Sunday, June 8, 2014

Trial by Fire (The Worldwalker Trilogy) by Josephine Angelini

Age Range: 12 - 18 years
  • Grade Level: 7 and up
  • Series: The Worldwalker Trilogy (Book 1)
  • ISBN-10: 125005088X - Hardcover $17.00
  • Publisher: Feiwel & Friends (September 2, 2014), 384 pages.
  • Review copy courtesy of the publisher and NetGalley.

Lilly Proctor is a young sixteen.  She's had life threatening allergies for much of her life; these allergies have kept her from living the life of a regular teenager.  Second hand cigarette smoke chokes her, a spiked drink can kill her, and her body is quick to fall into a fever.  Living in present day Salem, Massachusetts, her schoolmates often treat her like a freak.  But Tristan, the most popular and desired boy in school keeps Lilly sane.  He's her best friend and crush and it looks like things have changed for the better - Tristan has started seeing Lilly differently and they may be going out.  

But Lilly's first high school party is a social disaster and she nearly dies.  The disappointment, humiliation, and fear leaves Lilly wishing she could disappear.  Suddenly, she is transported to another Salem in an alternate universe.  In this new world, we find that Lilly's double is Lady Lillian, the Witch that rules.

Lilly finds that this new world is much different from hers.  In this new Salem Science is banned and people believe in magic.  The witches and crucibles are the most valued and highly ranked because of their ability to do and conduct magic.  Lilly finds that in this world, not only is she not sickly but she is one of the most physically powerful beings.  

But politics, intrigue and betrayal exist in this Salem as well and Lilly must find her way through the confusing mix of personalities, realities, and competing claims.

I found Trial by Fire to be reminiscent of Deborah Harkness's All Souls Trilogy and Diana Gabaldon's Outlander series in part because of the existence of alternate realities and the heroine's ability to move between worlds and in part because of the underlying love story that moves the plot forward.   Also, I loved Harkness's All Souls Trilogy and Gabaldon's Outlander series.  I'd read the books as fast as I could and pre-ordered the other books in the series as soon as they became available.  I feel the same urgency with Angelini's Worldwalker Trilogy - am so looking forward to the next in the series.  But as Trial by Fire doesn't come out until Sept. 2014 it'll likely be a long wait!

About the Author:
Josie was born in a tiny town in Massachusetts called Ashland. When she meets people from Massachusetts and tells them 'what part' she hails from, she usually gets one of two answers. The first is: "Isn't that in Oregon?" And the second is: "I drove by it once on Rt. 9, I think."

Her next stop was about as different from Ashland as it gets without leaving the country. As soon as Josie was legal, she packed a bag and moved to New York City to attend NYU. Somehow, she managed to squeeze in a little higher learning between bartending shifts and graduated with a BFA.

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