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Ashley's Adventures with Amina Al-Sirafi

Yes, I had to go for the alliteration.

Moving beyond bad literary devices, I have to give it up for the Fantasy Book Club's first pick. This was my first Shannon Chakraborty novel, and it certainly won't be my last. The Adventures of Amina Al-Sirafi was a great respite from the real world, giving just what I want from a fantasy novel: magic, unique creatures, a band of likeable miscreants, and with enough swashbuckling action to keep me interested.

Personally, I enjoyed Chakraborty's unique point of view--within the fantasy genre especially, you can tire of the same pseudo-English-countryside setting that so many authors are prone to use. Chakraborty's grounded (and clearly well-researched) world of

12th century countries and cultures around the Indian Ocean was a refreshing addition to the fantasy sphere. Her characters were vivid and funny, with enough depth that kept the stakes high through the entire book.

But this was a Book Club pick, after all--my opinion isn't the only one that mattered. Another one of our Book Club members enjoyed the world and its quirky characters, but felt for a Chakraborty novel it fell a little short of her City of Brass series.

What do you think? Are you interested in Chakraborty's transportative worlds? Come by the store and pick up your copy!

Better yet, grab Piranesi by Susanna Clarke--our February pick for Fantasy Book Club. Hope to see you next month!

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