Review | The Adventures of Amina al-Sirafi – Shannon Chakraborty

I realised I never shared my review for The Adventures of Amina al-Sirafi and that needs to be remedied right away. This was one of my most anticipated releases of the year and I was lucky enough to get an eARC. Candyce and I also got each other the hardcovers for our birthdays. I finished the book a while ago and I want to share my thoughts on it today, so let’s jump in!

Review | The Adventures of Amina al-Sirafi – Shannon Chakraborty

Shannon Chakraborty, the bestselling author of The City of Brass, spins a new trilogy of magic and mayhem on the high seas in this tale of pirates and sorcerers, forbidden artifacts and ancient mysteries, in one woman’s determined quest to seize a final chance at glory—and write her own legend.
Amina al-Sirafi should be content. After a storied and scandalous career as one of the Indian Ocean’s most notorious pirates, she’s survived backstabbing rogues, vengeful merchant princes, several husbands, and one actual demon to retire peacefully with her family to a life of piety, motherhood, and absolutely nothing that hints of the supernatural.
But when she’s tracked down by the obscenely wealthy mother of a former crewman, she’s offered a job no bandit could refuse: retrieve her comrade’s kidnapped daughter for a kingly sum. The chance to have one last adventure with her crew, do right by an old friend, and win a fortune that will secure her family’s future forever? It seems like such an obvious choice that it must be God’s will.
Yet the deeper Amina dives, the more it becomes alarmingly clear there’s more to this job, and the girl’s disappearance, than she was led to believe. For there’s always risk in wanting to become a legend, to seize one last chance at glory, to savor just a bit more power…and the price might be your very soul.

The Adventures of Amina al-Sirafi (Amina al-Sirafi, #1) by Shannon Chakraborty
Published by Harper Voyager on 28/02/2023
Pages: 483

I have owned the first two books in the Daevabad series for awhile now but I still haven’t read them yet. The reviews are great and Candyce loved them so I have high hopes. This new book in the start of a series set in the same world as the Daevabad series and it takes place before the events of that series. It’s not necessary to read the Daevabad series before reading this one but I do imagine there are some easter eggs if you do. So I do want to try and read the previous series before the second book about Amina releases.

“For this scribe has read a great many of these accounts and taken away another lesson: that to be a woman is to have your story misremembered. Discarded. Twisted.”

One of the things that drew me to this book was the fact that it was about a female pirate. And on top of that she is a mother! We don’t get those kind of main characters often unfortunately. I really loved how Amina was portrayed. She is Muslim, and while I’m not Muslim myself it did feel like there was good representation. I would love to hear the thoughts on the representation by someone who is Muslim so if you know of a review like that, please let me know!

I would not want her to believe that because she was born a girl, she cannot dream.

The story has a historical setting, something I really enjoy. And to make it even better, it’s set somewhere else than the usual settings we see in English novels. The story takes place in the Middle East and I really enjoyed the mention of some familiar places. I was just teaching the kids in my schoolclass about the Ottoman Empire and it was great seeing it mentioned here. Historical fiction with a fantasy twist is one of my favorite genre and this one did not disappoint. I really liked the magic system and I can’t wait to learn more about it.

“After all, we build our homes upon the ruins of lost cities and sail our ships over the drowned palaces of forgotten kings.”

The story is almost 500 pages long and isn’t super fast paced but you do want to continue reading and learning more. It is told as a recount of past events and I like that narration a lot. Like I said, the book isn’t really fast paced but I didn’t mind it. It did take me awhile to get through it, but that was probably more because of me than because of the book. I definitely wanted to continue reading and the first chapter already drew me in.

Overall I would say this was a really fun book with some great messages. I adored that Amina wanted to show her daughter she could be anything even when you’re a girl or a mother. Your path shouldn’t be limited because of that. The characters were great, the storyline interesting and the world building was really cool. I’m looking forward to the sequel and I hope to read Shannon’s previous series as well!

One thought on “Review | The Adventures of Amina al-Sirafi – Shannon Chakraborty

  1. I didn’t review it but loved this book. I loved the Snark! Great review!

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