IndyPL Kids Book Blog's Reviews > The Amulet of Samarkand

The Amulet of Samarkand by Jonathan Stroud
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's review
Mar 06, 2012

it was amazing
bookshelves: favorites, fantasy
Read in March, 2009

Nathaniel is a magician’s apprentice. He’s like the magician’s son…but not. His bedroom is in the attic. His food is brought to him in his room. He is provided for, but he isn’t nurtured or made to feel loved. He only sees the magician during his lessons. Nathaniel is lonely and the only way he knows to get the attention he desires is to do really well in his lessons, and that he does. He practices advanced magic on his own and becomes so good at it, he manages to steal an important magical object from a much older and more experienced magician.

He reminds me a lot of another wizard you know…but not the one you’re thinking. Nathaniel doesn’t remind me of Harry, he reminds me of Tom Riddle. Like Tom, Nathaniel is aloof, detached from people, brooding, only concentrating on his own abilities and obsessed with improving them. He seeks revenge for the wrongs he feels have been done to him. But he has one thing Tom Riddle didn’t…Bartimeaus, a djinn (genie/demon) Nathanial has summoned to help him accomplish his magical goals. And this demon is up for whatever Nathaniel can dish out! He is funny, wise-cracking, irreverant and ready to put Nathanial in his place at any opportunity. He is exactly what Nathaniel needs. Bartimeaus tries to warn Nathaniel that he is growing into a typical power-hungry magician, but Nathaniel doesn’t listen. Will Nathaniel ever turn away from his anger and bitterness? Will he make the choice Tom Riddle didn’t? Will he learn what love is? You have to read all three in this trilogy…and then you’ll find out!

If you liked Harry Potter, this adventure will give you another original magical world to enter. There are magical battles, back-stabbing, lying and cheating…plenty of traitors and double-crossers, but then there is also a mysterious pretty girl and also Bartimeaus. Who says a demon can’t be lovable?

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