Week 4: Any Other Name Read-Along

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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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schedule

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

Questions

1. After her meeting with Miss Rainer, Cathy is determined to tackle the Agency and bring feminism to the Nether. What are her odds of success? Is Lucy a trustworthy ally?

Mogsy: I was actually very pleased when Lucy opened Cathy’s eyes to the possibility that there were other women out there who want to see change in the Nether. Not only did it take Cathy’s self-righteousness down a notch or two, it made her focus her attention on something more worthwhile than to mope around trying to come up with more futile escape plans. I’m almost positive that Lucy can be trusted; while it’s certainly possible that she planted the idea in Cathy’s mind in order to manipulate her, I find that highly unlikely. I think Lucy truly loves Tom, and Tom apparently being the only decent person in Cathy’s family, I’m pretty sure they will all end up on being the same side. As for Cathy’s chances, I think she would have better luck gaining support in Londinium rather than in Aquae Sulis–that is, if Will hasn’t just fucked everything up for all of them.

Tiara: I feel like Cathy could be very successful. She’s not alone, and while it may not be many, it only takes a few people to start a murmur that builds into a revolution, right? I think Lucy is trustworthy, but this is probably my bias talking since I like her character. She feels very genuine, but those are the ones who always break my heart in the end in books.

2. Will wants another chance at a happy ending for him and Cathy. Thoughts?

Mogsy: Okay, I admire his tenacity, I really do. In spite of all the crap things he pulled in this book, it’s also touching to see him go rushing to Cathy’s side and seeing his worry for her. But still, maybe he could like, use his tiny pea brain a little before storming off to avenge her half-cocked? Oh, Will Will Will, you are so gullible.

Tiara: *sigh* I guess she’s stuck with him now, so… I don’t know. One one hand, I was glad to see them making some progress there, but I’ve spent so much time loathing him that it’s going to take some time for him to truly warm up to him. I want them to have a happy ending, but right now I am still having all kinds of feelings about this.

3. Do you think Lord Iron is to be trusted? Is Sam making the right move by joining CoFerrum? Any thoughts on his wife’s death?

Mogsy: I’m not sure anyone in this book with “Lord” as their title can be trusted, to be honest. I still find it iffy that he’s supposedly this really powerful figure in the elemental court, but can’t keep tabs on the people who supposedly work for him? But seeing as he’s the one who came to Sam, expressing his displeasure at what Neugent has done, maybe we can hear him out for now. It saddens me to admit this, but whether Sam is making the right move or not by joining up has become a moot point now. He doesn’t have anything to lose anymore, poor guy. Personally, I was completely shocked at the news of Leeane’s death. I thought for sure Sam would get his chance to save her and their marriage, and I’m even more heartbroken knowing that she died thinking the worst of him, without knowing the truth.

Tiara: I’m with Mogsy on this one. I don’t think anyone with the title Lord can be truly trusted, even if it seems their intentions are good at the moment. I also agree that Sam really has nothing to lose by joining, and it’d probably be in his best interest (for lack of better wording) if he does.

4. Do you think Mercia is behind the deaths of the Sorcerers? If so, what sort of deal do you think he struck with Lady Rose?

Mogsy: I have no idea. I’m actually a little taken aback that such a huge development was dropped on us so late in the book, but then, maybe I shouldn’t be. The same thing happened with Max and the Sorcerer in the last book, right? It’s becoming a pattern with this particular story line.

Tiara: I’ll reserve judgement on that because, yeah, that really blind-sided me, too. However, I haven’t had as much time to contemplate this book as I’d like, so maybe if I’d been in conspiracy theorist mode like I sometimes can be with books.

5. What are your predictions for the next book?

Mogsy: Once more, I’m not going to start with predictions but rather with my hopes for the next book. I want answers! First of all: Sophia, Sophia, Sophia! We didn’t have too many discussions involving her this month, but I’m curious to see the significance of her character. I’m almost sure now that she’s the illegitimate daughter of Will’s mother and his uncle, and that’s the huge Iris secret, but what that has to do with the overall series arc, I have no idea. I also want to see Sam get his revenge. There’s still this tiny spark of hope that maybe Leeane can be saved, but I doubt it since he saw her body and everything. The ensuing shitstorm in Londinium will probably be a big part of the next book too. I’m still so mad at Will, for killing an innocent guy. And for Cathy, once she heals up, I hope she’ll get to start her work on bringing feminism to the Nether, if she still has any allies left after her idiot husband just made everyone hate them. I want to see Amelia and Cornelius get their comeuppance too, since so much of what is happening now can be attributed to their scheming. And I also hope that the investigation will pick up, since once again Max and the gargoyle were kind of “blah” to me in this book. There are probably a few more minor things I’d like to see, but I think that’s all the big predictions/hopes for now. Hmm, that’s quite a lot of things happening, isn’t it? I can’t believe we’re only two books in.

Tiara: I’m expecting this…

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8 Comments on “Week 4: Any Other Name Read-Along

      • Hmmm. I will admit I like the theory and my brain is just shying away from the physical implications of how it can work. I had assumed Iris men didn’t get a pass, and that there’s a strict wet nursing rule in Iris households, but now I’m going to have to go look up how Will greeted his mother when he got back from the Tour.

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        • Oh man, this train of thought it leading me to even more questions. It woudl make sense for a strict wet nurse rule…but if infants don’t even get a pass, what about when Iris women give birth to boys? LOL! Maybe the ring magic does have an age limit? Hmm! This is starting to hurt my head 😀

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      • I was wondering about mothers taking care of their sons. And Will’s mother was the one who explained it to Cathy. She could presumably have been leaving relevant information out.

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  1. I was wondering if Sophia was a changeling? She was acting really weird in the park and seemed to scare off all the other children – she even started to deny doing anything but the attack cut her off short. A bit odd. I’ve made loads of crazy maniac suggestions this time round. Such as Ekstrand being behind the murders – he didn’t go to the moot after all and now virtually everyone else is dead. Oh, I don’t know – basically I have no idea!
    Lynn 😀

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    • That’s an interesting theory! I definitely think that’s possible, but I also believe Will’s uncle has something to do with Sophie. I noticed that bit in the park too, but I just thought maybe the other children or their parents thought Sophie was strange. I also did entertain the idea of Ekstrand being the one behind everything! I couldn’t figure out how it would all fit together, but it did cross my mind. That would shake things up, wouldn’t it!

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