Trial by Fire by Josephine Angelini


Jesus, this book. Most of the time I had no idea what the hell was going on--and I enjoyed every minute of it.

Lily is an ordinary girl, except for thing: she's plagued every second of the day by allergies. And every day, the reactions seem to get worse, and she knows that she doesn't have many years before she dies. But suddenly, a betrayal by her best friend leaves her more vulnerable than she ever has been before, and a voice calls to her in her head, promising a better future. So she takes it.

And now she's suddenly in a different world. A Salem from a different dimension, with magic and witches and a war with science. Lily is lost, but she's finally found out where she belongs. She doesn't have allergies, she's a crucible--a witch. With more power than she could ever fathom. But she needs help, to be trained so she can help fight against Lillian, her double and the evil witch that is destroying this Salem. But if she is Lillian from another dimension, is she doomed to be just like her? Or was she destined to come to this world and help fight against her?

I really enjoyed this book, but it wasn't as wonderful as I wanted it to be. I was hoping for a five-star fantasy, and Trial by Fire fell a little bit short. I'm not sure why exactly; there isn't a chapter or a facet in the book where I can point at and say, "this is what I didn't like" but there was something missing. The writing was pretty good, the characters were interesting and well thought out, and the plot was incredibly unique. But it didn't have it. Whatever it is.

I loved the romance, though. At first I wasn't sure if I would because, hello, Rowan was in love with Lillian first so maybe he falls for Lily because she's a duplicate of her. But it wasn't creepy at all. Rowan was patient and smart and blindly passionate. I am still swooning over him, not gonna lie. But what I really loved was that the romance wasn't a huge part of the story. It was obvious that the magic and the world building was the most important part of this novel--and so it was. It wasn't just a romance set in a fantasy world. It was a fantasy world with a touch of romance.

Needless to say, I can't wait for the next book! This one ended on such a cliffhanger--a cliffhanger where I have not a clue as to what is going to happen in the sequel.

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