First Lines Friday – 17/03/2023
Good evening and welcome to this week’s feature post – First Lines Friday!
For today’s post, I feature the book that I’ll be reading with Ezeekat’s book club next month. This was only announced a couple of days ago, so it was great timeliness for making it to today’s post. When I read the announcement, I was immediately intrigued as I want to pick up other books by this author.
Those have been on my radar for longer, but they are a fully published trilogy. I’m now thinking that picking this recent publication may be a good way to explore the author’s writing style before committing to a full series. If I do like it, I can keep up with this one as it gets published. I won’t necessarily feel like I have the commitment of reading the other books if I’m not a fan of the first one. That wouldn’t be the case if I pick up The City of Brass first.
If you like fantasy, adventure, and swashbuckling pirates, then I think you’ll like this one!
Here is today’s First Lines Friday excerpt: –
God as my witness, none of this would have ever happened, if it were not for those two fools back in Salalah. Them and their map.
– What? What do you mean, that is “not how you start a story”? A biography? You wish for a biography? Who do you think you are chronicling, the Grand Mufti of Mecca? My people do not wax poetic about lineage like yours do. We are not even true Sirafis. My father‘s father – an orphan turned pirate from Oman – simply found the name romantic.
– Don’t you think so?
The Adventures of Amina Al-Sirafi – S.A. Chakraborty
Genre: Epic Fantasy
Publisher: Harper Voyager
Publication Date: 02 Mar 2023
Goodreads – The Adventures of Amina Al Sirafi
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.
Piracy isn’t a theme that I read a lot of. However, I am really intrigued by this novel. I like the sound of the premise, and you can already tell that everything is going to go cataclysmically wrong.
I also like that these books are set outside the very typical westernised fantasy setting that floods the market. Whilst the author is known for writing medieval style fantasy, her books have Eastern European setting and cultural elements. I have enjoyed other books with this variation of setting fairly recently – Daughter of the Moon Goddess by Sue Lynn Tan, and The First Binding by R.R. Virdi immediately spring to mind.
Reading this book will be a fun change from those I would pick up normally. Not only that, but it is the perfect opportunity to try something written by Shannon Chakraborty without overcommitting myself. If I read the first book in The City of Brass trilogy and had mixed feelings about it, I would still feel compelled to at least pick up the second book, if not read the whole trilogy. By picking up this book now, I can avoid that scenario should the worst happen.
With that, in mind, I am going to read this book as part of the book club next month, and from there decide if I want to read The City of Brass. Based on the synopsis and the small sample, I have read in compiling this post, I am optimistic I will enjoy this.
That’s all from me in today’s First Lines Friday post. Have you read The Adventures of Amina Al-Sifari yet, or any of the other books written by S.A. Chakraborty? Let me know in the comments!