Home / Book Review / Exciting New Fantasy World | Book Review: Trial by Fire by Josephine Angelini

Exciting New Fantasy World | Book Review: Trial by Fire by Josephine Angelini

Book Review:Trial by Fire by Josephine Angelini

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Trial by Fire josephine angelini book review

Title & Author: Trial by Fire (The Worldwalker Trilogy) by Josephine Angelini

Genre: Young Adult Fantasy – Witches, Magic

Release Date: September 2, 2014

Series: The Worldwalker Triolgy #1

Publisher: Macmillan

How I Got the Book: ARC via the publisher


“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?”

Hello? Is it Me You’re Looking For?

(If you’ve quoted Lionel Ritchie at all during the day, you know you’ve accomplished something).

It’s so funny how much book trends can change. Before this year, I hadn’t really read any YA fiction involving parallel universes. Now, I’m on my third!

Trial By Fire is so much different than those other books, though. Lily, our allergic-to-everything protagonist, is transported to another (parallel) universe where her town of Salem is run by magic and magical women (Crucibles).

The Lily of this alternative Salem is called Lillian, and she’s done some truly horrifying things the real Lily would never dream of. Well…except that Lily in this different dimension is actually not sickly anymore – she’s powerful.

The whole idea of this novel was fascinating to me, and the story matched the excellent world-building. Angelini builds a world with very interesting and easy-to-understand political issues. It’s so smartly done that you don’t even realize you’re reading about tyrants and economic troubles. It’s THAT good.

There is certainly a very steamy romance. Plus, there was potential for a full-fledged love triangle, but that’s settled quickly and without real drama close to the beginning.

I had a teensy bit of trouble with the romance, but that’s because I struggled with the logic of some aspects of it in my mind. It was very minor, though, and didn’t detract from Trial By Fire‘s many positives.

I’m not shy about saying I’m VERY excited to see where this series goes.

Side note: One of the highlights of BEA this year was sitting next to Josephine at a Macmillan luncheon and getting to talk to her about this story. She may or may not have shown me the UK cover of this book, and I may or may not have a girl crush on her.


With an imaginative new world and a concept that’s highly original, the Worldwalker series is off to a fabulous start. The world created is deep and political without being heavy or confusing. Trial By Fire is definitely one series to start this year!

About Lisa Parkin

I'm a hardcore lover of young adult fiction and have been reviewing books since 2011. Other interests include Downton Abbey, heat lightning storms, Harry Potter land and (begrudingly) one orange tabby.
  • Cindy

    Although I’m not a big witch and magic fan, I do enjoy a steamy romance. I’ll definitely check this book out! 🙂 Great review!

    Cindy @ In This World of Books..

  • Anya E. J.

    I’m a huge fan of the world-building in this one as well! I loved the questions brought up about the consequences of science and whether a world run by magic really would be better without letting science develop all the things it has in our world, both good and bad. I’m already dying for the second book D:

  • Sam

    Magic / witches are making a comeback. I’ll have to add this one to my TBR!