The Amulet of Samarkand


Presenting a thrilling voice in children's literature -- a witty, gripping adventure story featuring a boy and his not-so-tame djinni.

Nathaniel is a young magician's apprentice, taking his first lessons in the arts of magic. But when a devious hotshot wizard named Simon Lovelace ruthlessly humiliates Nathaniel in front of everyone he knows, Nathaniel decides to kick up his education a few notches and show Lovelace who's boss. With revenge in his mind, he masters one of the ...

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Presenting a thrilling voice in children's literature -- a witty, gripping adventure story featuring a boy and his not-so-tame djinni.

Nathaniel is a young magician's apprentice, taking his first lessons in the arts of magic. But when a devious hotshot wizard named Simon Lovelace ruthlessly humiliates Nathaniel in front of everyone he knows, Nathaniel decides to kick up his education a few notches and show Lovelace who's boss. With revenge in his mind, he masters one of the toughest spells of all: summoning the all-powerful djinni, Bartimaeus. But summoning Bartimaeus and controlling him are two different things entirely, and when Nathaniel sends the djinni out to steal the powerful Amulet of Samarkand, Nathaniel finds himself caught up in a whirlwind of magical espionage, murder, blackmail, and revolt.

Set in modern-day London spiced with magicians and mayhem, this extraordinary, funny, pitch-perfect thriller will dazzle the myriad fans of Artemis Fowl and the His Dark Materials trilogy.

About the Author

Jonathan Stroud is a former publishing executive who has published several children's books in England. He lives in London.

Nathaniel, a magician's apprentice, summons up the djinni Bartimaeus and instructs him to steal the Amulet of Samarkand from the powerful magician Simon Lovelace.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
In a starred review, PW called this novel narrated by an ancient djinn, Bartimaeus, bonded to a 10-year-old magician in modern-day London a "darkly tantalizing tale. Readers will eagerly anticipate the next two volumes." Ages 10-up. (June) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature
Here is a long, involved, original, and exciting fantasy. England is in the power of magicians who hold all government offices. Young Nathaniel is apprenticed to a mediocre bureaucrat who does not see the boy's exceptional talents. When Nathaniel is humiliated by a most powerful and evil magician, he sets out on his own to extract revenge. This is refreshing because it is nothing like Harry Potter, and the author even manages a little dig in that direction: "Well, unless age-old practices were now being dropped and apprentices were being bused off to boarding school (hardly likely)...." Told from two points of view, the djinni Bartimeus's and the author's, the story is not hard to follow. After page 250 or so I couldn't put it down and read straight through to the end at just under 500. 2003, Miramax/Hyperion, Ages 10 to 14.
— Beth Guldseth
Eleven-year-old Nathaniel has been the apprentice of magician Arthur Underwood since he was five, but he is largely self-taught. His pompous and stuffy master constantly underestimates Nathaniel's ability and fails to defend him from humiliation at the hands of fellow magician Simon Lovelace. Nathaniel plots his revenge carefully, summoning a demon called Bartimaeus to steal the Amulet of Samarkand from Lovelace and subsequently humiliate him. But Nathaniel and Bartimaeus get far more than they bargained for as they uncover a plot to overthrow the government and run into a group of "commoner" children who can detect and are stealing magical objects. The story, told alternately in first person by Bartimaeus and from Nathaniel's point of view in third person, is fast-paced and funny, although at times it takes a serious tone. Nathaniel grows from a whiny, petulant and self-involved boy to a character with strength and courage, retaining enough of his former attitude to maintain credibility. Bartimaeus, a demon with an extraordinarily high opinion of himself, tries to maintain that his service is entirely enforced by the summons, but by the end of the book, the reader knows better. Loose ends are deliberately left untied, as this is the first book in a trilogy, a happy prospect for readers of this delightful tale. (The Bartimaeus Trilogy, Book One). KLIATT Codes: JSA*—Exceptional book, recommended for junior and senior high school students, advanced students, and adults. 2003, Hyperion, 452p., Ages 12 to adult.
—Donna Scanlon
School Library Journal
Gr 5-9-Nathaniel has been apprenticed to Mr. Underwood for several years. At the age of 12, he has finally been Named and is on his way to becoming a real magician. Suddenly, London is in an uproar. The Amulet of Samarkand has been stolen from the powerful magician Simon Lovelace. Only Nathaniel knows what really happened because it was he who commanded the 5000-year-old djinni Bartimaeus to steal it for him. Now, with a rebellious demon under his control and all of London searching for the thief, he must figure out a way to keep the amulet hidden. Stroud has woven an intricate fantasy set in an alternative London where the most influential members of society, and even the Prime Minister himself, are magicians. The richly rewarding story unfolds in chapters that alternate between Bartimaeus's first-person narration, which includes arcane and very funny footnotes, and Nathaniel's account, told in third person. There is plenty of action, mystery, and humor to keep readers turning the pages. This title, the first in a trilogy, is a must for fantasy fans, and in particular for those anxious for the next Harry Potter.-Ginny Collier, Dekalb County Public Library, Chamblee, GA Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
In a contemporary London full of magic, a thrilling adventure unfolds. Twelve-year-old Nathaniel is apprenticed to a politician (which means magician), but early emotional pain leads him toward hardness and anger. Arrogantly summoning a djinni to help him steal an amulet from slickly evil Simon Lovelace, he's swept into a swirl of events involving conspiracy at the highest government level. Nathaniel's perspective alternates with that of Bartimaeus, the cocky, sardonic djinni. No character is wholly likable or trustworthy, which contributes to the intrigue. Many chapters end in suspense, suddenly switching narrators at key moments to create a real page-turner. Readers will hope that Stroud follows up on certain questions-is it slavery to use a djinni? will shaky looming international politics affect the empire? who deserves our alliance? and who are the mysterious children ostensibly running an underground resistance?-in the next installment, sure to be eagerly awaited. (Fantasy. 10-14)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9788960302389
  • Publisher: Hwanggeum Bueongi
  • Publication date: 5/28/2010
  • Language: Korean
  • Pages: 302

Meet the Author

Jonathan Stroud
Jonathan Stroud ( 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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Table of Contents

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