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The Amulet of Samarkand (Bartimaeus #1)

really liked it 4.0  ·  Rating details ·  98,883 Ratings  ·  4,309 Reviews
Presenting a thrilling new voice in children's literature-a witty, gripping adventure story featuring a boy and his not-so-tame djinni. Nathaniel is a young magician's apprentice, taking his first lessons in the arts of magic. But when a devious hotshot wizard named Simon Lovelace ruthlessly humiliates Nathaniel in front of everyone he knows, Nathaniel decides to kick up h ...more
Paperback, 464 pages
Published September 28th 2003 by Hyperion Books
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Twitios Similar in the type of story, different in the telling. I highly recommend reading the Bartimaeus books if you dig Harry Potter. Its a different take…moreSimilar in the type of story, different in the telling. I highly recommend reading the Bartimaeus books if you dig Harry Potter. Its a different take on magic and the characters are thoroughly entertaining. The dialogue is witty and the story is engaging. The development of the magical world is not as thorough as in Harry Potter, and the number of characters that you grow to love is smaller. (less)
Leonie It has a lot of sarcasm and the main character likes being witty, overly honest and talkative. So I'd consider this book really funny (the footnotes…moreIt has a lot of sarcasm and the main character likes being witty, overly honest and talkative. So I'd consider this book really funny (the footnotes are especially good) additionally to the great plot, so yes I guess?(less)

Community Reviews

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Aug 08, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: magic lovers / smartasses
This book had some ground to make up to begin with because after checking its copyright date, all I could think was, "It's a book...about a magic England...written after Harry Potter." And that meant that I was skeptical, although not to the degree that I thought the main character would be named Barry Cotter or something.

Well, there is one big way in which it's like Harry Potter...

...I stayed up all night reading it.

This is a FANTASTIC book, one that suggests that Harry Potter b
Jason Koivu
Oct 03, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
Within the first few sentences my heart sank. Oh no, I thought, fanciful purple prose attempting to set a magical aura about the opening scene.

"GOTCHA!" shouted Stroud.

Well played, sir, well played.

One thing The Amulet of Samarkand does not do is take itself too seriously. That was a relief. I had approached this with trepidation. I'd heard good things, but I wasn't in the mood for some heavy going in a kiddies' fantasy world with evil baddies, precocious sprites, etc. No, instead what you get
May 03, 2008 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, young-adult
If the quality of a book rested solely on its plot, this would be an excellent novel. The general plot is, of course, standard fantasy fare (save the world!) but its details and the world built to drive it is unique. Also, there appears to be a second plot running under the main one which will obviously be continued in the later books, and this plot seems much more promising.

Story-wise, this first installment in The Bartimaeus Trilogy is respectably good. However, the writing failed to appeal to
Feb 15, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Such a wise-cracking djinn, such a tiny, jerkish upstart. You will absolutely devour this book. It's hilarious. Told from the very different viewpoints of Bartimaeus ( a smart-aleck djinn who has lived thousands of years and has nothing to show for it but an I rock you don't attitude) and Nathaniel (12 year old jerkwad apprentice whose lifelong dream is to be a huge im portant government official and have millions of obedient djinn slaves at his fingertips. Bartimaeus isn't making it easy for hi ...more
Nov 18, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I really loved this book, the first of the Bartimaeus Trilogy.

It's tempting to compare the book to the Harry Potter series. Young boy. Magic. Sneaking around. Breaking the rules. Stern teachers. But the similarities really end there.

In Stroud's world, magicians have no power of their own - their power lies in the knowledge of how to summon (and enslave) spirits, like the djinni Bartimaeus, to do their will. These magicians are the proud, arrogant, entitled upperclass that pretty much oppress the
Feb 22, 2008 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Angela by: Kelly Hoffman
This is a difficult book to rate: It was very well-written, with an intriguing plot and engaging wit. That being said, I must admit that it was more frustrating than enjoyable for me.

The main problem was that I disliked both of the main characters: one is a wily demon (Bartimaeus), and the other is a 12-year-old kid who is way too smart for his own good (Nathaniel). I think you'd get a similar result if you paired C.S. Lewis's Screwtape with Rowling's Draco Malfoy. Don't get me wrong - I love "T
Like many people in the early 2000s who found themselves clasped in the claws of fierce Pottermania, I was fond of trolling the internet for Potter related stuff. Somewhere, on some website (probably Mugglenet), some industrious soul listed a bunch of books to read while waiting for the next book to come out. This series made the list. I added it to my Amazon wishlist pronto, because that’s how I kept track of books I wanted to read before Goodreads was a thing.

And then I didn’t actually read it
Apr 09, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a reread for me and a whole load of fun it is too! A young and talented magician gets himself in a whole bunch of trouble when he summons a 14th level demon to help in with a task. Bartimaeus, the demon called, is a hilarious character and the story is a rollicking read. Recommended for all ages!
This book is very cleverly written, with two alternating strands of narration. One in the third person, tells the story mainly from the point of view of Nathaniel. The other strand gives us a different perspective on the characters and events but it is in the first person, from the point of view of the devious, superior and sarcastic otherworldly being Bartimaeus.

While it bears some resemblance to other narratives of the underdog sorceror's apprentice (Harry Potter leaps to mind), this is diffe
Zach Judkins
Feb 13, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Maybe I'm feeling slightly defensive, but I honestly believe some of the best books written today are in the childrens/young adult section. Well, the Bartimaeus trilogy by Jonathan Stroud is a book that fits completely into the great books written for children. This is one of my favorite childrens book of all time, primarily because of the great characterization of its protagonist, Bartimaeus. Bartimaeus lives in a world where magicians gain their power not from magic, but rather controlling oth ...more
4.5 to 5.0 stars. A very fun read, with an intelligent, engaging magic system and a wonderful title character ... namely the Djinn Bartimaeus. This is one of my favorite YA fantasy series.
Jul 23, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Priča o dečaku iz Londona koji raste uz Gospodara koji ga ne podnosi ali je primoran da ga trpi. I dečak oće da postane moćan čarobnjak. Zvuči poznato :) Ali glavna razlika je u samoj magiji u odnosu na druge slične poriče pošto ovde nema bacanja čini u klasičnom smislu već se prizivaju magična bića koja bacaju čini za vas. Bića ima različitih klasa i snage itd. Sasvim fino smišljen sistem.

Sama priča je u suštini jednostavna ali je prošarana sa puno humora (naročito sarkastičnog) što čini sve za
Yasamin Seifaee
Sep 07, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites, persian
ساعت 5 و ربع صبح و من این کتاب رو برای بار دوم خوندم :)
شاید ریویو نوشتم شاید هم ننوشتم. ولی دوباره خوندن این کتاب برام لذت بخش بود. :)
هومم دلم میخواد خیلی چیزا بگم ولی همه ی حرفام برای جلد سومه. که وقتی انشالله دو جلد بعدی رو هم دوباره خوندم تو ریویو جلد سوم میگم :دی
ولی شاید الان یه اشاره هایی بکنم :-"
خب راستش بعد از اینکه این کتاب رو دوباره خوندم به نظرم باید چیزی بین 4 و نیم و 5 میدادم به کتاب و نه 5 کامل. ولی چون درس خیلی بزرگی از این سه گانه گرفتم این موضوع رو نادیده میگیرم!
واسه من بع
Ivana Books Are Magic
Getting straight to the point. I absolutely loved The Amulet of Samarkand. This novel written by Jonathan Stroud was such a pleasant surprise. Don't you just love when that happens? You pick up a book from some author you have never heard off but before you know it, you're totally immersed in it and enjoying fully the reading experience. Yes, that's the best feeling in the world or just about. That was pretty much my experience with my first Jonathan Stroud novel, which also happens to be the fi ...more
I don't know who or what recommended this to me, but I loved it. It is hilarious, adventurous, fast-paced, and creative.

In modern England, all the politicians and noblemen are magicians, and everyone else is a commoner. The story begins with a young but gifted apprentice magician summoning a djinni (genie), Bartimaeus. He sends Bart. off to steal the Amulet of Samarkand. This sets in motion a chain reaction of events that are perilous and fantastical and ultimately build up to a big climax. Eve
Feb 16, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to David by: Maitrey
Shelves: fantasy, audiobook
This is a hilarious, fast-paced book about a world where many state governments are ruled by magicians. Great Britain, for example, is governed by an elite group of magicians--many of whom are greedy, ambitious, and uncaring for other people. Magicians themselves have limited powers; most of their strength stems from their ability to summon powerful demons who are obligated to do their bidding.

At the age of six, Nathaniel is apprenticed to a mediocre, hypocritical, incompetent self-consumed magi
What an awesome book to listen to on a very long car trip! The narrator was incredible. He was able to change up voices and input just the right amount of pomposity into Bartimeus' character to make him both believable and humorous. For those looking for a book in a similar vein to the Harry Potter series, this story of a young apprentice magician is a must read. I would recommend the audio version to children ages 9+. The parents in the car enjoyed the story, too.

This audio book was downloaded
Jul 29, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
I love this book! A djinn with an attitude (who had me constantly chuckling to myself), and a boy bent on revenge. Great characters, fast-paced action, fully-realized world with a cool magic system, what more could you want?

What I appreciate most, though, is that the characters face real danger. None of that false suspense -- you know, like the ones you see on movies/television like Prison Break . Apologies for the fans, but it really irked me whenever Michael Scofield is in the tunnel and the
May 27, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, young-adult
Απολαυστικότατο ΥΑ με ένα τζίνι που εκτελεί τις επιθυμίες του εκάστοτε αφέντη του σχολιάζοντάς τες!!!

Κλασικό παραμύθι, με συμπεθέστατους χαρακτήρες και μια πολύ ευχάριστη περιπέτεια. Το χιούμορ του όμως είναι αυτό που το κάνει να ξεχωρίζει. Πάρτε το δώρο σε αδερφάκια - ξαδερφάκια - ανηψάκια και διαβάστε το όταν αυτά κοιμούνται!!!!

راستش بارتیمیوس اونقد برام جذاب نبود. خود بارتیمیوس چرا، زبان طنزش و پاورقیهاش خیلی عالی بود. نویسنده مشخصاً خلاقه، از فکری که برای دنیای جادوگریش داشته تا همین طنز بارتیمیوس و شیوۀ راوی دردسرسازش. دو نوع روایت رو پابهپای هم پیش ببری کار راحتی نیست. از ارباب ناتانیل بدم میاومد. خیلی رومخ بود. کلاً عجیبه که دیگه مثل سابق از فانتزی اونقدرا لذت نمیبرم. از علمیتخیلیها چرا، یا ترسناکها یا مثلاً فانتزی حماسی. اما میدونم اگه راهنمایی یا دبیرستانی بودم اینو میخوندم، خیلی بیشتر لذت میبردم. برام ملالآور ب
Mar 09, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A very interesting and fun read. Bartimaeus is an unforgettable character and very witty. Well done Jonathan Stroud for a well invented young adult, fantasy novel. I ended up enjoying this book more than I thought I would.
When I first started reading, the pace was a bit...well, I guess scattered is the best way to put it. But Stroud quickly picks up the pieces and creates a unique and thorough environment and story. The book is written in two styles. The first is first person with Bartimaeus. He
Dec 27, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone
Recommended to Robin by: my husband
Shelves: fantasy
I was given this book by my husband because I was feeling a bit overwelmed by a number of large fantasy reads I had on my TBR file. I had just read a number of "smaller" works and really enjoyed them.

I was instantly captivated by this book. The begining is one of the most creative starts I've seen in a long time. I loved the humor of Bartimaeus and immediately got an impression of the character and I loved is Bravado.

I found the footnotes entertaining - I know some people have been crtical of th
Mar 14, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
‘L’esercito più formidabile di questo tipo che si sia mai visto fu messo insieme dal faraone Tuthmosi III nel 1478 a.C. Comprendeva una legione di afrit e un gruppo di jinn di vario livello, di cui il più notevole era sicuramente… No, la modestia mi impedisce di proseguire.’ -Bartimeus

Londra ha aperto le porte alla magia, ma questa volta ad attraversarle non sono i già noti ed affezionatissimi Harry&co., bensì Nathaniel, apprendista mago, combinaguai, intrepido vendicatore che nulla fareb
Dec 11, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone
One by one some of my Goodreads friends got bewitch'd by this book.
And I could see why.

Now, the book took us into an odd world.
Like the setting. The magicians drove cars and used laptop and it got me thinking, Was this set in present day London or did Stroud go steampunk in this one? Due to the lack of steam-engines and other steam-based technologies, I reckon the setting was present day London.

The magicians in this book didn't have magical power. Their magicking came from djinns, or stronger c
Jan 12, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: People who like magic or fantasy
I liked this book for many reasons:
-> it is about magic and a fantasy fiction (which happens to be my favourite genre)

-> it is different and is fresh . It does not look or feel like a ripoff of Harry Potter or Lord of the rings (for a change!) nor does it deal with bloody vampires or werewolves (which I am kinda fed up of)

-> a very engaging tale which is very humorous, witty and the main protagonist is not a boy or a girl (for a change!). Instead it is a djinni named Bartimaeus. Remin
সালমান হক
Well i do not usually compare any book with Harry potter but this one here just made me do so. It was an amazing read. Nearly everything about the book is just great.
Jonathan created a new magical world where magicians have no power of themselves. They use the spirits(imps, djinnis,afrits) to complete their every tasks through summoning and commanding them. They are arrogant, boastful, self-centered creatures(the magicians). Every magician is assigned to train an apprentice.
The main protagoni
Mar 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
اوه ... عجب کتابی ! هیچ کتابی تا حالا ندیدم که شبیه به این باشه . اطلاعاتی داشت که فقط از یه همچین نویسنده دانا و توانایی بر میومد . بعضی دیالوگاش واقعا به یاد موندنی بود و حالا حالاها جا داره تا روشون فکر کنم و مثال هایشون رو تو زندگی واقعی ببینم . نمیدونم چی دیگه بگم فقط میتونم بگم که مطمئنم عاشق این سه جلد میشم ...
Sep 09, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Allison by: NetGalley.Com
Shelves: review-freebie
The Amulet of Samarkand is set in a modern-day London that is ruled by Magicians. It is written from the perspective of a djinni (demon) and an undervalued magician's apprentice. The plot is clever, and the dual POV take on magical power struggles is unique. The problem is, I didn't like any of the characters. The djinni came the closest because he's an interesting character with a sense of humor, but the boy... I didn't like him at all, and he's the most sympathetic human character we meet (I d ...more
Aug 23, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Giovanna by: Lys
Shelves: buddy-read

“One magician demanded I show him an image of the love of his life. I rustled up a mirror.”

I probably should create a shelf called Lys-recommends.

Anyway. I actually really really enjoyed this book; I mean, great world-building, good plot, a snarky dem...ehm, djinni, what's not to like?

The amulet of Samarkand had been sitting in my wishlist for a while, and in spite of that I knew almost nothing about it. I probably added it during one of my crazy-add moments and then forgot to check it out.
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Long Live Bartimaeus! 5 73 Nov 02, 2017 08:28PM  
YA Buddy Readers'...: Bartimaeus Sequence #1: Amulet of Samarkand - Starting 18th November 1 6 Oct 19, 2017 08:11PM  
awsomeness 1 3 Sep 07, 2017 11:59AM  
I wouldn't want this turned into a movie 42 467 Jun 11, 2017 03:20PM  
SciFi and Fantasy...: Recommendation for Similar books - Anti Hero 24 651 Mar 20, 2016 09:33PM  
Best Fantasy Book...: The Amulet of Samarkand (Bartimaeus #1) by Jonathan Stroud 1 11 Feb 08, 2016 05:00PM  
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Jonathan Anthony Stroud is an author of fantasy books, mainly for children and youths.

Stroud grew up in St Albans where he enjoyed reading books, drawing pictures, and writing stories. Between the ages seven and nine he was often ill, so he spent most of his days in the hospital or in his bed at home. To escape boredom he would occupy himself with books and stories. After he completed his studies
More about Jonathan Stroud...

Other Books in the Series

Bartimaeus (4 books)
  • The Ring of Solomon (Bartimaeus, #0.5)
  • The Golem's Eye (Bartimaeus, #2)
  • Ptolemy's Gate (Bartimaeus, #3)

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“One magician demanded I show him an image of the love of his life. I rustled up a mirror.” 380 likes
“And then, as if written by the hand of a bad novelist, an incredible thing happened.” 188 likes
More quotes…