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NetGalley Review: The Adventures of Amina al-Sirafi by Shannon Chakraborty

Hey all, Sam here.

It snowed last night. Not only did we have to move our clocks forward one hour, but we also had to deal with more snow. Yuck. I am so ready for proper spring to settle in. I’m looking forward to getting our porch furniture and finally being able to use our pretty nice screened in front porch. Nice mornings plus hot coffee plus a good book equals perfection.

Anyway, aside from the time change and the snow, today’s a pretty good day. We are hanging out with some friends, watching movies and playing games…and I’m doing some writing…or technically writing prep. I’m reading through an old story and taking notes on general ideas I need to work on. As soon as I get a double-spaced print of the text, I can start doing editing commentary and specific notes.

But I’ll talk more about that for the next WIP Wednesday. I think my Writing section is about to get longer. For now…it’s book review time. So, I’ve realized that for every 3-4 book reviews I complete on here, my NetGalley ratio goes up 1%. That is such a small number, but at least it’s going in the right direction. And I think it means that if I can keep to that pace, I might be able to get back up to the recommended 80% by the end of the year.

So…let’s go ahead and jump into this book review.

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.

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.

My Thoughts

Rating: 5 stars

Look, I read The City of Brass by this author and I loved the writing. I admit that I do still need to finish the Daevabad trilogy. And I do plan to, because it was fantastic. Also, this book is set in the same world…so I think you can jump right into reading this, even if you haven’t read the previous trilogy, but there’s also a chance that there could be throwaway lines that reference characters or events from the previous books.

Anyway, I loved Chakraborty’s writing and characters, and I was already very excited for this book. And then I started seeing reviews come in from fellow book bloggers. Every review was glowing and gushing and declaring this as their favorite read of 2023 and unlikely to be dethroned. High praise, indeed, and it only made me even more excited to sit down and read this.

Which I did, after clearing my evening so I could just read and wouldn’t need to run off and do errands or worry about anything else. I knew already that I was going to be swept away into an adventure.

I think I fell in love with the story from the beginning, with the scribe who is writing this tale as told by Amina, preps us for what is about to come with a delightful mini rant on the plight of women in pretty much every other tale. And then we go from that introduction to Amina beginning her story (and being interrupted a fair few times by the scribe). It was fascinating that we never heard his side of the conversation, only Amina’s.

Anyway, I was drawn into the story, compelled by Amina and wanting to know more about her prior adventures as well as the current one she is undertaking and telling the scribe/us.

Look, I think this historical world with the hints of creatures of magic and myth and lore, is done so very well. When I read mythological stories, they have this same veil of wonder to them, and I just love it.

Honestly, I feel this book pretty much had everything: adventure, magic, action, mystery, danger, love in many forms, fascinating characters…Definitely exactly what I needed after completing the previous read, which was disappointing.

And, while I wait for the second book in the trilogy, I guess it’s probably time that I return to the Daevabad trilogy and finish it.

This new release came out February 28th, so you can grab your own copy now!

Well, that is all from me for today. Thank you so much for stopping by, and I’ll be back soon with more geeky content.


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