Review: Firekeeper’s Daughter by Angeline Boulley

Rating: 5 out of 5.

I’ve repeatedly mentioned on this blog that Young Adult is a “hit or miss” genre for me. I always go into them with an open mind and heart. Sometimes, the stories fall flat, or the writing is far too juvenile for me to enjoy. And others, I fall face-first in love. Firekeeper’s Daughter is the perfect example of a book that turns me into a bumbling, heart-eyed idiot.

Firekeeper’s Daughter, Angeline Boulley’s debut novel has earned accolades, including a nomination for Best Debut Novel in 2021 and the Winner of Best Young Adult Fiction in 2021. In my opinion, a hard-won and well-deserved win. 

Daunis Fontaine is a biracial, unenrolled tribal member who is the byproduct of a scandal. She’s never quite fit in. When tragedy strikes her family, Daunis puts her dreams on hold to take care of her ailing mother. Life seems quite bleak until she finds herself in the company of Jamie, the charming new recruit of her brother’s hockey team. A murder sends a tidal wave through the community, and she, as a witness, becomes part of the investigation. Daunis is forever close to being pulled under, weighed down by deceptions, deaths, and threats. She is forced to ask how far she will go to protect her community and whether she can live with the bridges she’ll burn along the way.

This book was, admittedly, quite dense, but the writing was refreshingly well-paced. I hardly realized how long I was reading. In fact, I felt like I was sucked into the rip-tide with Daunis as she unearthed secrets and faced betrayals. I was deeply emotionally invested in Daunis’ plight and couldn’t help but love, loathe, and fear alongside her.

What I appreciate most is its authenticity. If you’ve read my reviews before, you know that I am a huge advocate of #ownvoices. Boulley underscored many of the injustices and fears that Native peoples face. Firekeeper’s Daughter blended the fantastical with the important, leaving an indelible mark on me, the reader. And judging by its several accolades many others, too. 

You can find Angeline Boulley on: Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, Instagram, and Author’s Website.

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