Hi everyone, happy Sunday! I am so so excited to be writing this post for you today! I have the privilege of being part of the blog tour for Firekeeper’s Daughter by Angeline Boulley. Below you’ll find my review of this gorgeous book. Thank you so much to the publisher for selecting me!
Title: Firekeeper’s Daughter
Author: Angeline Boulley
Publisher: Henry, Holt & Co.
Release Date: March 16, 2021
Debut author Angeline Boulley crafts a groundbreaking YA thriller about a Native teen who must root out the corruption in her community, for readers of Angie Thomas and Tommy Orange.
As a biracial, unenrolled tribal member and the product of a scandal, eighteen-year-old Daunis Fontaine has never quite fit in, both in her hometown and on the nearby Ojibwe reservation. Daunis dreams of studying medicine, but when her family is struck by tragedy, she puts her future on hold to care for her fragile mother.
The only bright spot is meeting Jamie, the charming new recruit on her brother Levi’s hockey team. Yet even as Daunis falls for Jamie, certain details don’t add up and she senses the dashing hockey star is hiding something. Everything comes to light when Daunis witnesses a shocking murder, thrusting her into the heart of a criminal investigation.
Reluctantly, Daunis agrees to go undercover, but secretly pursues her own investigation, tracking down the criminals with her knowledge of chemistry and traditional medicine. But the deceptions—and deaths—keep piling up and soon the threat strikes too close to home.
Now, Daunis must learn what it means to be a strong Anishinaabe kwe (Ojibwe woman) and how far she’ll go to protect her community, even if it tears apart the only world she’s ever known.
Angeline Boulley, an enrolled member of the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians, is a storyteller who writes about her Ojibwe community in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. She gained attention from the We Need Diverse Books Mentorship Program. Angeline was the former Director of the Office of Indian Education at the U.S. Department of Education. Her agent is Faye Bender at The Book Group. Firekeeper’s Daughter has been optioned for a Netflix series by the Obamas’ Higher Ground production company.
Wow, where even do I begin this review? It was such a lovely, heartbreaking-yet-invigorating read. It was great to read a book set in my home state (yes, I knew how Sault was pronounced before Daunis clarified it in the book lol), and from a perspective I haven’t heard yet.
Over the course of reading and reviewing, I’ve found that character driven novels are my bread and butter. This one is no exception — Daunis is such a wonderful character. I loved reading her thoughts and perspective as things went on. Something I could relate to about her was the in-between-ness that she felt as a half-Ojibwe and half-white woman. I personally am not mixed race, but as a transracial, transnational adoptee I fully understand the in-between-ness of feeling like you live in two separate cultural worlds. Daunis speaks with such clarity and raw emotion that I couldn’t help but never want to put the book down. It was like I found a friend in an unexpected place, and I never wanted to say goodbye.
Those who love plot in their books — never fear! Firekeeper’s Daughter is full of an interesting, twisty plot. Right off the bat, there’s an air of mystery. Daunis’s uncle recently died and her grandmother (GrandMary) has some health issues. What are the circumstances leading up to these events? Those questions lead you deeper into the heart of the novel and I felt like Daunis was the perfect narrator to bring us along on this journey.
Overall, this book was gorgeous. I highly recommend it to people who love a strong plot and character driven book (I’d say this is about 50-50). If you love Tomi Adeyemi’s writing, you’ll definitely love Firekeeper’s Daughter. Check it out on shelves March 16 (this Tuesday!!) or pre-order it from your local indie!