Jaemi's Reviews > Ptolemy's Gate

Ptolemy's Gate by Jonathan Stroud
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's review
Jan 12, 09

bookshelves: childrens-fiction, fantasy, ya-fiction
Read in June, 2006

First and foremost, if you haven't read the first two books of this trilogy (The Amulet of Samarkand, The Golem's Eye), I wouldn't start with this one. Without all the back-story there's a lot to miss. That being said, I think this might have been the best of the three.

We're back in London, after the downfall of the Lovelace affair, and Nathaniel/Jonathan Mandrake, is now Information Minister. The Commoners are growing restless, the war in America is going poorly, and Bartimaeus has been kept in service for so long that his powers are all but gone. The government is beginning to split into factions, everyone is always looking over their shoulders, and the lower magicians seem to be plotting something.

It turns out the elusive Hopkins is returned. Finding him becomes top priority. In the meantime, Mandrake also learns that Kitty Jones is not, as he had thought, dead. Finding her then becomes his top priority. And just when it seems like things might be falling into place....everything comes apart.

The entire government is kidnapped, the streets overflow with commoners who've noticed a lack of government response, and Mandrake and Kitty have fallen into the middle of a most sordid plot.

This was the quickest read of the trilogy, for me, and even though I knew it was winding down, in the end I harbor hopes that perhaps there will be another story someday.


This is a huge series. By which I mean, all of the books are huge. I still remember feeling as if it took forever to read the first one. I had the second one out so long that it got moved to lost by the library system. The third one though, I think it was a pretty quick read, at least comparatively.

The stories are immense. The detail, the plots, the characters. If you try to blow through these books you'll miss more than half of it, but they're well worth the time.

While this was my favorite of the series, I really do mean what I said: read them in order.

P.S. I intended to copy all three of my reviews over here. Except that I can't find two of them. I'm quite sure they ought to be there, and yet I can't find them anywhere. And it's been a long time, so I don't really think I could recreate them either. So I'll just state that all three were good reads. I'd probably rate them all a 4/5.
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