sage's Reviews > The Amulet of Samarkand

The Amulet of Samarkand by Jonathan Stroud
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's review
Mar 14, 2010

it was ok
bookshelves: ya, sff, reviewed, fiction
Read from March 12 to 14, 2010

** spoiler alert ** boo: fridging or firing the only two sympathetic characters in the book, both of whom are women.

Apart from the two women, everybody in this book is an asshole. Including our boy protagonist.

yay: Bartimaeus, the djinn whom the trilogy's about, is clever and interesting. And possibly the only character in the book worth the time of day.

The setting's a weird mix of Victorian and contemporary. The best parts are when Bartimaeus is interacting with other magical entities. The ending is also odd, in that Nathaniel is lauded for saving the government and doing the honorable thing while the novel's only reliable judge of character, Bartimaeus, slams him for his choice. Twelve is a bit young to be disillusioned by ALL of your leaders, and I'm totally suspicious of TPTB at the end, as B seems to be, but I don't know that a young reader (and this is YA) would know quite what to do with this ending. My answer, if I were teaching this book: be wary of it. But I haven't read the next two in the series yet, so that's only my guess.

At least the set-up for Book 2 promises a strong female character. We'll see if she's still as much a jerk as initially shown.

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