Patrice Sartor's Reviews > The Amulet of Samarkand

The Amulet of Samarkand by Jonathan Stroud
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Jun 25, 12

bookshelves: fantasy, action-adventure, young-adult, tween
Read from March 19 to June 21, 2012

Whoah, that took a long time to finish this book--3 months! Granted, I read this with my younger son (10 when we started, 11 by the time we were done), and our reading times were sporadic. We both wanted to read this one because we so loved The Amulet of Samarkand The Bartimaeus Trilogy: Graphic Novel 1. For most of the book, I leaned toward 4.5 (or more) stars. By the end I had decided that I looked forward a bit too much to the Bartimaeus chapters, and wished the Nathaniel chapters were shorter. It was a tad too long as well, and those minor factors kept me from giving it a higher score. Still, I liked it very much, and will read the next one in the trilogy.

There's a boy (Nathaniel) who is apprenticed to a crotchety, get-off-my-lawn type of magician. There are the women figures in his life. And there is Bartimaeus, the djinni that the boy summons. The chapters alternate between viewpoints and narrations from Nathaniel and Bartimaeus. My son and I both were highly amused over Bartimaeus' sarcasm, intelligence, arrogance, and extremely polished sense of humor. I wanted him to be freed from his master, but not as much as I wanted him to stay, to stick around and throw out witty barbs and clever observations that Nathaniel was too young/dense/annoying to get on his own.

There is much magic, many a chase scene, plenty of weird (and scary creatures), lots of close calls, with some politics and power-hungry adults thrown in for good measure. I can't wait to see what happens to Bartimaeus next!
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