Thank you to HarperVoyager and NetGalley for sending me a copy of The Adventures of Amina al-Sirafi in exchange for an honest review!

Amina al-Sirafi is retired. After a long career as one of the Indian Ocean’s most well-known and notorious pirates, she survived long enough so she would know the value of motherhood, piety and a lack of the supernatural. But when the supremely wealthy mother of a crewman tracks her down, a comfortable retirement isn’t enough to turn down an incredible fortune.

The task? Retrieve her old friend’s kidnapped daughter, and she’ll be set for life. However, as she reunites her crew, Amina learns this is more than a simple kidnapping. It will take run-ins with terrifying monsters, real magic and actual demons if she’s going to make it back to her family.

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The Adventures of Amina al-Sirafi is Shannon Chakraborty’s first follow-up to her successful Daevabad trilogy. When I heard her pitch for the new series was, “Pirates of the Caribbean meets Ocean’s Eleven” set in the 12th-century Indian Ocean, I knew I needed to get my hands on it. Amina al-Sirafi is a perfect start to an unputdownable high-stakes fantasy adventure.

When we first meet Amina al-Sirafi, she has long since retired from her life of crime on the high seas. She settled down to give her daughter Marjana a stable life, and she isn’t as young as she once was. It’s so much fun to read a book with a middle-aged heroine. She loves her daughter and would do anything to keep her safe. However, she wasn’t built for a society where women are meant to stay home and tend to family. The lure of adventure is just too strong to ignore. I appreciate the realness with which Amina struggles to balance her desires and the way Chakraborty gets us right inside her head.

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Another aspect that stood out to me was the incredible amount of research Chakraborty must have done. While the world of The Adventures of Amina al-Sirafi is full of magic, it’s grounded in historical locations and events. Don’t skip over the author’s notes at the end. They provide helpful context and further reading options if this period interests you. There’s even a glossary and a map, which I always feel is a sign of an epic read.

If you long for the day that Our Flag Means Death adds fabulous female pirates, The Adventures of Amina al-Sirafi is your perfect next read. Check it out now, then wait impatiently alongside me for the sequel!

The Adventures of Amina al-Sirafi is available from your local independent bookstore or Bookshop.org.

TW: alcohol, blood, body horror, colonization, gore, grief, injury, Islamaphobia, kidnapping, murder, sexual violence, slavery, torture, transphobia, violence, vomit, xenophobia

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