Title: The Adventures Of Amina Al-Sirafi
Author: Shannon Chakraborty
Pub. Date: February 28th. 2023
Publisher: Harper Voyager
GOODREADS | BARNES & NOBLE | AMAZON | LIBROFM
☆☆ARC provided by Publisher in exchange for an honest review☆☆
╰☆☆ “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.” ☆☆╮
When I first heard we were getting a story with a middle aged single mother who was a renowned fearless Pirate…I smiled, nodded and paired it with a fist pump! We get a healthy balance of plot + character growth in this seafaring adventure full of excitement and world building. Admittedly the first 40% is a bit slow + that’s because our girl is in retirement! After several husbands, backstabbing rogues and an actual demon…she’s spending time with her child and mother on some remote island far away from all of the enemies she’s accumulated over the years as a Pirate in the Indian Ocean. When the mother of a former crew member finds her and pleads her case for aid in finding her kidnapped grandchild, Amina sets out to get the old gang back together again on her ship. Dalila, Majed, Tinbu, the Scribe and another character (I won’t mention their name as it is spoilery) make a phenomenal supporting cast. The queer representation felt organic and I personally would love a Tinbu novella *fingers crossed*
We follow Amina as she recruits her crew members back and it’s been 10 years, they’re all feeling a little worse for wear. That being said, they also share one thing in common and that’s that they miss the high seas/high stakes adventures that comes with Amina at the helm. This job also comes with a promised hefty pay-off, one that can truly secure their retirement. In this world there are stories of Djinn and Gods/Goddesses and before venturing out on this last journey, that’s all they were to Amina…Just stories. The life of a Pirate has enough challenges but things get all the more interesting when those stories filled with magical beings become your reality.
Slow to start while the troops are being rallied, This is one you just have to trust that you’re in for a good time. I thoroughly enjoyed Amina seeking out each of her crew members out from their hidey holes (haha!) because it provided the opportunity for their backstory. This led to each crew member being well fleshed out and easily imagined with personalities that are quite distinct from one another. Amina is at the very start telling her tale to a scribe and with that come challenges to decisions she made that probably weren’t the best. That is where the humor shines and we get GRADE A SNARK! Amina dishes it out and I ate it up! In fact I’ve heard that the audiobook narration really delivers on those one liners our girl Amina was quipping. I will absolutely be doing a tandem read with the audiobook when it’s time for a re-read. Also, as a Fantasy reader I love jumping into a freshly made up magic system and setting like the rest of us. However, I have found that I enjoy a Fantasy ten times more when it draws inspiration from History or recreates it as best possible. In the preface, Chakraborty states that she tried to stay true to the history of the 12th century Islamic societies of the northwestern Indian Ocean but it’s still Fiction. I loved seeing the representation of various religious beliefs in her characters, religion as a whole is an important theme in this story. Amina is a Muslim woman trying to get back on track with her religion and acknowledges where she falls short. Her crew members have their own differing religious beliefs and we see Amina try and respectfully understand theirs as they respect her own. It truly was beautiful to see this found family not only co-exist with one another but also honor each other’s beliefs. I am eagerly anticipating another adventure with Amina and her crew!
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