Series: The Worldwalker Trilogy #1
Published by Pan Macmillan Australia on August 28, 2014
Genres: Fantasy & Magic, Science Fiction, Young Adult
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The exhilaratingly seductive new series from the author of the bestselling Starcrossed series
Love burns. Worlds collide. Magic reigns.
This world is trying to kill Lily Proctor. Her life-threatening allergies keep her from enjoying many of the experiences that other teenagers take for granted...which is why she is determined to enjoy her first (and perhaps only) high-school party. But Lily's life never goes according to plan, and 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 cruellest of all the Crucibles is Lillian . . . Lily's identical other self in this alternate universe. This new version of her world is terrifyingly sensual, and Lily is soon overwhelmed by new experiences.
Lily realizes that what makes her weak at home is exactly what makes her extraordinary in New Salem. It also puts her life in danger. Thrown into a world she doesn't understand, Lily is torn between responsibilities she can't hope to shoulder alone, and a love she never expected.
But how can Lily be the saviour of this world when she is literally her own worst enemy?
Witchcraft, alternate realities, high fantasy and epic world building – Trial by Fire is a book like no other, and it really made me fall into a different world ruled by magic.
With all of the talk of alternate realities, it is less sci-fi than I imagined, as we only really get a glimpse of present day Lily who is allergic to everything and in love with her playboy best friend, and the alternate reality of Salem where she is a powerful witch. The different Salem is ruled by magic and witches, where Lily’s alternate self is the evil ruler who is on a mission to eradicate all science from their land. Seeing a world ruled by science (Lily’s present day) and then magic presented a really interesting contrast, as they both present different issues such as nuclear power, the imbalance of power between individuals, and people wanting to explore different options for hope of an alternative.
Here, in this universe, what differentiated science from witchcraft was that scientists had fewer resources and couldn’t magically manipulate the natural world by will alone. They had to fumble around until they found a chemical or developed a machine that achieved the same results….Witches were much more efficient at tackling the challenges of biology, chemistry, and physics, so why even try to be a scientist?
Lily’s character really shone in the new Salem, where she wields powerful magic, translating ‘energy’ into her own and can communicate in mindspeak. Although she resembles the enemy, she becomes a powerful ally for the war, with her unmatched magical ability. I liked Lily because she was strong and brave, and focused with helping people and harnessing magic, and there was no angst or anything. I did find her difficult to connect to though, she barely even questioned what was happening, didn’t really think about the world she left behind AT ALL and become powerful so quickly.
The world building is intricate and well developed, with the relationships between witches and mechanics dominating the world. Everyone wears a willstone, which allows them to use magic, but makes them vulnerable to being controlled. Witches pretty much rule the world in salem, and they use powerful male ‘mechanics’ to do their bidding, and the mechanics get influence and power from witches. I loved the gender role reversal here, but there were still a few times where Lily needed to be saved by strong males.
She made his bed and though about how he had treated her last night. Like he cared about her. It was misleading of him to rub her back, tuck her in, and still think she was evil.
Rowan was a great strong warrior character who trains Lily to harness her magic, but tries hard not to get close to her, due to his previous ties with Lillian. He was caring, patient and strong, and I loved how the romance developed slowly without being too mushy or taking over the story. There’s a very light love triangle which I didn’t have any problems with because nothing really developed with Tristan. And for once, the romance wasn’t the focus of the story.
There’s a lot of hype surrounding Trial by Fire and I can see why. I loved being whisked away into a world ruled by witches, magic and willstones, and a glimpse of alternate realities. With the intricate, amazing world building around witchcraft and Salem, and strong powerful characters who undergo great growth during the story, I think fantasy and paranormal readers will love this book. Warning though, there’s a cliffhanger in the end. The possibilities of this series are endless and I can’t wait to see what comes from the series.
Rating: 4 out of 5
Thank you to Pan Macmillan Australia for sending me this book in exchange for an honest review!