Book Review: Trial By Fire

Trial by Fire
(The Worldwalker Trilogy #1)

Author: Josephine Angelini
Published By:  Feiwel & Friends
Publication Date:  September 2nd, 2014
Page Count:  384 pages
Source: Arc Kindly Provided by the Publisher Through Netgalley
Audience:  Young Adult Fantasy

Even though I was severely distracted by life while reading this story, I still really liked it.  I couldn’t wait to escape back into the story of Lily, Lillian, Rowan, Tristan, Juliet and company.  And it was easy to fall right back in even if I only was afforded a few pages each day.  It flowed nicely and held my interest without any work.  I haven’t read anything by this author before, so I was really looking forward to this and was not disappointed.

The concept of this story was somewhat complex but also unique from anything I’ve ever read before—an interesting spin on witch lore, and the well-known history of Salem, Massachusetts.  Alternate universes are something I’m sure we’ve all wondered about…and this story took those musings to task.

Lily Procter, the main character of the story, finds herself in an alternate world.  At first, I wasn’t too sure about how I felt about getting behind her character but as the story moved along, I found myself invested in what she did and her outcome.  Her tenacity seemed to transcend all the worlds, and I really loved that about her.  She accepted her situations, and still tried to keep her sense of humour about it.  She also had a lot of winning over to do—rewriting everyone’s preconceived opinions about her—but she did it…bravely…and stubbornly.  However, with her new found powers, the temptation to lose control was very great.  Is she strong enough to resist?

Perhaps the person who Lily’s stubbornness and tenacity got to the most was Rowan.  I’m definitely swooning over that boy.  At first, he seemed to have the biggest hate-on for Lily.  Of course, I figured we’d learn why and we did.  Once Lily began to win him over, his softness came forward and he had me…and Lily.

Tristan, I felt, was the ‘Jacob’ in this story.  Although, there was something about him that still left me a little distrusting of him.  Caleb was like a huge teddy bear.

I loved Lillian’s sister, Juliet.  The author drew a great connection between the Juliet of Lillian’s world and Lily herself.  I’m glad that Juliet didn’t leave me with any feelings of doubt.

That being said, the story as a whole wasn’t perfect.  Whether this was intentional or not, I never really got on board with the ‘villain’ of this story.  In fact, I couldn’t really identify WHO that was??  Was it Lillian, or was it Gideon, or was it Carrick, or the council members as a whole?  Not being able to identify a true villain in this story sort of took some points off for me.

Lillian (not to be confused with Lily—you’ll understand what I mean if you read this story) was a complex character.  I never felt she was a truly ‘bad’ person.  And upon turning the last page of this installment, we still don’t have Lillian’s full story.  But from what we have been given so far, I believe we still don’t fully understand her motives for everything she has done up to this point…no matter how despicable some of the actions she took seemed.  And the fact that she was so loved by the two people closest to her, says that she wasn’t always ‘evil’ either.  She was loved so perhaps she started with good intentions.

Gideon wasn’t really a true villain either.  He seemed slimy enough—and perhaps his motives were only half self-centering—but I just didn’t feel it with him either.  And his fate seemed very anti-climactic.

Carrick…lots of questions surrounding him too.  I suspect he may go down the totally evil path…or become an ally.  Either would serve the story well, but still leaves us with the absence of a true villain.

So…maybe this was all intentional, as I said.  But it left me wanting to fill that void of identifying someone to truly hate in this story.  And I just couldn’t do that.

Still…I will definitely be reading the next installment and Ms. Angelini’s other books!

I'd like to thank the publisher through Netgalley for the opportunity to read this book in advance of the release date.

Synopsis from Goodreads:

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?


  1. sounds a great book... i want to read other book by joshepine angelini...
    already put on my TBR list too.
    thx u for review :)

    1. Thank you! I also want to read her other books as well. Hope you enjoy them all!


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