Review of ‘The Adventures of Amina al-Sirafi’

Following a formidable pirate, The Adventures of Amina al-Sirafi is a magical high-seas adventure.

The Adventures of Amina al-Sirafi follows Amina as she is dragged back into a life of piracy when her quiet life is upturned by magic and mayhem.

Storytelling & Pacing

The Adventures of Amina al-Sirafi was a thoroughly enjoyable novel. However, it was slow to start.

The first 130 pages left me questioning whether or not I would enjoy the overall story simply because, given the premise, I imagined a quicker pace. However, that does not mean it was poorly written in any sense.

Chakraborty uses those first one hundred and thirty pages to establish what kind of character Amina is. The author then uses some time to give the reader some historical context while alluding to some of the backstory and history of Amina with other characters.

Here is where we are introduced to Dalila and TInbu. Dalila is the mistress of poisons and a former crewmate, as is Tinbu. We’re getting a sense of their familial dynamic.

It is slow to build, but at least the story is there, and the characters are fascinating.

However, once Amina is forced to save Tinbu by blowing up a prison, the story’s pacing quickens and only continues to rise as the stakes.

From a mad sorcerer hungry for power to Raksh, her “djinn” ex-husband, sea monsters, ad magical beasts, the story takes a life of its own, offering a fast-paced and thrilling adventure.

Characterization & Representation

Thankfully throughout the adventure, The Adventures of Amina al-Sirafi does not fail to capture the character.

Amina is such a fantastic protagonist. So fierce and honorable, she is entirely flawed. But that only serves to make her even more charismatic.

Really, the dynamics capture the readers’ attention the most and explain why the characters can shine individually.

Dalila is the Mistress of Poisons and comes across as a little crazy. Amina often wonders if Dalila is going to kill her. But she trusts her with her life, and you can see a sisterly bond between the characters. And when times get dark and dangerous, these characters honor and respect one another, even though they come from different religious backgrounds. Amina is Muslim, while Dalila is Christian. But instead of letting that divide them, it only brings them closer together.

There is also no judgment regarding sexual preferences on the ship. Tinbu prefers men, Dunya sees herself as a boy rather than a girl, and the only thing Amina offers them is acceptance.

Seeing such heart, humor, and comradery between the characters was beautiful. This is a crew that the readers become invested in.

Final Thoughts

The Adventures of Amina al-Sirafi is an exciting novel. Despite its slow start, it takes off like lightning and captures the readers’ attention hooking them for the sequel.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

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