on 12 May 2011
A fantastic trilogy, I couldn't put them down! Bartimaeus is witty and full of all the best parts about ski-fi stories. There's magic, conflict, demons - who could ask for more? Loved it!
on 5 June 2008
Approaching the end of reading the latest book of Joseph Delaney's Wardstone Chronicles, also recommended, I was looking for some further fantasy reading matter, and I came across Jonathan Stroud's trilogy. Having read the synopsis on Amazon's product page for the first book, I decided to purchase it in paperback form (the majority of my books are in this format as I take great care of them; anyone borrowing a book from me and returning it with a creased spine will face my wrath!). When I got round to reading it, wow, was I captivated. In-fact so enthralled was I with the storyline I decided a third of the way through it to purchase the rest of the trilogy, and for some reason to purchase it in hardback format. And when it arrived was I impressed. All three books are excellent - mine came with all three dustcovers matching in style (whereas the image on the Amazon product page shows book one having a different cover to the other two.) Also the pages are of better quality, more whiter than the paperback's pages, which seems to make it easier to read too. And the free bookmark is a neat touch. Now a quick word of warning; these hardbacks are by Miramax books of New York so they are using American English. This doesn't bother me but if your children will be reading them then be aware of this. Other than that if you're stuck wondering whether to buy this hardback set or the British Corgi paperback versions, I can heartily recommend the former. Even the cardboard slipcase that houses the set is first-rate and makes a great impression on the bookcase. Now all I need to do now is to start replacing my current tomes with their hardback versions. Now, where's my debit card...
on 20 August 2010
I remember reading these books when I was about 12 years old. I loved the first one enough to carry on reading the other two, and afterwards felt a sadness that I'd finally finished reading something that I'd enjoyed. At the time I considered these to be my favourite childhood books, and I would read them again if I had the chance.
The layout of the novels, each from different perspectives, with one section in 1st person, other in 3rd, allows the reader to experience and see more of a story, it's certainly something at the time I had found very original.
Of course it may be now I am nearing adulthood that perhaps I have a warped sense of affection for these books, I do recall being a little disappointed with the ultimate ending, but I would recommend this to anyone who wants a good read from an author who perhaps doesn't get as much publicity and credit as he deserves.
I just thought I'd also mention that the original books I bought have differing covers to this new set, I imagine most other things, such as layout etc, is practically the same.
on 7 April 2009
I ordered this on the basis that the main protagonist Bartimaeus is a djinni and enlightens us with his thoughts in footnotes. That piqued my curiosity
Essentially the premise is that the world is controlled by magicians who in turn rule the commoners - that'd be you and me. Set in an undefined time in a rather vague but powerful 'British Empire' it has a distinctly Edwardian green and pleasant land kind of feel to it. It follows the path of a young but powerful magician at odds with authority and his peers. Despite the obvious parallels to Harry Potter don't be put off by thinking that Jonathon Stroud has merely jumped on the band wagon. I think he has. But in a really good way. Unlike the Potter stories though, where the muggles are kept in the dark about magic, in this the commoners are painfully aware of the power of magicians who keep them under their jackbooted err, wingtipped heel. And it kind of flows from there. The stories themselves move along at a reasonably good pace and when finished have you looking around for the next one.
Unlike the previous reviewer I tend to purchase hardbacks wherever possible since the price difference usually isn't all that great. Having said that the hardback boxed set is from an American printer so has varied in price somewhat. It is a very nice set though and I'd recommend it and the stories within without a second's hesitation.
Bought for a 13 year old who loved the start of the audio book when he was on a screen ban for bad behaviour!
This is a story of a young prodigy of a magician in the times of Gladstone as prime minister. The boy manages to summon a higher level Genie or Djinn before he should have been able to, and they soon find they need to work together despite a mutual loathing. Magicians and their magical servants are popular amongst the haves, but there are also the have nots, the downtrodden of society. The intertwining of all the types of people in a life threatening fight to find an amulet is just the beginning of one of my favourite trilogies. The pace is good and fast, and the reader is kept engrossed. There is a small amount of crime and violence, but easily suitable for any secondary age child right up to pensioner. The trilogy doesnt save you money like some, but does look nice, and this is definately a series worth rereading due to its great detail and humour. Top marks