Trial by Fire (Worldwalker #1) by Josephine Angelini
I have gone back and forth so many times trying to decide if I feel like this book was a three or four star rating! I’ve decided it’s somewhere in between, but I’m rounding up! It didn’t quite blow me away like some of the other similarly rated books I’ve read this year, but it still had me completely wrapped up in the story from start to finish. I actually read the entire triology over the course of a week while I was dog sitting! Even so, it feels like a guilty pleasure kind of read where it’s more entertaining than a literary masterpiece, but sometimes that’s exactly what you need. So for that I am basing this star rating on how I enjoyed this book.
Trial by Fire takes place in the world as we know it, present time in Salem. It reads from the perspective of a high school teenager named Lily Proctor who is riddled with allergies and just wants to live a normal life. She has grown up with a womanizer of a best friend named Tristan who she secretly has a crush on. When one day Tristan shows that he might be interested in her and invites her to go to a party with him and all his jock friends she feels like she can’t miss this opportunity to be seen as more than just a friend. She ignores all the red flags so that nothing will get in her way to a normal teenage life, and possibly a boyfriend. But when everything goes up in flames and she has a terrible episode in front of most of her peers, all she wants is to disappear. Lily never expected to end up in another world though. A world where her allergies were cured, and she was more than just plain old Lily Proctor. But as perfect as it seems, there are reasons why she ended up here, and it’s not going to be to live a blissful allergy free life in paradise.
The mix of what felt like a few different genres from contemporary to fantasy and a little bit of maybe some sci-if made this actually really interesting. I kind of liked the twist on the story of the Salem witches too. For me though, I wasn’t too caught up in the story until Lily was thrown into the alternate world of a different Salem. One where there was even another Lily, Lillian. In meeting herself this is when she discovers why she was brought to this alternate Salem and how its even possible that all this exists. The world of alternate Salem is more of the fantasy portion of the book and that is where I started to get intrigued in the story. This is also where she meets Rowan. And let me tell you, you will never be the same after you’ve met Rowan.
I loved the slow burn romance between Lily and Rowan. Although there is another Tristan in this other Salem, Lily finally begins to realize just how much her Tristan hurt her and that maybe she doesn’t love him after all, at least not like she thought she did. And apparently Rowan and the other Lily, Lillian, used to have a thing that didn’t work out. So it only makes sense that Lily and Rowan end up together, right!? I was rooting for it from their very first meeting!!
Over the course of the time that Lily enters the alternate Salem, she really grew on me. At first she seems like a misunderstood sickly teenager that just wants to live a normal life, original right? But I am glad to say that she become so much more. She gains confidence and power once she leaves her old world and her old self behind. She is forced to figure out her own toughness when she is thrust into another world and must fend for herself and learn how to become what she was always meant to be. Amazing what some new scenery can do for a person!
It didn’t take me long to get into this book, and it was pretty fast paced. There is plenty of action and a sweet romance to go along with it. The politics aren’t overbearing and its all very easy to follow. This made for an excellent light hearted read that had plenty of mystery and magic to keep my ya fantasy heart happy. I enjoyed this read a lot and really liked the take on witches and alternate world mash up that I never thought would make such a good pairing. If you’re in the mood for something a little bit different and fun to read this is it!
If You Liked This Book
Keeping with the witch theme here I think that Born Wicked by Jessica Spotswood is a great complimentary book to go with Trial by Fire. Both of these trilogies are based around girls who when coming of age realize that they are actually witches and with this realization, they must learn how to become what they were meant to be and how not to destroy their lives in the process. While Born Wicked is a little more on the historical side and Trial by Fire is more recent in the timeline, both are full of magic and mystery and lots of romance!
Have you read these books? What did you think? Any good book suggestions with books about witches? Let me know in the comments below!