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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars True Djinn magic
Jonathan Stroud, has long been a big name in the young adult world and yet I've only really read one of his titles before (Heroes in the Valley) which whilst fun, didn't exactly set my world alight and left me wondering exactly how he'd managed to earn the kudos of so many readers.

That was until I read this book. Whilst I haven't read other titles in the...
Published on 10 Oct 2010 by Gareth Wilson - Falcata Times Blog

versus
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars when was the last time you hugged your Djinn?
Having read the original Bartimaeus trilogy several times I was very happy when the author announced he was working on this book. I read his blog and followed his writing process. When it was released I purchased it almost immediately.

The setting is different from the trilogy as it's set in ancient times. That makes it already not as good because it becomes a...
Published on 21 Oct 2011 by Mr D.K Lind


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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars True Djinn magic, 10 Oct 2010
By 
Gareth Wilson - Falcata Times Blog "Falcata T... - See all my reviews
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Jonathan Stroud, has long been a big name in the young adult world and yet I've only really read one of his titles before (Heroes in the Valley) which whilst fun, didn't exactly set my world alight and left me wondering exactly how he'd managed to earn the kudos of so many readers.

That was until I read this book. Whilst I haven't read other titles in the Bartimaus series, I was instantly struck with the authors writing style, that was not only fast paced but also written with an almost unparalleled level of humour as the reader follows the exploits of our heroic djinn. The style was crisp, the dialogue ideal but overall the real thing that sells the book is the principle character who not only stole the show but gave the reader a real link to the world in which he inhabited. This was done through his sense of humour alongside his warped principles for the way that the world should work which when backed up with an ego the size of a skyscraper really did make this something spectacular.

Finally add to this a seriously huge story arc, a huge selection of supporting cast members and an easy to access world made this ideal reading material and overall really has made me want to buy the previous titles so that I can have a lot more fun with the heroes other exploits. Great stuff, although judging by how the djinn have been pushed into service to create things for other, I do wonder if they sprinkled Jonathan's writing with some of their magic. It really is just too good to be true.
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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I Dream of Djinni, 14 Sep 2010
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Book Gannet (Devon, UK) - See all my reviews
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In a world where wizards regularly summon a host of demons to become slaves to their every whim, life can be pretty tough on the demons - or imps, foliots, djinns, afrits and marids, if you want to be polite about things - as Bartimaeus could tell you. After all, no sooner has this smart, dashing, and did he mention highly intelligent, ancient, revered and all-around brilliant djinni disposed of a typically incompetent and meddlesome master, then he's brought back.

As punishment! Which is not how things are supposed to work. Then again, events in Jerusalem 950BC are far from usual. All because King Solomon has a Ring, which can summon a host of demons with a simple turn, and bring about destruction with a mere thought.

But just when Bartimaeus thinks things can't get any more humiliating, the real trouble starts. Well, when one's slave of someone call Khaba the Cruel, things aren't likely to get better. And that's before the fanatical girl with a death wish arrives...

Bartimaeus is back! The sarcastic, witty, devilish yet surprisingly honourable djinni returns, and his mouth is as big as ever. Fans of the original trilogy (The Amulet of Samarkand, The Golem's Eye, Ptolemy's Gate) won't be disappointed with his newest (or rather oldest, since we're back in Bartimaeus' long past) adventure. And for those who've never met him before, all the important stuff is included, so you won't get left behind.

As always Bartimaeus (and his brilliant footnotes) completely steals the show, but there's plenty to enjoy here: greedy wizards, cheeky foliots, a friendly worst enemy Faquarl, powerful yet brainless afrits, a rundown on some of Bartimaeus' intriguing past master, and those pesky royal leaders. Not to mention poor Asmira blindly trying to achieve an impossible task set for her by her queen, without any real clue about how to go about it.

Throw in a few quests, some fighting, knife-throwing, summoning spells, mortal peril, self-doubt, menacing shadows and an all-powerful ring, and what's not to love?

Hugely enjoyable, fast-paced, clever and fun, for fans and newcomers, Bartimaeus is a treat for all fantasy fans - young or old. Though possibly not as good as the original trilogy, with its difficult yet vital power struggle with his master Nathaniel, Bartimaeus is still my favourite anti-hero. More, please!
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great fun!!, 29 Sep 2010
By 
Jeff "roadrunner" (uk) - See all my reviews
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This won't disappoint the many Bartimaeus fans around the world. It has the same zany adventures and the same arrogant humour. You do need to have read the other books first though in order to fully understand shape changes, planes of perception, djinns, imps etc to say nothing of the footnotes which are a fundamental part and are often wickedly funny. To read a fantasy novel which has no recourse to bad language and copious amounts of violence is a welcome treat these days. Something I do need to stress is that in my opinion, this novel is to be enjoyed by all ages. Well written and a real treat!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A good sequel to the Bartimaeus Trilogy, 30 Sep 2010
By 
Angel Jem "Angel Jem" (Liverpool, Merseyside United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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I passed this on to my 12 year old, a Bartimaeus fan, who had this to say;
"This book is good because you don't have to have read the first three books of the Bartimaeus Trilogy (The Golem's EyeThe Amulet of Samarkand (Bartimaeus Trilogy) and Ptolemy's Gate (Bartimaeus Trilogy)) to read and appreciate it.
Bartimaeus has ended up in the service of King Solomon and so far he's
Insulted Solomon's wife by turning into a dress-wearing Hippo in front of her
Killed one of Solomon's best magicians, and
Ended up in the service of an assassin who's determined to kill King Solomon for his ring.
The book is full of adventure and quite a few jokes... good for young teenagers. I can't wait for another sequel."
I read Bartimaeus books over the holiday and I really enjoyed them. This one didn't disappoint, and the fact that it could be read alone is a big benefit. Good for teenagers from 12+, our 18 year old cousin is desperate to borrow it. If you're already a fan, go for it, if you're a fantasy fan, go for it. If you don't like fantasy, genies and magic.... well, give it a go. You never know!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars when was the last time you hugged your Djinn?, 21 Oct 2011
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Having read the original Bartimaeus trilogy several times I was very happy when the author announced he was working on this book. I read his blog and followed his writing process. When it was released I purchased it almost immediately.

The setting is different from the trilogy as it's set in ancient times. That makes it already not as good because it becomes a standard adventure whereas the trilogy had an underlying theme and you could see the connections to modern day London.

Bartimaeus is his usual self and the gallery of demons around him are also fun to read about. However, the human characters aren't as fleshed out as they were in the trilogy and I found them bland at times.

With all that said it's a great, fun, story for everyone. But coming from the superior trilogy I can't give this any better grade.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars True Magic?, 19 Oct 2011
By 
Sussman "Sussman" (London CA) - See all my reviews
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This review is of the Audio CD version of the book

I must say after listening to the other audiobooks about my favourite jinn, Bartimaeus. I eagerly waited to hear this relatively new prequel release. I am somewhat disappointed that this version is abridged, and I am sure that much good material and humour was lost and I hope the powers that be produce a full version! Unlike other books in the Bartimaeus series, this book can be read in isolation without necessarily having to read or listen to other titles, although I highly recommend them. There is little point in adding a plot summary, firstly they are rather like spoilers and then help to diminish the enjoyment of the material. Secondly other reviewers have done a much better job than I could!
Not to sound too repetitive, the audio CDs are well presented and the narration is very good and you just flow with the story. The voice and dialogue for the jinn are all very well done. Some people will think that the central Character, our young sorceress is less than well rounded and nave, I believe that lends itself to the verbal `sparring between her and Bartimaeus. Also it seems to this listener that it is part and parcel of the humour and that this makes the story, well that's my feel.
An important point mentioned by another review, was the authors skill in not having to use strong language or graphic violence to help keep the reader engaged and that is refreshing, to say the least! As the book is aimed at the younger audience. Not say that adults would not enjoy it!
The price tag is not too bad, if you wish to buy to hear more than once. If not try to get it from the Library, it is worth it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars As enjoyable as the former Bartimaeus books, 10 Sep 2011
Perhaps it's a bit unfair to give four stars to this book when I may have given five to other which are not better, but the thing is, my nearest reference for this is "Ptolemy's Gate", and I liked that better, so my five stars I reserve for that.

More or less, the story goes like this: the main character, a supernatural being with magic powers, is frequently summoned by magicians to carry out whichever missions they order. In the times of Great King Solomon, young Arabian girl Asmira entrusts him with killing the King and stealing his ring, an object of immense power. In trying to fulfil that deed, Bartimaeus has to survive the attacks from many fellow spirits and uncover a conspiracy that threats to bring terror and destruction all over the kingdoms of Middle East.

For those who haven't read the Bartimaeus' series, I'll simply say that this is a book packed with action, whith a a main character that is original and relatively complex, funny, witty, and lovable. It is written in a fresh and ironic voice, relatively fast paced but with descriptions good enough for the reader to be submerged into the story's atmosphere. The footnotes, almost always in a comical voice, add pleasantly to the whole. Though it's intended for young adults, probably many inveterate grown up readers will enjoyt it. I have.

All I've said above won't come as a surprise to those who have read the former series. The only drawback I can see is that the relationship between the djinni and his master isn't as moving and close as it was with Nathaniel; Asmira's story is more heroic, the character is a bit dull in her flawlessness and her background is a bit commonplace when it comes to adventure novels. Anyway, in the whole I loved it. An perhaps, the storyline not being complex and the main characters pictured as a pretty girl and a, mmmh, sometimes handsome boy, some film making company could fancy making it into a movie. Just saying.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another good read!!!, 9 Sep 2011
This review is from: The Ring of Solomon (The Bartimaeus Sequence) (Paperback)
I enjoyed this insight into the earlier years of Bartimaeus, his sarcasm/wit are perfect. I got a few strange looks off my lady as i sat on the sofa chuckleing away to myself! Cracking read...
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A fast-paced read, but lacking the expansive feel of previous entries, 12 May 2011
By 
Inspector Gadget "Go Go Gadget Reviews" (On the trail of Doctor Claw) - See all my reviews
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As a fan of the loveable roustabout demon Bartimaeus I was surprised to see that Jonathan Stroud had brought the franchise back after a five-year gap. The original trilogy was a great read (with the middle story a real weak link, I should add) with a rich, deep universe full of potential for further stories. Instead of building upon the world he already created, Stroud goes back in time thousands of years before Nathanial to the world of King Solomon.

Bartimaeus has been summoned by one of Solomon's evil magicians to labor on some tedious building site, though a chance encounter with a strange girl traveling across the desert on an assassination mission leads to a more exciting chain of events. Solomon is in possession of a powerful ring (a huge cliche in fantasy fiction by now) that can destroy the Earth if yielded by the wrong wearer. Bartimaeus and the girl plot to steal it, but there just might be a few surprise twists in store for them.

The Ring of Solomon is a fairly swift 405 pages. Some of the plot could have been tightened here and there, but it was in no way as overwritten as Golem's Eye (Bartimaeus Trilogy), so I should be thankful for that. The shifting narrative quickens the pace, and the amusing footnotes are just as witty as ever.

If Stroud continues this ancient history angle on the adventures of Bartimaeus I will surely purchase more of his books. Just give us something with a little more clout than a ring next time.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Irreverent, witty, funny, and riddled with magic, 11 Jan 2011
By 
R. F. Stevens "richard23491" (Ickenham UK) - See all my reviews
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Bartimaeus is a 'djinni with attitude', according to the blurb on the back of this book. But I'd say he goes a few steps further, because the underlying humour shines through consistently while our disreputable hero repeatedly squeezes out of tight corners into even more perilous scrapes, and yet somehow remains wise-cracking and resourceful.

When I was small my mother had several volumes of the various 1920s Ward Lock Fairy Tales including my favourite, the Persian Fairy Tales, which was full of djinns and ifrits (afreets), and moral cautions about their powerful sense of mischief or evil and their innate propensity to trick the unwary people fool enough to summon them. Bartimaeus brought back all those happy memories, and built whole castles on those faded foundations. The Ring of Solomon is a thoroughly entertaining romp, suitable for impressionable adults as well as the target younger age group. And in the best tradition, there is even a liberal scattering of wry footnotes to ensure we are fully aware of all the details of what is happening, and why

If my children were twenty years younger, I'd look forward to reading this to them as a bed-time story, always assuming that they then did not sneak a read of it during the day. The pictures on the insides of our eyelids would be superb if this was being read to us! This is one of the best 'younger' books I have really enjoyed reading for some years. Rational belief can easily be suspended while soaking up the magic of this charming fable.

Recommended for children of all ages.
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The Ring of Solomon (The Bartimaeus Sequence)
The Ring of Solomon (The Bartimaeus Sequence) by Jonathan Stroud (Paperback - 4 Aug 2011)
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