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The Amulet of Samarkand (1 Viewer)


Senior Member
Its been a long time since a book has made me laugh out loud, especially a fantasy book. That time came to an end once i read The Amulet of Samarkand, the brilliant novel by Jonathan Stroud and the first in a trilogy. And let me just tell you now, this is the funniest fantasy book you'll read.

Taking place in a Lonodon where the government is ruled by magicians, the story follows tWo main characters. The every ambitious Nathaniel and the big mouth, hard to hate 5,000 year old djinni, Bartimeaus. Nathaniel summons Bartimeaus to steal the amulet of samarkand from master magician Simon Lovelace. As with all good stories, things never go as their planned and Nathaniel and Bartimeaus are soon caught in an intriging plot of murder, ambition and portryal.

Without a doubt, the star of this book is Bartimeaus. Throughout the book Stroud switches between two POV characters (Bartimeaus in 1st person and Nathaniel in 3rd person). And while Nathaniel is pretty interesting, Bartimeaus will win you over in an instant. Funny, witty and a bit egoistic, Bartimeaus is a work of genius and his humorous footnotes at the bottom of the page give you a reason to love him even more. Although, the footnotes do get a tad annoying and disrupt the flow of the story at times. Despite that, Stroud effortlessly weaves through 3rd person and 1st person in breathtaking fashion. Also, his magical system is very original and interesting.

Basically if your fantasy fan and you haven't read The Amulet of Samakand yet then you seriously need to consider your purpose in life. Ok that was an exxageration but any one who enjoys fantasy and A grade humour should look no further than The Amulet of Samakand.

SCORE: 8/10
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Senior Member
Thanks for the review, Sparx. My son (13) has just read this and is now reading the second book in the trilogy, with the third waiting on the shelf. From what you've said I might take a peek myself, see what he's reading.