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