Joy's Reviews > The Amulet of Samarkand

The Amulet of Samarkand by Jonathan Stroud
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's review
Jun 26, 2012

liked it
Read in June, 2012

Not your average fantasy. I was immediately pulled in by this book because I wanted to find out more about the magical world Stroud had created. A sarcastic djinni tours you through a thrill ride of entirely new (or probably ancient, but new to me) magical elements, from pentacles to the seven planes. This book was very entertaining, and left plenty of ends to tie up in future installments, which is key to creating a good series.
The book did have some problems, though. Although the story was gripping at first, I started to get bored with it about 1/3 of the way through. This was partly because of the way Stroud switched back and forth between Nathaniel and Bartimaeus. Honestly, I don't think he could have told the story any other way. But he always swithced when something was about to happen. I'm assuming this was supposed to maintain the suspense, but instead, it made me lose interest. I really didn't care what Bartimaeus was up to when something interesting was happening to Nathaniel, or the other way around.
I also wasn't affected that much by what happened because I really didn't care for either of the main characters that much. Bartimeaus is hilarious, and I suppose I really can't blame him for hating people so much, but he doesn't have much compassion for other demons, either. He's pretty much entirely self- serving. As for Nathaniel, he's only eleven years old and he's already power-hungry and bent on revenge. With a couple of twists, this book could easily be the background story of a sorcerer gone very, very bad. He has at least some compassion, but his head had better deflate a lot by the end of the series.

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