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.
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.
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!!
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.