The first volume in the brilliant, best-selling Bartimaeus sequence. When the 5,000-year-old djinni Bartimaeus is summoned by Nathaniel, a young magician's apprentice, he expects to have to do nothing more taxing than a little levitation or a few simple illusions. But Nathaniel is a precocious talent and has something rather more dangerous in mind ...
The first volume in the brilliant, best-selling Bartimaeus sequence. When the 5,000-year-old djinni Bartimaeus is summoned by Nathaniel, a young magician's apprentice, he expects to have to do nothing more taxing than a little levitation or a few simple illusions. But Nathaniel is a precocious talent and has something rather more dangerous in mind: revenge. Against his will, Bartimaeus is packed off to steal the powerful Amulet of Samarkand from Simon Lovelace, a master magician of unrivalled ruthlessness and ambition. Before long, both djinni and apprentice are caught up in a terrifying flood of magical intrigue, murder and rebellion. Set in a modern-day London controlled by magicians, this hilarious, electrifying thriller will enthral readers of all ages.
I picked this up in the $3 bin at my local Big Lots. Let me tell you, I was a ravenous fantasy/sci fi reader in my teens about 20 years ago, and then suddenly I just quit. I was sick of the same old plots and bad writing. Since then, I've read maybe 2 books cover to cover. When I found this in the cheap bin at Big Lots, I thought it a bit dubious, but when I started reading, the old excitement of reading returned to me again!
Stroud has created a very believable universe where magic exists, but is only wielded by the demons who are enslaved by the upper class of humans, namely magicians. The main characters are well developed and have faults. Very human in character, expecially the non humans, such as Bartimaeus, one of the main characters. He's quirky, funny, and well, pretty much helpless when it comes to his situation, but his trials and tribulations make you really root for him and ultimately leads to redemption for the other characters in the book, but only after one really messy situation after another! This is definitely NOT your typical "Mary Sue" type of story. Excellent and very believable bad guys suck you into the plot quite effectively.
I definitely would recommend this whole trilogy to any fantasy fan. I've actually come to replace my paperback copies with hardback editions. I hope the next read is as enjoyable. I hear good things about Artemis Fowl. Perhaps I'll give that a try.
Nov 16, 2008
This Book was Magical
This is by far one of the best books i've ever read (let's be honest, you just can't beat Harry Potter). It was fast paced and original. It was a wonderful storyline. It was a fantasy with just the right amount of darkness. Stroud was even able to work a little bit of romance into the whole series. I would give this book a five out of five stars.
Oct 23, 2007
Kept me Interested and passed onto my son who went through it fast and is on to book two. So you know it is a great read!!!
Apr 3, 2007
Demons, Demons, Demons
The first books in Jonathon Stroud's Bartimaeus Trilogy is a must read. With it's realistic settings and emotional growth the book is highly recommended by many fans.
Publishers Weekly, 2003-07-21 A seemingly omniscient narrator begins this darkly tantalizing tale set in modern-day London, ushering readers into a room where the temperature plunges, ice forms on the curtains and ceiling, and the scent of brimstone fills the air. Suddenly, the voice reveals itself as the djinn Bartimaeus, appearing in front of Nathaniel, the 10-year-old magician who has summoned him ("Hey, it was his first time. I wanted to scare him," Bartimaeus explains). The djinn thinks of himself as rather omniscient, having been present for some major historical moments (as he explains in various footnotes, he gave an anklet to Nefertiti and offered tips to legendary architects-"Not that my advice was always taken: check out the Leaning Tower of Pisa"). Debut novelist Stroud plunges readers into a quickly thickening plot: Nathaniel commands Bartimaeus to steal the Amulet of Samarkand from Simon Lovelace, a task that the djinn completes with some ease. Other factors quickly become more interesting: the motive for the boy's charge, how Simon came by the Amulet and the fallout from the theft. What these reveal about the characters of Simon and Nathaniel makes for engrossing reading. Stroud also introduces the fascinating workings of the "seven planes" (magicians can see three of them only with special spectacles), the pecking order of magical beings, and the requirements of various spells and enchantments-plus the intrigue behind a group of commoners mounting a Resistance (this loose end, presumably, will be explored in the remainder of the planned Bartimaeus trilogy). The author plants enough seeds that readers will eagerly anticipate the next two volumes. Ages 10-up. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Publishers Weekly, 2010-11-01 Nathaniel is a 12-year-old magician in training in an alternate London where magic is real and perilous creatures and artifacts abound. Bartimaeus is a cocky, 5,000-year-old djinni whom Nathaniel summons to help him get revenge against an arrogant adult wizard. The plot involves stealing the powerful amulet of Samarkand, which Bartimaeus does, setting off a series of increasingly dangerous events. Stroud's popular prose fantasy series elevates a familiar situation with multileveled characters; sharp, evocative writing; and a fascinating setting of wizardly government that, far from being wondrous, is more often mundane or selfish. This graphic novel adaptation by Donkin and Sullivan wisely keeps all the virtues of the original, adding fantastic visuals of this complicated world and colorful characters. While sometimes the narration goes on longer than is strictly necessary when a picture is supposed to be telling a story, it's usually in the service of Stroud's lively dialogue. The comics version doesn't quite improve the tale-Sullivan's characters tend to have only a handful of expressions-but it does justice to the imaginative, engrossing original. Ages 9-12. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Publishers Weekly, 2004-06-28 In a starred review, PW called this novel narrated by an ancient djinn, Bartimaeus, bonded to a 10-year-old magician in modern-day London a "darkly tantalizing tale. Readers will eagerly anticipate the next two volumes." Ages 10-up. (June) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
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