December 2016
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The Amulet of Samarkand, Jonathan Stroud

This entertaining YA book is about Nathaniel, a young apprentice magician, and Bartimaeus, the djinni he summons in an attempt at revenge on a man who has embarrassed him. Of course, Bartimaeus does his bidding, which gets both of them in a great deal more trouble than they’d bargained for.

I love Nathaniel, he’s very noble and very clever and very understandable. I think he’s perfect to relate to, as everyone can remember childish feelings of loyalty and embarrassment, though most of us don’t live out those feelings quite like he does. Bartimaeus is very amusing, and the footnotes that pepper his section really add to the story by giving him and his history a lot more depth. He lightens Nathaniel’s intense moods, which was really well done by Stroud, preventing the book from being depressing, which otherwise could have been possible. The book is also carefully plotted, with no dull moments, and the reader is left almost constantly wondering what will happen next as the plot escalates. It’s great. I love how the magicians are interwoven with regular society, similar to in Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell, always a plus.

I really liked it, and I am looking forward to reading the next two in the trilogy.

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