Jim's Books

The Adventures of Amina al-Sirafi

Shannon Chakraborty

The Adventures of Amina al-Sirafi
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ISBN: 9780008381387


Amina al-Sirafi has 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 offered a job no bandit could refuse, she jumps at the chance for one final adventure with her old crew that will make her a legend and offers a fortune that will secure her and her family’s future forever.

Reviewed on 1st June 2024

I have found myself reading several books about pirates lately and this one landed in my hands after the cover stood out in the bookshop.

It’s set in and around the Indian Ocean about 800 years ago, and follows the story of retired pirate captain Amina al-Sirafi as she is drawn back into action for one last fantastical adventure.

I really enjoyed the setting - it’s good to find a book with a different view on the world, clearly a lot of thought and research gone into it, and that educates as well as entertaining.

The fantasy elements, while there from the start, built up in an easy to follow way and felt like really solid world building. The characters were compelling and believable, flawed in interesting ways, and yet always fun to be with. And the narration was fun - relaxed, informative, and with a style that really made you want to read more.

But I did find myself wishing the book was about a third shorter. By the time I was a week in I had lost patience a bit, not because the story wasn’t moving, but just because I was mentally ready to be reading the next book in my pile instead.

I was surprised to learn after reading that this is planned to become a trilogy. I’m not sure how I feel about revisiting this world and characters - the book worked well as a standalone.

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