The ­Adventures of Amina al-Sirafi

Harper ­Voyager. Feb. 2023. 496p. Tr $32. ISBN 9780062963505.
After years of domestic life, former pirate Amina Al-Sirafi makes an unforgettable return to the high seas in this swashbuckling fantasy adventure set on the Indian Ocean. Framed as a tale spun by the storied nakhuda (captain) to a scribe named Jamal, the narrative delightfully employs a conspiratorial air to keep the plot moving at a breakneck pace. When the wealthy mother of one of Amina’s former crew members arrives at her door, begging (and then threatening) Amina to help discreetly return her missing granddaughter, Amina realizes that for as much as she does not want to leave her own mother and young daughter, Marjana, at home, the call to adventure is more tempting than she’d like to admit. Amina reassembles her motley old crew, including paranoid Mistress of Poisons Dalila and goodhearted first-mate Tinbu, then sets off on a mission that is much more than she bargained for, including magic-wielding adversaries, powerful artifacts, fearsome sea monsters, and former lovers. Amina is Muslim, and her crew represents a diverse mix of religions and identities. Prior knowledge of Chakraborty’s “Daevabad” trilogy is not necessary to enjoy this novel, though a familiar face hints that this first in a new series is set in the same rich world. Swear words befitting a pirate captain, scenes of gore, and descriptions of off-page sex scenes are included.
VERDICT Mature teens who can’t get enough of Leigh Bardugo and V.E. Schwab will devour this fast-paced fantasy adventure and will eagerly await the next installments.

Be the first reader to comment.

Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing