The Amulet of Samarkand

The Amulet of Samarkand

eBook - 2003
Average Rating:
Rate this:
35
7
4
 …
Nathaniel, a magician's apprentice, summons up the djinni Bartimaeus and instructs him to steal the Amulet of Samarkand from the powerful magician Simon Lovelace.
Publisher: New York : Hyperion Books For Children, [2003]
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9781423141464
1423141466
9780786818594
078681859X
0786852550
9780786852550
0786856254
9780786856251
Characteristics: 1 online resource (462 pages)

Related Resources


Opinion

From Library Staff

800 -- Fantasy


From the critics


Community Activity

Comment

Add a Comment
p
pranaav_chennai
Jul 20, 2020

Around the world, there has been a major change in power. The up-and-coming British empire, and its premier magician, William Gladstone, have just crushed the Czechs to become the dominant power. 150 years later, the British magicians still hold power around the world. They, with the demons that they command, keep the population under control and expand the British empire around the world.

Nathaniel is an up-and-coming apprentice under the minor minister Arthur Underwood. His ambition and skill are unmatched; he has already summoned an imp and bound it to a scrying disk. All of this seems to be leading him to a high position in the government; that is, until Simon Lovelace, an eminent magician, humiliates him. Seeking revenge, Nathaniel recklessly summons the quick-witted djinn Bartimaeus. The duo must evade Lovelace, his demons, the police, and those commoners willing to resist the power of the magicians.

What I liked about this book is the plot. The plot is engaging, all the while setting up the next book’s main characters, situations, and subplots. In this book, even the most insignificant events become important during the next book. The narrator, Bartimaeus, is witty and engages the reader through footnotes and commentaries pertaining to past experiences or the events of the book. Overall, I would recommend that a reader read this, as well as the other books in the series.

PimaLib_ChristineR Mar 15, 2020

How have I never heard of this book before?!?! This, like the Harry Potter series, is a "children's book" only because of the age of one of the protagonists, Nathaniel. Since our djinni protagonist, Bartimaeus, is about 5,000 years old, I say it balances out and is a perfect read for everyone who enjoys clever adventure with a good dose of humour.

While I wouldn't say it has as many layers of meaning as something like His Dark Materials, it challenges readers in other ways. Nathaniel is a young boy, and while the magician he is apprenticed to isn't a very sympathetic character, it is Nathaniel himself who is more problematic. He's a wizard of rare talent, but he isn't very nice. Often prompted to action by anger or for revenge, he also has no compunction about using a touch of torture on the demons he controls.

Bartimaeus too has his issues, foremost that if he found the slightest leeway he would certainly kill Nathaniel...or would he? The best part of the sections Bartimaeus narrates is his voice. The book abounds with humour and witty footnotes from our djinni.

Together Nathaniel and Bartimaeus uncover a plot. They're not sure what kind of plot, or against whom, but they're sure going to try to find out. Well plotted and full of hair-raising situations, The Amulet of Samarkand is a hidden treasure.

Not only am I excited for the rest of the series, but to grab anything by Stroud I can find.

r
red_penguin_189
Aug 19, 2018

This book, despite being the first in a trilogy, stands on its own as an incredible feat of world-building and character development. The other two are pretty good, but I think they suffer from the fact that this book is (and it's very hard for me to say this about a children's book, but I've adored it for so many years that I can't put it any other way) a masterpiece. Sometimes you read a book that is very clever, and you enjoy it while you read it. Afterwards if you think too much about it you begin to realize its faults (poorly written characters, storylines that go nowhere, plotholes, etc.) This is not a book like that. I have read it three times, and it is perfect from start to finish. This book is so great, I am nostalgic for the days when I first read it. Give it a try. You won't regret it.

Liz_the_Librarian Jul 05, 2017

The Bartimaeus Trilogy is a fantastic series with a beautiful blend of humor and drama. The world it builds is unique and fun, and the way it's written is a nice fresh take: One half first unreliable first person, one half omniscient third person, its filled with many good ideas that blend together into a wonderful novel. I'd highly recommend it to anyone who enjoys fantasy, even if you're older. We may have it in our "teens" section, but I still highly enjoy it as an adult, as much as I did when I was a teen!

Beatricksy Jul 03, 2017

Enjoyable, fast paced, really a terrifically fun read, but also somehow distracted. Partly because it couldn't decide if it was a first or third person book, partly because it blitzed between perspectives without really letting the reader understand either--Nathaniel's chapters were a bit stronger than Bartimaeus's, as the djinni's chapters are really just endless snark. But if you turn your brain off, it's a pretty fun ride.

d
danomcd
May 16, 2017

A very enjoyable story but the djinni character Bartimaeus really steals the show. If he shows up in the other stories then I will definitely be interested in reading them as well.

t
TEENREVIEWBOARD
Aug 13, 2016

The Amulet of Samarkhand by Jonathan Stroud is the first book of the Bartimaeus trilogy. It was an interesting and captivating read. Nathaniel is an eleven-year-old boy who is a magician’s apprentice. His past as far as he can remember was all happy till the day he met Simon Lovelace who is also a magician. Simon humiliated Nathaniel publicly once and now, Nathaniel wants revenge. He’s going to steal Simon’s greatest treasure, the Amulet of Samarkhand. This book lost me at some points but overall, it wasn’t that bad. I would probably give a 3 out of 5. - @WizardingInitiate of the Teen Review Board at the Hamilton Public Library

This is a fantasy book like many others, following standard fantasy fare; however, the plot, storytelling, details and world designed to propel all of these things are imaginative to the point of being bewitching. This story is so magical and inventive that it is worth reading just for that. Atop all of these magical elements that make this book so great, the characters of every Jonathan Stroud novel are superb. They have everything you could ever want in a character archetype, and a little more to keep things interesting. If you enjoy fantasy, extremely clever, witty, well-written books, this is one of the best available. In fact, the entire series is marvellous. - @FalcoLombardi of the Teen Review Board at the Hamilton Public Library

i
indigo_fox_109
Jan 25, 2016

Love this series, espesially how the characters are all flawed. Nathanian is a prissy brat and Bartimus is AMAZINGLY funny......recomend to everyone

k
kannans1983
Nov 06, 2015

This is a interesting book. If you like some of the initial harry potter series books, you would like this one. Its fast paced. One very unique thing I noticed about this book was its central character. It switches between the magicians apprentice nathaniel and the djinni, Bartimaeus. The perspective switches between a narration and the first person perspective of Bartimaeus. A lot is left for readers reason about the exact nature and personalities of the two lead characters.
It has been a good read and hence I am starting on on the next installment of this trilogy

f
FishFruit
Aug 01, 2014

Personally, I love all the funny footnotes bartimaeus puts at the bottom of the page, which makes the book that much better

View All Comments

Age

Add Age Suitability

pink_butterfly_8059 thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 10 and 99

b
black_panda_249
Apr 25, 2016

black_panda_249 thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 8 and 99

f
FishFruit
Aug 02, 2014

FishFruit thinks this title is suitable for 10 years and over

m
mattia
Jul 07, 2013

mattia thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over

l
limari
May 23, 2013

limari thinks this title is suitable for 10 years and over

b
bookKITTY
Jun 27, 2011

bookKITTY thinks this title is suitable for 11 years and over

lucky Oct 24, 2008

lucky thinks this title is suitable for 11 years and over

Summary

Add a Summary
c
Christina946
Jul 13, 2009

Nathaniel, a magician's apprentice, summons up the djinni Bartimaeus and instructs him to steal the Amulet of Samarkand from the powerful magician Simon Lovelace.

z
zorg
Feb 22, 2009

when Nathaniel is 5, he is taken in as the apprentice of a magician.
he is awed by his master's stupendous magical capability. little does he know that in only a few years, he will be capable of even more.
when Nathaniel summons up bartimeus, one of the most powerful genies in the magical world, he will dive deeper into the vast world of magic than he ever could have fathomed before

lucky Oct 24, 2008

Nathaniel has been adopted by a grudging middle-class magician. He is eager to learn how to summon demons, but has he finally crossed the line? Will it cost him his life?

Quotes

Add a Quote
f
FishFruit
Aug 02, 2014

"Sometimes you human beings are so dense" -Bartimaeus

Notices

Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.

Explore Further

Recommendations

Subject Headings

  Loading...

Find it at SCCLD

  Loading...
[]
[]
To Top