Wednesday, April 29, 2009

The Bartimaeus Trilogy

Author: Jonathan Stroud
Book on cd read by: Simon Jones

I loooove this trilogy!!! This is a must read for young or old! It is classified as young adult fantasy, but some of the humor in this book makes it enjoyable for adults as well.

The trilogy is about Bartimaeus, an ancient djinni who is summoned by a magician's apprentice named Nathaniel (or John Mandrake). It is based on the idea that magicians summon and enslave djini and other spirits to do magic for them. Bartimaeus finds out Nathaniel's birth name, which gives him some leverage with Nathaniel. The story contains historical people and events, although it is based on the idea that magicians and demons have existed and taken an active role (especially in government) throughout history.

The books are actually written through the viewpoint of the 3 main characters, switching off between them. Nathaniel is the young magician's apprentice who becomes a magician in the government. Bartimaeus is the ancient djinni summoned by Nathaniel. When he is telling the story, he tends to be sarcastic and input lots of facts, opinions, and his past exploits. Some of his comments are hilarious! Kitty Jones' role gradually increases throughout the trilogy and parts of the story are told from her point of view in book 2 and 3. Kitty is a member of the Resistance, and thus an enemy of Nathaniel.

Hooray for Jonathan Stroud! I wish there were more books in this story because I love the humor of Bartimaeus. But the story is definitely wrapped up at the end of the Trilogy. Simon Jones does an excellent job reading the books on cd, and giving Bartimaeus the character and personality that I'm sure the author intended.

The Bartimaeus Trilogy:
The Amulet of Samarkand
The Golem's Eye
Ptolemy's Gate

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Children of the Red King Series

Right now I'm reading the 3rd book in the Children of the Red King Series (or the Charlie Bone books) by Jenny Nimmo. It's a great series! It would be considered children's fantasy. Here's a link to the series' website:

Right now there are 7 books in the series, but I believe she is writing an 8th book due to be released this year. The books are written for kids 9 - 12 years old. But, in my opinion, since I enjoy these types of books so much, it would be great for anyone aged 9 - 99. What can I say? I'm a kid at heart! And I love fantasy books.

Jenny Nimmo is a British author, and I love listening to the guy that reads the book on cd, Simon Russell Beale. He has the British accent and it sounds so cool.

The main character is Charlie Bone, a young boy who is "endowed" with a supernatural talent to hear people in photographs and paintings. Charlie is sent to Bloor's Academy, a school for those talented in music, art, and drama, and also for other endowed children like Charlie. The endowed children each have different talents (or powers). They are all decendents of the Red King. Some of the children are good and some are bad. The owners of Bloor's Academy are evil and are trying to keep all the endowed children under their control. Charlie and his friends are good and go through several adventures to rescue people and find out secrets of the Bloors and Charlie's horrible aunts, the Yewbeams.
If you've read any of the books, feel free to comment! No spoilers please!! Here are a list of the books in the series:
Book 1: Midnight for Charlie Bone
Book 2: Charlie Bone and the Time Twister
Book 3: Charlie Bone and the Invisible Boy
Book 4: Charlie Bone and the Castle of Mirrors
Book 5: Charlie Bone and the Hidden King
Book 6: Charlie Bone and the Beast
Book 7: Charlie Bone and the Shadow
Book 8: Charlie Bone and the Red Knight (not yet released)