Witch’s Pyre (Worldwalker #3) by Josephine Angelini (2016)
YA Fiction | Paranormal Fantasy
“Lily Proctor has come a long way from the weak, sickly girl she used to be. She has gained power as a witch and a leader, found her way home, chosen to face battle again, and (after losing her first love and being betrayed by her new love) she has learned more about loss and grief than she ever wanted to know.
Thrust once again into a society different from anything they have ever seen, Lily and her coven are determined to find answers―to find a new path to victory, a way to defeat the monstrous Woven without resorting to nuclear weapons or becoming a tyrannical mass murderer like her alternate self, Lillian. But sometimes winning requires sacrifices . . . and when the only clear path to victory lies at Lillian’s side, what price will Lily be willing to pay?
Internationally bestselling author Josephine Angelini takes us on another emotionally wrenching thrill ride in the stunning conclusion to her Worldwalker Trilogy.”
pooled ink Review:
I dig it.
Honestly I really liked the whole series. Although when I got towards the end of Firewalker and they brought up the Hive it sort of lost me. Not sure why but that whole concept sort of seemed crazy and I just couldn’t quite get on board with it…I think it was the human hands…or maybe I’m just prejudiced against bees. However, when I picked up their journey with this epic finale I totally bought into the Hive. It’s actually a really awesome concept. I should re-read Firewalker, I probably was just in a weird mood or something that made me dense and miss out on the creativeness that is the Hive.
This book was a fabulous conclusion to the trilogy. It’s full of all the action, tension, and moral ambiguity that we’ve loved in both Trial by Fire and Firewalker. We grieve the loss of familiar characters, we scrutinize the introduction of new characters, and each step of the way Lily has to navigate her coven down a journey that will either empty her soul like Lillian or greet them with the freedom they’ve all been searching for.
The West! For the first two books in the series everyone agrees that everything west of the eastern seaboard was lost to the Woven a centuries ago. Except Lily. It doesn’t make sense to her at all and she is determined to solve the riddle of the Woven once and for all. For while everyone in this world seems one-minded against the Woven, Lily is not from this world and she for one has plenty of questions about them.
As Lily and her coven attempt the ludicrous journey through the Appalachian Mountains and into the land beyond they are swooped up by the Hive and that’s sort of the thrilling cliff-hanger we were left on in Firewalker. Until now.
The west is alive and humming. All those ridiculous dreams of sanctuary in the west are suddenly true as they are welcomed into a beautiful seaside city, Bower City, that positively buzzes with peace and prosperity. But there’s always a hitch. I never trust anything that seems so perfect. The hitch? The city is run by the Hive. Any display of aggression and it’s a stinger to the jugular for you. The people seem accustomed to the lifestyle of being constantly monitored and regulated but to Lily they’re slaves. And Lily doesn’t believe in slavery. So Lily is gonna do what she seems to do best, start a rebellion.
The whole concept of Bower City is really very creative and interesting. More so than it being run by the Hive (but I can’t tell you more than that or I will spoil it for you). Don’t worry though, the story doesn’t stay trapped in the city forever. A few world jump mysteries to discover, the lethal wild Woven attacks to stop, Alaric and his tribe’s nuclear bomb to dismantle, and also Lillian’s army of Walltop soldiers remain a dark problem to solve. Lily has to fight a battle on many fronts in this book by attempting to unite several different (and hate-filled) armies and getting them all to focus on one target: Bower City.
It’s a really good way of twisting the storyline but getting it to come to a succinct conclusion at the same time. Rather than just another battle in Salem, Angelini gives her characters newer and bigger obstacles to face. So even though the story continues to push forwards into new ground it is simultaneously winding down to an inevitable conclusion. It worked out really well. Except for the characters who died of course. Not so great for them.
Angelini is also really good at writing in lots of scenarios that present a morally ambiguous situation. And it is these gray-areas that define the difference between Lily and Lillian. Although they are the same person they move apart when it comes to these types of decisions. Both make good choices, both make wrong choices, and both make their choices for the good of their people…but sometimes a choice, no matter how well-intentioned, can still lead you down a darker path. So we’ve watched Lily vs. Lillian this whole series and it continues in full-force in Witch’s Pyre. The conclusion is both fitting and almost poetic.
So much comes to light in this book that I really don’t want to say too much about it. I really enjoyed this trilogy and how Angelini managed to cross-genres by mashing together science fiction with a paranormal romance. There’s teleportation, and the theory of infinite universes, and tons of physics, chemistry, and biology that goes into these books, but alongside it is the power of witches, their magic, and that one little shift in history. In Lily’s world they hung the witches in Salem. In Lillian’s world they burned them and the fire fueled them with power. Overall it’s a really cool concept and a journey I had a ton of fun reading.
Witch’s Pyre is an epic conclusion to the witches’ crusades. Filled with poetic justice, tense alliances, and the potential for a new world, Lily and her coven join forces with their enemies to fight the secret behind the hatred. In this exciting final installment in the Worldwalker trilogy, witches burn and the world burns with them.
Purchase here: Witch’s Pyre