"A riot of magic, of mayhem and of heart, this is a glorious swashbuckling tale of a notorious pirate, smuggler and blasphemer, a fierce and fearsome female rogue. I will follow Amina to the ends of the earth."
It's the 12th century in the northwestern Indian Ocean when we meet retired bandit Amina and her daughter Marjana living in a remote crumbling stone house in the seaside mountains of Oman. The memories of her adventures as a Nakhudka, of her life before becoming a mother, weigh heavily on her. The stories are legendary, of the guts, the glory, the vengeful merchant princes, her many men, the tales of her serving up human hearts for her sea-beast husband. She was a sorceress, a witch, a djinn, surely. For no woman could sail a ship so deftly. No woman could have achieved so much without such help. They hated what they desired and desired what they could not possess.
And then it was all over. Amini retired to the mountains to a life of an eccentric widow, a life of piety and motherhood. That's until she is offered a job that would transform the life of her and her daughter forever. She cannot resist the bounty and the call of her old life. As she re-engages with her old crew, her Mistress of Poisons, her Father of Maps and her beloved ship the Marawati she embarks on her quest to find the kidnapped granddaughter.
The start of a trilogy, this is a beautiful book inside and out, the language as spectacular, rich and bewitching as the locations. It's an absolute blast. A breathtaking adventure across the seas as Amina dives into adventure after adventure searching for missing artefacts, trying to solve ancient mysteries, desperate to win her quest. As she gains back her infamous swagger page by page, we understand and appreciate her love of this life. And as part of her crew, you want to follow her wherever her adventures take you next. Glorious!