Book Review – The Amulet of Samarkand

Book 1 of the Bartimaeus Trilogy by Jonathan Stroud

The Amulet of Samarkand

About The Book:

When a young boy with a prodigious intellect finds himself being taken as an apprentice under a semi-prominent magician, he learns how much he has to do to be part of something gigantic. Not only does young Nathaniel see that the whole world has powerful magicians ruling in the seat of government, he discovers his own London rife with them and that he has to compete to stay useful or join the downtrodden masses whose silence don’t really mean they are enjoying peaceful times. After all, when those who can wield magic and summon dangerous spirits look down upon those who can’t there’s bound to be stress involved.

In Book 1, Jonathan Stroud has crafted a tale of utmost beauty, filled with adventure, thrills, heart-stopping moments and out of this world characterization. I personally feel the man has wielded genuine magic with this work (and the two others that followed). Using a summoned demon, Bartimaeus, and taking you on a narrative cruise through his and other character’s minds, with adequate dialogues thrown in, The Amulet of Samarkand is an immensely satisfying read.

There’s a whole different culture, lifestyle and flow in this book that’s similar to our present society yet so very different. That’s a hard skill to master let alone pull off. I absolutely enjoyed the humor. This is the most endearing factor about Bartimaeus and the reason this book is a mega bestseller.

The witty-funny demon’s interactions with Nathaniel and the vast differences in their character make for a fun read. It’s incredible that Jonathan has made these two very disparate characters—a serious and prodigious human boy and an ancient demon prone to immaturity—have such superb chemistry, as fictional characters go.

This first installment in a very successful and awesome series takes you through the ‘introduction phase’ which in itself is more fun than the thrill-infused plotline that has tact, deception, timing, awe, shock, elegance, action, detail and class.

Jonathan Stroud is one THE BEST fantasy authors ever! I love The Amulet of Samarkand and, being the ultra-fan that I am of his work, have read the other two books in the ‘Barty’ series (look out for those reviews soon) and I must say, this man knows his fantasy more than most.

About The Author:

Jonathan Anthony Stroud is an author of fantasy books, mainly for children and youth.

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 of English literature at the University of York, he worked in London as an editor for the Walker Books store. He worked with different types of books there and this soon led to the writing of his own books. During the 1990s, he started publishing his own works and quickly gained success.

In May 1999, Stroud published his first children’s novel, Buried Fire, which was the first of a line of fantasy/mythology children’s books.

Among his most prominent works are the bestselling Bartimaeus Trilogy. A special feature of these novels compared to others of their genre is that Stroud examines the stereotypes and ethics of the magician class and the enslaved demons. This is done by examining the perspective of the sarcastic and slightly egomaniacal djinni Bartimaeus. The books in this series are The Amulet of Samarkand, The Golem’s Eye, and Ptolemy’s Gate, his first books to be published in the United States.
Stroud lives in St Albans, Hertfordshire, with his two children, Isabelle and Arthur, and his wife Gina, an illustrator of children’s books.

Also check out Jonathan’s…

1. Official Site:

2. Fan Page:

3. Blog:


  1. hey nice review

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