Review: Trial by Fire by Josephine Angelini

September 1, 2014 5 stars, Book Review, Young Adult 15 ★★★★★

Review: Trial by Fire by Josephine AngeliniTrial by Fire by Josephine Angelini
Series: The Worldwalker Trilogy #1
Published by Feiwel & Friends on September 2, 2014
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
Pages: 384
Source: Publisher

*This book was provided by the Publisher for review. No compensation was provided and all opinions are strictly my own.

This world is trying to kill Lily Proctor. Her life-threatening allergies keep her from enjoying experiences that others in her hometown of Salem take for granted, which is why she is determined to enjoy her first high school party with her best friend and longtime crush, Tristan. But 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 cruelest of them all is Lillian . . . Lily's other self in this alternate universe.

What makes Lily weak at home is what makes her extraordinary in New Salem. In this confusing world, Lily is torn between responsibilities she can't hope to shoulder alone and a love she never expected.


Trial by Fire is a must read! I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Josephine Angelini does a fantastic job world building, and she’s no schlub in character development or dialogue either! This has been the most enjoyable book I have read since The Trudi Canavan book Thief’s Magic.  Lily Proctor lives in Salem, Massachusetts and she is so allergic to everything she is practically living in a bubble. Her best friend and longtime crush Tristan is finally noticing her that way and life is looking pretty good for her. She is the main caretaker of her schizophrenic mother who is constantly babbling about other worlds, and her sister Juliet loves her unconditionally and supports her however she can. At her first (and only) high school party, Lily realizes that her ties to this world are easily lifted and she listens to a plea for help from another world. When she arrives, her understanding of the world is drastically changed and she learns a lot about who she is inside.

After her alternate self pulls her across dimensions, Lily arrives to a world where she is a Crucible. Crucibles can transmute raw materials and energy into other forms of power, energy or even items like medicine. Science has been outlawed and everything is powered by the coven of witches. Only crucibles who can complete the third level of magic are considered witches, and only the most powerful witches can climb on top of a pyre and transmute the flames into energy. Energy is shared through necklaces called willstone, which are an extension of a persons very being. With the willstone, they can open and lock doors, keep things sealed and if they are magically inclined, it facilitates the usage of magic. There is war brewing between outlanders (Native American mash-up) and the thirteen colonies. The thirteen colonies are under siege from the woven, a magically engineered species of violent animals who are varied in appearance and attitude. Outlanders do not have the protection of a city or a witch, and they live in the forest defending themselves as best they can. The mortality rate is shockingly high. They are not allowed to dabble in science to better their lives, due to an unfair ruling from Lillian, Lily Procter’s doppelganger who dragged her across the worlds.

Lily is being trained in magic by Rowan, former love interest of Lillian, who is training Lily to help fight against Lillian and stand up for the rights of scientists and the outlander people. Their relationship builds slowly, evolving over time and with experience. Lily is an interesting girl, and her story delves deeply into the nurture vs. nature question. Since Lily and Lillian are the same, will Lily also become evil? Should she be trusted and trained? Should the system that has outcast an entire people be brought low, or do those outcast people have a secret plan and they are just using Lily to further their ends? Should Lily go home to a world that she cannot survive in, or should she carve out a new life where she is pampered yet on shaky moral ground?

Trial by Fire is fantastic!


When not taking care of my two children, husband and mini doxy, rushing here and there on the go, I can always be found reading. Fantasy of course being my favorite genre, but not the only I'll read. Oh yes, and I throw bad books.

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15 Responses to “Review: Trial by Fire by Josephine Angelini”

  1. Kirsty-Marie

    Everybody seems to be loving it! I was a bit hesitant to read it (but I’m buying it soon) since I couldn’t get into her Starcrossed series, but keep hearing how good this one is, and I do love reading about Magic, especially since there is so many things you can do with it, plus an alternate Salem? Yesssss. Glad you enjoyed it! 🙂
    Kirsty-Marie recently posted…Reivew: The Mission (AKA, yay, only two titles this time.)My Profile

  2. Valerie

    I’ve been seeing this book everywhere, and I finally know what it’s about! I love the whole idea of alternate dimensions, so I will definitely add this to me TBR! Thanks for the review Maggie!
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