The Ring of Solomon (Bartimaeus Series #4)

The Ring of Solomon (Bartimaeus Series #4)

4.6 41
by Jonathan Stroud, Simon Jones
     
 

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Bartimaeus, everyone's favorite (wise-cracking) djinni, is back in book four of this best-selling series, now available in paperback. As alluded to in the footnotes throughout the series, Bartimaeus has served hundreds of magicians during his 5,010 year career. Now fans can go back in time with the djinni, to Jerusalem and the court of King Solomon in 950 BCE. Only

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Overview

Bartimaeus, everyone's favorite (wise-cracking) djinni, is back in book four of this best-selling series, now available in paperback. As alluded to in the footnotes throughout the series, Bartimaeus has served hundreds of magicians during his 5,010 year career. Now fans can go back in time with the djinni, to Jerusalem and the court of King Solomon in 950 BCE. Only in this adventure, it seems the great Bartimaeus has finally met his match. He'll have to contend with an unpleasant master and his sinister servant, and he runs into just a "spot" of trouble with King Solomon's magic ring .

Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal
Gr 6 Up—Rejoice! Bartimaeus, the incorrigible djinni introduced in Jonathan Stroud's The Amulet of Samarkand (Disney-Hyperion, 2003), is back and he's as cheeky as ever. This story (Hyperion, 2010) takes place 3,000 years earlier than the Samarkand trilogy. Bartimaeus and eternal foe Faquarl are enslaved to an evil sorcerer who works for King Solomon. A number of plots entwine with the central one of a Sheban assassin, Asmira, on a suicide mission to kill King Solomon and steal his fearsome and powerful magic ring. Through a number of incidents, largely relayed in highly melodramatic and self-pitying fashion by Bartimaeus, he ends up obligated to help Asmira in her quest. There are plenty of laughs provided by the djinni's droll asides while the action maintains a steady pace. Bartimaeus entertains by taking the form of a tutu-wearing pygmy hippo (with a strong and unfortunate resemblance to one of Solomon's wives), a pot-bellied imp, and a limpid-eyed youth. British actor Simon Jones's narration is marvelous. He clearly revels in Bartimaeus's plummy dialogue, yet can do a very convincing accent to indicate the coarseness or wickedness of other characters. His wonderful sense of timing gives listeners the opportunity to fully revel in the richly rendered adventure. This title will surely create new fans and is highly recommended for those who are already familiar with Bartimaeus.—B. Allison Gray, Santa Barbara Public Library System, CA
Publishers Weekly
In this exciting prequel set in ancient Israel, Stroud presents an early adventure of his sharp-tongued djinn, Bartimaeus. King Solomon has risen to greatness due to the unparalleled power of his magical ring, but having had his marriage proposal rejected by the queen of Sheba, he now appears to be threatening her kingdom with destruction. Young Asmira, the fiery captain of the queen's hereditary guard, is sent to Jerusalem to assassinate the great king and steal the ring. Meanwhile, Bartimaeus, as sardonic, egotistical, and mouthy as ever, perfectly capable of "devouring old magician and departing his tower with a burp and a smile," is currently controlled by the wicked Khaba, one of Solomon's court wizards, and is bitterly unhappy with his lot. When djinn and would-be assassin team up, complex court intrigues come to light and spectacular magics are unleashed. Although the Jerusalem of 950 B.C.E. is not quite as enthralling as was the London of the original trilogy, this is a superior fantasy that should have fans racing back to those books. Ages 10–up. (Nov.)
VOYA - Christina Miller
Jonathan Stroud's latest fantasy novel is a stand-alone prequel to his Bartimaeus Trilogy (The Amulet of Samarkand [Hyperion, 2003], The Golem's Eye [Hyperion, 2004], and Ptolemy's Gate [Hyperion, 2006]). In 950 B.C.E., King Solomon's magicians summon demons to build roads, fight battles, and do their bidding. Readers will be filled with schadenfreude as the spirits fight back and heads roll, eyes are gouged out, and enemies are vaporized and incinerated. Fearing the destruction of Sheba after rejecting Solomon's third marriage offer, Queen Balkis sends her Guard Captain, the brave and beautiful Asmira, to Jerusalem to assassinate Solomon and steal his powerful Ring. The cheeky djinni Bartimaeus is initially summoned by Khaba, Solomon's evil magician obsessed with obtaining the Ring, but is later freed and recruited by Asmira. An uneasy alliance is formed between Bartimaeus and Asmira, and a mighty quest ensues. Who would not like to fly, cast people into Voids, fire a Convulsion, release a Flux, or dwell in multiple dimensions? Humans, unfortunately, along with fleas, tapeworms, and dust mites, dwell in only the first plane, have no magic powers, and have to rely on learned magicians to summon powerful spirits. This is a cinematic, humorous, and action-packed book with a complex plot, rich characterization, and sophisticated vocabulary. Stroud's novel paints a vivid picture of the ancient world, inspiring readers to learn more about the places, characters, and events it depicts from religion, mythology, and history. Reviewer: Christina Miller
VOYA - Monica Gorman
The portrayal of King Solomon as a magician who summons demons may offend some readers, but those willing to overlook this flaw will find The Ring of Solomon an enjoyable fantasy read. Set in the ancient Middle East, this book will appeal to fans of the 1,001 Nights series. Stroud keeps readers on their toes. The characters are believable but still able to surprise, the plot is delightfully twisty, and the writing is engaging and humorous. 4Q,4P. Reviewer: Monica Gorman, Teen Reviewer
Children's Literature - Lisa Kuehne
One unruly djinni can create one powerful, intriguing tale about Jerusalem and King Solomon. The main character, Bartimaeus, may be considered an ill-behaved demon by anyone who crosses his path, but he instantly captures our attention and gives us an alluring glimpse in the life of a djinni slave. Bartimaeus outsmarts one master magician, yet the next formidable magician, Khaba, is out to rule the kingdom and will make Bartimaeus pay for any trouble he causes. Controlling King Solomon's powerful ring is the crucial key to ruling Jerusalem as well as the entire world and Khaba won't stop until he has that power. When Bartimaeus is under punishment and assigned to the miserable task of hunting bandits, he crosses paths with Asmira. Little does he know Asmira is on a suicide mission to save her country from what she believes is Solomon's imminent attack. When she promises to do her best to get Bartimaeus released from his slavery, he spares her life. But Khaba has no intentions of freeing Bartimaeus. Instead he traps the demon until Asmira finds a way to free him and make him into her own djinni slave. Bartimaeus has no choice than to join Asmira on her suicide mission to kill King Solomon before her country is destroyed or spend eternity locked away in a bottle. Stroud brings this epic tale to life and we instantly connect with his witty, unforgettable characters. Although it may be challenging for young adults to grasp the detailed contents of this story at certain times, Stroud's Bartimaeus books could easily become the next Harry Potter. Who would have thought we would all be cheering for a demon? Reviewer: Lisa Kuehne
Kirkus Reviews
The entertainingly cocky djinni scraps his way through a 950 BCE escapade mostly unrelated to his series (The Bartimaeus Trilogy) but in that same metaphysical world. Any competent magician can summon Bartimaeus to Earth and enslave him, though none can suppress his amusingly snide commentary (complete with witty footnotes). Assigned to chase bandits outside a corrupt Jerusalem, he meets Asmira, a young woman whose third-person-limited narrative sections are told in a reserved, pragmatic voice. She treks to Jerusalem on a mission to assassinate King Solomon, who threatens her country of Sheba. Magical detonations enhance the tension as Asmira creeps closer to King Solomon and his world-controlling ring. Semi-success in her quest raises new questions, expanding her worldview and making her think in new ways. Despite Asmira's likability, copious action and suspense, the text's sharp elegance and Bartimaeus's funny panache under duress, the prose moves slowly throughout, partly due to over-description. Best for worshippers of popular Bartimaeus and fantasy readers who don't require a quick pace. (Fantasy. YA)

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780307738639
Publisher:
Random House Audio Publishing Group
Publication date:
11/09/2010
Series:
Bartimaeus Series, #4
Age Range:
9 - 12 Years

Meet the Author

Jonathan Stroud (www.jonathanstroud.com) is the author of the New York Times best-selling Bartimaeus Trilogy, as well as Heroes of the Valley, The Leap, The Last Siege, and Buried Fire. He lives in England with his family.

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The Ring of Solomon: A Bartimaeus Novel: A Bartimaeus Novel 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 40 reviews.
Cappy56 More than 1 year ago
I found the Bartimaeus books series by accident while looking for something else and was hooked as soon as I read the sample. The main character is funny, sarcastic and practical all at the same time. If you can't take a joke or don't have a sense of humor don't read this book. I also strongly recommend the three other books in the series, I loved them all and hope there will be a "next one" soon. I will also be looking for other things written by Jonathan Stroud, I like his witty style of writing.
LadyHester More than 1 year ago
The book started out slow and I was worried that I would not like it.The new characters felt flat and one dimensional. But as the book progressed I quickly grew to love it! Bartimaeus is hands down one of the sweetest characters. His wit is hilarious and makes you laugh out loud as you read. There is a deep message in the book about slavery, power and the pain of losing free will. In the end the human character Asmira has to confront the end of all her beliefs and change or die. I hope the author keeps writing more!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Have to read. Total greatness with lots of detail. Bartimeus at his best
Graff_Master More than 1 year ago
This book by Stroud is one of his best yet. Set in 950 B.C. Bartimaeus it up to one of his most daunting tasks yet, surviving the life of magicians of Israel. When he makes an uh oh and must be punished for it. He is put under the dominion of Khaba the Cruel, one of Solomon's most powerful magicians. But, all is not as it seems. Solomon's magicians are using his fear for their own good. But, one queen is tired of it. She sends an assassin in an attempt to end Solomon's rule. This book is great from beginning to end and was very refreshing to be back with Bartimaeus again. I cannot wait for him to make another one.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This series is very entertaining.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Wonderful continuation of the Bartimaeus trilogy. Lots of action, surprises, and as usual, Bartimaeus' tricks, clever disguises, and how he always manages to get out of impossible situations.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I found these by acsedent and was imiditly hookrd!!!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The creator of the Bartimaeus trilogy has done it again, delivering a hilarious and well-written addition to the series that started it all. If you read and enjoyed the last three books, you will like this one. If you have yet to read the Bartimaeus books, this is a perfect jumping-on point. Any fantasy fan will enjoy this.
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The_hibernators More than 1 year ago
This is the prequel to the Bartimaeus trilogy (which I loved). It could function as a stand-alone book, though I highly recommend the original trilogy too. Bartimaeus is a begrudgingly good-hearted, wise-cracking djinni who is always saving the world from careless humans and their naughty demons. In The Ring of Solomon, Bartimaeus is summoned to serve for an evil wizard under the rule of the powerful King Solomon of Israel. While serving, he encounters a young assassin who is hell-bent on killing Solomon and stealing his powerful ring (in service of her country Sheba). Delightful confusion ensues. These books are funny, witty, cute, and adventurous. I love Bartimaeus’ silly footnotes where he inserts amusing “historical” points.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
RationalReader More than 1 year ago
Encore, encore! Stroud continues his tale of the witty, quick-talking djinni, Bartimaeus in a spell-binding novel. The Ring of Solomon is yet another my-hands-seem-to-have-frozen-to-this-book masterpiece that makes its predecessors proud. In a brilliant mixture of ancient history and fiction, Bartimaeus must once again, save the usually-less-intelligent-than-he from a powerful adversary who will stop at nothing to acquire King Solomon of Israel's magic ring. Stroud's work is once again, brilliantly inspired, well-written, and almost without a fault. It takes superb writing talent to portray several different perspectives from various minds as well as Stroud does. Yet another novel that looks down from up high as all those who attempt to match it, and can only bite the dust.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Xyzia More than 1 year ago
The Ring of Solomon by Jonathan Stroud 398 pages This is a book one should read if they like reading about djinn, warlocks, action, and friendship. It even has a bit of history throughout it. Also, even though this is the prologue, it is the fourth Bartimaeus book to come out, and so if one has read and enjoyed the other three, this one will also be highly enjoyed. There are some advanced words or ideas, but the read is pretty simple. However, although it is pretty easy to read, it is a fun, enticing read, and is highly recommended. Some things the author did throughout the book that I enjoyed were switching the first person point of view around, as he did with the other books in the series. You get to know great details about the main character when it is first person, so having the point of view change throughout gave even more detail. Stroud also included footnotes for even more detail, and for background information that the reader most of the time won't know. I feel that the book is very well written, and that nothing detracted from the books contents. Overall, I really enjoyed this book. This book is another example of why the Bartimaeus series is my favorite series. It has a great plot, great characters, great detail, great points of view, and is, to put it simply, an outstanding book. I think this book is appropriate for anyone about 12 or older. I think the reader would appreciate the book more at a higher age, say 16 or older, but it would still be enjoyed by the younger readers. Some information I feel may be of value about this book is that it's a prologue. However, if you have read the other books already, or even just one or two, you can still read this book. It doesn't give the origin of Bartimaeus, but a past plot of his life, and is readable no matter how far in the trilogy you are.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Drakoni5 More than 1 year ago
Although the connection between this book and the earlier series starring Nathaniel is virtually nill, this book is perfectly capable of standing on its own as a novel, and newcomers to Stroud's work will follow the tale and characters with ease. This book also stars a young magician who overcomes his/her preconceptions of "demons". The long-term message of Stroud's books remain the same in this message, and I would not be surprised if it is incorporated in any following books of Stroud's in this fantasy land. Honestly, I do not know if another book about this is forthcoming, but nobody expected The Ring of Solomon, either, so perhaps it is possible. No doubt Bartimaeous will play a key roll in it as well, though it would be interesting to see a book set in this world with out Bartimaeous in it- although perhaps that would ruin the entire effect. Bartimaeous is most probably the glue that holds these books together, and I would be loathe to read one with out him- though the mentions of human consumption did make me queasy. All in all, and excellent tale.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
RavynKatt More than 1 year ago
I read the other books of the Bartimaeus Trilogy about a year ago, and was surprised and pleased to find this new installment. For fans of the trilogy it does not disappoint, but this book is also a wonderful stand alone for people who are new to the series. This book is set before the Bartimaeus trilogy, and Bartimaeus himself is the only recurring character. His character is true to form and wildly entertaining throughout the entire adventure. Set in the ancient Middle East, this book features a typical fast-paced adventure with an undertone of subterfuge. People aren't what they seem and the main characters of Solomon and Asmira develop as the story goes on. You'll laugh (really), cry (not really), and even buy the t-shirt (not available). I recommend this book for Bartimaeus fans and to anyone else that appreciates a teen book not centered around romance or the run-of-mill mythical creatures.