Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Amulet of Samarkand (Bartimaeus, #1)” as Want to Read:
The Amulet of Samarkand (Bartimaeus, #1)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Amulet of Samarkand (Bartimaeus Sequence #1)

3.96 of 5 stars 3.96  ·  rating details  ·  78,919 ratings  ·  3,283 reviews
Nathaniel is a boy magician-in-training, sold to the government by his birth parents at the age of five and sent to live as an apprentice to a master. Powerful magicians rule Britain, and its empire, and Nathaniel is told his is the "ultimate sacrifice" for a "noble destiny."

If leaving his parents and erasing his past life isn't tough enough, Nathaniel's master, Arthur Un
Hardcover, 462 pages
Published September 30th 2003 by Disney-Hyperion (first published January 1st 2003)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Amulet of Samarkand, please sign up.

Popular Answered Questions

Twitios Similar in the type of story, different in the telling. I highly recommend reading the Bartimaeus books if you dig Harry Potter. Its a different take…moreSimilar in the type of story, different in the telling. I highly recommend reading the Bartimaeus books if you dig Harry Potter. Its a different take on magic and the characters are thoroughly entertaining. The dialogue is witty and the story is engaging. The development of the magical world is not as thorough as in Harry Potter, and the number of characters that you grow to love is smaller. (less)
The Lightning Thief by Rick RiordanThe Hunger Games by Suzanne CollinsEragon by Christopher PaoliniThe Fellowship of the Ring by J.R.R. TolkienArtemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer
What To Read After Harry Potter
11th out of 1,230 books — 4,547 voters
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. RowlingThe Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. TolkienA Game of Thrones by George R.R. MartinThe Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. LewisThe Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss
Best Fantasy Series, Trilogies, and Duologies
29th out of 1,859 books — 7,661 voters

More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Aug 10, 2007 Ian rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: magic lovers / smartasses
This book had some ground to make up to begin with because after checking its copyright date, all I could think was, "It's a book...about a magic England...written after Harry Potter." And that meant that I was skeptical, although not to the degree that I thought the main character would be named Barry Cotter or something.

Well, there is one big way in which it's like Harry Potter...

...I stayed up all night reading it.

This is a FANTASTIC book, one that suggests that Harry Potter b
Jason Koivu
Within the first few sentences my heart sank. Oh no, I thought, fanciful purple prose attempting to set a magical aura about the opening scene.

"GOTCHA!" shouted Stroud.

Well played, sir, well played.

One thing The Amulet of Samarkand does not do is take itself too seriously. That was a relief. I had approached this with trepidation. I'd heard good things, but I wasn't in the mood for some heavy going in a kiddies' fantasy world with evil baddies, precocious sprites, etc. No, instead what you get
If the quality of a book rested solely on its plot, this would be an excellent novel. The general plot is, of course, standard fantasy fare (save the world!) but its details and the world built to drive it is unique. Also, there appears to be a second plot running under the main one which will obviously be continued in the later books, and this plot seems much more promising.

Story-wise, this first installment in The Bartimaeus Trilogy is respectably good. However, the writing failed to appeal to
I really loved this book, the first of the Bartimaeus Trilogy.

It's tempting to compare the book to the Harry Potter series. Young boy. Magic. Sneaking around. Breaking the rules. Stern teachers. But the similarities really end there.

In Stroud's world, magicians have no power of their own - their power lies in the knowledge of how to summon (and enslave) spirits, like the djinni Bartimaeus, to do their will. These magicians are the proud, arrogant, entitled upperclass that pretty much oppress the
Such a wise-cracking djinn, such a tiny, jerkish upstart. You will absolutely devour this book. It's hilarious. Told from the very different viewpoints of Bartimaeus ( a smart-aleck djinn who has lived thousands of years and has nothing to show for it but an I rock you don't attitude) and Nathaniel (12 year old jerkwad apprentice whose lifelong dream is to be a huge im portant government official and have millions of obedient djinn slaves at his fingertips. Bartimaeus isn't making it easy for hi ...more
Mar 06, 2008 Angela rated it 2 of 5 stars
Recommended to Angela by: Kelly Hoffman
This is a difficult book to rate: It was very well-written, with an intriguing plot and engaging wit. That being said, I must admit that it was more frustrating than enjoyable for me.

The main problem was that I disliked both of the main characters: one is a wily demon (Bartimaeus), and the other is a 12-year-old kid who is way too smart for his own good (Nathaniel). I think you'd get a similar result if you paired C.S. Lewis's Screwtape with Rowling's Draco Malfoy. Don't get me wrong - I love "T
This book is very cleverly written, with two alternating strands of narration. One in the third person, tells the story mainly from the point of view of Nathaniel. The other strand gives us a different perspective on the characters and events but it is in the first person, from the point of view of the devious, superior and sarcastic otherworldly being Bartimaeus.

While it bears some resemblance to other narratives of the underdog sorceror's apprentice (Harry Potter leaps to mind), this is diffe
4.5 to 5.0 stars. A very fun read, with an intelligent, engaging magic system and a wonderful title character ... namely the Djinn Bartimaeus. This is one of my favorite YA fantasy series.
Feb 16, 2014 David rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommended to David by: Maitrey
Shelves: fantasy, audiobook
This is a hilarious, fast-paced book about a world where many state governments are ruled by magicians. Great Britain, for example, is governed by an elite group of magicians--many of whom are greedy, ambitious, and uncaring for other people. Magicians themselves have limited powers; most of their strength stems from their ability to summon powerful demons who are obligated to do their bidding.

At the age of six, Nathaniel is apprenticed to a mediocre, hypocritical, incompetent self-consumed magi
‘L’esercito più formidabile di questo tipo che si sia mai visto fu messo insieme dal faraone Tuthmosi III nel 1478 a.C. Comprendeva una legione di afrit e un gruppo di jinn di vario livello, di cui il più notevole era sicuramente… No, la modestia mi impedisce di proseguire.’ -Bartimeus

Londra ha aperto le porte alla magia, ma questa volta ad attraversarle non sono i già noti ed affezionatissimi Harry&co., bensì Nathaniel, apprendista mago, combinaguai, intrepido vendicatore che nulla fareb
I love this book! A djinn with an attitude (who had me constantly chuckling to myself), and a boy bent on revenge. Great characters, fast-paced action, fully-realized world with a cool magic system, what more could you want?

What I appreciate most, though, is that the characters face real danger. None of that false suspense -- you know, like the ones you see on movies/television like Prison Break . Apologies for the fans, but it really irked me whenever Michael Scofield is in the tunnel and the
Zach Judkins
Maybe I'm feeling slightly defensive, but I honestly believe some of the best books written today are in the childrens/young adult section. Well, the Bartimaeus trilogy by Jonathan Stroud is a book that fits completely into the great books written for children. This is one of my favorite childrens book of all time, primarily because of the great characterization of its protagonist, Bartimaeus. Bartimaeus lives in a world where magicians gain their power not from magic, but rather controlling oth ...more
Dec 31, 2008 Robin rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: anyone
Recommended to Robin by: my husband
Shelves: fantasy
I was given this book by my husband because I was feeling a bit overwelmed by a number of large fantasy reads I had on my TBR file. I had just read a number of "smaller" works and really enjoyed them.

I was instantly captivated by this book. The begining is one of the most creative starts I've seen in a long time. I loved the humor of Bartimaeus and immediately got an impression of the character and I loved is Bravado.

I found the footnotes entertaining - I know some people have been crtical of th
Dec 15, 2009 Rauf rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone
One by one some of my Goodreads friends got bewitch'd by this book.
And I could see why.

Now, the book took us into an odd world.
Like the setting. The magicians drove cars and used laptop and it got me thinking, Was this set in present day London or did Stroud go steampunk in this one? Due to the lack of steam-engines and other steam-based technologies, I reckon the setting was present day London.

The magicians in this book didn't have magical power. Their magicking came from djinns, or stronger c
What an awesome book to listen to on a very long car trip! The narrator was incredible. He was able to change up voices and input just the right amount of pomposity into Bartimeus' character to make him both believable and humorous. For those looking for a book in a similar vein to the Harry Potter series, this story of a young apprentice magician is a must read. I would recommend the audio version to children ages 9+. The parents in the car enjoyed the story, too.

This audio book was downloaded
Dec 29, 2014 Giovanna rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Giovanna by: Lys
Shelves: buddy-read

“One magician demanded I show him an image of the love of his life. I rustled up a mirror.”

I probably should create a shelf called Lys-recommends.

Anyway. I actually really really enjoyed this book; I mean, great world-building, good plot, a snarky dem...ehm, djinni, what's not to like?

The amulet of Samarkand had been sitting in my wishlist for a while, and in spite of that I knew almost nothing about it. I probably added it during one of my crazy-add moments and then forgot to check it out.
A very interesting and fun read. Bartimaeus is an unforgettable character and very witty. Well done Jonathan Stroud for a well invented young adult, fantasy novel. I ended up enjoying this book more than I thought I would.
When I first started reading, the pace was a bit...well, I guess scattered is the best way to put it. But Stroud quickly picks up the pieces and creates a unique and thorough environment and story. The book is written in two styles. The first is first person with Bartimaeus. He
I enjoyed the writing style of Jonathan Stroud. Most young adult authors have one style and one perspective. I found the voice of Bartimaeus hilarious and the highlight of the book. The footnotes were odd at first but after getting to know the demon it just fit.
Because of Barttimaeus' style it overshadowed Nathaniel's chapters. Some of them were almost dull and at the beginning I found myself irritated when I saw I had another "Nathaniel" chapter to read.
It could have done without some of the
Salman H. Dhrubo
Well i do not usually compare any book with Harry potter but this one here just made me do so. It was an amazing read. Nearly everything about the book is just great.
Jonathan created a new magical world where magicians have no power of themselves. They use the spirits(imps, djinnis,afrits) to complete their every tasks through summoning and commanding them. They are arrogant, boastful, self-centered creatures(the magicians). Every magician is assigned to train an apprentice.
The main protagoni
The Amulet of Samarkand is set in a modern-day London that is ruled by Magicians. It is written from the perspective of a djinni (demon) and an undervalued magician's apprentice. The plot is clever, and the dual POV take on magical power struggles is unique. The problem is, I didn't like any of the characters. The djinni came the closest because he's an interesting character with a sense of humor, but the boy... I didn't like him at all, and he's the most sympathetic human character we meet (I d ...more
Kimberley doruyter
this book is so worth reading.
the world of fantasy is extensive and it has alot of humour.
"Così partii, mollando dietro di me un odore pungente di zolfo... tanto per lasciare un ricordino."

"L'Amuleto di Samarcanda" è il primo libro della trilogia di Bartimeus, una saga fantasy assolutamente originale ed innovativa, che mira a rifare i connotati a questo genere un po' vecchiotto e raggrinzito.
E' un romanzo fantasy appassionante, avvincente, ironico e divertente, che riscrive la storia del mondo come oggi lo conosciamo. Ipotizzando sviluppi geopolitici e storici diversi, descrive un m

May 04, 2015 Ash rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: People who like magic or fantasy
I liked this book for many reasons:
-> it is about magic and a fantasy fiction (which happens to be my favourite genre)

-> it is different and is fresh . It does not look or feel like a ripoff of Harry Potter or Lord of the rings (for a change!) nor does it deal with bloody vampires or werewolves (which I am kinda fed up of)

-> a very engaging tale which is very humorous, witty and the main protagonist is not a boy or a girl (for a change!). Instead it is a djinni named Bartimaeus. Remin
I have so many mixed feelings about this book it's hard to rate it. I like Bartimaeus the most. He's petty and full of himself but in a humerous way. Nathaniel is hightly narcissistic and vindictive and other times pitiful because of the abuse Mr Underwood gives him - it is hard for me to like the character. Mr. Underwood is petty, selfish, rude, controlling and cruel that I don't like him at all. Mrs. Underwood is sweet and motherly and your almost feel sorry for her being married to such a jer ...more
"The Amulet of Samarkand" was a fun, fantastical read, though I'll admit it took me a little while to get into the heart of the story. It starts off a bit sluggish in the beginning, but by the time I reached midway through the first part of the story, I was hooked. It toggles between the perspectives of two characters: a young boy named Nathaniel, an apprentice magician, and a djinni named Bartimaeus. Nathaniel summons Bartimaeus from sleep in order to steal the Amulet of Samarkand, and Bartimae ...more
Premessa: lo ammetto vostro onore. Questo libro è figlio di GR. Se non fosse stato per le recensioni positive lette qua e là (sì molto probabilmente la tua, sì tu che stai leggendo), non avrei letto questo libro. Indi la mia recensione è da leggersi come un'ipotetica risposta alle precedenti lette (anche se i loro autori è possibile che non la leggeranno). Ché poi sto GR a che serve se non a scambiarsi opinioni sui libri?

In questo marasma post-potteriano, dove le librerie sono state invase di li
خب اعتراف می کنم اصلاً اون چیزی نبود که انتظارشو داشتم و غافلگیری قشنگی بود.
راستش نظر خاصی ندارم بدم :-" :"> نثرش قشنگ بود، ترجمه هم خوب بود، ویرایش چاپی رو من ندیدم که نظر بدم، ولی صفحه آرایی نسخه ی ای بوک عالی بود. فکر کنم اگه اون زیرنویسا پایین صفحه بودن چشم درد می گرفتم :|
+ تشکر دوباره :)

فقط یه چیزی رو نگرفتم. اسم مجموعه بارتیمیوسه، پس کتاب بعدی می شه یه جادوگر جدید که احضارش می کنه؟ یا ناتانیل دوباره احضارش می کنه؟
با این که ناتانیل به طرز آزار دهنده ای بعضی وقتا بی خاصیت بود، ولی خب درس
Mary Grace Nakao
It is a very enjoyable read with details that are surprisingly not boring. The world building was great, the magicians, the demons - err, the djinnis, the afrits, everything. No characters were the same, they all have very different voices which makes it easier for you to distinguish and imagine.

Also, correct me if Im wrong but Bartimaeus totally owned this book. He is witty, intelligent, funny and downright sarcastic, in a non annoying way. Exactly the type of character I love :))

What hinders m
I've had this book on my shelf far too long because I've not been reading lately, but I needed something light to get me back into the reading habit, and this book certainly fits the bill. Set in an alternate England where magic=power, it tells the story of a young ambitious apprentice who summons a rather powerful djinn to commit an act of revenge against a powerful magician, but then finds himself in way over his head. It's an entertaining tale with a lot of snarky asides from the djinn called ...more
I picked this up in paperback eons ago at some sale or other, and it has been kicking around my room ever since; it lived next to my bed for quite a while, but I seem to have finally put it away … somewhere … Happily, I decided to give it a try through Netgalley, and I was very happy that I did. It's smashing.

The point of view alternates between first person not-necessarily-reliable with the demon/djinn Bartimeus, and third person with the young wizard's apprentice Nathaniel. It works beautiful
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
I wouldn't want this turned into a movie 40 359 May 12, 2015 08:13AM  
Searching For Harry: The Amulet of Samarkand 6 6 Mar 21, 2015 09:11AM  
Silver Stag Book ...: The Amulet of Samarkand by Jonathan Stroud 1 1 Jan 26, 2015 01:22PM  
Addicted to YA: The Amulet of Samarkand 30 197 Jun 30, 2014 09:26PM  
SciFi and Fantasy...: Recommendation for Similar books - Anti Hero 23 519 Mar 17, 2014 06:02PM  
Long Live Bartimaeus! 4 57 Feb 16, 2014 11:31PM  
  • The Lost Colony (Artemis Fowl, #5)
  • Conrad's Fate (Chrestomanci, #5)
  • Rise of a Hero (The Farsala Trilogy, #2)
  • The Akhenaten Adventure (Children of the Lamp, #1)
  • City of Stars (Stravaganza, #2)
  • Flora Segunda (Flora Trilogy, #1)
  • Fly Trap (Fly By Night, #2)
  • Stormchaser (The Edge Chronicles, #2)
  • The Indigo King (The Chronicles of the Imaginarium Geographica, #3)
  • Endymion Spring
  • The Fires of Merlin (The Lost Years of Merlin, #3)
  • Blade of Fire (The Icemark Chronicles, #2)
  • The Purple Emperor (The Faerie Wars Chronicles, #2)
  • The Search for the Red Dragon (The Chronicles of the Imaginarium Geographica, #2)
  • The Goblin Wood (Goblin Wood, #1)
  • The Queen of Attolia (The Queen's Thief, #2)
  • A Web of Air (Fever Crumb, #2)
  • The Water Mirror (Dark Reflections, #1)
Jonathan Anthony Stroud is an author of fantasy books, mainly for children and youths.

Stroud grew up in St Albans where he enjoyed reading books, drawing pictures, and writing stories. Between the ages seven and nine he was often ill, so he spent most of his days in the hospital or in his bed at home. To escape boredom he would occupy himself with books and stories. After he completed his studies
More about Jonathan Stroud...

Other Books in the Series

Bartimaeus Sequence (4 books)
  • The Ring of Solomon (Bartimaeus, #0.5)
  • The Golem's Eye (Bartimaeus, #2)
  • Ptolemy's Gate (Bartimaeus, #3)
The Golem's Eye (Bartimaeus, #2) Ptolemy's Gate (Bartimaeus, #3) The Ring of Solomon (Bartimaeus, #0.5) The Screaming Staircase (Lockwood & Co., #1) The Bartimaeus Trilogy Boxed Set (Bartimaeus, #1-3)

Share This Book

“One magician demanded I show him an image of the love of his life. I rustled up a mirror.” 316 likes
“Watch where you leave your victims! I stubbed my toe on that.” 138 likes
More quotes…