Amanda's Reviews > Ptolemy's Gate

Ptolemy's Gate by Jonathan Stroud
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's review
Dec 22, 2008

really liked it
Read in December, 2008

** spoiler alert ** I suppose I asked for it. Stroud did not disappoint. I wanted to see some profound acts of selflessness and boy did I ever.

I'll hand it to Stroud, he stayed true to his style the whole way through. No coddling, kiddies. And I say that most pointedly, as I find it difficult to imagine how this series ever made it to the Young Adult shelf--it's merciless, is what I'm saying. Not even a goodbye kiss, and I think that stung most of all.

No happy endings, at least, not in the typical way, either. I mean, even Tolkien let us have all our little hobbits in the end. Sure, Rowling killed off a few of our favs, but the trio lived to have their cheesy flash-forward on the platform. But, Stroud, the proud realist, gives us neither the salvation of our lead, nor the rosy glimpse of the future.

So, two of the main characters lived. I guess that's pretty fair odds, two out of three. Still, dead is dead. And as is the way of the living, any brush with death, even fictional, has a tendency to leave a somber shadow. And of course Nathaniel was my favorite all along, because he had the biggest challenge, the biggest change to make, and he did it, just like I hoped he would. Though it's decidedly soured my taste for acts of heroism in all forms. And I feel remarkably less of a romantic than I was when I began this story. Sort of like how I imagine the pain of silver might feel to a djinn's essence.

Ah well.
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Comments (showing 1-8 of 8) (8 new)

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Ruchi Very well said. These are my thoughts exactly on the book.

Unbreakablej Exactly, it made me cry how Nat and Kitty never really expressed their feelings to each other and how Nathaniel never got to re live his life. :( Must admit it got me quite depressed.

Aaron I agree with you review but I liked the dark realism. We got a mini-happy ending. Glad Bartimaeus lived. Glad Kitty lived. Mandrake paid for his life of crimes with his own life. Suiting.

Jessica Booth I agree! I've been waiting for a series to *actually* kill off its main character. It hurt! But I'm glad someone did it!

message 5: by Alpinepath (new)

Alpinepath "Sort-of like how I imagine the pain of silver might feel to a djinn's essence." Wow, love how you put that. I never before considered how that might feel, but soon as I read your words I thought it was exactly how I felt upon finishing the book.

Will Couldn't of said it better. I read this right after "world without end" and just started reading "game if thrones." They're all fantastic books to be sure... but my lord, they are all no holds, all free game, unbarred from killing off my favorite characters and chalking it up to "thats life... so suck it."

I feel like im going to need a Romantic, happy ending book after I finish "Game of Thrones" and "pillars of the earth."

Amanda No doubt you will! And probably a drink or two to go with it!

Sunsontops You're right at the end of your review. The effect of silver to a djinn's essence is exactly what this book did to me. It wasn't one of those uncontrollable sobbing. It was more of like an unshakable gloom, a somber outlook to life, a few endless tears, and when I was done, all that was left was a shadow of my once happy self. It was pretty weird, especially because I never thought for one second that it would end the way it did. So when it did, I guess, some parts of me ended with it. That was not a good day for me lol.

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