4 Aug 2023

Science Fiction and Fantasy Fridays: THE ADVENTURES OF AMINA AL-SIRAFI by Shannon Chakraborty (Review)

Science Fiction and Fantasy Fridays introduces readers who are unfamiliar with the Adult SF/F genre to books, authors, and discussions all about the vast expanse of the world of Adult SF/F!


Author: Shannon Chakraborty
Series: Aminda al-Sirafi #1
Source: Book of the Month Club
Publisher: Harper Voyager
Publication Date: February 28, 2023
Overall Rating:
Diversity Rating:
Representation: gay side character, transgender side character

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.

Content WarningsViolence, death, Body horror, Transphobia, Threat of sexual assault, snakes.

I really enjoyed reading this! I thought there was a lot of good action mixed in with interesting interpersonal elements. I loved that this was not only pirates, but found family and about a woman who was older than 20 years old. I am so glad that everyone in this was older than you typically see in fantasy novels.

f you're in need of an escape, this fantasy about a legendary lady pirate who is pulled out of retirement when she’s made an offer she can’t refuse to find a kidnapped girl may be just what you need to make you feel like you've sailed a thousand miles into a fantastical ocean.

I don't even have children and felt the struggle of a mother who deeply loves and is separated from her child for the sake of building a better life and future for her. What kept me entertained and on this journey were the delightful characters, the action packed adventure, and the magical creatures.

The way this book treats gender identity and queer characters is exemplary in both its compassionate acceptance and care with characters identity.

I highly recommend this and am looking forward to the rest of this series!

Have you read this book? What was your favourite part?


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  3. We appreciate your work. A thrilling voyage awaits as Amina, once a legendary pirate turned devout mother, embarks on a final adventure. Shannon Chakraborty weaves a tale of intrigue, ancient secrets, and moral dilemmas, challenging Amina’s resolve. With diverse representation and gripping storytelling, 'The Adventures of Amina al-Sirafi' promises a captivating quest for glory

  4. Chakraborty's masterful storytelling transports readers to a richly imagined world, where Amina's adventures unfold with intrigue and wonder. A must-read for fans of genre-bending narratives!


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