Tuesday, 7 February 2012

Bartimaeus #1 The Amulet of Samarkand

There has never been a more different London ever. Presenting Bartimaeus #1 The Amulet of Samarkand by Jonathan Stroud.

Here is the summary of the book:

Nathaniel is a boy magician-in-training, sold to the government by his birth parents at the age of five and sent to live as an apprentice to a master. Powerful magicians rule Britain, and its empire, and Nathaniel is told his is the "ultimate sacrifice" for a "noble destiny." If leaving his parents and erasing his past life isn't tough enough, Nathaniel's master, Arthur Underwood, is a cold, condescending, and cruel middle-ranking magician in the Ministry of Internal Affairs. The boy's only saving grace is the master's wife, Martha Underwood, who shows him genuine affection that he rewards with fierce devotion. Nathaniel gets along tolerably well over the years in the Underwood household until the summer before his eleventh birthday. Everything changes when he is publicly humiliated by the ruthless magician Simon Lovelace and betrayed by his cowardly master who does not defend him. 

Nathaniel vows revenge. In a Faustian fever, he devours magical texts and hones his magic skills, all the while trying to appear subservient to his master. When he musters the strength to summon the 5,000-year-old djinni Bartimaeus to avenge Lovelace by stealing the powerful Amulet of Samarkand, the boy magician plunges into a situation more dangerous and deadly than anything he could ever imagine. In British author Jonathan Stroud's excellent novel, the first of The Bartimaeus Trilogy, the story switches back and forth from Bartimaeus's first-person point of view to third-person narrative about Nathaniel. Here's the best part: Bartimaeus is absolutely hilarious, with a wit that snaps, crackles, and pops. His dryly sarcastic, irreverent asides spill out into copious footnotes that no one in his or her right mind would skip over. A sophisticated, suspenseful, brilliantly crafted, dead-funny book that will leave readers anxious for more. (Ages 11 to adult)

There can never be a more different London than this. Everything is the same with the exception of magic being the center piece of all around history. Magician s control the parliament in important positions. Yup magicians are real and not just those second rate ones who just show tricks but actual ones who wield power.

So it starts with the young apprentice Nathaniel summoning a 5000 years old djinn (whom we are to called ginn) named Bartimaeus to do a little task for him. Steal the amulet of Samarkand from the magician Simon Lovelace. Now why does he want to do that? Well because said magician had humiliated Nathaniel in front of his master and other magician of the parliament present. Since then all Nathaniel has in his mind is to gain vengeance for the humiliation he had to endure, going behind his master's back and cramming every ounce of knowledge the ancient tomes could provide him. A distracted magician is not only a danger to others but to his own self as well but a vengeful one.....now that is one you need to look out for and Nanthaniel falls in that category.

So Bartimaeus goes through a lot of problems, (Lovelace is not your everyday magician so naturally he'd have some very strong protections) and angering some old acquaintances and is thus successful in completing the mission. As does every djinn, Bartimaeus  found out a strong weapon that might be useful to thwart his confinement spell but Nathaniel proves just as intuitive in crossing every attack of Bartimaeus, finally coming to an understanding to see the ordeal through. 

Well this is just the beginning, what Nathaniel doesn't realize is that the thing he is meddling with just doesn't envolve the amulet being stolen from its original radio, its a power play...... but can both Nathaniel and his illustrious and witty djinn, Bartimaeus come out of this unscratched.  

The Amulet of Samarkand is a great story, as I already mentioned above a very different London portraying characters who can never be more different than the other. Every character has got so many layers that is virtually impossible to discern who and what they truly are but the author also makes quick work of the that. Dividing the whole book in alternating POVs of both Nathaniel and Bartimaeus, peeling one layer after another helping us understand them and their motives. As far as the djinn is considered, Bartimaeus is one who does his allotted work but is very snarky, and full of witty comebacks and Nathaniel, well he is very determined(not going to say more, will spoil the story) and has got a very promising future. I'm definitely eager to read the next three volumes of the series.

"Bartimaeus' snarky commentary, Nathaniel's intuitiveness.....and the biggest Parliamentary power play....is sure to lure you in"

Genre :      Young Adult, Fantasy

Publisher: Corgi Books

Rate:              5/5 (It was Awesome)


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