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Review: Trial by Fire by Josephine Angelini

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Trial by Fire
Josephine Angelini

Series: The Worldwalker Trilogy #1
Genre: Fantasy
Hardback: 384 Pages
Publication: September 2, 2014
by Feiwel and Friends


Love burns. Worlds collide. Magic reigns.

This world is trying to kill Lily Proctor. Her life-threatening allergies keep her from enjoying many of the experiences that other teenagers take for granted...which is why she is determined to enjoy her first (and perhaps only) high-school party. But Lily's life never goes according to plan, and after a humiliating incident in front of half her graduating class Lily wishes she could just disappear.

Suddenly Lily is in a different Salem - one overrun with horrifying creatures and ruled by powerful women called Crucibles. Strongest and cruellest of all the Crucibles is Lillian . . . Lily's identical other self in this alternate universe. This new version of her world is terrifyingly sensual, and Lily is soon overwhelmed by new experiences.

Lily realizes that what makes her weak at home is exactly what makes her extraordinary in New Salem. It also puts her life in danger. Thrown into a world she doesn't understand, Lily is torn between responsibilities she can't hope to shoulder alone, and a love she never expected.

But how can Lily be the saviour of this world when she is literally her own worst enemy?

◆ An ARC was provided by Macmillan for review ◆

Josephine Angelini has crafted another fascinating world. Angelini has a talent for writing compelling lines. From the first pages of Trial By Fire, her writing drew me in to Lily's world, a world that spells a bleak and seemingly hopeless existence for Lily. Her best friend and crush Tristan hooks up with everyone but her, and her allergies prevent her from making much of a life for her. Then she's transported into another world where her condition is revealed to be symptoms of the makings of a witch. . . .

At first, I was worried that I wouldn't be able to connect with Lily. Okay, I couldn't relate to her at all. Because the Tristan of her world is one big jerk, and I couldn't understand why she was so infatuated with him. Sure, he's a loyal friend (and major hottie), but he's not boyfriend material. It's after Lily is transported to another world and other elements of her character come out that I began to like her more and got more invested into her story.

Nevertheless, I still found myself drawn more towards Lillian and Rowan. Pretty early on, we're given a scene from Lillian's perspective, lending a little insight into her intentions. She's a complex character, and I wish that she narrated more scenes. I would have loved to learn more about her. As Lillian's former lover, Rowan is another complex and compelling character, made so by his connection to Lillian, and my fascination with his characters lies more in this connection than with the role he plays in Lily's life. Other Tristan is another great character, and I wish that more time was spent developing his character. Maybe in future installments.

My favorite part of the book is definitely the world building. I loved learning about the other world and how it functions differently from ours. Especially the role of magic and how it's performed. While I like a lot of the characters, the character development fell short of the world building. Mostly because the focus of the plot is on Lily developing her newfound abilities rather than on getting to know the gang. With the world set up now, I hope to see more character development in the next installment.

If I had to make one complaint about this book, it's how we get random snippets into the lives of characters within the Citadel—like Gideon and other Juliet. While it helps us get to know what's going on in enemy territory, I feel like the book could've worked without them. Mostly, they ended up being annoyances that took me away from the main action. If other perspectives are going to be added to a book, I want them to be longer than a short passage, and I want them to develop important plot points that really add to the story. Otherwise, I can do without them.

Overall, this was an enjoyable read that I did not put down once I started reading. I'm looking forward to seeing where Angelini takes us next in Trail of Tears, the next installment in The Worldwalker trilogy!

Additional Information
  1. Trial by Fire
  2. Trail of Tears
  • Smoking
  • Alcohol
  • Attempted rape
  • Kissing
  • Touching
  • Violence

10 comments on "Review: Trial by Fire by Josephine Angelini"
  1. Well, Kris, I have been reading a lot of reviews about this book lately
    It sounds really good
    GREAT review
    Your reader,

  2. While I don't think I'd like the random snippet bits all that much, either, I really can't wait to read this book!

    1. Josephine Angelini is a fantastic author. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did if not more, Mary! :)

  3. The world building sounds fantastic and need to look into more

  4. I love me some Salem Witch Trials, and this sounds really interesting. So more of an "alternate universe" witch book?

    Regardless, I'm intrigued.
    Thanks Kris!

    Amber Elise @ Du Livre

    1. It's pretty much an alternate universe book, just with a greater fantasy than sci-fi focus. I'm interested in seeing if Lily's witchy powers also work in her world should the occasion arise.


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