{Review} Trial by Fire – Josephine Angelini

From my old blog  |  05/08/2015



“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.”



Title: Trial by Fire

Author: Josephine Angelini

Publishing Company: Feiwel & Friends

Number of Pages:374

ISBN-13: 978-1250050885

Language: English

Genre: YA, Fantasy

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There are quite a lot of interesting characters in “Trial by Fire”.

Lily is a girl who is allergic to everything-at least in her world. She’s the main character of the book, who’s lured into another world. She isn’t the happiest of all persons, but tries to deal with her illnesses the best she can.

Tristan is her best and only friend. They’ve known each other since forever and even though Tristan became quite popular in school, he never left Lily for her allergies. Nonetheless he does something he shouldn’t do.

Lilian is the “evil” version of Lily in the magical parallel universe. She rules her world quite cruelly. She’s the one who lured Lily into her world and keeps her trapped there.

There’s also a Tristan in the parallel universe. Their character features are very similar, though I liked this Tristan better.

Rowan is a friend of Tristan in the parallel universe. He’s not very friendly towards Lily in the beginning.

Style of Writing

I like the style of writing of Josephine Angelini. Though it isn’t as vivid as it could be (there are some authors’ styles of writing I definitely prefer), it is quite easy to read.


The idea of “Trial by Fire” is AWESOME! I’ve never come across an idea like this yet, so it’s very special and unique. The idea behind the story is that there are a lot of parallel universes with the same persons but with different backgrounds and environments. Some are glorious, some are destroyed and some have severe problems such as the world Lily is lured into.

Since I’m partly studying Physics, I know parallel universes aren’t too unlikely to exist. In my opinion Josephine Angelini did an amazing job putting this idea into a great story. The way she built up the worlds and how she fit in the physical aspects is well done.

The switch from one world to the other one slows the book a bit down. While the beginning of the book is fast-paced, the first part of the story in the new world seemed a bit slower to me.

I had one tiny problem while reading and that’s been a problem I’ve never had before, so I didn’t really know how to deal with it. This problem probably won’t have a lot of you, but still I’d like to explain my feelings. My problem was the character Rowan. Those of you who read “Heir of Fire” by Sarah J Maas might know what I’m talking about. In “Heir of Fire” there’s also a character named Rowan (one of my favorites by the way) and if it had only been the name those two Rowans shared, there wouldn’t have been a problem for me at all. But those two Rowans seem to be much more than only namesakes. They have a lot of features that are the same and there are even a lot of events that are very similar in each book. I don’t want to spoiler, therefore I’ll keep the details for me, but it has been really awkward for me while I’ve been reading “Trial by Fire” and it took me a while to get used to it. Those two books even released the exact same date!

Besides the problem I had with Rowan I loved all characters a lot. They are well-developed and each one is unique. Lily might have been a bit too extreme for my taste, but in general I’d say it’s a good thing to give your main character features a lot of people in this world lack of. “Lily’s world” felt a bit richer than “Lilian’s”, but that could only be a personal thing.

The ending solved a lot of questions, which I liked a lot! Often enough books end in nasty cliffhangers or don’t reveal anything at all. “Trial by Fire” was the perfect mixture of both leaving questions and presenting answers one has been looking for.


All in all “Trial by Fire” is a book with a great and very unique story! I love the idea and the way Josephine Angelini realized it and I’m really looking forward to the second part. Definitely recommended!


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