Tammy's Reviews > The Amulet of Samarkand

The Amulet of Samarkand by Jonathan Stroud
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's review
Feb 09, 2010

liked it
bookshelves: young-adult, fantasy, own, urban-fantasy
Recommended to Tammy by: Rahul

Nathaniel is a twelve year old magician's apprentice, whose childish plot for vengeance interrupts a dangerous web of political intrigue. Bartimaeus, a djinni, is unwillingly summoned to aid him.

'The Amulet of Samarkand' is well written although I found the footnotes distracting (Bartimaeus thinks in overlapping streams of consciousnesses). The author creates a developed world controlled by magicians, parallel to our own, but with conspiratorial, dark-ish (for young adult fantasy) undertones. The characters have distinct personalities, but most (intentionally) aren't particularly likable, including the main character, Nathaniel, who is a precocious selfish brat. I'm curious as to how his personality will develop in the next two novels. By far, the most entertaining characters are the djinni. Bartimaeus is awesome. The narrative is split between Nathaniel and Bartimaeus. The plot is fun and adventurous, and there are definitely threads started in this book that are meant to be continued later in the series. They actually seemed more interesting than the primary plot.

All in all, I enjoyed the book, and intend to start the next in the trilogy shortly.

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