The Amulet of Samarkand – Jonathan Stroud

dark

powerful

little twerp

Before reading this book I had heard so many good things.  People (both reviewers and friends) raved.  So I was very I excited when I finally got to read this book.

The story is told through the eyes of Bartimaeus, a demon who was been enslaved, captured, in forced servitude, to a young magician.  He’s very pompous and prone to bragging about his power and prior accomplishments.  This is done through footnotes which I never fully got used to, I found them jarring to the flow and frequently unnecessary.

Nathaniel is the young wizard who has captured Bartimaeus.  He, like Bartimaeus, thinks rather highly of himself.  Yet most of his accomplishments seem to stem from luck (and Bartimaeus), rather than skill.  And he happens to be a brat.

You might have already picked up on this, but I didn’t enjoy the book.  I think that if either Bartimaeus or Nathaniel had in some way been even the slightest bit likeable, I would have enjoyed the book.  But they weren’t.  I never rooted for them.  I didn’t care about them.  Because I didn’t care about them, I didn’t care about the story.

However, reading other reviews, it appears I am in the minority.  If you find yourself enjoying books with less redeeming main characters, give it a whirl.  However, if you don’t like it, don’t say I didn’t warn you.

Oh, and there was a very intriguing underlying plot, which no doubt will become more evident in the rest of the trilogy.  And even though I am curious about this plot line, I can’t bring myself to read any more about these characters.  So if anyone has read the whole thing maybe you could give me a brief spoiler.  Or maybe not.  I don’t have a burning desire to know.

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One thought on “The Amulet of Samarkand – Jonathan Stroud

  1. Pingback: The Magicians – Lev Grossman | Three Descriptors

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