Best laid plans (Any Other Name 4)

Book art: Any Other Name - Emma Newman text-only banner

It’s the final chapters of Any Other Name, and there’s conflict on the horizon as deep-laid plans begin to bear fruit. Can Sam get Leanne out of harm’s way? Can Cathy abandon Miss Rainer and the ladies of the Nether to the Agency? Will Cathy survive the Alba-Rosas plans? And will we ever find out what the Agency and Lord Iron are up to?

Our host for this final week is Sarah from The Illustrated Page.

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?

I think Cathy’s a smart cookie who can – potentially – cause the stir they need to start a conversation and lead to change. We’ve seen from her conversation at Hampton Court that she can reach people and get them to think about things in a new light. As Duchess of London, her chances go up with her influence (although presumably will lose Margritte’s support, which is a huge shame). But first, she’s got a small matter of recovery – and the Alba-Rosas – to survive. Because I’m pretty sure Cornelius will have another go.

But I’m devastated (if not surprised) about what has been done to Miss Rainer. I really hope there’s a way to reverse the Charm on her so she can regain her memories. Her circumstances underline yet again how despicable the Agency is…

At this stage, yes, I trust Lucy. I think she’s stirring, but I think she’s doing it as an outsider who is horrified by the British Nether. And I trust her to have Cathy’s back as far as she possibly can – even to standing up to Tom, potentially (although not the Fae or the Patroons. I don’t trust anyone to stand up to them).
2. Will wants another chance at a happy ending for him and Cathy. Thoughts?

Well done Will for realising Cathy is a special person who should be cherished and won over. STUPID WILL FOR HAVING BETRAYED HER COMPLETELY BEFORE HE GOT THIS FAR.

I had a little chime of sympathy for him when Amelia used her perfume on him; it’s not lost on me that she has done to Will exactly what he did to Cathy. But that doesn’t excuse his actions.
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?

I am not okay with Leanne’s death. Would Sam have agreed to join CoFerrum if she had survived? Maybe, to save her. But I would have liked him to have that chance. A part of me doesn’t want to believe she’s dead; that this is a much bigger thing than it appears – but I think that’s just me being annoyed at this whole storyline.

There’s so much here that is intriguing, but I always seem to get brought back to Sam being someone I just don’t like spending time with and Leanne being poorly served from first appearance to finish. For me, this one is fridging – she has been manipulated, changed and killed as Sam’s motivations this whole book, and it just annoys me (not least because it started through that lens of her career and I remain very touchy about how career women are portrayed in fiction). Vengeance narratives, UGH. And now we have two (with Will on the ‘I will RIP APART whoever hurt my wife’ kick).

…and I definitely don’t trust Lord Iron.


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?

I don’t know what is going on with the Sorcerers. Lady Rose can’t have struck deals with all of them, can she? Regardless, they now seem to be a bunch of powerful old guys who consider themselves the law, so I’m massively predisposed to dislike them 😉 Ekstrand on his own was quirky; Ekstrand in the context of a council of old men telling the worlds what they can and can’t do? Given what they’re prepared to do to mundanes who see things they shouldn’t, I’m not okay with this. It’s not for anyone’s good – it’s just an exercise in control. I don’t think I can get behind the Sorcerers and the Chantries at all; chalk up another fundamental that needs reform!

Hey look, Emma Newman found another soapbox for me 🙂


5. What are your predictions for the next book?

Cathy recovers. Cornelius has another attempt at killing her (perhaps with the highwaymen, who still haven’t put in an appearance). Will works out the Alba-Rosas are involved, and has to sort out his entanglements. Cathy finds out that Will drugged her. Will has to face the music.

I have a horrid feeling it will continue being slow progress on the Agency, Sorcerer and Elemental storylines though.


That’s the end of Any Other Name (previous posts here: Week 1Week 2, Week 3), but we’ll be continuing on to All’s Fair starting next week:

  • 4th July: Chapters 1-6, hosted by Over The Effing Rainbow
  • 11th July: Chapters 7-14, host TBC
  • 18th July: Chapters 15-22, host TBC
  • 25th July: Chapters 23-End, hosted here at There’s Always Room For One More
Questions, chitchat and links to all participants can be found on GoodReads and on Twitter by following @SFFReadalongs.