The Amulet of Samarkand (Bartimaeus Series #1)

The Amulet of Samarkand (Bartimaeus Series #1)

by Jonathan Stroud


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Nathaniel is a magician's apprentice, taking his first lessons in the arts of magic. But when a devious hot-shot wizard named Simon Lovelace ruthlessly humiliates Nathaniel in front of his elders, Nathaniel decides to kick up his education a few notches and show Lovelace who's boss. With revenge on his mind, he summons the powerful djinni, Bartimaeus. But summoning Bartimaeus and controlling him are two different things entirely, and when Nathaniel sends the djinni out to steal Lovelace's greatest treasure, the Amulet of Samarkand, he finds himself caught up in a whirlwind of magical espionage, murder, and rebellion.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780786852550
Publisher: Disney Press
Publication date: 05/12/2004
Series: Bartimaeus Series , #1
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 480
Sales rank: 36,381
Product dimensions: 5.10(w) x 7.60(h) x 1.40(d)
Age Range: 9 - 12 Years

About the Author

Jonathan Stroud ( is the author of two previous books in the Lockwood & Co. series as well as the New York Times best-selling Bartimaeus books, and the stand-alone titles Heroes of the Valley, The Leap, The Last Siege, and Buried Fire. He lives in England with his wife and two children.

Table of Contents

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The Amulet of Samarkand (Bartimaeus Series #1) 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 388 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It is an amazing book. It is very original and is one of the best books I've read in forever. It isn't one of those stupid superficial books. It has depth and wonderful characters. My favorite character is Bartimaeus. I love his side commentary. He always gets me laughing. My favorite quote is, "One magician demanded I show him an image of the love of his life. I rustled up a mirror"
The_Old_Spoke More than 1 year ago
Liked Potter? Me, too, but I like Bartimaeus and it is completely different. Once again an author manages to show me a world I've never imagined, but that under author Jonathon Stroud's guidance becomes familiar and enduring. I was reluctant at first as it is pitched as a kid's book, but this Oh-so-not-a-kid found it absorbing and rewarding for the characters and ideas that came alive on the page.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
If you enjoyed being part of a secret magical world with Harry Potter, you'll love the plot twists and turns of the Amulet of Samarkand. The footnotes are some of the funniest lines in this book, so don't forget to read those (at least once in a while). The story takes you on a journey with a young boy who is apprenticed to a magician in London. As this child becomes a young man, the reader learns about different magical creatures, conjuring spells, and other basic rules of "magician-hood" that set the stage for this story. The writing and language are mature, but certainly straight-forward enough to understand for a mature 11-15 year old. There are definitely surprises in the action and up until the last page, I was unsure of the young boy's fate. It is story-telling like this, that makes this book worth reading and that will impel me to pick-up the 2nd book in the series.
henryj55 More than 1 year ago
masterful work of literature by stroud my hat off it the best fantasy trilogys i've read
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
When I first read this it did get confusing at times, but me being a little older now I understand it completely. It's one of those books that you could keep in your collection for years. I've re-read the whole Trilogy many times. Now Jonathan Stroud is making another book about Bartimaeus which should be coming out in 2010, and im very eager to see how that will play out. Bartimaeus Trilogy &Harry Potter are one of my all time favorite books, and that's saying something.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was my favorite of all-time, until I read the final book of the trilogy. The story is so well set up and is always interesting and fun. You could read it over and over again.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I did skim some parts, but I think thats more of a personal thing anyway, and actually when I went back and read those parts and reread the book it made me love the story that much more. And I think the 10 year olds this book is supposedly for will skim the same parts. This books main attraction for me was the cahracters as usuall, so I suprised myself loving everything else that makes a good book about it. All in all the book is very happening So the first and second page. I skimmed over the description then put the book down but I am SO GLAD I went back and read it. Bartimaeus...hes pure gold. Hes a 5000 year old enslaved demon or djinni. He ties up with all my other favorite characters. For me, it was litteraly a laugh a page or more when the story is in his point of view. And hes had 5000 years of reasons to not be how awsome and likable he is today. Then it switches to Nathaniels POV the young magician. I skimmed over his parts to until the middle of the story, just to understand things. It may not look like it at first but I find Nathaniel to be a fascinating character. He dosen't seen to be likable at first but he wasn't loved as a child, his parants sold to the magicians. He almost never leaves the house. Hes seperated form other children. His room is the attic in a 5 floor mansion. And his master set him up to perposely terriffy him at 6 years old, and so set him against 'demons' very young. And he turns out to be a hero in the end, even though driven at first to solve the stories mystery by ambition. Great story. Long live Barti <3
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is highly riveting and definately exciting. It's perfect for those just starting to really dive into big reading, as it never for a moment leaves you bored. The characters are different, especially Bartimaeus, who's sarcastic attitude constantly deflects any feelings of over- cliche attached to the book. The main character seems at first to be your every day, predictable hero and yet he turns out to be so much more. Complex plot, interesting ideas, and hilarious footnotes make it a must-read for anyone who calls them self a fantasy lover. The only complaint I, a nit-picker and fantasy freak, can have, is that the villian is a bit... tired. He is very one- sided. The evil, dark haired, mean and arrogant, and yet incredibly powerful bad-guy who wants to summon an evil demon, kill all of the wizards and, basically, destroy the world. There's a little more explanation, but not much. It leaves an intelligent reader wondering, 'But what's the STRATEGY in destroying the world, except to stroke your ego?' When placed next to Bartimaeus, who is, arguably, the best, and most well planned character I've ever read of, he dwindles. All and all, a definate read for those who love a fast- moving plot, high fantasy, and sarcastic footnotes. Four and three-quarter stars.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I picked up this book a couple of weeks ago, sat down to read it on a Saturday afternoon, and finished it Saturday evening. The tale of young Nathaniel, an apprentice magician, that involves murder, revenge, and demons. This book is not for people who fancy themselves the upright church goer, it involves conjuring demons, which in all honesty is one of the most entertaining metaphores in the book. Bartimaeus is a 5000 year old djinni, who is summoned by Nathaniel to steal the amulet of Samrkand from a magician by the name of Simon Lovelace. Simon is a magician and more importantly is an evil magician (or as Bartimaeus might say ambitious not evil). The events in the book start out with an arrogant young boy, who is really somewhat innocent, but then he loses that innocence and starts on a journey into adulthood. This book is one of the only books that I have ever seen pull off a narrative by two different people and do it well. The footnotes that Bartimaeus leaves are sometimes distracting because they are so funny they can make you lose your concentration. I wouldn't recommend this to really young children, but from the age of 10 up should be safe.
SleepDreamWrite More than 1 year ago
Had picked this up at an airport bookstore, looking for something to read. Cover looked interesting as the summary. Wasn't sure if I was going to like this. Didn't like Nat and Kitty at first. The genie was interesting. Writing was pretty good.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is not your typical fantasy book (orcs, epic battle scenes, heroes controlling the evil forces, etc.). This book is about a hillariously sarcastic, smart-mourhed, and comedic demon(Bartimaeus) who loves nothing mpre than pissing people off and eaves-dropping. It gets down-right comedic how ticked he gets when his master, a young child, outwits him,and vis versa. The two, after a while, develop a strange relationship where the master technically has no power of Bartimaeus, but he still helps out(extremely rare). Good book for everyone. I'm Travis and this is my review on 'The Amulet Of Samarkand'
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I couldn't put this book down for the first 150 pages and then, it started to unravel, wander, plod. The spectacular ending was consumed in a single gulp. I keep wondering, with all the filler in the middle, why did the ending happen so fast? And I was disappointed in the farewell ending. At least it's a single book and not "to be continued" (though apparently, it is). I know there's more out there, but when the author is wandering, it's just too painful a read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was absolutely amazing. I loved it. It had a little bit of everything that I like. Magic, suspence... all that it was missing was a little bit of romance. I think I actually like this book better than Harry Potter. This is a great compliment!!!!!!
alyssama121 11 months ago
I am so mad at myself that it took me seven years to get to this book–it is incredible! Stroud masterfully weaves mythology, magic, and intrigue together to create a compelling story. The story is told from two points of view–Nathaniel, the magician, and Bartimaeus, the demon he calls to help him get revenge upon another magician. However, Nathaniel very clearly isn’t quite sure of exactly what he’s doing, so he makes a lot of mistakes along the way and ends up in a much bigger mess than expected. At first, I was only enjoying Bartimaeus’s point of view. Nathaniel was way too naive and annoying for me to truly latch onto him as an enjoyable main character, but he did grow on me as he gained more experience and went through tremendous growth as a character. All the characters, actually, are incredible. The great thing about having two different viewpoints is that we get to see magicians from their own point of view (how great they are and what great services they do for people) and from the demons’–or djinni’s–point of view (they’re little more than parasites that steal the djinni’s magic). Having this complex push and pull within the magical world creates for a lot of interesting relationships between a djinni and the magician who calls him. I really enjoyed the complexity that is added to the world because of this. My favorite part of this book, however, is how well the story itself is crafted. There is tons of worldbuilding, but it never gets dull, because Stroud weaves it into a thrilling plot that made me keep turning the pages. I’m so excited to continue the series and see what sort of adventures Nathaniel and Bartimaeus get into next; I definitely recommend this for fans of fantasy, particularly for those interested in the more historical demon-summoning type of magic.
Wanderlust_Lost on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A biting and hilariously edgy tale of a young magician and his djinn "servant" Bartimaeus. When young Nathaniel is humilated by eminent magician Simon Lovelace he vows to get his revenge against both Simon and his own inefficient master. In order to do this Nathaniel summons Bartimaeus, a djinn of considerable power to do his bidding. But when Bartimaeus accidentally discovers Nathaniel's real name the young magician finds the tables turned and discovers that getting what he wants from a rebellious dinn intent on destroying him could prove a bit tricky.Bartimaeus is a wonderfully scintillating character and the book is extraordinarily well written. The djinn's clever and amusing footnotes as well as the sections narrated in his voice provide the highlights of the novel. Nathaniel himself is a bit of a power-mad, morally bankrupt, severely misguided teenage tragedy figure with whom the reader is meant to feel little sympathy. It's Bartimaeus who steals the show and in whom the reader ultimately invests all their hopes for a happy ending. Will Stroud deliver? Read the second book in the trilogy to find out!
francescadefreitas on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Fantastic - who'd've thought that a cranky, self-important djinni would steal me heart. I just want to bring him home, give him a hot water bottle, some Ancient Egyptian food, and see if I can't warm him up a bit.Seriously. Bartimaeus is one of the most entertaining characters I've met in ages. And this story of the intelligent but idiotic wee magician who summons him in a fit of well cooled revenge is entirely delightful. I very much look forward to finishing tis trilogy
librarianrobbi on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is a great young adult trilogy. It quickly engrosses the reader and the action and interesting characters keep the story interesting.
babywitch on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
not as good on the second read. Read it to be able to understand book 3.
heidilove on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A lively little tome that shows how fare the genre has come from the days of cute and cuddly (which was a horrible, blasphemous trend, IMHO). Bartimeus is wonderful.
BiblioFool on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Fabulous fantasy fiction! This is one of my favourite youth fantasy titles in recent years. The dry wit of Bartimaeus had me chuckling out loud on several occasions. Not so cool when reading in public, but hey, well worth the strange looks.
edelweiss on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I've read quite a few books in an attempt to find a fantasy work I enjoy as much as the Harry Potter series. His Dark Materials was recommended in addition to this trilogy. Well, I *hated* His Dark Materials, but this book (and its sequels) was justly acclaimed. Finally a worthwhile book to read while waiting for book 7! That's not to say that this is anything like Harry Potter. No, this is quite different, but just as fun. The humour of Bartimaeus is what first hooked me into the series. I just love his sarcasm and scathing remarks! The story itself is fun and very exciting. Once I started it, I found it very hard to put it down. Nathaniel also intrigued me throughout, especially in Amulet of Samarkand. The whole time I was hoping for some good and honour to show through. Although disappointed in that regard, I had high hopes for the rest of the series. A unique plot and dynamic characters. I love it!
jacks457 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
a good book with lots of exsitment but needs to be longer with more enemys and challanges.
richardsonmichelle on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I liked this book. It was different from others I've read in this genre because it's from the demon's (or as he prefers, djinni's) point of view. It was kind of annoying because there are a lot of footnotes, and I kept leaving my spot on the page to read the notes, but usually the notes were very witty and by the middle of the book, I was looking forward to it!
Anduril85 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The first book in the trilogy is a very nice read, the writing draws you into a magical England and makes you feel for the main character, Nathaniel a smart, talented summoner If you like dare i say it...(harry potter) I think it's safe to say you'll enjoy this too.
hpluver07 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I loved this book! It included magic, but in a more modern setting. That is what makes it so appealing.