The Amulet of Samarkand

The Amulet of Samarkand, by Jonathan Stroud, is the first book in The Bartimaeus Trilogy.

Bartimaeus, a five thousand year old djinni, and Nathaniel, a magician's apprentice alternate as the first person narrators for the story. After Simon Lovelace humiliates Nathaniel in public, Nathaniel starts plotting revenge on Lovelace. Summoning Bartimaeus is hard enough on its own but controlling him is almost impossible. When Bartimaeus is sent after Simon Lovelace's most prized possession Nathaniel  gets caught up in a whirlwind murder,theft and revenge.

This book takes place in London, England which is ruled by the powerful magicians who live there. Unlike Harry Potter, the commoners in the busy and populated city are aware of the wizards around them. In fact, they form a resistance to steal artifacts from the wizards which are occasionally used against them.

I would recommend this book to anyone, child or adult, who likes magic or fantasy. Stroud's series is packed with this and much more.

 "Jonathan Stroud, a former children's book editor, has written several books for young adults in England, where he lives." -inside back cover

The Amulet of Samarkand  awards

  • winner of a Boston Globe (USA)
  • winner of Lancashire Children's Book Award (UK)
  • Deutscher Jugendliteraturpreis (German Youth Literature Award)
  • the WH Smith Teen Choice Award (UK)  

IL: MG+ - BL: 5.9 - AR Pts: 19.0


  1. I love fantasy books and this sounds like a book I would love! Fascinating cover and great review. :)

    Also- I love your blog background.