The Adventures of Amina al-Sirafi

The Adventures of Amina al-Sirafi

by Shannon Chakraborty

Narrated by Lameece Issaq, Amin El Gamal

Unabridged — 16 hours, 59 minutes

The Adventures of Amina al-Sirafi

The Adventures of Amina al-Sirafi

by Shannon Chakraborty

Narrated by Lameece Issaq, Amin El Gamal

Unabridged — 16 hours, 59 minutes

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Overview

Notes From Your Bookseller

Sail the high seas with Amina al-Sirafi as she chases after one last adventure with her old crew — oh, and a kidnapped girl worth a kingly sum for her safe return. You're in safe hands with Shannon Chakraborty's epic world-building and heart-pounding adventure, but don't miss out on the audiobook duo-team Lameece Issaq and Amin El Gamal. Issaq infuses the perfect levels of wit and intensity for the thrill-seeking Amina. And Gamal can keep the lowliest of deck hands interested in the history of this expansive new world.

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.

Supplemental enhancement PDF accompanies the audiobook.


Editorial Reviews

MARCH 2023 - AudioFile

Narrators Lameece Issaq and Amin El Gamal deliver this exciting fantasy audiobook full of pirates and monsters. The legendary Amina al-Sirafi settles peacefully into retirement, content to raise her daughter and put her storied career of piracy behind her. But a wealthy woman's kidnapped granddaughter and the reward promised for her safe return call Amina back for one last adventure. Issaq voices Amina with sardonic wit and confidence. As she occasionally speaks to her scribe, Jamal, who is recording her biography, sound effects like rustling maps, knocking on doors, and a moving microphone immerse listeners in her tales. Jamal, voiced by El Gamal, connects Amina's narrative with the legendary artifacts and people she meets along the way, providing a variety of unique voices for the latter. A.K.R. Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award © AudioFile 2023, Portland, Maine

Publishers Weekly

10/31/2022

A legendary pirate embarks on one last caper in this entertaining 12th-century historical fantasy from Chakraborty (City of Brass, written as S.A. Chakraborty). Years of dangerous seafaring earned Amina Al-Sirafi a reputation as a fearsome pirate captain, but everything changed when she gave birth to her daughter, Marjana, and quietly left bandit life behind her. Then Salima, the mother of a former crewmate, flushes her out of hiding and offers her a million-dinar deal to retrieve Salima’s granddaughter, who was kidnapped by the sorcerer Falco Palamenestra. Amina can’t refuse the temptation to return to the sea and secure Marjana’s financial future. She recruits her old crew to help her, and together they uncover Falco’s real motives. Too late they realize that their foe has powers beyond their capacity to fight, but Salima leaves Amina no choice but to press on despite the odds when she threatens Marjana’s life. If readers are not won over by the playful plot twists and thrilling action sequences, they will fall for the charmingly crooked cast and dry humor. This swashbuckling adventure is sure to delight. Agent: Jennifer Azantian, Azantian Literary Agency. (Mar.)

From the Publisher

"Chakraborty's seafaring adventure is pure incandescence and adrenaline. Readers will leave these pages with their lungs full of ocean air, their fingertips glittered with magic and their hearts a little heavier for being both smitten and heartbroken by its finely drawn, poignant cast of characters. This is a book I will daydream of for years to come." — Roshani Chokshi, New York Times bestselling author of The Last Tale of the Flower Bride

“I read The Adventures of Amina al-Sirafi with a wide grin, my heart thrilling at each twist in our protagonist’s story. The sense of place Chakraborty has conjured is one of the novel’s signal achievements. Her research on the politics of the Indian Ocean in the 12th century is evident throughout, and there is plenty of adroit commentary on class conflict, piety, warfare and gender politics, particularly how these things are perpetuated through myth and storytelling. But there is also the fulfilled promise of a good time.”
New York Times Book Review

“An exhilarating, propulsive adventure, stitched from the threads of real history, Amina’s adventures are the reason to read fantasy.” — Ava Reid, internationally bestselling author of Juniper & Thorn 

"Sheer joy, with quirky characters, spooky monsters, sprightly banter, and swashbuckling that puts Sindbad to shame." — Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

The Adventures of Amina al-Sirafi sets sail on a breathtaking high-stakes revenge tour filled with rollicking thrills and whiplash twists on a magical reimagining of the Indian Ocean. Amina is the big-hearted, scandalous captain I would follow to the end of the world. Chakraborty gives no quarter as she walks the reader right up to the edge of the plank and then shoves them over.”
Wesley Chu, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The War Arts Saga

"A thrilling, transportative adventure that is everything promised–Chakraborty's storytelling is fantasy at its best." — R.F. Kuang, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Babel

“Chakraborty delivers again with a captivating story of motherhood, faith, friendship, dangerous magic, and hijinks on the high seas. Amina al-Sarafi is now my favorite pirate captain and I’m on board to follow all her adventures." — Fonda Lee, author of The Green Bone Saga

“A swashbuckling high seas quest that’s rousing, profound and irresistible. . . Impressively researched history underpins it all, offering fascinating context and realism that elevate this adventurous tale of a fantastical heist as it explores parenthood, faith, ambition, friendship and the enduring allure of forging a legacy.” — BookPage (starred review)

"Readers will...be delighted by the extra, fantasy-filled pages and fresh conflict in the true final act. This pirate fantasy set in the medieval Middle East will appeal to a wide range of readers, just as Chakraborty’s books have in the past." — Booklist (starred review)

THE ADVENTURES OF AMINA AL-SIRAFI is a rollicking adventure amongst an aging, disreputable crew of pirates. These are characters you’ll easily fall in love with, with prose that sweeps you along for the ride. Chakraborty has outdone herself, writing a stirring homage to the dreams we put aside for duty and the love of others, while also daring to ask: why not both?" — Andrea Stewart, author of The Bone Shard Daughter

"Chakraborty immerses readers in a rich historical landscape, plunges them into deftly paced adventure, and throws them in with an ensemble cast of lovable if piratical misfits—but the heart of the story is fierce, flawed, exquisitely human Amina. A transporting, absorbing, and utterly delightful read." — Rowenna Miller, author of The Unraveled Kingdom 

“If readers are not won over by the playful plot twists and thrilling action sequences, they will fall for the charmingly crooked cast and dry humor. This swashbuckling adventure is sure to delight.” — Publishers Weekly

“Another excellent addition from an excellent author, and I hope some movie studio somewhere is smart enough to option the rights. . . This is a book with heart, filled with fear and fun, and I really can’t recommend it enough.” — Lightspeed Magazine

“With heart and exceptional—(though entirely unsurprising)—acuity, yet again Chakraborty raises the bar for the fantasy genre, this time by spiriting her readers into an epic, nautical world as rich as it is enchanting from start to finish. This tale’s voice is cleverly rendered, its plot is deeply nuanced, and its characters are as wonderfully complex as they are charismatic. The Adventures of Amina al-Sirafi has all the trappings of a classic, and is truly a masterpiece.”
Ayana Gray, New York Times bestselling author of the Beasts of Prey trilogy

"The pirate adventure of your dreams—fun, fast-paced, frightening and rich with heart. The Adventures of Amina al-Sirafi is a must-read." — Tasha Suri, author of The Jasmine Throne

“Chakraborty creates a world of high stakes and action, enhanced by its excellent representation. . . as well as its challenge to gender roles. An energetic start to a pirate fantasy trilogy, filled with magic, mayhem, and self-reflection.” — Library Journal

"A swashbuckling adventure with genuine stakes and richly developed oddball characters whose found family of misfits vibe is endlessly charming, the novel’s brisk pace and dry self-deprecating narrative style (the story is framed as Amina recounting—and commenting on—her life story for a scribe) help the pages fly by, and Chakraborty’s detailed, immersive worldbuilding makes the various villages and island of her medieval Islamic world sing with life. But what truly makes The Adventures of Amina Al-Sirafi stand out is its heroine. " — Paste Magazine

“Simply put, this book rules. Even within the first few pages, I kept having to put it down to kick and scream into a pillow like a schoolgirl with a crush. . . The adventure is pure, unparalleled fun, and everything you could possibly want in a pirate story. There’s magic, demons, monsters, and heists on the high seas. A win for all of you wanting stories with older protagonists, and a must-read for anyone looking for a joyful, un-put-downable reading experience.” — Tor.com

"A swashbuckling pirate queen, magic stones, mystical encryptions, and a pan-islamic high sea fantasy — S.A. Chakraborty's unusual epic will thrill fans of history and mystery alike. I loved this book." — Usman T. Malik, World Fantasy Award winning author of Midnight Doorways: Fables from Pakistan

“Take dark magic, lurking monsters, and a Muslim woman pirate captain (who is also a mother with a tricky knee) and add in a former demon for a love interest — these are just some of the wonderful aspects that make Chakraborty’s latest an entrancing read.” — The Cut

“A story of page-burning action, mysticism and magic, and so much heart” — Fantasy Hive

“Playful, enchanting, and immersive, The Adventures of Amina Al-Sirafi is a perfectly charming fantasy novel set in the medieval Islamic world that will awaken a spirit of adventure in all ages.” — CrimeReads

#1 New York Times bestselling author R.F. Kuang

A thrilling, transportative adventure that is everything promised–Chakraborty’s storytelling is fantasy at its best.”

Library Journal

12/01/2022

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.—Kristi Chadwick

School Library Journal

05/01/2023

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.—Andrew Eliopulos

MARCH 2023 - AudioFile

Narrators Lameece Issaq and Amin El Gamal deliver this exciting fantasy audiobook full of pirates and monsters. The legendary Amina al-Sirafi settles peacefully into retirement, content to raise her daughter and put her storied career of piracy behind her. But a wealthy woman's kidnapped granddaughter and the reward promised for her safe return call Amina back for one last adventure. Issaq voices Amina with sardonic wit and confidence. As she occasionally speaks to her scribe, Jamal, who is recording her biography, sound effects like rustling maps, knocking on doors, and a moving microphone immerse listeners in her tales. Jamal, voiced by El Gamal, connects Amina's narrative with the legendary artifacts and people she meets along the way, providing a variety of unique voices for the latter. A.K.R. Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award © AudioFile 2023, Portland, Maine

Kirkus Reviews

★ 2023-01-12
A middle-aged mother in medieval Oman is convinced to return to her former career—piracy—in the first of an epic fantasy series.

A decade ago, nakhudha (shipmaster) Amina al-Sirafi abandoned the criminal seafaring life on the Indian Ocean after a terrible incident involving Raksh, the demonic husband she unwittingly married, and Asif, a member of her crew. But her quiet life with her half-human daughter, Marjana, in a remote, dilapidated mountain home is disrupted by a visit from Asif’s wealthy mother, who persuades, guilt-trips, and eventually threatens Amina into returning to her ship and reuniting her crew. She offers Amina an incredible sum to rescue Asif’s teenage daughter, Dunya, apparently kidnapped by Falco Palamenestra, a Frankish (i.e., Italian) ex-Crusader with an unhealthy interest in magical artifacts. Thus begins a wild adventure in pursuit of Dunya, Falco, and a mysterious and incredibly dangerous magical treasure known as the Moon of Saba. Fans of Chakraborty’s Daevabad books will appreciate an incident late in the novel that confirms that this series is set in the same universe, albeit several centuries earlier; however, that knowledge is not necessary to enjoy this story. Over the past few years, several social media threads have lamented the lack of middle-aged mothers as fantasy heroes, arguing that they would make for great protagonists: They're fierce and seasoned but forced to confront the conflicting needs of their familial, personal, professional, and social responsibilities, circumstances that many men—particularly not your young, inexperienced hero or your grizzled loner veteran—would not face. Chakraborty has clearly leaped to answer the call, and to very good effect. Amina exists in a society where women are expected to stay home and tend to family. She’s tried that life: She loves Marjana and would do anything to keep her safe. But once she goes forth again, Amina remembers how much she loves the sea and risking everything in search of adventure and profit. Balancing those two loves has the potential to tear her apart and will no doubt serve as a major point of tension in upcoming installments.

Sheer joy, with quirky characters, spooky monsters, sprightly banter, and swashbuckling that puts Sindbad to shame.

Product Details

BN ID: 2940175068420
Publisher: HarperCollins
Publication date: 02/28/2023
Edition description: Unabridged
Sales rank: 348,953
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