Review: Firekeeper’s Daughter

Hello friends! I’m back with another review of one of my highly anticipated reads of the year.

About the Book:

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.

Review:

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Firekeeper’s Daughter struck a place close to home that I didn’t expect. Daunis, the main character is biracial (half white and half indigenous). As a biracial reader, I really related to her experience of limbo between two cultures she cares deeply for, and struggling to belong to both. I’m not Indigenous, but I’m half Chinese and I think the biracial representation is pretty universal. 

This book is heavier than I expected as it tackles some heavy subject matter including racism, sexual violence, violence against women, drug/alcohol addiction, and grief. It was hard for me to read at around the 70% mark because of the sexual violence and the off-page rape scene, so I think it’s important for reader to know about the content matter before diving into this book. 

My only criticism was the pacing of the book, sometimes it felt like so much was happening that it was hard to keep up, and other times it dragged a bit. But overall, I think Firekeeper’s Daughter is an amazing crime thriller combined with a coming of age story that is filled with rich traditions and customs of the Ojibwe tribe. 

Thank you so much to the publisher for sending me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review!

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