I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Series: The Worldwalker Trilogy #2
Published by Feiwel & Friends on September 1, 2015
Source: the publisher
“I’m a witch, and witches burn.”
Lily Proctor has made it back to her own universe, and she’s ready to start a new life with Rowan by her side. True, she almost died in the pyre that fueled their escape, and they must hide her new magic or risk endangering the world, but compared to fighting the monstrous Woven and leading armies in the alternate Salem, life is looking good.
“You think I’m a monster, but…my choices, as ruthless as they seem, are justified.”
Unfortunately, Lillian, malevolent ruler of the 13 Cities, is not willing to let Lily go that easily. Lily is the closest version of herself she’s ever seen in all her worldwalking, and Lillian’s running out of time. If she can’t persuade Lily and Rowan to return to her world, she’ll have to find a way to make them come back.
Picking up right where Trial by Fire left off, Firewalker is another sexy, fast-paced thrill ride from author Josephine Angelini!
Well. This book surprised me. After the disaster that was Trial by Fire, I went into this with carefully controlled hope. I had my fingers crossed it would be better, but I wasn’t keeping my expectations high. Though there were some moments that were just as bad as they were in Trial by Fire, this book was otherwise MUCH improved. The plot was more intriguing, the pacing was better, the characters were more dynamic and likable and the offensive things from Trial by Fire were mentioned less in Firewalker (though, when mentioned, they were still offensive).
Let’s start with the characters. Though they still had their faults, they definitely improved from Trial by Fire. I still like Lillian more than Lily. Lillian’s story is much more intriguing. She’s the character you love to hate, who you know should be the villain but you just can’t see her like that. I loved that we saw more of her world and her backstory. I’m still a big Juliet fan, no matter what world she’s from.
I still don’t like Rowan. He improved for awhile and then his behavior at the end of the book made me hate him again and this time, I don’t think I can forgive him. Lily’s Tristan really grew in this book and I really started to like him. I think Lily forgave him way too easily, but I also liked them being friends again, so I was willing to overlook that. I HATE how his story ended, though. I really liked Una and Breakfast and their dynamic with Lily and Tristan, though the whole story surrounding them felt way to convenient – but again, I liked it, so I’m willing to overlook it.
I liked Rowan’s Tristan and Caleb, but we didn’t see a lot of them this time around and I wish we had. Also, the two Tristan thing was confusing! I still can’t stand Carrick – he did some exceptionally evil things in this book and I know he was working on Lillian’s behalf, but I feel like he also did certain things without her permission, so he’s a rogue warrior and beyond redemption.
The pacing in this book was WAY better than the pacing in Trial by Fire. Except things started to slow down after page 200 and I struggled to finish reading. I don’t know if that was the book or just me, as I’ve read several meh books in a row and was so disappointed with Trial by Fire and just wanted to be done with Firewalker. I think it was a little of both, honestly.
I also want to mention that, whenever someone shares a memory with Lily, Josephine Angelini writes the memory in first person (as opposed to third person). And I must say, her writing is much stronger in first person and I really enjoyed those parts! I think she should write in first person more often!
The racist remarks used to describe the Outlanders were fewer in this book, but still offensive when mentioned (specifically, when they were referred to as savages). Again (as I mentioned in my Trial by Fire review), I don’t feel I have the authority to say more on this, as a white woman, but I just found it very offensive, so I can’t imagine how those who identify as Native American and POC feel.
The over-sexualized willstone stuff was still there, but not mentioned as much. However, Lily’s time in the oubliette with Carrick and Carrick touching her willstones was compared to rape (with Lily saying what happened was her fault and Rowan calling her a survivor). This was offensive and frustrating.
So, overall, this book was MUCH better than Trial by Fire, but it still had plenty of faults. At this point, I’m still going to read the third book, Witche’s Pyre, because I want to see how the series ends. But I’m not going to get my hopes up for an epic ending to this meh trilogy. The end of Firewalker was kind of weird and they killed off some of the only characters I truly liked. So while I’m definitely reading book three, I’m not jumping for it or dying to read it. And I don’t know if I’d recommend Firewalker or not. Maybe if you enjoyed Trial by Fire or if you adore Josephine Angelini? But if you weren’t a fan of Trial by Fire, then I’d say think carefully before diving into Firewalker. It was better, but not by much.