All is Fair is the third book in the Split Worlds series and therefore this review may contain spoilers for the previous books, Between Two Thorns and Any Other Name.

Cathy’s just starting to settle into her life with William and now she’s Duchess of Londinium, with all the excruciating social engagements that brings. But she’s not got time to socialise, she’s got to free her old governess, Miss Rainer and take on The Agency, who are extorting money from all of fae-touched society in the name of housekeeping. Meanwhile Max is still trying to find out who killed his chapter with the gargoyle at his side.

Argh, William seems to make so much headway and then will go a think or say something drenched in fae-touched misogyny. He gives her a library! But he’s really not keen on Cathy making waves and Cathy is hellbent on her mission to make life better for women in their world. He also appoints her a bodyguard, Carter, who turned into a character I loved despite him being a man of few words.

As always, Max the arbiter and the gargoyle were my favourites and oh my god, they actually made me cry. When you get there, you’ll know which bit. The Battenberg. Sob. There was more of a sense of them being two sides of the same person in this instalment too. Ekstrand is losing it and there’s the introduction of another sorcerer who I really liked, even if just for his grasp of modern life. There are also glimpses that the magical world is maybe not so antiquated all over the country.

The pace was a bit slow for much of the story. I think this is caused by so many different plot threads going on. Sam’s involvement with Lord Iron doesn’t seem relevant to Cathy’s story for the most part and it broke up the pace. And there’s still plenty of political manoeuvring and sneaking about. It does all speed up towards the climax and it suddenly became gripping. I do love the unique world Emma has created in this series, where two cultures collide, and there’s some great bits of humour.

All is Fair is published by Angry Robot and will be available in paperback from 3rd October 2013 in the UK and ebook formats from 24th September worldwide. Thanks go to the publisher for providing a copy for review via NetGalley.

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Also reviewed @ My Bookish Ways

Shelve next to: Stray Souls by Kate Griffin

Disclosure: I received a copy of this book free of charge for review purposes only. Receipt of a book does not guarantee a review or endorsement. My reviews are my honest opinion and are not biased for the purpose of personal gain.