Reviewed by: Jenn
Rating (out of 5): 4.5 stars
Lily Proctor is sick. Not just cough-and-sneeze sick, but she-might-die sick. She’s allergic to everything, suffers from seizures, and can’t do anything fun because she lives in fear. When her BFF Tristan, the most popular boy in school, asks her to her very first party, Lily would do anything to attend and just be normal for one night. She goes, but things go horribly wrong, and Lily is once again left humiliated.
She wants to escape her crazy life in Salem, so when the invitation comes to leave, Lily accepts it.
What she didn’t expect was to be transported into another dimension, one similar to her own world, but so vastly different. A world with horrifying creatures, her evil doppelganger, and Rowan, a man who has his own reason to hate her. The one good thing in this “new” world…Lily isn’t sick anymore. She’s powerful. Extraordinary. A witch with powers she never knew she had. Powers that she must learn to use if she is going to help save this “new” Salem.
I’ll admit when I started reading this, I thought, here we go again. Odd girl who doesn’t fit in with a hot best guy friend all the other girls want. Okay, we’ve all read that story a million times in YA. But…I was thrown for a loop when Tristan, a.k.a. hot boy all the girls want, does something that I would consider unforgivable, causing Lily to want to leave her world behind.
In a moment of weakness, Lily is drawn out of her world by a voice and finds herself in a “new,” different Salem. The author does a great job of showing the difference between Lily’s two worlds. One is modern and the other doesn’t know what technology is. The “new” Salem is over run with creatures called the Woven, like nothing Lily has ever seen in her life, but must learn to battle in order to survive. But the biggest difference: the new Salem is ruled by witches, and not all of them are friendly.
Once Lily enters the other dimension of Salem, the book really picks up in pace and plot. Magic is the ruling force in new Salem, and a witch’s power comes from fire. The more fire, the more power. Let’s just say, burning at the stake plays a major role in this book. That leads to one small factor of the book that bothered me; Lily volunteers for that burn-baby-burn moment just a tad too easily for me. Other than that small issue, the books plot moves along quickly, the love story moves at nice slow pace—not a love at first sight moment–and we meet a cast of characters that make me laugh and cry at moments.
Lily wasn’t my favorite character to start with, but she grew on me. I think it has something to do with the fact that she is kind of whiny and pathetic at the start of the book, but that changes once she enters new Salem. She becomes stronger, tougher, less afraid to live her life. She is forced to find her strength and fight for her life. Rowan is a great male lead; he’s tough, complicated, and really does not like Lily when he first meets her. Of course things start to change and a great budding romance develops between the two. A romance you can root for.
Trial By Fire quickly turns into a book that has many surprises, twists and turns. It’s easy to fall in love with the cast of character, and proves to everyone that sometimes even the bad guy has a reason for their horrible actions. As soon as I finished this one I picked up book 2, Firewalker.
Sexual content: kissing