- Paperback: 496 pages
- Publisher: Corgi Childrens; paperback / softback edition (2 Sept. 2010)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0552562793
- ISBN-13: 978-0552562799
- Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 3.1 x 19.8 cm
- Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars See all reviews (130 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 9,264 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
The Amulet Of Samarkand (The Bartimaeus Sequence) Paperback – 2 Sep 2010
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Author Jonathan Stroud delivers such a potent and unforgettable mix of magic, history and intrigue with The Amulet of Samarkand, the first part of his compelling Bartimaeus Trilogy, that it is difficult not to want to read the next novel immediately. Undoubtedly the shortest 480 pages you'll ever read, The Amulet of Samarkand is a superb novel of revenge and adventure with the most original central character for years.
Bartimaeus is a wisecracking Djinni (pronounced "Jinnee" we're reliably informed) unlike no other. Summoned from some otherworldly place to do the bidding of a pipsqueak trainee magician called Nathanial, he sets about his given task reluctantly but with aplomb. Nathanial is after revenge and that makes him dangerous. Previously humiliated by a powerful magician called Simon Lovelace in front of his impotent master, Nathanial has spent every waking hour for years cramming knowledge of the highest magic into his head so that he can exact his own special kind of vengeance.
Bartimaeus is charged to steal a precious and powerful object--the Amulet of Samarkand--from Lovelace's residence, which the Djinni achieves but not without angering a few old mates on the same astral plane and having to spend the night annoyingly disguised as a bird. Bartimaeus, despite being bound to Nathaniel, discovers the boy's real name--a tool he can use to his own advantage. But he is constantly outwitted. Then an overriding danger becomes apparent that threatens the whole fabric of society and they must work together to combat it.
Stroud's fantasy world is familiar, yet fascinatingly different. It's almost Victorian London, yet Magicians hold overall power and inhabit parliament. The writing is captivating, the story intelligent and mesmerising. It's difficult to imagine a more scintillating collection of characters and situations. Unmissable. (Recommended for ages 10 and over.) --John McLay --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
"Drama, humour and hypnotically engaging storytelling" (Independent)
"The truly original touch is the way Stroud alternates Nathaniel's story with the djinni's own knowing and irascible first-person narrative" (Guardian)
"The narrative slips skilfully from first person to third and back and Bartimaeus's voice is laugh-out-loud sassy, while Nathaniel's story has an engaging poignancy as he tries to prove himself in a world in which he has always been despised" (The Sunday Times)
"Not since Gulliver's Travels has a children's writer managed to combine a thrilling tale of magic and adventure with such deliciously pointed comedy" (The Times)
"Terrific stuff" (Mail on Sunday)
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Top Customer Reviews
The book begins with the first summoning of a djinn called Bartimaeus by a magician's apprentice called Nathaniel. Nathaniel orders the Bartimaeus to steal the Amulet of Samarkand from a very powerful magician and minister called Simon Lovelace. One thing leads to another and, sooner than you can say "N'gorso the Mighty", there's murder, mystery and mayhem - with the added bonus of some young and mysterious human revolutionaries. Needless to say, Lovelace is at the heart of the wrongdoing and the Amulet is clearly at the crux of his dastardly plans.
Nathaniel and Bartimaeus are the story's central characters and the focus of the story alternates back and forth between them. As things progress, we learn more about both our heroes - for example, how Nathaniel came to be a magician's apprentice, why he's picking on Simon Lovelace and a little about Bartimaeus' former masters.
Stroud has taken an interesting approach - he writes Nathaniel's story ("Nathaniel's eyes narrowed"), but the djinni tells his own ("I sat on the ground cross-legged").Read more ›
I really wish he would continue Bartimaeus' adventures for a long time!
The subject matter is not my usual choice but I felt the combination of fantasy with the reality of possible secret 'goings on' in parliament worked well together.
I feel that the book is aimed at teenagers aswell as adults providing entertainment on different levels dependant on the reader. The use of footnotes is not something that I have experienced in a novel before but they provide some great insights into the characters and their history and are very amusing - so don't miss them out.
Essentially the story is about a young magician (Nathaniel) who seeks revenge on an adult magician (Simon Lovelace) who has made fun of him....oh yes and who also wants to overthrow the Prime Minister. Nathaniel needs to use the powers of a djinni (Bartimaeus) to do his bidding and get revenge upon the magician. This leads both of them into all sorts of trouble which is why the book moves along at such a rapid pace.
I would recommend this book to anyone 10 years old and above and would hope you get as much enjoyment out of it as I did.
Can't wait for the next book!!!!!
In terms of imagination, this book far outstrips Harry Potter. I recognised some of the magical background in the novel, having read the odd text myself out of interest, and one senses that the author did plenty of careful research - the result is that, though the book is a fantasy, there is a sense of versimilitude and even in its wierdest moments it remains convincing. In terms of character depth and insight, I thought this surpassed HP5; Nathaniel is a far more convincing angry adolescent than HP.
Above all, the author has an elegant, seductive, intelligent prose style. Maybe this isn't as amazing as Pullman, but it comes close and I cannot wait to read the rest of the triology.
This book deserves the hype!
One of the best books that I have ever read.
When Nathaniel, a fast learning magicians apprentice, tries to get one back at his enemy, Simon Lovelace, for humiliating and beating him at a meeting(for being a bit too clever) a few years ago, he doesn't realize who he's fighting with.
He summons a very high ranking spirit, a fourteenth level Djinni, Bartimaeus; he orders it to steal a very precious item from the magician, the Amulet of Samarkand.
Lovelace becomes furious and suddenly Nathaniel and Bartimaeus are plunged into a bloody, murderous adventure full of excitement.
I am a 12 year old boy who loves the fantasy and fiction kind of books. I got this book for Christmas last year and was contemplating whether I should read it or not, I wasn't sure what to do for I have loads of books that I could read. In the end I decided that I would try it out...
...That book was absolutely AMAZING! The plot was a very well thought out and exciting one. The author has made the accounts told from two very different sides of the story and I thought that that was very cleverly done. The footnotes are great, sometimes even hilarious. The mix of wit and hilarity goes perfectly. The writing is very imaginative and clever.
As soon as I finished this book I found myself turning the first page of the next book, The Golems Eye.
I recommend this book to anyone of any age, especially young people who love fantasy.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This was an engaging story told from the alternating points of view of a young (11 year old) magician, Nathaniel, and the ancient djinni he summons, Bartimaeus. Read morePublished 8 months ago by Alex Avrio
Really liked this book. Wonderfully written, had me hooked from word one. Can't wait to read the rest of the series.Published 9 months ago by Andrew Richmond
With so many good reviews of this book I found it disappointing. I know it is an escapist story and I enjoy good fantasy novels but this one just lacked depth and became less... Read morePublished 13 months ago by Patrick McParland
That was a pretty good read overall. Lots of action, spying, conspiracy and magic to gobble through. Read more