The Bartimaeus Trilogy: The Amulet of Samarkand

March 25, 2012

By Jonathan Stroud
Adventure/ Fantasy
Reviewed by Dylan W.
Rated 5 out of 5 stars

When Nathaniel, a young English boy, is given up by his parents to become a magician, he has no idea of how dangerous his new life is going to be.  Nathaniel has been apprenticed to Underwood, one of the weakest magicians and head of an unimportant office in the government.  Nathaniel turns out be a quick learner, growing bored of his master’s slow pace and going ahead in his education without his master’s knowledge.  His apprenticeship is fairly normal until one fateful day, when, during a party put on by his master, Nathaniel is publicly humiliated by a magician named Simon Lovelace.  Nathaniel decides to get revenge on Lovelace by stealing a powerful object, called the Amulet of Samarkand, from him.  To do this, Nathaniel summons the sarcastic djinni Bartimaeus to carry out his orders.  When his theft is discovered, Nathaniel and Bartimaeus become wrapped up in a conspiracy larger than they ever imagined.

This book has some subtle themes, like solving your problems, no matter how difficult.  Nathaniel has seemingly insurmountable opposition, but pushes through difficulties to achieve his goals.  Also, he has some altruism, which is a small part of the story.  Bartimaeus is forced to follow Nathaniel’s orders, but he makes some choices without needing to that help Nathaniel.  The book uses two points of view to improve the storyline, one from Nathaniel’s side, and the other from Bartimaeus’ side.  This makes the story more interesting.

I enjoyed this book very much.  The author has an interesting style of writing, and the story takes several unpredictable twists.  I would recommend this book to any fans of adventure, fantasy, and well written books.

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