I am a witch and witches burn.
Isn’t this a nice line?
Trial by Fire, written by Josephine Angelini started off as a potential light read and it was for most of the book. Towards the middle it got so good that I had to give it points for surprising me.
The book falls into the fantasy category with a little bit of world to world travel. Lily Proctor has allergies. To what no one knows but on a normal day her fever runs high, 110 degrees. And to make things more complicated, Lily is in love with her totally hot best friend. (Clichéd. I know.) But then this said best friend goes on and cheats on her and wallowing in her own self pity Lily unknowingly gives some kind of consent and is transported into, impossibly, another world. Here everything thing is different, modern in an old way if that makes sense. And if things weren’t weird enough already there is another version of her here, in this strange world powered by witches. Another crueler, smarter, cunning-er version. Lillian Proctor is the queen of her realm and she is a witch. She is the complete opposite of Lily and no one knows it more than them. So will this unlikely similarity bring them together or will Lily be the rebel this world has never seen?
The characters were well written. So was the plot. But, there were a few reasons why it’s a 3.5/5 in my list instead of a 5.
Lily’s character was a good one but not a super great one. She was strong but she was also desperate, she was in control of her emotions but she was also a whiny bitch. She did have a fair set of flaws and her share of moments where she was the strongest of them all. Her whole character was a little over rated and been there done that but there was so much room for character development that I’ve started the next book in very high hopes.
Rowan Fall has similarities to Dimitri from VA or Rowan from ToG. So if you didn’t like them you’re not going to like him. He was strong, in control but he had a soft side for people he loved. Keeping that I-don’t-care-but-I-really-love-you-but-our-love-is-forbidden mask was something that I found annoying.
His character was risky at first, like can you trust him can you not no one knows. But he evens out towards the end where you know what role he plays and whose side he’s on. Naturally, he was controlling and a tad bit dramatically powerful. I did not like him as much as I liked Dimitri or the other Rowan but I think that’s because the romance with Lily, it was so instantaneous that I didn’t have time to process him alone. I didn’t get to see him as an individual character before everything he did became everything ‘they’ did. I mean, I don’t know his favourite colour, I don’t know his favourite food, I don’t know his favourite season (1,2,3…we don’t have a 4 yet). All I know is that he is a mechanic and mechanics protect their witches.
There were a couple of smaller characters who were crucial to the story and I enjoyed a few of them.
Juliet is Lillian’s sister but she loves Lily as her own. She will risk her life and her everything she stands for to save the people she loves.
Tristan was only there towards the start but from what I got, he was an asshole.
Other Tristan didn’t play such a huge role either. He was nice and all, but Lily was already so in love with Rowan that he wasn’t registered as anything more than a mere passing character.
Caleb was just there because he wanted to be there. I don’t know where he came from, I don’t know his motives, I don’t know his history.
Carrick. This guy. I feel like he’s coming back in the next book with a more important role to play and I’m excited for it.
Gideon. This character was very vaguely written and I would have loved some more insight on him, particularly on his history at the castle.
The problem was that we focused on only one single character even when the book was written in third person. That’s usually not such a huge problem but Lily was just so annoying that I wanted a little variation in between. There are chapters from Gideon’s side but I did not enjoy those in the least. They were boring and I practically skimmed through them.
Now that I’ve written this I see that the only thing I liked about the book was the basic plot and the author’s writing style. I found the protagonist annoying, I found the main love interest annoying, I found the character development minimal. I don’t know what I liked exactly but there was something in the book that kept me hooked. I’m going to start the second one in a little while because I’m curious to know what happened, but not OH MY GOD I NEED THE NEXT BOOK kinda curious.
Read it and tell me how you felt.