Book Review

REVIEW: Trial by Fire by Josephine Angelini


Seeing as though my blog is titled Queen of Contemporary, it may not come as a surprise when I say that I’m not the biggest fan of fantasy. However, that’s not to say that I didn’t like Trial by Fire because, in fact, I loved it.

I’ve always had an affinity for fantasy novels that are set in medieval-type villages, towns or cities, and Trial by Fire mixes medieval with magic. It centres on the protagonist Lily who is very ill. After a humiliating event at a party, Lily then finds herself in an alternate Salem to the one she lives in, and magic rules. Lillian, the most powerful witch in The Citadel, rules this Salem and Lily’s alternate self. Lily is thrown into a world she doesn’t understand, where her weaknesses are what makes her powerful, and may also get her killed.

Often I read books that I forget about easily; I know that Trial by Fire will not be one of those books. Easily rivalling the likes of Throne of Glass, Trial by Fire will have you on the edge of your seat and invested from the start.

Lately I’ve kind of lost my ability to ship characters, which makes me an awful fangirl. I do think that Trial by Fire changed that though because I ship Lily and Rowan so hard. They absolutely must end up together!

The world building in Trial by Fire was spectacular and I think many authors could take a leaf out of Angelini’s book. I loved the idea of willstones. Carried around by each person, they give you the ability to perform certain magic. People who own the weaker willstones can only perform household tasks with theirs, whereas other willstones hold more power. They’re obtained in a way not unlike ‘the wand chooses the wizard.’

I felt very close to each character, learning the ins and outs of each one. The plot was fast-paced and spellbinding, hooking me until the very end, and now I cannot wait to read the sequel!

Trial by Fire now earns its place as one of my favourite fantasy novels of the year and I can’t wait until more people find out about this gem of a book.


You could win a copy of Trial by Fire, by filling out the Rafflecopter below. It’s UK only, so very sorry to all the International folks! You must be following via email or Bloglovin’ to be in with a chance of winning. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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  • Reply
    1 September, 2014 at 9:27 am

    I’m a great fan of fantasy and I enjoy contemporary too. Hope I get a chance to win! Sounds an interesting read. Marje
    Marjorie recently posted…Edinburgh Book Festival – Leigh Bardugo and Maureen JohnsonMy Profile

    • Reply
      Lucy Powrie
      1 September, 2014 at 10:27 am

      Good luck, Marjorie! It certainly is an interesting read.

  • Reply
    Sally @ The Dark Dictator
    1 September, 2014 at 9:53 am

    Great review! Trial By Fire is one of my most anticipated novels of 2014! It sounds really good and it’ll be the first Josephine Angelini I’ll be reading. 🙂

    Thanks for the giveaway!
    Sally @ The Dark Dictator recently posted…REVIEW: The Witch of Salt & Storm by Kendall KulperMy Profile

    • Reply
      Lucy Powrie
      1 September, 2014 at 10:27 am

      It was my first Josephine Angelini too. I think you’ll really enjoy it.

      Good luck, Sally!

  • Reply
    1 September, 2014 at 11:47 am

    I love fantasy YA novels, and Josephine Angelini’s first series, the Starcrossed trilogy, was amazing. Hopefully this novel will be just as good!

  • Reply
    Gina @ My Precious
    2 September, 2014 at 5:04 am

    I requested this on NG but didn’t get approved. It sounds like my type of book, I love fantasy and magic.

  • Reply
    Ebony @ Daring Damsels
    7 September, 2014 at 10:07 am

    Absolute fantastic review, Lucy! I honestly cannot wait to get my hands on a copy of this book! It sounds so intriguing and right up my alley.
    Ebony @ Daring Damsels recently posted…Book Review – Landline by Rainbow RowellMy Profile

  • Reply
    29 January, 2017 at 12:29 pm

    Atención al cⅼiente: – info@ – c/ Camino Ꮯerro Gordo 11,
    portaⅼ 2, 2A – 29630 Benaⅼmáⅾena – Málaga, España. recently posted…prestamosenefectivo.credito-prestamos.esMy Profile

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