Valiant Ladies

­Feiwel & Friends. Jun. 2022. 384p. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9781250622204.
Gr 9 Up–By day, Ana Lezama de Urinza and Eustaquia “Kiki” de Sonza live as proper society ladies within the Spanish Empire Viceroyalty in 17th-century Peru. At night, they don men’s attire and act as vigilantes throughout the city of Potosi. When Kiki’s family is attacked, the two women are determined to find who did it and dole out justice. A fictionalization of real women from history, this book is exciting, romantic, and incredibly difficult to put down. It touches on topics of colonization and class, with Ana born poor and of Native descent while Kiki is Spanish and upper-class. Kiki and Ana share a romance for the ages, and readers will be rooting for them to get together. Grey, a Latina author herself, provides resources in the author’s note for readers to do more research into this time of Peru’s history and the real Valiant Ladies of Potosi. An action-packed tale of two real queer women, this book provides insight into the Spanish colonization of South America and drives home that powerful women, people of color, and LGBTQIA+ people have existed throughout time.
VERDICT An excellent addition to any YA collection.

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