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  • Writer's picturePalmer Hawkins

Trial by Fire

Updated: Mar 29, 2022

The worlds of science and magic are about to collide

Trial by Fire (Worldwalker Trilogy) by Josephine Angelini

The Worldwalker Trilogy is a fantasy series aimed at the young adult audience. I usually make sci-fi recommendations but I had to include these books because the plot was masterfully crafted and Lillian the villainous witch thinks science is evil. Hey, in what universe is science evil? Magic versus science is an interesting battleground that plays out throughout the series (Fire Walker and Witch’s Pyre round out the trilogy).

Josephine Angelini uses the “many worlds” theory and magic to bring Lily, a seemingly normal girl from our universe to a parallel world where witches rule and Lillian is the most powerful witch of all. Lily and Lillian are identical copies of the same person, but they grew up in different places and circumstances so they believe in different things and make different choices. My personal favorite difference is that Lily loves science while Lillian believes science to be evil and seeks to hang any scientist she can get her hands on. She even kills history teachers that include science in their lessons. What a heartless witch!

What would motivate Lillian to be so ruthless? Her motivations are revealed in the second book and the twist was so massive I had to immediately go back and re-read Trial by Fire with a new perspective. That is great writing! Every scientist is willing to change their mind and reconsider their position when they acquire new data or evidence. Throughout the series, Lily is bombarded with a tremendous amount of new information and uses scientific reasoning to puzzle it all out, even while she is immersed in a world of magic. I found these three books to be highly entertaining. There is even an additional novella which allows you to see things from yet another perspective.

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