Series Review ~ The Worldwalker Trilogy (Trial by Fire & Firewalker)

Author: Josephine Angelini
Genre: YA Fantasy/Sci-Fi
Series: The Worldwalker Trilogy
Page Length: 374 Pages | 352 Pages
Publication Date: September 2nd, 2014 | September 1st, 2015
Publisher: Feiwel and Friends
Source: ARCs via Publisher (Thanks Macmillan!)
Trial by Fire | Firewalker

Synopsis for Trial by Fire: 

This world is trying to kill Lily Proctor. Her life-threatening allergies keep her from enjoying experiences that others in her hometown of Salem take for granted, which is why she is determined to enjoy her first high school party with her best friend and longtime crush, Tristan. But 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 cruelest of them all is Lillian . . . Lily's other self in this alternate universe.

What makes Lily weak at home is what makes her extraordinary in New Salem. In this confusing world, Lily is torn between responsibilities she can't hope to shoulder alone and a love she never expected.
It's been awhile since I read a fantasy novel that fully entranced me as quickly and as much as this series has. There are an infinite number of worlds in the universe, and there is a doppelganger of each person in (mostly) every world. Lily is sucked into an alternate version of Salem, Massachusetts where witches rule through brutality and control of basically everything. Lily's doppelganger in this strange world is Lillian, the fiercest and most brutal and powerful witch in that world. As Lily struggles to stay alive, she finds herself in the middle of a brewing war. Which side will she fight for and is there more to it than simple hostilities between two groups of people?

The world-building and the whole concept of this series is what really sets it apart from others, and I loved the idea of alternate universes with doppelgangers. Every decision creates a new world. The sci-fi and fantasy blend worked really well in this book. In Lillian's world, science is condemned because they think the effects of it are horrific and the witches want their witchcraft to be the only source of power and knowledge. I loved the themes that this idea brings up, it really makes you think of what our world would be like without science. Angelini's use and explanations through science in this book was fascinating even if it did go over my head a bit. I'm absolutely floored by Angelini's high-concept world. There are allusions and references to things from our world, and it's pretty cool to see how that translates over into another world. 

I absolutely love the characterization in this book. Every character is so lively and vibrant. They're likeable and the dynamic among them is perfect. We see Lily, a timid yet stubborn individual really grow into her own throughout these books. Her courage and humor were both wonderful to read. I love the complexity in Rowan, and oh gosh he is swoony!! The secondary characters Tristan and Caleb are both pretty great too. The cast is relatively small, but everyone we do meet is well written with flaws and insecurities of their own. They're relatable and realistic. 

The romance is another plus for me,  and although there are lots of messy ties, Lily has only one romantic tie. I love how the romance developed throughout the series. It wasn't insta-lovey, and the chemistry is perfect. I love all the swoony moments, especially the tender ones. It just shows that you don't need full on makeout scenes to make a romance great. In Firewalker though, of course we run into major relationship problems. I never understand the lying and the secrets being kept!! Just trust each other...

This series has the perfect blend of twists, romance, action, mystery, magic, and terrifying forces to keep us mesmerized from cover to cover. The pacing in the first book was great, although in Firewalker I felt it lagging a bit. The second part of Firewalker definitely picked up the pace.

The plotting and organization of this series is amazing. Every scene has some importance to the book even if we don't see it yet. The plot slowly builds right from the start, and the crumbs of the conflict are spread throughout until they eventually start to come together and make sense. Angelini writes in a way where we too are caught up in the problems along with Lily. We too are confused about what and whom to believe and trust. This book was never light reading, and it gets progressively darker. By the end of Firewalker we are left distraught and befuddled as a jaw-dropping moment brings the close to yet another wonderful book in the series.
Rachel is a teenaged unapologetic fangirl and perfectionist.

She loves reading for the escape it gives from reality and enjoys crying over books, swooning over characters, and laughing out loud over funny lines. She is a semi-recovering Netflix addict and a middle child of three.

You can find her on Twitter @yaperfectionist & Goodreads.


  1. Omg I want to read this series so badly. I honestly love the cover changes. I know there are some who don't like it but I think it makes it look more magical haha. It sounds amazing every time I hear about it and I've seen it all over your instagram. Well damn it if I had money to buy it!

    Alex @ The Book's Buzz

  2. Great review. I love fantasy and am a big fan of Josephine Angelini. I was a little worried about this one when I read the blurb, I wasn't sure whether she would pull of the whole alternative universe seamlessly but it sounds like she nailed it. I'm really looking forwards to it now and as you say - I can't wait to follow the crumbs. xoxo Kj

  3. Looks like you compelled me enough to make me want to read these, Rach! The whole concept of it sounds so cool- and complex. I really like the idea of alternate universes with doppelgangers. The romance appeals to me too- it's always great to see an author manage to make me sa-wooon without just the hot and heavy make-out sessions :D Great review!

    Ruzaika @ The Regal Critiques

  4. AHHH I really need to read this series! I want to so badly but haven't gotten to them yet DD: I love the sound of everything you have mentioned. It seems like the world is a bit complex, but explained so well that it is easy to get sucked into. And the characterisation also sounds wonderful, just to top everything off ^.^

  5. Your review is amazing! I've never really been interested in reading this but your review has me wanting to read it so badly! :) Also: those covers are gorgeous, I could literally stare at them all day. XD

  6. I'm a bit hesitant about this trilogy, because I really did not enjoy the author's previous books, but there are lots of good reviews, so I'm reconsidering. I actually saw the first book at a bookshop yesterday, but l didn't buy it, favouring Red Rising instead. Maybe I'll add this to my TBR :)

  7. OoOh nice! I loved Trial by Fire and can't wait to read Firewalker! This first book at least was a lot of fun and I can't wait to read the next one! Glad to hear it was still good despite a few ups and downs! Great series review!!

  8. So happy you loved these! I think the covers are lovely. I read the first book and had some issues with it so I'm curious if I'll like book two or not. Do you know how many books are planned in this series?

  9. I LOVE THOSE COVERS. Tbh, I had lost interest in this book, but if you say the characters and the world building are amazing, I am in for it. I often fall in love with books because of the characters, not the plot.

    Vane at Books With Chemistry

  10. Great reviews! I'm glad you really liked these two. It sounds like a fantasy series I might need to try out; I don't read the genre as much as I should.


  11. I've heard amazing things about this series, and I LOVE the idea of multiple universes. Sounds like right up my alley, now I just have to find the time to read it. So glad to hear you liked this series so much Rachel! xx

  12. These covers are amazing! I wanted to read them right from seeing them and then reading what you had to say sold me. Can't wait to get them!

  13. This sounds like a wonderful trilogy Rach! :) The world-building and the concept sounds really unique. Lovely review as always <3

  14. Oh man, Firewalker comes out tomorrow? I am not prepared! Don't you LOVVEEE both Lilys? I'm so worried about the ship, like HOW DOES THIS EXIST ON BOTH PLANES???

    My biggest problem I think with the world was that I couldn't imagine a "present-day" Salem. I just imagined Witch-Hunter era Salem.

  15. Can i ask,, what did the cover maker used??


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