Norman M., January 1, 2010 (view all comments by Norman M.)
This is the first book of a trilogy. It is a twist on the Harry Potter idea--boy wizard fights bad guys--except that here the bad guys are the entire establishment, a corrupt corps of venal, egotistic magicians. What's unique is that the tale is told from the point of view of the demon Bartimaeus, a world-weary 5000 year old magic worker who has seen human empires rise and fall many times before. He's (almost) all-powerful, he's funny, and he's beholden to Nathaniel, the teenage magician, who has to grow up fast if he even wants to stay alive. Much darker and wittier than the Potter books.
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Blacknarcissa, August 31, 2008 (view all comments by Blacknarcissa)
I really love this book and wish that I had my own copy of it.
Although you can easily spot the influences in the book (boy wizard in modern day London) I still feel that it one of the most original fantasy books that I have read.
Bartamaeus made it for me, he is so witty. I loved the footnotes so much that I found myself flicking my eyes down every time i turned the page to see if there was another one coming.
Very enjoyable book.
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tree_hugger, September 22, 2007 (view all comments by tree_hugger)
HOW DARE ALL OF U SAY THAT! this book rox my sox! well i guess everyone likes somthing different... but still this book is awsome. i couldn't put it down! though i admitt at times it was reli slow but still amazing. if u start it and find it boring just keep reading and give it a chance. when i read it i hated it, the biggining wasnt that good but i was bored and i didnt have anything else to do (i had a fever) so i kept reading and now im obsessed! i finished the last book of this series 2 days ago. it has the kind of ending where you can choose wat happens next... a little annoying to tell you the truth. there were times that i was so angry at the auther because of wat he did to... some of the charactors (he make som1 a jerk thats all im saying). now im just gonna shut up and let u read it cuz im probably boring u half to death rite now!
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The Amulet of Samarkand: The Bartimaeus Trilogy #01
Used Trade Paper
0 stars -
Hyperion Books for Children -
"Publishers Weekly Review"
by Publishers Weekly,
"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. (June)" Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.)
by Booklist (Starred Review),
"Stroud creates a convincingly detailed secondary world with echoes of actual history and folklore....One of the liveliest and most inventive fantasies of recent years."
by Kirkus Reviews,
"[A] thrilling adventure....Many chapters end in suspense, suddenly switching narrators at key moments to create a real page-turner."
by School Library Journal,
"Stroud has woven an intricate fantasy set in an alternative London....There is plenty of action, mystery, and humor to keep readers turning the pages....[A] must for fantasy fans, and in particular for those anxious for the next Harry Potter."
by Beth Guldseth, Children's Literature,
"[A] long, involved, original, and exciting fantasy....This is refreshing because it is nothing like Harry Potter....After page 250 or so I couldn't put it down and read straight through to the end at just under 500."
by Dallas Morning News,
"For me, The Amulet of Samarkand seemed too cluttered, too tricked-up, the better to keep short attention spans attentive. But for those who are hooked on [Harry] Potter, another world...awaits."
by Denver Post,
"[T]his first installment of the Bartimaeus series promises interesting developments and deeper, richer storylines in future novels."
"The story...is fast-paced and funny....Loose ends are deliberately left untied, as this is the first book in a trilogy, a happy prospect for readers of this delightful tale."
Set in modern-day London, this first book in a gripping new trilogy introduces young magician's apprentice Nathaniel. Humiliated by a hotshot wizard, Nathaniel summons the not-so-tame djinni, Bartimaeus, and sends him to steal the Amulet of Samarkand.
Galen and his apprentice, Raffi, are searching for the ancient relics with the power to save their city, Anara. First they hear of Flian’s Coronet, which might be the only way to defeat the encroaching evil—but the Coronet has not been seen for centuries, and they must enlist some dangerous allies to find it. And then, when Raffi knows he is being hunted, he must face his deepest fears in the deepest, darkest part of Anara, the Pits of Maar—and there, evil is unmasked, loyalty is tested, and the greatest secret in all of the city is revealed.
“Anyone who has kept up with the story will be on tenterhooks.”—Kirkus Reviews on The Hidden Coronet
by Harper Collins,
Nathaniel is a magician's apprentice, taking his first lessons in the arts of magic. But when a devious hot-shot wizard named Simon Lovelace ruthlessly humiliates Nathaniel in front of his elders, Nathaniel decides to kick up his education a few notches and show Lovelace who's boss. With revenge on his mind, he summons the powerful djinni, Bartimaeus. But summoning Bartimaeus and controlling him are two different things entirely, and when Nathaniel sends the djinni out to steal Lovelace's greatest treasure, the Amulet of Samarkand, he finds himself caught up in a whirlwind of magical espionage, murder, and rebellion.
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