The Amulet of Samarkand by Jonathan Stroud [Review]


When the 5000-year-old djinni Bartimaeus is summoned by Nathaniel, a young magician’s apprentice, he expects to have to do nothing more taxing than a little levitation or a few simple illusions.

But Nathaniel is a precocious talent and has something rather more dangerous in mind: revenge. Against his will, Bartimaeus is packed off to steal the powerful Amulet of Samarkand from Simon Lovelace, a master magician of unrivalled ruthlessness and ambition.

Before long, both djinni and apprentice are caught up in a terrifying flood of magical intrigue, murder and rebellion.


I’ve heard good things about this series, since well, when it came out really. I’ve had a paperback of this on my shelves for at least a couple of years. I’ve had people tell me I had to read it. (Proper full on arm twisting to be honest!). I’ve wanted to read it, and yet for some reason, I never have.

Well last month, I was looking for something to use my audible credit on, and when I spotted this one, I made up my mind that this was probably the best way to finally get around to reading it!

So, having now listened to it, and taking everything I said above into account, I want to know why not one of you has forced me to invite Bartimaeus into my reading life, before? I mean threats of violence, clearly weren’t enough. One of, surely must have known some heavies you could have sent around? 😉

Bartimaeus, has to be one of my favourite characters ever! So brilliantly snarky and sarcastic and Steven Pacey does a fantastic job of narrating the book and capturing the djinni’s voice.

Nathaniel, the wizard , and the other ‘hero’ of the book, is a decent lad, whose lack of a truly caring hand, means he is easily seduced by the power, being a wizard and part of the ruling class offers. I’ve listened to the other two books in the series at this point, so it’s hard to talk about Nathaniel’s journey, without taking it all into account. Suffice it to say, his innate ‘goodness’ sometimes has to work hard to be seen.

But they make a fantastic paring, and they respect (and even like) each other far more than either one would ever admit. 😉

I enjoyed this one so, much I immediately bought the next one in the series, without waiting for my next audible credit! I’ll be posting my review of that one on Wednesday.

Buy: The Amulet of Samarkand by Jonathan Stroud

10 thoughts on “The Amulet of Samarkand by Jonathan Stroud [Review]

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  • June 2 at 12:34 am

    I know how you feel! I’ve had this since 2007 and I can’t believe I’ve waited so long. Bartimaeus God of Sarcasm is definitely a fitting title for him. I love him!
    and although I don’t really listen to audio books, I think I’d love to listen to this, just to laugh at his funny remarks 🙂
    valentina recently posted…A Star called Henry by Roddy DoyleMy Profile

  • May 15 at 10:13 am

    I read this when the books first came out and I felt like I was the only one who knew about the series! So glad it’s more popular now because I think Bartimaeus is hilarious and more people deserve to read books about him.
    Chachic recently posted…Want Books- The Last AnniversaryMy Profile

    • May 15 at 7:42 pm

      Everybody should have a Bartimaeus in their lives!

  • May 9 at 6:13 pm

    I read this a few years back & really enjoyed it, and the whole series. Bartimaeus is just great fun

  • May 3 at 2:06 am

    Like you, I’ve known of this one for some time but haven’t had the urge to actually pick it up. Obviously I am doing myself a disservice!
    Trisha recently posted…Wishlist AprilMy Profile

  • May 2 at 9:14 pm

    I read this trilogy some time ago and loved loved loved it!! I’m glad to hear others who love Bartimaeus too!!!
    deslily recently posted…Name of the WindMy Profile

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