Adventures of Amina Al-Sirafi

A Novel

English language

Published Nov. 6, 2023 by HarperCollins Publishers.

ISBN:
978-0-06-329706-7
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4 stars (11 reviews)

5 editions

Very entertaining

4 stars

This was a great, captivating read. Truly an adventure book. I don't think there are many fantasy novels set in this region and it was an additional treat to read about places we mostly know from wars and crises, like Aden and Mogadishu, when they were in their prime. The characters are great and have interesting backstories. The main villain was perhaps a bit too one-sidedly evil. The others had more nuance. And I could have done with one or two fewer action scenes. But those are small criticisms. It was very enjoyable to read this book and I recommend it. I hope we'll see Amina and her crew again.

Legendary Pirate Queen

5 stars

I was thoroughly charmed by this book — an adventure-filled, magical story of a pirate queen who became a legend. It took an era that I know nothing about — the seafaring cultures of the 12th century Indian Ocean, especially focused on Oman, Yemen, and Somalia, as filtered through the 1001 Nights, and gave it a contemporary twist by focusing on the glorious Amina al-Sarafi. She’s a Muslim former pirate who has retired to raise her daughter, but gets pulled into One Last Heist by being offered an eye-popping sum of money to go rescue the kidnapped child of one of her former crew. An early chapter in which she successfully defends two idiots who are looking for treasure from an angry sea demon sets the tone for later encounters with creatures more and more magical. Amina has a live-and-let-live attitude toward her queer crew members, which is refreshing. The …

The Adventures of Amina al-Sarafi

4 stars

Now this was the sort of pirate queen adventure I was expecting when I had read Deep as the Sky, Red as the Sea. (That book is historical pirate politics and internal musings about power and this book is more fantasy adventure; I liked them both, they're just different.)

Amina al-Sarafi is a middle-aged pirate queen who gets blackmailed out of retirement into "one last job", gets the criminal gang back together, and ultimately faces off against a sorcerer and his sea monster (as if the cover doesn't give you this hint). (Also, gender stuff! You love to see it.)

It's set in the same world as her Daevabad trilogy although you don't need to have read those books at all. (You might appreciate a single character briefly appearing as well as the lawyer parrots, but that's about the extent of it.) My opinion here is that this is …

An Adventure

4 stars

The Adventures of Amina Al-Sirafi by Shannon Chakraborty is a great historical fantasy adventure.

Amina Al-Sirafi is a middle-aged piratey sea captain who is persuaded out of retirement and away from her daughter. What she thinks will be a fact finding and rescue mission to recover the daughter of a former crewman turns into a full scale supernatural adventure.

This book had a lovely, satisfying ending. Open ended with room for more stories, but not in a cliffhanger way.

I got my book from Book of the Month Club and read it in hardcover, as well as listening to the audiobook for some of it.

Once it got going, it was great

4 stars

It warms up slowly, but then it barrels along. This was fun. There aren't enough middle-aged women doing cool shit books, so that was a pleasure. Great rep. Wonderful to read a book that makes me miss evenings at the masjid. And the small twist for Dunya was also welcome and done well, imo. I look forward to reading the rest of the series.

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