First in the Bartimaeus fantasy trilogy. Story of a London ruled by magicians, where 'commoners' (non-magic folk) are despised, and magicians are all-powerful. Political intrigue abounds around the story of one twelve-year-old apprentice magician, Nathaniel, and the demon he summons, Bartimaeus. Having devoured every book in his master's study and being far beyond what a magician of his age should be, Nathaniel gets cocky and makes a big mistake that twists his life into channels he never dreamed of. Excellent story, well-written, and very enjoyable. I know some folks weren't crazy about the footnotes (which add some dry humor to the story) but I loved 'em!
If you are a fan of Harry Potter and Artemis Fowl, this book may be a good choice for you. It is about a boy apprenticed to a magician, who longs to be more than his master thinks he is. Witty, cute, and easy to read. It's the first in a trilogy, I'm starting book 2 now.
Poor Nathaniel gets an unexpected set of adventures, when he sets out to find a way to gain some power of his own, and to get some of his own back on Simon Lovelace, a magician-cohort of his teacher and Master. Simon mocked Nathaniel, made a laughing-stock of an 11 year old boy, for no reason beyond just being cruel. But Nathaniel will get even. Oh, yes, he will! Learning magic well beyond his apprentice level, he manages to summon the djinn, Bartimaeus, and controls him so that he and Nathaniel can steal the "Amulet of Samarkand" hidden secretly in Simon's well-protected demesne. Then all hell breaks loose!!
I enjoy much young adult fiction simply for escapism, especially fantasy fiction that is well-written. This is the start of a trilogy that I will certainly complete; I do however have a caveat--one of the characters enjoys talking to the reader. This is done by the use of footnotes. About halfway through the book, I became more used to the idea, but it is still rather off-putting and I wonder how children reading the books will feel about the breaks in the storyline these footnotes cause.
There are several moral dilemmas presented in this alternate world and many "gray" areas--who is truly good and who is truly evil? Hopefully the rest of the trilogy will address these issues more clearly. Unlike some trilogies, this book ends in such a way that it could stand alone; if I were reading it with children or grandchildren, it probably would (at least until I pre-read the other two volumes)...there are definitely other series I would share with children before I would share this one.
I really liked this book. I was enthralled throughout. It's a pretty fat book and I believe it's good for anyone, not just teens! Maybe a few slow parts, but all books have that. Other people have said what it is about, so I won't go into that here.
I even read all the footnotes. They contain mostly interesting material and are often humorous.
The Amulet of Samarkand is the first book of The Bartimaeus Trilogy. It is about a 12 year old boy named Nathaniel who becomes an apprentice to a magician. The magician is uncaring and hard on Nathaniel while the magician's wife is very kind to him. Nathaniel dreams of going to Parliament with the other magicians and is bored by how slow his studies are going. He decides to study on his own and learns a great deal more than an apprentice his age should. After being humilated in front of many other magicians by Simon Lovelace (a magician himself), Nathaniel is set for revenge. He summons a djinni named Bartimaeus. From there many things happen that seem to get the both of them into more trouble than they were in the beginning. But they both know that Simon Lovelace is up to something bad but can they prove it? Will they ever be to overcome their bad luck? Will Nathaniel's dream of Parliament ever come true? You must read to find out!
Great Book! Picked it up at a flea market and was suprised to find that I liked it. It does have a Harry Potter ring to it (appreciated,later becomes great magician),but the book is in no way copying it.
This book contained some interesting considerations on the use of magic (e.g. practicing drawing boring, detailed objects for hours on end in order to get used to drawing symbols Exactly Right), but the tone felt off to me and it didn't hold my interest in the series.
Zach H. reviewed The Amulet of Samarkand (Bartimaeus Trilogy, Bk 1) on
Helpful Score: 1
This book is a amazing anction packed book about maicians who summon demons to do there bidding , but one day a eleven year old magician named Nathanial ( his birth name) who summons a demon named Bartimus who learns his name1. but Natkeeps him working i cant tell you anything anymore you have them. You will LOVE it.
1. wich means he doesn't have to listen to Nat and he can kill him
I'd thought at first, ho hum, another Harry Potter clone--but, nope, this one's not the same at all. Yes, a young, misunderstood boy is growing up with magic, but those are pretty much the only resemblances. And it's a bit difficult to tell the good guys from the bad guys sometimes, since generally the bad guys are better looking! A very good young adult novel.
From back cover: Nathaniel is eleven years old and a magician's apprentice, learning the tradional arts of magic. All is well until he has a life-changing encounter with Simon Lovelace, a magician of unrivaled ruthlessness and ambition. When Lovelace brutally humiliates Nathaniel in public, Nathaniel decides to speed up his education, teaching himself spells way beyond his years. With revenge on his mind, he masters one of the toughest spells of all and summons Bartimaeus, a five-thouseand-year-old dijinni, to assist him. But summoning Bartimaeus and controlling him are two different things entirely, and when Nathaniel sends the dijinni out to steal Lovelace's greatest treasure, he finds himself caught up in a whirlwind of magical espionage, murder, and rebellion.
I loved this book and can't wait to read more. The footnotes were a little distracting so I didn't read most of them. Humorous in parts and suspensful in others. I'm always looking for good sci-fi/fantasy books and this is definitely a good one.
The narrator's voice was incredibly smarmy and arrogant. I understand this is the character's POV, but it was still very annoying. It seemed like the author reveled in their first person know it all narrator. I couldn't stand their voice and had to quit reading it. So just be warned for other readers who don't like books where the narrator bugs them!
If you liked Harry Potter, you will probably like this book - a society of magicians rules the world, and they are conniving and selfish, but the plots are fascinating to read about, and the hero has some redeeming qualities.
Great story, but why, oh why, do all villians have to stop just before the climax of their diabolical schemes to destroy everything that matters, to chit-chat with the supposedly helpless hero? Must be something faulty in their schooling.
Melinda H. reviewed The Amulet of Samarkand (Bartimaeus Trilogy, Bk 1) on
This book is told from two points of view, depending on the chapter. The two main characters, Bartimaeus (a demon) and Nathaniel (human), foil each other. Bartimaeus is comical while Nathaniel is serious. With Nathaniel's need for revenge, Bartimaeus is summoned to help Nathaniel get his revenge.
The story was ok, in my opinion. Nothing wonderful or original, but amusing.
However. The footnotes. They completely ruined the flow of reading. Just when I got started, there was a footnote to distract me and throw me off my reading rhythm. While the data was amusing and did add, in a very slight manner, to the story, it was very poorly executed.
nathan is 11 years old and a magician's apprentic, learning the traditional art of magic. All is well until he has a life changing run in with Simon Lovelace, a magician with unrivaled ruthlessness and ambition. When Lovelace publicly humiliates Nathaniel, he decides to speed up his education, learning spells way beyond his years.
I enjoyed this fantasy featuring the djinii Bartimaeus. I liked his footnote asides and his trying to fulfill his missions without getting caught. I look forward to reading the next book in the series, The Golem's Eye.