Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Guest Review: The Amulet of Samarkand by Jonathan Stroud

Guest Reviewer:
Today's guest review was written by my amazing husband, Brad.  He doesn't have his own blog or anything, but he loves to read just as much as I do, is addicted to video games, the same shows as me, and good music.  To put it plain and simple... he's totally awesome.  :)

The Amulet of Samarkand (Bartimaeus, #1)
Cover Source:
Title: The Amulet of Samarkand
Author: Jonathan Stroud
Series: Bartimaeus #1
Version Reviewed:  Finished copy, paperback

GoodReads Summary:
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.
The author painted a picture in my mind of an age where magicians rule and common folk are like ants in a hornet’s nest. The book seemed very long but every time I put it down, I wanted to pick it back up again.

The scenes of the chasing, eating, and the descriptive commentary of the djinni at the bottom of the pages made it seem as if the story were as real as this review.

My only real complaint would be that I don’t have the other two books in the trilogy, so I can’t finish it. But I would recommend this book to anyone, be they twelve or seventy years old. The storyline is easy to follow and the characters are a delight.

Favorite Character: Bartimaeus
Rating:  4 Stars.
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*I bought this book with my own money.


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