Monday, November 8, 2010

The Amulet of Samarkand by Jonathan Stroud

Nathaniel is a 12 year old magician's apprentice, which means: he is being raised by a complete stranger, is forced to live in a small attic room and has the power to summon deadly demons of incredible power. Usually 12-year old magician's apprentices are content to summon small mites and minor imps- demons that are easily controlled. Nathaniel, however, is an ambitious one, so he summons the powerful and willful djinni, Bartimaeus. He then sends him on mission to steal an artifact from one of the most powerful magicians in England. What could go wrong? Oh did I mention that powerful magicians generally eat young apprentices for breakfast?

Nathaniel is a great character, but the real gem in this book is Bartimaeus the wise-cracking djinni. Bartimaeus is part shape-shifting action hero, part comedian and part celebrity insider for all of history (it's seems like he's met just about every important person who has ever lived). Combine Bartimaeus with an awesome magic filled adventure, conniving magicians and a deadly plot and you end up with one of the best fantasy stories that I've read in long time. Give this one to kids who love magic, adventure and good books grades 4+.

[Click here to see if it's available]

Also check out this interview with author Jonathan Stroud!

by Patrick