When I found out that there was going to be a companion book to Firekeeper’s Daughter by Angeline Boulley, I almost literally jumped for joy. When I received an uncorrected bound manuscript of Warrior Girl Unearthed from my friends over at Linden Tree Books, I nearly expired on the spot.
All Perry Firekeeper-Birch wanted to do this summer was spend as much time on the water fishing as possible. When she’s forced to join the tribal internship program in order to repay her Auntie Daunis for repairs to her car after an accident, Perry finds herself learning about NAGPRA, the federal law that allows tribes to request the return of ancestral remains and sacred items, and makes it her mission to bring back whatever stolen artifacts and remains she can - by whatever means necessary. With the help of her twin sister and the other outcasts in their internship program (Team Misfit Toys), Perry plans a heist to make things right for their ancestors and their community. But all is not as it seems as the Misfits work towards repatriation and things might just have to get worse before they get better.
When I finished reading Firekeeper’s Daughter, I knew that I wanted to dive back into this world, but I also knew that would probably mean more bad things happening to these characters that I loved. But that did not stop me from being incredibly excited for Warrior Girl Unearthed and OH. MY. GOSH. It lived up to its predecessor and then some. We are able to revisited Daunis and see what her life after Firekeeper's Daughter is like, but it doesn't pull away from Perry's journey and story.
Speaking of Perry, she is the firecracker spirit that our younger generations are known for. The way that she goes from slacker to heist leader is a great journey and a great way to get an inside look as to how our young activists are coming into their own. The character development throughout is excellent, but especially with Perry.
Just as with the first book, we are kept guessing until the big reveal who exactly is the villain of the story and I absolutely love that about these books. Boulley weaves an intricate web with each of the characters and storylines and you never know what is going to come next. It’s not a thriller, but it leaves you on the edge of your seat begging for more.
As with Firekeeper's Daughter, each of the storylines is resolved in a way that doesn't leave you wishing for something else. There are elements to the resolution that make you mad, but that is a product of a broken world and broken system that Boulley does not have control over (unless she wanted to make the story a bit fantastical). You should feel like the story is complete, but you should also be angry and want to fight someone because of the injustice. These stories may be fiction, but they are rooted deeply in the reality of what indigenous people experience and that should get you fired up and that is also why these stories are so important.
Warrior Girl Unearthed by Angeline Boulley is an absolute must read and you should go pick up a copy for yourself here. While you’re at it, pick up a copy of Firekeeper’s Daughter as well. Trust me, you won’t regret it (but make sure you check content warnings before reading!)
Disclaimer: I received an advanced copy of this book for free and have voluntarily written this review. If you purchase a copy using my Bookshop affiliate link above, not only will I receive a small commission (which will fuel my coffee and tea addiction and help to keep me up all night reading more books to recommend to you), but you will be supporting indie bookstores as well!