Friday, July 19, 2013

The Amulet of Samarkand by Jonathan Stroud

The Amulet of Samarkand by Jonathan Stroud is the first book in one of my favorite fantasy trilogies, the Bartimaeus series.

Nathaniel is a magician's apprentice, treated with contempt by his master who is himself only a minor magician. Nathaniel, however, has ambition -- not to mention years of hoarded resentment towards his master and other magicians who have slighted and humiliated him. In secret, Nathaniel summons a powerful djinni named Bartimaeus, planning to use the djinni to accomplish his secret plans -- but then things start to go horribly wrong . . .

This is not only a reread for me, but a re-listen as well. The original book is brilliant, thanks in part to Bartimaeus's snarky footnotes. The first time I listened to this audiobook, I wondered how that would come through, but narrator Simon Jones does an excellent job of presenting the footnotes as conversational asides. I'll be re-listening to the sequels soon. If you are a fantasy reader and haven't read this series, I recommend it, and the audiobook versions of the books are impressive and well-done.

(Reviewed from an audiobook borrowed through my library system.)

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