***This review has also been posted on The Social Potato
Firewalker was an anticipated novel but I ended up feeling 50/50 about it. On one hand, it is a fantastic follow up to Trial by Fire but it was also filled with romantic drama and I hated that.
With this book, Lily’s Tristan--the one she used to love--is back in the picture. I was actually surprised by how well that was handled. I was happy that even though Tristan clearly had feelings, Lily doesn't feel the same way any more. Rowan also trusts Lily enough not to question things, SO YAY! But the problem was that Rowan and Lily’s relationship kind of took a bad turn in this book. For a good chunk of the book, they are both keeping secrets from each other and we all know how that ends. In case you don't know, IT ENDS BADLY. And just because you’re keeping secrets to protect one another doesn’t mean the result will be any different. SERIOUSLY, this is all Relationship 101 stuff. I think given a lot of the awkwardness surrounding Lily and Rowan’s relationship (what with the fact that Rowan used to be in love with Lillian) I just want them to be a strong couple who stand side by side instead of one who doesn’t know how to communicate. Don’t get me wrong, secrets aside, they still work fantastically together with Rowan respecting Lily’s wishes and vice versa but secrets just suck. Then there was something that happens towards the end that bothered me. There was a lot of dramatic irony and the whole situation just made me antsy. I just wanted to shout at both of them to build a bridge and GET OVER IT.
I also had a hard time taking in Lily’s Tristan, Breakfast and Una easy acceptance of the situation at hand. I wanted them to not let go of things they had known all their life so easily. Situations like these are always so tricky because one might get annoyed if characters take too long adapting or if they don’t even bat an eye at the situation.
Lily's struggle on the other hand was fantastically portrayed. Lily is still very much adjusting to all these changes and learning new things about herself. For example, Lily has all this magic at her disposal but she still doesn’t know how to handle all of this power, so she constantly needs to be grounded and reminded not to take over her mechanics’ minds. Lily has her selfish moments but in spite of all of this, she is still very much Lily but she struggles to remember that throughout the book. Lily becomes haunted by the similarities between herself and Lillian and a lot of this book deals with Lily trying to find something that makes her Lily and not Lillian. By the end of this book, I was SO proud of Lily and the choices she had made (even though there were times when I disagreed.. LIKE WITH ALL THE SECRET KEEPING.)
However, I was a little bothered by how Lily was treated by her friends/mechanics. I get it, mechanics must protect their witches but she is a super powerful witch and I wanted to see that in their treatment of her. I wanted Lily to be seen as badass instead of just having the ability to be badass. Also there were times when her opinions weren’t even considered. We as readers know that she is on to something but I hated when her own mechanics just dismissed the things she said.
Lillian plays a big role in this series and the more we learn about her, the more I want to know. She is the 'other Lily', the one who had a different upbringing than Lily but is similar to her in many ways. This book really made us question her role as a villain by showing her side of the story and things became all sorts of complicated. It made Lily question herself and the people around her but it also made me question aspects of the story. I don’t know where things will go but to be honest, I’d rather Lillian not turn out to be this amazingly good person because the things she has done cannot just be excused because she had ‘good’ intentions.
One of my favorite things about this book was seeing Lily’s Juliet. I absolutely adore her and Lily’s relationship and it was so much fun seeing her again (and I hope we get to see her again!!) Juliet is such a fantastic sister and I love that she was on Lily’s side no matter what.
This series is so rich in its world building and I loved seeing even more of that in this book. We aren’t just given enough details to keep the story going. Instead Angelini pushes the limit and we learn more things about the world and question things we hadn’t before. I LOVE that.
I am having so much fun with this series and while I did have some issues with this book (AND WHAT HAPPENED a little before the end) I think it's a good follow-up and I am ready to sell my soul for Traitor’s Pyre. IS IT 2016 yet because I NEEEDS to read Traitor’s Pyre.
Note that I received an ARC of the book in exchange for an honest review