Published by Pan Macmillan on July 2015
Genres: Fairy Tales & Folklore, Fantasy & Magic, Paranormal, Romance, Suspense, Young Adult
Click here to buy the book from Amazon •Booktopia • Book Depository • Angus and Robertson
Trial by Fire is a sensational, page-turning adventure from the bestselling author of Starcrossed, Josephine Angelini.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?
Trial By Fire is a brilliant start to what promises to be an amazing series combining witchcraft, parallel universes and a healthy dose of romance. Lily Proctor is a teenage girl who’s body is letting her down. Plagued with a mysterious allergy to the world, Lily just wants to be like everyone else and enjoy teenage rites of passage – like boys and parties. When Lily’s perfect night falls apart and she is betrayed by one of her nearest and dearest, Lily finds that things can go from bad to worst. Transported to an alternative Salem – one where technology seems to have halted hundreds of years ago and witchcraft holds the power – Lily has to try and find a way to stay alive and find her way back home. Lily’s life becomes even more complicated when she finds her allergies don’t exist in this Salem and she has the power to be stronger than she ever realised.
I’ve always loved books about magic. I’m not sure if it was because I read too much Harry Potter growing up or because of all Sabrina the Teenage Witch I’ve watched but I have a soft spot for novels about witches and their adventures. Trial By Fire is one of the best I’ve read. The way the author combines the magical elements with solid plot and fascinating characters was amazing.
I’m not normally someone who loves main characters but Lily is great. At the start of the novel she’s weak – physically but also she doesn’t believe in herself because of her aliments. But as the novel continues we get to see the person she can be if she had some more self-belief and training. In her new version of Salem, we also get a glimpse of the sort of person she may have become had she always been powerful. It’s an interesting contrast. The other cast of the characters who help Lily navigate her way through New Salem were great to read about too. They all had their own stuff going on and never did I think their only roles was to support Lily’s story.
The romance in Trial By Fire is wonderfully messy. With different versions of people from different dimensions – it does make things a little more complicated. The main romance between Lily and her partner was perfect for them. By no means smooth but I did feel like they earned each other.
And then there’s the magic. The alternate Salem and way witchcraft was used there really made the book something special for me. The magic was almost logical and made perfect sense. I loved how essential it was to daily survival. And I really enjoyed how the use of witchcraft was essential to the plot. The overall story combined the characters and the world in a way which worked so well and kept me hooked till the final page.
Trial By Fire is an exciting novel about good and evil, magic vs. science, love and self-acceptance. It is a great start to a trilogy and I can’t wait to throw myself back into Lily’s world with book two, Firewalker.