Nathaniel is eleven-years-old and a magician's apprentice, learning the traditional art of magic. All is well until he has a life-changing encounter with Simon Lovelace, a magician of unrivaled ruthlessness and ambition. When Lovelace brutally humiliates Nathaniel in public, Nathaniel decides to speed up his education, teaching himself spells far beyond his years. With revenge on his mind, he masters one of the toughest spells of all and summons Bartimaeus, a five-thousand-year-old djinni, to assist him. But summoning Bartimaeus and controlling him are two different things entirely, and when Nathaniel sends the djinni out to steal Lovelace's greatest treasure, the Amulet of Samarkand, he finds himself caught up in a whirlwind of magical espionage, murder and rebellion.
Set in a modern-day London spiced with magicians and mystery, The Amulet of Samarkand is an extraordinary, edge-of-your-seat thriller with many unexpected twists. Following Bartimaeus and Nathaniel in turn, the story introduces us to two wonderfully memorable characters destined to go through many adventures together and bound by a spell that is nearly impossible to break.
©2003 Jonathan Stroud; (P)2003 Random House, Inc., Listening Library, an Imprint of the Random House Audio Publishing Group
"One of the liveliest and most inventive fantasies of recent years." (Booklist)
"Spun into surprisingly colorful cloth." (The New York Times Book Review)
This is an adventure of the boy magician genius Nathaniel and his genie, a reluctant participant with a sarcastic tongue. The story is entertaining and the narration by Simon Jones is par excellence.
I have to admit it at first I was not sure about the reader. I was a bit spoiled after listening to Harry Potter but in no time I found the reader to be very easy to listen to.
I like the simplicity of Childrens Fantasy books having been a long time reader of "Adult" books I find listening to books like Harry Potter and The Bartimaues Trilogy a refreshing change.
I am a Harry Potter fan. I have read previous reviews of this book and found other Harry Potter fans have really enjoyed this trilogy so I listened to it and loved it. However I went into it prepared to a comparison of the world of magic such as in potter. It is such a different take on this alternate reality that I first couldn't break away from what I pictured the magic world to be via potter. I soon became completely emersed in this alternate view of magical people. I just had to get reaquainted with a new take on how magical hierarchy is portrayed. I really enjoyed it.
I was surprised to find this was a "young reader's" book. It's packed with good humor, excitement and a plot that takes twists and turns you can't see coming. I'm looking forward to listening to the rest of the trilogy!
Simon Jones does an fabulous job as reader, especially when reading the first person chapters as the genie Bartimaeus. In fact, I'd say I enjoyed his reading more than even Jim Dale with the Harry Potter series, or Gerard Doyle reading Eragon and Eldest, both of whom did excellent jobs. The story line itself keeps a good pace with richly described scenes. The characters are relatively one dimensional but interesting and appropriate to the young adult fantasy genre. In short, thoroughly entertaining!
The can listen to this book (and trilogy) over and over. What a great story. The reading by Simon Jones brings the book to life. Truly enjoyable.
For me, this story certainly has enough twists to make things interesting enough to get the next book in the series. The main character, Nathaniel, has a bit too much of an attitude for me sometimes, but that's life (or fiction anyway)!
Excellent reading of a very entertaining book. The voice characterizations are done SO well! The series is appropriate for children who can hear about an imaginary death and still keep it in context. Lots of good action to keep the story moving, and some human element as well. No romance or sexual references.
The Bartimaeus trilogy is really a remarkable set of books, with excellent characters and really well done narration.
The main character is funny and interesting, and I've never felt so on the edge of my seat with an audiobook before. I listen to a lot of "young adult" fantasy for the entertainment value, so I'd really recommend the entire series for anyone looking for their next engaging listen.
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