Bartimaeus, everyones favorite (wise-cracking) djinni, is back in book four of this best-selling series. As alluded to in the footnotes throughout the series, Bartimaeus has served hundreds of magicians during his 5,010 year career. Now, for the first time, fans will go back in time with the djinni, to Jerusalem and the court of King Solomon in 950s BC. Only in this adventure, it seems the great Bartimaeus has finally met his match. He'll have to contend with an unpleasant master and his sinister servant, and he runs into just a spot of trouble with King Solomons magic ring.
©2010 Jonathan Stroud (P)2010 Listening Library
I listened to the original Bartimaeus Trilogy and enjoyed it, so I was looking forward to this new one. I got a surprise, however, because this one was even better than the previous three! It has all of the things I liked about the trilogy, and none of the things I didn't like. It skipped over the explanations of magical learning and the politics of the present day government, which I found a bit tedious. It was also lighter-hearted and had a more satisfying ending. The writing was just as good, or maybe better, and the story had a lot more action in it.
Bartimaeus fans will certainly not be disappointed, for there are plenty of antics from your favorite fun-loving demon, and new-comers to the series do not have to listen to the previous trilogy to understand the story, as this one takes place over a thousand year before it! If you are looking for something out-of-the-ordinary in that vague cross-genre space between fantasy and sci-fi that has a little magic, a little history, and a little humor, then this book is for you.
While I didn't find the storyline here to be anywhere near as addictive or engrossing as the original Trilogy (the only reason I gave it 4 stars instead of 5), the hilarity that ensues every time Bartimaeus opens his mouth makes this well worth listening to. Simon Jones is one of the best narrators out there, and I could listen to him all day. His reading of Bartimaeus's dialog is LAUGH OUT LOUD funny. He makes me wish I was trained in the magicians' arts so that I could summon the resourceful and wise-cracking djinni to keep me company. I'm happy to let Bartimaeus recharge his essence in The Other Place for a while, but I hope that this is not the last we see of him. I just hope that the human characters are a bit more interesting next time around - they were a little weak in this one.
The Ring of Solomon has the coziness and laughter of spending time with Bartimaeus again, a fast-paced and compelling story, and wonderful new characters with plenty of depth and surprises. Simon Jones is, once again, the perfect voice of Bartimaeus.
Fans of the Bartimaeus Trilogy will be delighted to get a deeper understanding of Bartimaeus's character and background. Just keep in mind that while the action in the the Trilogy takes place over a period of about six years, The Ring of Solomon begins and ends in about two weeks. There _is_ very satisfying character development, but it's not going to be the same as in the Trilogy.
A Nit-Pick: Fans of the Bartimaeus Trilogy on audio will notice a slightly lesser quality for The Ring of Solomon. Not enough to bring down the rating, but a bit disappointing. There is none of the music at the beginning I love in the other books, and Simon Jones seems to have been, well, rushed. The voices are not entirely consistent, and there were some unexpected pauses. Some pauses were caused by the reader and some introduced in the editing of the program. (I hope this is not a trend for the publishers to save money on audio productions!) Again, it's a minor problem and probably only noticeable to fans like me who've listened to the other books many. many times.
I would love to hear the thoughts of someone who has not already read/heard the first three Bartimaeus books!
How I loved the Bartimaeus audiobooks. I have hated when they come to an end.
They are clever, amusing and funny. This 4th book in the series is just as good as the first three.
And Simon Jones is an absolutely wonderful reader.
I highly recommend!
I agree that this book is a bit different than the books in the trilogy. I loved the trilogy- and I highly enjoyed this book as well. I knew from reading the summary that it was way before the other books so I didn't expect anything other than Bartimaeus to be carried over. It was slightly slower getting started (and I mean very slightly) than the previous books. But there was nothing about this book that could possibly get me to subtract any stars. Definitely a stand-alone book, and highly enjoyable. I sincerely hope that this is not the last Bartimaeus book! Don't hesitate, get this book and you won't be disappointed!
This book features, more than previous volumes in the series, Bartimaeus in his usual irreverent self. Fun plot, a *little* slow to start (defining elements key to this series) but once going, it moved. Good female main character playing against the jini. Though the plot, once you know the elements and threads involved, is a bit predictable, the author gets you there with some surprises. I like the reader very much -- in fact, I cannot imagine reading these books, as the reader's voice is SO Bartimaeous. Enjoyable, and one I will return to listen to again. 4 stars due to a bit slow to start, and that is entertainment not memorable literature.
Pairing up Jonathan Stroud and the fabulous Simon Jones is worth a credit every time. I love these books. All the Bartimaeus stories are so fun!. Well written and so entertaining. Please Jonathan live forever and keep churning out Bart books for us.
It's simple really, I am just a guy looking to enjoy the writing and reading talents of others while raising my family the best I can, just Like most everyone else!!!
As simple as I can say it, it is as great as the rest of the series! I loved every single moment!!!!
A great addition to the "trilogy" this prequel gives us more Bartimaeus in all his self aggrandizing and sarcastic glory. This novel is found in the young adults section, but truly it's for any age. I have listened to the whole series a few times now purely to enjoy bartimaeus' snarky wit. Simon Jones is the perfect narrator for the characters as well. Top notch!
Because I loved the trilogy so much, I was a little nervous how this would play out. Stroud did not disappoint. It's a great prequel and Bartimaeus is as funny, witty, loveable and flippant as always.
The pace is fast and the story draws you in. I found myself washing the dishes twice just so I could prolong the task and listen more.
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