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"Lily Proctor" seems to be similar to John Proctor in "The Crucible" by Arthur Miller. "hometown of Salem" Salem is the town where the crucible takes place. "powerful women called Crucibles" come on. Are these mere references by the author or am I just over-interpreting?

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Christiana Stone I noticed these similarities as well, but I think you may be over-emphasizing their importance. Salem is literally famous for its role in the witch trials in the early eighteenth century, so it is fitting for a series focusing on witches to be set there. Crucible is a terminology that is used appropriately in this novel with an association to its literal definition. Miller's play was also using concepts of a crucible in his story, but Trial by Fire, and The Crucible are radically different. Tales of witches and the stories and fables that go with them are public domain and all are welcome to use them.

As for Lily's last name being Proctor I believe John Proctor was a historical character, not just a fictional character in Miller's play, and as such Trial by Fire was associating that to Lily, drawing a connection there is, I believed, encouraged, but the author is by no means stealing from Arthur Miller's work, but using historical accounts to add to her tale, just as Miller did for his.

So yes, make the connections, but make them as associations with the actual events of the Salem Witch trials, use the actual historical event and the surrounding contexts to add the the depth of your understanding of this work. Feel free to write a compare/contrast essay between Trial by Fire and The Crucible, what do you feel each novel is say about the Salem witches? What's the same? What's different? Why?

Trial by Fire is a unique novel and I do not feel it is "stealing" from Miller's The Crucible in any way.
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by Josephine Angelini (Goodreads Author)
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