The Adventures of Amina al-Sirafi

Harper Voyager. (Amina al-Sirafi, Bk. 1). Mar. 2023. 496p. ISBN 9780062963505. $28.99. FANTASY
Amina al-Sirafi is a legend: as one of the Indian Ocean’s most infamous pirates, she has out battled and outlasted rogues, merchants, and even faced down (okay, also married) a demon. So settling into her home with her family, living the rest of her years in quiet, should have been the easiest thing to do. But legends last, and when a wealthy woman tracks Amina down to make an offer—recover a kidnapped child for an easy fortune—Amina decides that one last escapade with her crew and a fortune are worth coming out of retirement. Amina, however, discovers that there is a lot more to the girl’s disappearance than she has been told, and her quest involves scholarly texts, dangerous talismans, and power-seeking sorcerers. All told, the search for one last chance at glory could truly be her last. Chakraborty creates a world of high stakes and action, enhanced by its excellent representation of Southwest Asian and North African culture, as well as its challenge to gender roles.
VERDICT An energetic start to a pirate fantasy trilogy, filled with magic, mayhem, and self-reflection. Fans of Jenn Lyons’s storytelling will want to pick up Chakraborty’s (“Daevabad Trilogy”) new series.
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