Cover image for The Amulet of Samarkand
Title:
The Amulet of Samarkand
Author:
Stroud, Jonathan.
Personal Author:
Edition:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Hyperion Books For Children, [2003]

©2003
Physical Description:
462 pages ; 22 cm.
Summary:
Nathaniel, a magician's apprentice, summons up the djinni Bartimaeus and instructs him to steal the Amulet of Samarkand from the powerful magician Simon Lovelace.
General Note:
"Miramax books."
Language:
English
Reading Level:
800 Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR MG+ 5.9 19.0 73958.

Reading Counts RC 6-8 4.8 26 Quiz: 34370 Guided reading level: Y.
ISBN:
9780786818594
Format :
Book

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Summary

Summary

Presenting a thrilling new voice in children's literature-a witty, gripping adventure story featuring a boy and his not-so-tame djinni.
Nathaniel is a young magician's apprentice, taking his first lessons in the arts of magic. But when a devious hotshot wizard named Simon Lovelace ruthlessly humiliates Nathaniel in front of everyone he knows, Nathaniel decides to kick up his education a few notches and show Lovelace who's boss. With revenge on his mind, he masters one of the toughest spells of all: summoning the all-powerful djinni, Bartimaeus. But summoning Bartimaeus and controlling him are two different things entirely, and when Nathaniel sends the djinni out to steal the powerful Amulet of Samarkand, Nathaniel finds himself caught up in a whirlwind of magical espionage, murder, blackmail, and revolt.
Set in a modern-day London spiced with magicians and mayhem, this extraordinary, funny, pitch-perfect thriller will dazzle the myriad fans of Artemis Fowl and the His Dark Materials trilogy. And with the rights sold in more than a dozen countries, and a major motion picture in the works, the Bartimaeus trilogy is on the fast track to becoming a classic.


Author Notes

Jonathan Stroud, best selling fantasy fiction author, was born in Bedford, England on October 27, 1970. While growing up he experimented with different kinds of writing. He went on to read English Literature at York University. After graduation he worked in editing at Walker Books, in London and continued there for several years. His first novel, When Buried Fire, was published in 1999. In 2001 he began writing full-time. He is the author of the wildly popular Bartimaeus Sequence and Lockwood and Co, series.

(Bowker Author Biography)


Reviews 4

Booklist Review

Disney/Hyperion follows its adaptation of Rick Riordan's The Lightning Thief (2010) with this sumptuous graphic novelization of the first book in another hit fantasy series, Stroud's multilayered Bartimaeus trilogy. The fairly text-heavy treatment is a welcome way to balance Stroud's ever-clever writing with a visual treatment of the plot, in which a boy apprentice summons an impish djinni named Bartimaeus to help him exact revenge upon a particularly nasty magician. Stroud's inspired twist was to tell the bulk of the story from the tremendously entertaining point of view of Bartimaeus, and here his narration works wonders counterpointing the drama and dialogue in the panels. The artwork is lively, atmospheric, and exciting, with a couple quibbles: the coloring is almost off-puttingly oversaturated, and a longer page count would have alleviated the problem of a few key action sequences getting crammed into tinier and more claustrophobic spaces. Still, the depth of Stroud's alternate London, some complex political machinations, and the large cast of human and demon characters are all well realized here. Fans and initiates alike will be enchanted.--Chipman, Ian Copyright 2010 Booklist


Publisher's Weekly Review

A seemingly omniscient narrator begins this darkly tantalizing tale set in modern-day London, ushering readers into a room where the temperature plunges, ice forms on the curtains and ceiling, and the scent of brimstone fills the air. Suddenly, the voice reveals itself as the djinn Bartimaeus, appearing in front of Nathaniel, the 10-year-old magician who has summoned him ("Hey, it was his first time. I wanted to scare him," Bartimaeus explains). The djinn thinks of himself as rather omniscient, having been present for some major historical moments (as he explains in various footnotes, he gave an anklet to Nefertiti and offered tips to legendary architects-"Not that my advice was always taken: check out the Leaning Tower of Pisa"). Debut novelist Stroud plunges readers into a quickly thickening plot: Nathaniel commands Bartimaeus to steal the Amulet of Samarkand from Simon Lovelace, a task that the djinn completes with some ease. Other factors quickly become more interesting: the motive for the boy's charge, how Simon came by the Amulet and the fallout from the theft. What these reveal about the characters of Simon and Nathaniel makes for engrossing reading. Stroud also introduces the fascinating workings of the "seven planes" (magicians can see three of them only with special spectacles), the pecking order of magical beings, and the requirements of various spells and enchantments-plus the intrigue behind a group of commoners mounting a Resistance (this loose end, presumably, will be explored in the remainder of the planned Bartimaeus trilogy). The author plants enough seeds that readers will eagerly anticipate the next two volumes. Ages 10-up. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved


Library Journal Review

Often described as the anti-Harry Potter, The Amulet of Samarkand also stars a boy wizard in a magical modern-day London. Nathaniel is a snot-nosed apprentice seeking revenge on the magician who humiliated him. To that end, he summons a 5000-year-old djinni, Bartimaeus, and forces him to steal a powerful amulet. Listen Up: Jones is a past winner of Audiofile magazine's Golden Voice Award and played Bridey in the famed PBS miniseries Brideshead Revisited. The story alternates between third- and first-person narration, with delightful asides from the not-so-easily-controlled Bartimaeus. In the text, these asides take the form of footnotes, which can interrupt the flow on the page. Jones's skillful reading smoothes out the bumps and makes this first book in a complex trilogy even more fun to listen to than it is to read.-Angelina Benedetti, King Cty. Lib. Syst., WA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


School Library Journal Review

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 (c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.