This was a very entertaining read
I liked the book and had quite an enjoyable time reading it. I was trying to decide on the right tag for this book and I think historic fantasy seems to fit best. The story has that real fantasy feel yet it is loosely based on real people in a real place and time. I really enjoyed that mix and knowing that these characters, while still fictionalized, were actually based on two real women was a fun element of the book for me. This was mostly a fast-paced read that had plenty of excitement to keep me turning the pages. While there wasn’t anything really mind-blowing about this book, and it had a few bumps too, it gave me the feeling of watching an enjoyable action movie… good fun.
While this book is touted as YA, it felt like older YA, or more like NA to me. These two young ladies are out gambling, drinking, and sword fighting the night away. In fact, I don’t even know if the ages were ever mentioned, I may have missed it, but the mains felt like in their early 20s and every subject of the book seemed on the adult side, but I’m always stumped about what exactly still fits into YA these days. While this was a pretty high-action fantasy book, it also has a bit of a murder mystery –that really got the book moving- and a sapphic romance.
I found that I really enjoyed the romance. At first, it was a little too in your face, mostly us readers being told that these two best friends are developing feelings instead of just showing us. But luckily once Grey found her writing groove, and the story really settled into itself, the romance was much more enjoyable. Grey was able to build up some nice chemistry while still keeping some sweetness due to the historic time period. Most of the book turned into being about a murder mystery, and about the main character’s feelings growing even stronger for each other which happily were the two storylines I was the most interested in.
TLDR: I would recommend this book to historical fantasy or historical fiction fans that are looking for an action-filled story about two weapon-wielding young ladies finding love and agency in 17th Century Peru. While I have to be honest that this wasn’t a wow book or a book I will remember forever, it still was a very entertaining book that I had fun reading and I expect others will too.
An ARC was given to me for a review.