Friday, April 20, 2012

Book Review :: The Amulet of Samarkand by Jonathan Stroud

The Amulet of Smarkand, a book by Jonathan Stroud, shows us a unique form of magic. Magic that is unlike that of Harry Potter, or Eragon, or even “the force” in star wars. It shows us much darker kinds of magic, sorcery of the kind where ghoulish creatures and demons are summoned mostly to do the dirty work for their masters and to protect them from other magicians and their servants.

The author uses footnotes at the bottom of several pages to help explain what is going on in the book, something that I have not seen done before, but that works very well with the book. These footnotes are very entertaining and contain a lot of information, so it would be a good idea to read them as you go. He also writes from Nathaniel and Bartimaeus’ points of view so the reader gets to see what each is thinking and how their perspectives compare and/or contrast.

Introduction to the characters:

Nathaniel was once a normal boy, but after being abandoned by his parents, he finds himself in a new life where deception and revenge are common and where power and intelligence are the key to survival. After being humiliated by another magician Nathaniel summons Bartimaeus to help him get revenge by stealing the Amulet of Smarkand. However, everything starts to go wrong when the djinn learns Nathaniel’s true name, something that gives him power over his master.

Bartimaeus is a powerful djinn who suddenly finds himself under the power of a young boy seeking to steal a very powerful amulet from a powerful magician. He tries to trick the boy, but he soon realizes that this is futile and is forced to do what the boy asks. That is until he finds out Nathaniel’s name.

If you want to find out what happens, read the book! Hopefully you’ll love it and will want to come to our book club to share your thoughts.

Book review by Gabriela L. (Jan Platt Regional Library Teen Advisory Board member)

On Thursday, April 26th at 5:30pm The Jan Platt Regional Library Teen Book Club will be discussing The Amulet of Samarkand. Come join the discussion and help select future books for the group to read. Copies of the book are available at Jan Platt Library for check out. Refreshments will be provided.