The Adventures of Amina al-Sirafi (Amina al-Sirafi #1) by Shannon Chakraborty
I loved every bit of the story of willful, sometimes grumpy pirate Amina al-Sirafi and her quest, her strategic swearing, her strength, her fierce loyalty, and her messy, grand, swashbuckling adventures.
“Amina, if you insist on going in alone, at least stop caressing your dagger.”
I listened to the first installment in Shannon Chakraborty's Amina al-Sirafi fantasy series, The Adventures of Amina al-Sirafi as an audiobook, narrated by the fantastic Lameece Issaq and Amin El Gamal.
Amina is a notorious former pirate--ruthless, scandalous, and invincible--who has dropped out of sight and settled down to raise her young daughter alongside her strong-willed mother.
Then a mysterious, wealthy matriarch preys upon Amina's need for funds--and her desire for one final, glorious success. Amina soon finds herself entangled in a dangerous ocean quest to rescue a young woman, while fighting to keep her own family safe.
“Men find it easier to believe they have been swindled by a witch than outwitted by a woman.”
This reads like a grown-up (profanity is used strategically and to great comic effect) fairy tale, and I delighted in the story itself as well as the varied cast of characters--including a dreaded, intriguing, infuriating, potentially devastating blast from the past (ahem: demon!) who throws Amina for a loop--and vice versa.
For her seafaring voyage, she enlists the help of certain trusted shipmates from long ago, and while Amina once thought of herself as a one-woman show, despite having had a full crew, her old friends prove their mettle and take initiative at key points, reminding Amina that it's not her against the whole world.
"The gang's all back together...we should rob something!"
The Adventures of Amina al-Sirafi is fun, funny, and smart, and I was hooked on the lightning-fast banter; the gruff and independent, saucy, and irresistible main protagonist in the feminist Muslim character of Amina; and the sea adventure with various fantastical elements.
Chakraborty offers some closure to book one while setting up a sequel. I am alllll in on this series and can't wait for the second installment.
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Shannon Chakraborty also writes under the name S. A. Chakraborty and is the author of the Daevabad Trilogy: The City of Brass, The Kingdom of Copper, and The Empire of Gold.