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The Amulet of Samarkand: Bartimaeus Graphic Novel

The Amulet of Samarkand: Bartimaeus Graphic Novel

3.8 6
by Jonathan Stroud, Andrew Donkin, Lee Sullivan (Illustrator), Nicolas Chapuis (Illustrator)

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A modern-day London run by magicians.

A stolen amulet.

A tale of intrigue, murder, and revenge.

Nathaniel, an eleven-year-old magician-in-training, thinks he's ready to take on more challenging spells. With revenge against the proud and ambitious Simon Lovelace on his mind, he masters one of the toughest spells of all and summons Bartimaeus, a 5000-year-old


A modern-day London run by magicians.

A stolen amulet.

A tale of intrigue, murder, and revenge.

Nathaniel, an eleven-year-old magician-in-training, thinks he's ready to take on more challenging spells. With revenge against the proud and ambitious Simon Lovelace on his mind, he masters one of the toughest spells of all and summons Bartimaeus, a 5000-year-old djinni, to assist him.

But summoning a djinni and controlling him are two different things entirely. When Nathaniel sends Bartimaeus to steal Lovelace's greatest treasure, the Amulet of Samarkand, he finds himself caught in a whirlwind of espionage, murder, and rebellion.

Jonathan Stroud, along with acclaimed comic books-writer Andrew Donkin and artists Lee Sullivan and Nicolas Chapuis, turns the beloved and internationally best-selling first book in the Bartimaeus trilogy into a spellbinding graphic novel sure to excite and delight fans across all magical planes.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Nathaniel is a 12-year-old magician in training in an alternate London where magic is real and perilous creatures and artifacts abound. Bartimaeus is a cocky, 5,000-year-old djinni whom Nathaniel summons to help him get revenge against an arrogant adult wizard. The plot involves stealing the powerful amulet of Samarkand, which Bartimaeus does, setting off a series of increasingly dangerous events. Stroud's popular prose fantasy series elevates a familiar situation with multileveled characters; sharp, evocative writing; and a fascinating setting of wizardly government that, far from being wondrous, is more often mundane or selfish. This graphic novel adaptation by Donkin and Sullivan wisely keeps all the virtues of the original, adding fantastic visuals of this complicated world and colorful characters. While sometimes the narration goes on longer than is strictly necessary when a picture is supposed to be telling a story, it's usually in the service of Stroud's lively dialogue. The comics version doesn't quite improve the tale--Sullivan's characters tend to have only a handful of expressions--but it does justice to the imaginative, engrossing original. Ages 9�12. (Oct.)
VOYA - Amanda MacGregor
When twelve-year-old Nathaniel, a magician in training, seeks revenge on master magician Simon Lovelace, he summons the djinni Bartimaeus for help. Nathaniel commands Bartimaeus to steal the potent Amulet of Samarkand, a task even the djinni finds daunting. Lovelace manages to track his missing amulet back to Nathaniel's home and subsequently burns it down, killing Nathaniel's guardians. Once again, Nathaniel enlists Bartimaeus for revenge, promising he will then set him free. Using many different guises, Bartimaeus and Nathaniel repeatedly narrowly escape being caught and battle many unpleasant characters on their way to their eventual showdown with Lovelace. With all of the shape shifting, elaborate spells, and imps and demons unseen by the naked eye, Stroud's story is well suited for this illustrated format. The narrative goes back and forth in time, showing Nathaniel's life before this point, with the past depicted in warm sepia tones. The rest of the story is shown in bright, vivid colors, bringing spectacular fight sequences and peculiar creatures to life. While clever dialogue abounds, this adaptation is far less witty than the original, likely due to the absence of Bartimaeus's frequent footnotes. That said, fans of the Bartimaeus books will surely enjoy seeing the story in this graphic novel format, and readers new to the series will likely want to seek out the original novels to see what happens next to Bartimaeus and Nathaniel. Reviewer: Amanda MacGregor
Children's Literature - Lauri Berkenkamp
In this graphic adaptation of the novel of the same name, a five thousand-year-old djinni named Bartimaeus is summoned by Nathaniel, a young but gifted magician who is holding a grudge. Nathaniel is the apprentice to Arthur Underwood, a mediocre magician who is also a member of the magicians' government. One evening at a governmental gathering, Nathaniel is humiliated by an arrogant magician named Simon Lovelace. Nathaniel vows revenge. Nathaniel orders Bartimaeus to steal the amulet of Samarkind from Lovelace, a very powerful charm that is Lovelace's greatest treasure. Bartimaues does so, evading several magical adversaries, but neither he nor Nathaniel realize that the amulet is a key part of Lovelace's evil plan to overthrow the current magician's government and take over the government, himself. Meanwhile, a trio of mysterious teens, also with magical powers, keep popping up around town, and Nathaniel and Bartimaeus realize that the resistance movement against the magicians is growing. Ultimately, Bartimaeus and Nathaniel work together to thwart Lovelace's plan to destroy the inner circle of the magician's government, and as a result of their success, Nathaniel grants Bartimaeus his freedom. At their parting, Bartimaeus warns Nathaniel that he has talent and a conscience, two things most magicians can't handle well. Nathaniel promises that he will dedicate his talents to fighting the resistance movement. Many plot threads are left ambiguous at the end of this work, which are picked up in the second installment of the series. This adaptation of the original novel does a surprisingly good job explaining most of the intricate plot twists of the novel, although some of the dynamic between Nathaniel and Bartimaeus, which is the heart of the original, is lost here. The full-color illustrations are excellent, and will especially appeal to reluctant readers who like a good story but have difficulty working through a novel. The shifting point of view between Bartimaeus and Nathaniel is well presented: at the beginning of each chapter one panel is dedicated to introducing the speaker. This is an excellent way for readers unfamiliar with the Bartimaeus trilogy to sample what they are missing. Reviewer: Lauri Berkenkamp
School Library Journal
Gr 4 Up—This graphic-novel adaptation of the first volume in the popular trilogy concerns Nathaniel, a young apprentice in an alternate-world England run by wizards. When he summons the djinni Bartimaeus to steal the powerful Amulet of Samarkand, he finds himself involved in a traitorous plot that reaches the highest levels of power. Inevitably, some of the original story is lost or minimized, yet the essence is retained, something that is sure to please fans of the prose novel. As well, the full-color artwork does an adequate job of depicting the characters and settings of the novel. Unfortunately, both the images and lettering are quite small, cramping a story that begs for a bigger, splashier treatment.—Douglas P. Davey, Halton Hills Public Library, Ontario, Canada

Product Details

Publication date:
Bartimaeus Series
Product dimensions:
6.20(w) x 9.10(h) x 0.70(d)
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.

Andrew Donkin (www.andrewdonkin.com) is the author of more than sixty books for children and adults. His work in comics includes Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight as well as the graphic novel adaptations of Artemis Fowl and Artemis Fowl: The Arctic Incident with Eoin Colfer. He lives in London, England.

Lee Sullivan (www.leesullivan.co.uk) is a comic artist and book illustrator, best known in the comics field for his work on Transformers, Doctor Who and Judge Dredd. He lives in Bedfordshire, England with his wife and various non-human life forms.

Nicolas Chapuis is a freelance comic book colorist. His work includes Richard Starkings's Elephantmen and Robert Jordan s The Wheel of Time. He resides in Freiburg, Germany.

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The Amulet of Samarkand: Bartimaeus Graphic Novel 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
SleepDreamWrite More than 1 year ago
Been a long time since I last read the series. And that first book, yeah it was hard to like Nat the main character at first. Thank goodness for Kitty and the Djinn. Anyway, first book, graphic form. Art was bad, kind of liked it. Story too. Nat was a little unlikable but you get why he's like that. Still like the banter between him and Bart so that was good. And yeah, definitely how I'd pictured Nat when I read the first book. Didn't even know there was a GF for this and got a little excited. Love the cover.
MissPrint More than 1 year ago
The Amulet of Samarkand (2003) is the first book in Jonathan Stroud's Bartimaeus Trilogy. This trilogy has the unique honor of having been banned in its entirety for the books' presentations of the occult. They also feature magnificent cover art by Melvyn Grant (who also has a ridiculously clever website). For many readers, that would be enticement enough. I didn't know about the book banning, but the cover art and blurb pushed it onto my ever-increasing "to read" list. A recommendation from a trusted YA librarian pushed it over the top. Nathaniel, one of the novel's main characters, lives in London. Like most large cities, many of London's movers and shakers are to be found in government positions of influence. What most people don't know is that these powerful men and women get up to more than politicking when behind closed doors. They all have power, certainly, but very little (none depending on who you ask) belongs to them. Not permanently at least. Working in obscurity, under strict rules of engagement (with stricter punishments should something go awry), demons are the real power behind London's elite. Nathaniel is six when he is torn away from his birth parents and sent to live with his new master, another magician. As in many fantasy novels, the power of naming plays an important role here. Demons are summoned with the knowledge of their real names. If you know the demon's real name, you can control them. Similarly, if a demon learns the true name of a magician (in this case their given name) the demon has the same level of control. No magician knows their true name in order to avoid just that kind of problem. By the age of eleven, Nathaniel has adjusted to his life as an apprentice and eagerly anticipates two events: the day when he will pick his name as a magician, and the day he will become a great magician, like his idol William Gladstone, remembered by all. Nathaniel does choose his name in due time, but his dream of greatness, is put into serious question when Simon Lovelace, a prestigious magician, publicly humiliates Nathaniel. Enraged, Nathaniel bides his time learning spells and waiting until the day he will be ready to exact revenge. Enter Bartimaeus, the novel's other main character, and a djinni with a fondness for footnotes in his first-person narration. Initially summoned as an instrument of revenge, Nathaniel soon learns that Bartimaeus is not easily contained. When Nathaniel's brilliant revenge becomes murder, espionage and conspiracy djinni and boy strike an uneasy detente to see if both of them can survive the machinations Bartimaeus has set in motion under Nathaniel's orders. The Amulet of Samarkand alternates viewpoints, sometimes being told in witty first-person by Bartimaeus (filled with references to his 5000 year career as a brilliant djinni), other times following Nathaniel in a third-person voice. Combined, the narrations make for an original fantasy that is witty and sharp. More interesting, especially as the trilogy continues, is the dynamic between Nathaniel and Bartimaeus. While the djinni is more entertaining of the two, Nathaniel is often more compelling. Watching him mature from an innocent boy to a calculating magician in his own right, Stroud creates tension as readers are forced to wonder will Nathaniel be a villain or a hero by the end of the story?
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