|“||Angelini's latest series opener combines the best elements of a magical fantasy, with hints of sci-fi, history, and romance.||”|
–School Library Journal on 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.
In Josephine Angelini's Trial by Fire, 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. 
Coming down with an allergic reaction, Lily Proctor ducks into the girls' bathroom and vomits into the toilet. Once she is done, Lily freshens up and splashes water on herself to cool her feverish body down. When the bell rings to signal the end of lunch period, Lily takes Epipen to diminish her symptoms before rushing to class. Much to Lily's embarrassment, her T-shirt is wet and thus completely transparent. Tristan Corey offers his sweater to her to cover up. Concerned, he asks Lily if she wants to go home or to the hospital, but she insists that she is fine and tells him to pay attention to Mr. Carnello's lesson on thermodynamics.
When class is over, Lily returns Tristan's sweater to him and they head to their lockers. He once again enquires whether Lily is alright, and tells her that she does not have to go with him to the party that night. The two are interrupted by Miranda Clark, a girl who Tristan used to date. Tristan tells Lily to go to class while he handles Miranda. An argument ensues, resulting in Miranda slapping Tristan across the face.
After school, Tristan drives Lily home. When she asks him about the situation with Miranda, Tristan responds by saying that there never really was anything between him and Miranda.