Trial by Fire – by Josephine Angelini


The reason I bought this book in the first place is because of the cover; I know, I know, I can hear you all gasp; we shouldn’t judge a book by its cover but lets face it, if it’s not appealing how many of us pick up the book to read the back blurb to see if we want to read the story or not?

As I mooched down the book isle in my local Asdas the cover of this book caught my eye


‘I am a witch and witches burn’

“ooooooooo,” instantly I’m hooked and pulled to the shelves by, what felt like, some magnetic force; my inner witch screaming ‘you have to read this book!’ I pick the book up and read the back blurb…

‘Two versions of the same world.

Two versions of the same girl.

 A love that pulls them together.

 A war that tears them apart.’

The front cover made me want this book, the back blurb ignited my excitement, ‘eeeeeeek! I can’t wait till it’s Tinks bedtime so I can start reading this book!’

Being a lover of all things weird & wonderful, of course I had to buy the book, and do you know what?

My inner witch wasn’t wrong.


It is well written; it covers some witch history, explores the theory of parallel universes, travels the tangled borders of magic and science and pulls the reader into a new realm along with the main character, Lily.  I instantly love Lily, she’s awkward and very self-conscious at first, but the reader watches her grow and develop into herself and her strength throughout the story.

“She was still in Salem….She just wasn’t in her Salem anymore.”

Lily is a teenage girl at high school in Salem USA; unfortunately for Lily she suffers with life threatening allergies and seems to be allergic to almost everything. Her life-long best friend, Tristan, is high schools’ Mr Popular. Tristan is a typical Mr Popular, a guy’s guy, a heart throb, a Mr Cool. Lily obviously loves him but he’s her bestie and vice versa, he understands her and her crazy family so she’s confused, can they take their relationship to another level? At an eventful party, one that changes Lilys perspective on a few things, she hears a voice whilst having a seizure. Taken straight home in the midst of her seizure; her sister Juliet, with Tristan’s help, get her symptoms under control. Lily wakes the next morning next to Tristan, whom she now dislikes greatly (I won’t tell you why, no spoilers here, but I’d feel the same as Lily does if it were me).

Straight after an argument with Tristan, Lily is left alone; it is in this solitude that she hears the voice from the night before calling to her, asking her if she wants to leave. Of course, after what she has experienced, Lily certainly wants to go and agrees to the following ritual.

Lily now finds herself in a parallel universe; in another Salem where another version of herself, in this universe she is called Lillian, and other versions of some of her friends live. This is where the story comes into its own. The imagination and creativity of Josephine, the author, is brilliant; she nails the paranormal aspect as she navigates Lily around a strange and terrifying new world controlled by powerful witches called the crucibles. Lily scrambles through the challenges of her situation; she starts being trained as a witch by a man who she is falling for and harnessing her strength of witch power she innately has; what made her weak in the other world makes her strong in this world. While Lily is struggling to deal with all this a war is brewing in the back ground and Lily has to decide what side she is on.

The ending is a great cliff hanger and abruptly ends leaving the reader with more questions and an urgent sense of…. I need to know what happens next! Luckily I have the second book right here, watch this space for the review on what happens to Lily.

I’m giving this story 5 out of 5!

Josephine Angelini

‘The fire was high, the cauldron bubbled and steamed, and the sun blazed through all of the windows and skylights in Rowan’s apartment. The great room was already sweltering when Lily joined Tristan and Rowan on the black square of silk in front of the hearth.

“It’s a sauna in here,” Lily complained. She flapped her hands, trying to wave a breeze into the robe Rowan had told her to wear to this afternoon’s ritual instead of the silk slip. “What are we making today? Deep-fried witch?”

Rowan and Tristan smiled at her joke, but neither of them laughed. Their eyes were hazy and breathing slow. Their will-stones heaved with sluggish light, indicating that they were in a half trance. Lily had seen Rowan and Tristan in a trance-like state before. Every day at dawn, they did a series of exercises that Lily insisted was a form of yoga, even though they’d never heard the word. At the end of their exercises, they both sat cross-legged and meditated deeply. But this was different. They’d never put themselves in a trance for a ritual before.’

See for more books by Josephine.




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Lover of books and writing, with a passion for the weird and wonderful. Take me out of reality and give me worlds full of magic and abstract life. Find me at :

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