The Amulet of Samarkand by Jonathan Stroud

My birthday is in April, and I decided to focus on several of my recent favorite titles in honor of being one year older. I am a huge fan of good writing, but no book is worth reading without a good plot! Check out these selections for something a little outside the norm, but definetely worth a look. Something for mystery lovers, music lovers, and all those awkward in the ways of love :)

Times are hard, and Nathaniel's parents decide to give him up for adoption to the magician's adoption service, in return for a reward. Nathaniel is a clever boy, and he has great plans of ambition and magical prowess. Sadly, he is doomed to be apprenticed under Mr. Underwood. His master is a lowly governmental employee working for the Ministry of Internal Affairs. Nathaniel is Mr. Underwood's first apprentice, and their ideas of what young magicians should do differs dramatically. Mr. Underwood forbids Nathaniel from learning any advanced magic, reading any advanced texts, learning anything outside what he deems "safe" or "age-appropriate". Nathaniel would rather excel at his own pace, and sets on a course to prove his worth.

One fateful day, he meets Simon Lovelace, a high ranking magician who scorns him, embarrasses him, and subsequently uses magic against him maliciously. Nathaniel loses his temper, and attempts to strike back. He is put in his place, and his favorite tutor is dismissed as punishment. That day, Nathaniel vows revenge...

To put his plan in motion, Nathaniel must summon a djinni - something very few magicians (especially of his age) are capable of doing. He summons Bartimaeus to be his slave, and to steal a valuable object from Simon Lovelace. Little does he know what he is involving himself in. Soon, he and Bartimaeus are on an adventure that neither expected. Bartimaeus is captured, and is in serious danger of revealing his master and his task. Will he escape from his captors?

Meanwhile, Lovelace comes to seek his stolen item, which turns out to be a valuable government artifact that protects the wearer from magic. The Amulet of Samarkand came to Lovelace after it was stolen by one of his accomplices. Nathaniel must defend himself against Lovelace's attacks, and somehow discover and stop his plan. Bartimaeus is an unwilling, but very capable sidekick. The djinni provides humor, and delves into old rivalries himself along the way.

Very enjoyable text for any fantasy lover, or adventure lover. I recommend the audio book, read by Simon Jones (who also reads the other two books in the series).

That did it. I'd gone through a lot in the past few days. Everyone I met seemed to want a piece of me: djinn, magicians, made no difference. I'd been summoned, manhandled, shot at, captured, constricted, bossed about and generally taken for granted. And now, to cap it all, this bloke is joining in too, when all I'd been doing was quietly trying to kill him. (Stroud, 2002).

*Library Link*

If you liked this, check out:
The Golem's Eye by Jonathan Stroud (Book 2 in the Bartimaeus Trilogy)
Inkheart by Cornelia Funke
Mister Monday by Garth Nix (Keys to the Kingdom series)

Stroud, Jonathan. (2002). The Amulet of Samarkand. New York: Hyperion Books for Children.

Stroud, Jonathan and Jones, Simon. (2004). The Amulet of Samarkand. New York: Random House/Listening Library.

No comments:

Post a Comment