Review: Trial by Fire (The Worldwalker Trilogy #1) by Josephine Angelini

Trial by Fire by Josephine Angelini

My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars
Received: borrowed
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Format: hardcover
Pages: 384
Pacing: Uneven–fast & slow
POV: 3rd person
Publication Date: September 2nd 2014
Genres & Themes: YA, Fantasy, Witches, Magic, Romance, Friendship, Betrayal, Sisterhood


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.


Let’s talk about originality—this book has it!

Nowadays, in my opinion, finding gems in new YA series featuring witches is pretty hard since they are sometimes so predictable as in a lot has already been done and we’ve pretty much seen it all. They rarely contain new secrets for you us discover.

Yet, Josephine Angelini nailed the paranormal aspects. Creativity, this story is filled with it. And imagination? The author was probably born with it as a middle name.

One interesting element was seeing how the story easily switched from banal contemporary filled with stereotyped characters to a badass and dangerous world AKA a true paranormal/fantasy one (which I secretly want to visit at least once in my life—in my dreams perhaps.)

As for our main character, Lily, she and I are not quite alike since some decisions or actions she made well I wasn’t very incline to agree with them. For example, after appearing in this new world, 1) she couldn’t believe her eyes, 2) came to realize that she isn’t dreaming and then? Ran around telling people she isn’t that despicable Lillian many are loathing. I mean, girl, obviously you and Lillian are the same person—yet not exactly—so could you stop acting carelessly and think for a second that you’re in danger by doing so?

Also, I wanted more of this from her:


She barely defended herself when threatened!

Throughout the story, I had as feeling that the writing kept getting better and better with every chapter. At first, I wasn’t impressed by how the author dealt with dialogs. Seemed to me like the writing itself was aimed for a younger audience, but then things got more serious and surprisingly the writing style followed.

Another thing that I found very good was the relationship Lily shares with her sister, Juliet. I mean, who could resist such a wonderful and convincing one? They were always there for each other when needed and their love to one another was true and nothing could break it. Sigh, I wish I had a sister.

I’m not sure about the romance. At first, in the common world, Lily was going out—if I can actually use those terms—with her best friend, Tristan. Problem is he is a player and I mean it. (Things happen.) Then, when she leaves Salem, she meets this new guy with whom she has a love/hate relationship (guess which dominates) but the thing is that at first it seemed so predictable and I wasn’t even sure that the guy, Rowan, loved her for the right reasons. Their love, is it even true and solid enough? Well, I hope to be convinced in the sequel. That doesn’t mean it was bad though, just not my cup of tea.

Finally, I am very happy and surprised to say that my hopes for this author have been restored. This book contains a much more enjoyable plotline with more unique characters than her other Starcrossed book that I’ve read. Absolutely recommended to any reader seeking for a different yet interesting read featuring witches, villains, romance, and many other surprising elements.

Would you consider voting for this review on Goodreads, if it was helpful? ^_^

52 thoughts on “Review: Trial by Fire (The Worldwalker Trilogy #1) by Josephine Angelini

  1. OMG! Should I need to add this on my TBR? Many of the witch/wizard/warlock/mage books that I’ve read this year lacked originality and I pledged that I’m going to stay away from them temporarily for fear of losing faith in witch books. Glad that this one managed to offer something new to the table?

    What’s actually the sickness of Lily/Lilian? Is she a leper or something? Or that’s for me to know when I read the book? Hahahaha. I think I can tolerate her disappointing decision making skills as long as she stops making bad decisions later in the book. And of course, I have to add that the premise is really out-of-the-ordinary!


    • Yes, you do need to!! This one doesn’t lack of it at all.

      The sickness? It’s complicated but I never actually called it a ”sickness”. Just a consequence to all that magic they hold and so. Euuh, no, she’s not a leper. It’s for you to know when you read the book 🙂


  2. It really does sound original! You are kind of making me want to ditch the other book I started to read this one 😉 I love that there is a sister relationship too (like you, I have always wanted one!) and I think I can deal with the romance (I hope?). Great review, I am really looking forward to reading it!


  3. I popped you a comment on Goodreads before hand already, but came back for a little reread of this review. I’m ecstatic to begin this! I hope that I can ignore her propensity to be passive, as opposed to badass. We’ll see ahahhaa


  4. As much as I love Josephine’s work, I am really worried about the jumping back and forth in time aspect of the novel. However, by the looks of it, it has been done pretty well so I don’t have too much to worry about!

    I am glad you liked this one so much! It has been getting good reviews left and right so I am gonna have to check it out now! 🙂

    Thanks for sharing & great review! 😀

    Alex @ The Shelf Diaries


  5. Oh i’m super excited for this one! At first this one wasn’t on my radar ata ll but I keep hearing really good things about that it is, now! PLUS the MC’s name is Lily! How awesome is that? Glad this story was pretty different!


  6. Yay, I’m so glad you enjoyed! I’ve been hearing a few not-so-positive reviews of this book, which worried me, but the synopsis is so interesting–how could I not pick it up?? Really excited to read this now, although the romance definitely sounds a little iffy, haha~ Great review.


  7. I also hope that you’ll have a better romance in the second book. I confess that I’m curious about this one, it sounds like a good one. And you’re right it’s nice to have a nice sisters relationship like that. thanks for the review!


  8. I immediately thought “Witches! :D” when I saw the title of this book. I just started reading YA again and I haven’t come across a book about witches yet so I may check this one out. I like the whole parallel universes aspect and how “dangerous and badass” it is haha. I certainly hope that Lily will grow to be more confident in her abilities cause I’m not a big fan of the “weak” heroine but I do love character growth! Great review Lola!


  9. Witches and alternate universe? Cool. A nice mix of fantasy and sci-fi.
    This is definitely going to be in my TBR. Thanks for sharing Lola. Awesome review.


  10. I just picked this up and I’m excited to read it! I love the unique world and the setting that sounds fascinating with the witches and paranormal aspect in it. So glad you enjoyed it, Lola – great review 🙂


  11. Lovely review! This one has been on my list & I can’t wait to read it! So glad you enjoyed it! For the most part, I liked the Starcrossed series (but still need to read the last book), so I’ve been hoping that this one was just as good if not better. Thanks for sharing!


  12. This book sounds AWESOME! While I tend to like stronger female leads, and non-stereotypical aspects, I think i could push past those things because of all the other great parts you described! Originality is a HUGE plus in YA, since a lot of things have been done before. Great review!


    • I agree, WE NEED MORE ORIGINALITY IN YA! In my opinion, this year has been a catastrophe for YA. So many bad reviews and low ratings everywhere while last year seemed to be a succees pretty much. We shall see for next year hehe. Thanks Jessica! 🙂


  13. OOOO ORIGINALITY! I still don’t know how or when I will get this book though. Like it’s on my TBR, but not that high on my list. But I’m glad you did like it! I might read it just because of the originality! 😀 Thanks for the review Lola!


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