The Adventures of Amina al-Sirafi by S A Chakraborty

My Five Word TL:DR Review: I loved it.  Loved.  It.

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The Adventures of Amina al-Sirafi is, to put it simply, wonderful.  Now go and pick up a copy and be happy (pretty please).  What are you waiting for?  Seriously, this is the sort of book that gave me that glowing feeling that I experienced as a youngster reading a fantasy adventure for the first time, feeling that amazing feeling of excitement and awe and wondering if there are more books like this out there, then sneaking under the covers at night to continue reading by torchlight. It’s just so enjoyable.  I loved the characters, I loved the story and frankly, I want more.  And more.  And, I’m not trying to say that this is a book aimed at a young market (just to be clear) more making the point of that lovely happy feeling that it gave me and that made me feel reminiscent – like, who wouldn’t want to go back and experience that feeling all over again?  Well, this book gave me that feeling and it made me smile.

So, plot.  What do you get when you have a notorious lady pirate, retired into obscurity and hoping to live a quiet life before she’s bribed/cajoled and outright blackmailed into returning to the high seas to find a young female abducted from a wealthy family?  Well you get sea monsters, mysteries, crazy characters, demons, much more, and so much downright entertaining fun that it should be illegal.

Firstly, the characters.  I loved Amina, she’s a great character to read.  I love her thought processes, she’s brave, she loves her family and clearly she is equally loved by those around her because her most trusty crewmates also join her on this dangerous quest – and they’re also really easy to get along with.  Can I say, and I don’t know whether I’m supposed to even enjoy the rogue demon – but I did enjoy the rogue demon.  Even the baddie was over the top bad – in a way that fit the story perfectly.  Colour me happy.

The writing is superb. I gobbled this up like a hungry teenager.  I couldn’t put it down.  The pacing is spot on.  The attention to detail and backstory flow really well

The setting, well, this is simply the icing on the cake.  Clearly this is well researched (not to mention loved) and this comes across.  I’m certainly not an expert on anything contained here but the culture and history are so well interwoven into the story and make the story come to life.  And this is all managed with a remarkably light touch and surprising ease that I’m sure belies the actual reality.

Overall, I have no criticisms for this.  I enjoyed it so much, witty banter, high stakes, high seas shenanigans, skullduggery, family, found family, family you hoped not to find, sea monsters, sorcery and so much more.  I’m hoping for quite a few more of these and I won’t deny that I wouldn’t be averse to the demon making an appearance again. Just saying.

I received a copy through Netgalley, courtesy of the publisher, for which my thanks.  The above is my own opinion freely given.

My rating 5 of 5 stars


Can’t Wait Wednesday : The Adventures of Amina Al-Sirafi by S.A. Chakraborty


“Waiting On Wednesday” is a weekly meme that was originally created by Breaking the Spine.  Unfortunately Breaking the Spine are no longer hosting so I’m now linking my posts up to Wishful Endings Can’t Wait Wednesday. Don’t forget to stop over, link up and check out what books everyone else is waiting for.  If you want to take part, basically, every Wednesday, we highlight a book that we’re really looking forward to.  This week my book is : The Adventures of Amina Al-Sirafi by S.A. Chakraborty.  Check out the cover and description below:


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.

Expected publication : March 2023