I love starting new series by authors who I’ve read their previous works. I love seeing where these minds go and what new characters they create. I loved the world that Angelini created in her Starcrossed trilogy and within ten pages of her new novel Trial by Fire, I was hooked on this world – or as it happens worlds – too.
Lily Proctor is dying. Well, not really, but that’s what it feels like everyday when she goes out into the world to do normal things like going to school. For some unexplainable reason she is literally allergic to everything and whether it’s fever, rash, stuffy nose, anaphylaxis shock, or something else she knows that she is falling apart. Soon the world is going to become so toxic to her, it will be death for her to leave the house. But she plans to take advantage of her freedom while it lasts. That includes endangering her life to go to a party with her best friend/kind-of sort of boyfriend Tristan.
But this party doesn’t go as she planned. Even though, her fellow students know of her allergies, somehow – after Tristan leaves her alone to deal with an ex-girlfriend problem – she is slipped some alcohol which causes a severe allergic reaction in her. She has a seizure and Tristan is beside himself – especially when Lily catches him half-naked with the same ex – and rushes her home. When she wakes up she accuses Tristan of not caring about her feelings and he gives her the lame ‘I never said we were exclusive’ excuse. A fight ensues that ends their friendship. Not knowing what to do, Lily walks out of her house and goes for a walk, but someone speaks to her mind and she gives in to the need to be away from this place.
She wakes up in a different world, where everything is the same, except for the fact that there are witches and this world’s version of her – Lillian – is the supreme witch. More mysteries come to light as Lily tries to figure out her new role in this world while trying not to get herself killed.
Like I said before, barely ten pages into this book and I was already in love with it. It’s kind of hard not to be when the book starts off with Lily vomiting. Talk about an attention grabber. The worlds that Angelini creates are really…different. Seriously. A world where instead of witches dying out during the Salem Witch Trials, they came to power because some of them were firewalkers. So cool. The character of Rowan is definitely an interesting main male character for young adult fiction too. He starts off absolutely hating Lily – so much so that he wants to kill her – because of her resemblance to Lillian, but after going on a journey together, they two become really close. So close that his reasoning for not trusting her has to deal with his heart more than his anger over her other self’s actions. Yikes.
My only complaint about this book was that the endgame isn’t entirely clear yet. Obviously in this world there are some who aren’t happy with Lillian for her actions with the scientists, but I still don’t understand why she brought Lily to this world. And the ending! Um…I’m still not 100% sure what happened in the last two pages.
Final Rating: 4 out of 5 stars. A strong start for a new series. Good, strong, stubborn characters who own up to their mistakes quickly. Still trying to figure out what Lillian’s motives for bring Lily to her world are. Hopefully it will be explained in the next book!
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