Mogsy: I take back what I said last week, because now I’m no longer so sure that Sam’s wife is being protected rather than harmed. No doubt the “cage” in the apartment and the wedding rings are keeping the fae at bay, but maybe it’s more like a lion warning off the jackals from their kill. I wonder if the others who had had rings forged and died were the victims of having their life force sucked away or something like that, by Lord Iron or his agents. I just guessing wildly here, since I have absolutely no clue where this might be going, but it’s certainly my favorite plot thread of the book so far.

6 Comments on “Week 3: Any Other Name Read-Along”

  1. as well as this sick sense of dread in pit of my stomach that someone’s going to get hurt.

    I kind of hope this person is named Will. ^_^; I can see the gargoyle (did we decide to name him Dave?) sharing our feelings on the matter. Speaking of, isn’t it interesting that Max’ soul has been the most likely to side with Cathy and to see her as a person? I just find it interesting since I’d actually expect him to struggle similarly to how Max and the Sorcerer are, but he isn’t. Along with Sam and Cathy he seems to be our more modern perspective.


    • Yes, Will deserves a world of hurt. But I also worry what might happen to Cathy once she realizes what has been done to her. And just when she was starting to warm up to him, I think this will come back and explode on both of them later.


  2. ….I hadn’t really considered the notion of the cage being to keep your prize prey away from the nasty fae thieves. It’s a compelling argument and I’m back to being far more worried about Leanne…


    • I figured if it was meant to be protection, then it clearly wasn’t working…so it made me wonder if she was put there so that no other forces can interfere with whatever nefarious plot Neugent has cooked up…


  3. Agree with everything here this week – how did it all become so soap opera (ish). I think you are right about Leanne and it is a very interesting plot line. Look forward to seeing how that works out.
    Will – well, probably a little too late although I would be interested to see just how much of his personality the charm works on – does it simply make him desire the user? In which case most of his other actions are still a bit unforgivable!
    Lynn 😀


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