Hello hello hello!
I hope all is well with you all! Today’s entry is a review of Trial By Fire by Josephine Angelini. This is the first book of the Worldwalker trilogy, and if the rest of the books are as good as this one, it’s going to be one of my favorites when it is all done. This is a YA fantasy read, and incorporates elemental magic as well as parallel universes, and it sounds like a lot, but it is SO WELL DONE.
Trial By Fire follows our protagonist, Lily, and it seems that life is killing her. She is allergic to so much, and it affects her life so much that she is distanced from her peers at school. She has one friend, Tristan, and he looks out for her, as does her sister, Juliet. Lily wants as much as possible to live a normal life, but an incident at a party makes it clear that that is not something that is in her grasp. Lily eventually finds herself in another world (universe), and everything that works against her begins to make sense and makes her strong in this new world. The alternate version of herself (Lillian) brought her to this world to rule it, but as Lily finds out more and more about the new world, her desire to return to her old one increases.
That’s pretty vague, but there is quite a bit that can be spoiled in this book, so that’s all I’m comfortable conveying about the plot. What I CAN say is that I REALLY enjoyed this book. I rated it a 4.5 star read, and a little something that I can’t name kept me from giving it 5 stars. It’s hard to say what it is. I think I’m waiting for the series to develop more, but despite not being perfect, it was still amazingly good.
The world-building in this book was really well done, and it was easy to imagine a parallel Earth, under the influence of magic, and with different inventions and customs because of it. I won’t spoil the little details of the book, but I enjoyed the way they seemed to be thought out and appropriately nuanced. Again, the magic system is elemental, and I typically enjoy that kind of magic because I like how connected to the Earth it is.
The characters in this book were part of my favorite aspect, because through them, the book explores what makes up a person, at their core. Lily encounters alternate versions of the people she knows from her own world in the new one, and while there are differences based on entirely different existences, the core of those people remained the same. I loved exploring the idea of how we may be different in alternate universes, but I was touched by exploring the idea of how we may be the same. Lily was able to center herself and push forward because the bonds with the people she loves were enough to connect her to them, even in another world. There is a romance in this book, and it is complicated and a bit angsty, but I enjoyed it. There is still much to be developed, but I look forward to watching them grow.
This book guaranteed that I will finish the series, and I can’t wait to continue. The second book, Firewalker, is out now, while the third, Witch’s Pyre, comes out September 20, 2016 (expected), so hopefully I will have a great late birthday present. There is also a novella titled Rowan, so I want to read that soon. I believe it fits between books 1 and 2 of the trilogy.
Anywho, thanks so much for reading this review, and let me know your thoughts in the comments! See you all in the next post!