Book Title: Valiant Ladies
Author: Melissa Grey
Release Date: June 14th, 2022
Genres: Historical Fiction, Young Adult, LGBTQ+
Story Rating: 4/5 Stars
Audiobook Rating: 5/5 Stars
Two teen vigilantes set off on an action-packed investigation to expose corruption and deliver justice in Valiant Ladies, Melissa Grey’s YA historical fiction novel inspired by real seventeenth century Latinx teenagers known as the Valiant Ladies of Potosí.
By day Eustaquia “Kiki” de Sonza and Ana Lezama de Urinza are proper young seventeeth century ladies. But when night falls, they trade in their silks and lace for swords and muskets, venturing out into the vibrant, bustling, crime-ridden streets of Potosí, in the Spanish Empire’s Viceroyalty of Peru. They pass their time fighting, gambling, and falling desperately in love with one another.
Then, on the night Kiki’s engagement to the Viceroy’s son is announced, her older brother―heir to her family’s fortune―is murdered. The girls immediately embark on a whirlwind investigation that takes them from the lowliest brothels of Potosí to the highest echelons of the Spanish aristocracy.
Valiant Ladies is such a fun adventure novel, filled with intrigue and mystery, as well as longing looks and plenty of pining between best friends. Everyone who knows me well knows that I am a sucker for friends-to-lovers relationships, so when I saw this book would be a story about 17th century sword-wielding, women vigilantes, along with a friends-to-lovers romance, I knew nothing would stop me from reading this book! This was a great read that I devoured in only two sittings, immensely enjoying my time with it!
For this book, I was sent an Audio ARC to review, so before I get into any aspects of the story, I just want to take a moment to talk about the audiobook. I am so glad I had the honor of listening to this one. The narrators, Frankie Corzo and Almarie Guerra expertly brought the two main characters, Kiki and Ana to life. Their voices also went together so well!
Sometimes when you have dual narration like we did here, there can be a bit of a disconnect between some of the characters, because the voices either person does for them can be a little different. Here, though, their voices were similar enough that the supporting cast of characters all stayed true to each other, but were different enough that Kiki and Ana were entirely distinguishable from one another.
If Valiant Ladies is on your TBR, I highly recommend giving the audiobook a go! I was so satisfied with each narrator’s storytelling and interpretations of the characters. They really made the story shine!
In regards to plot, Valiant Ladies did not disappoint! Going in, I was crossing my fingers for an action filled novel with two badass women searching the night for wrongdoers, while simultaneously solving mysteries, and that is exactly what I got! The pacing in the story was excellent. Most of the time, the action was always on the go, but even in the quieter moments, the plot was still progressing, especially between Kiki and Ana’s more questioning and tender interactions.
Towards the beginning of the book, there had been a few murders, including someone Kiki and Ana both knew and cared for. They take it upon themselves to solve the murder and get to the bottom of it all. Watching the two investigating for answers was so much fun! I have no idea if there will be any sequels or not, but I would absolutely love to see future books of them enacting vigilante justice on wrongdoings happening around the city.
Along with the plot, I also really enjoyed the romance blooming between Kiki and Ana. It was obvious from the beginning that the two shared a strong bond. They were both semi-consciously aware they each had feelings for the other, but because of the time period, and of Kiki’s duty to her family to marry a man, they never really acted on it. There was plenty of pining (which I love!), and the build up to their romance was wonderful.
All in all, I really enjoyed my time with Valiant Ladies and am so glad I had the opportunity to read the audiobook. Both the audiobook and the story were so much fun, and I highly recommend it!
Thank you to NetGalley, RB Media, and Recorded Books for providing me with an Audio ARC in exchange for my honest opinion.
Check out my last blog post: Space Trash Vol. 1 (ARC Review)