13 September 2011
The Amulet of Samarkand
Nathaniel is a young magician with only one thing on his mind: revenge.
As an apprentice to the great magician Underwood, Nathaniel is gradually being schooled in the traditional art of magic. All is well until he has a life-changing encounter with Simon Lovelace, a rising, star magician. When Simon brutally humiliates Nathaniel in front of everyone he knows, Nathaniel decides to speed up his magical education, teaching himself spells way beyond his years. Eventually, he masters one of the most difficult spells of all: summoning the all-powerful djinni, Bartimeus.
But summoning Bartimeus and controlling him are two very different things—and Nathaniel may be in way over his head.
I picked this up on CD at the library because I heard the author do an interview on a pod cast that I listened to. They guys in the pod cast said the book was funny, so I picked it up.
Now the book is funny. At least the Bartimeus parts. Nathaniel is a whining, sniveling, stupid little boy that I wanted to smack most of the time. He is decidedly not funny. I wanted funny. The djinni is funny. So half of the book is funny because about half of it is from each character's point of view.
The fact that I had to renew the book twice from the library tells me that I didn't like it that much. It just didn't draw me in after Nathaniel's part started. Of course, it's a middle grade book, and I'm not exactly a middle grader, so that could be the problem. If it's not middle grade my deepest apology goes out to Jonathan Stroud.
I'm thinking young boys would love it. There was plenty of action once things got going, and I liked the magic system. Seeing part of the book from the djinni's point of view made things more interesting. And more fun.
Did I mention that Bartimeus was funny?