The Amulet of Samarkand

Fantasy has been my favorite genre since my grandmother gave me her copies of the Harry Potter series, and Young Adult is such a vivacious genre that I feel that I will never get too old for it. However, I also demand complexity and maturity from my escapism, and the Bartimaeus Trilogy offers it all.

Jonathan Stroud, born in 1970, has written two very successful book series, one of them being the Bartimaeus Trilogy. The first book, The Amulet of Samarkand, follows the irreverent (and often unreliable) demon Bartimaeus and the human boy who summons him. Nathaniel, a prematurely solemn twelve-year old boy, calls Bartimaeus up in his bedroom in an alternate-universe London to steal a priceless artifact from a powerful magician, and that is how their relationship begins.

The world that Stroud creates is simultaneously magnificent and grungy, evoking images of Industrial-era London brought forward a century. Within it, the voice of Bartimaeus is a beacon of modern sass, made totally unique by the author’s choice to interject with footnotes, as if his mind is working too quickly for our linear flesh brains to handle.

My only complaint about this work is that it begins a series, and I understand that many people don’t have the time or money to complete an undertaking like this. However, I recommend giving it an attempt, because these books are well worth their price.



  1. Sounds really interesting, I’ll definitely pick it up! I love fantasy and completely agree with your points about demanding complexity from young adult novels. One of my favorites was Golden Compass and that was an immensely complex world!

    Also, I just spent the last hour or so browsing your blog. You have great, facinating content and earned yourself a follower :)


    • Thank you so much! I named one of my ferrets Pan after the character from the Golden Compass. I didn’t think the series got better as it went on, though. :/

      • That’s so cool that you had a pet ferret! As a kid, I thought the same. I recently read it again, though, and I think it reads differently now that I’m older.


  2. I found The Amulet of Samarkand OK, but not good enough to make me want to keep reading the series. With such amazing sci-fi and fantasy YA books out there from the likes Philips Pullman and Reeve among others, lack of time meant the rest of this series didn’t make my reading pile.

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