SUBMITTED BY HIKARI*
Nathaniel is a magician’s apprentice. His birthparents left him for the money. Now, he is forced to live a secretive life where magicians show no mercy, djinn are summoned in pentacles, and where your birth name must never, ever slip out. Welcome to the witty, complicated world of Jonathan Stroud’s The Amulet of Samarkand.
Nathaniel is an obedient, studious apprentice, with no experience with the outside world. His lessons? Reading, reading, reading, and yet more reading. With the three years’ worth of reading material his master ordered him to read, and the teachers who really do all the teaching, Nathaniel feels as if his master has taught him, well, nothing. But Nathaniel is a polite boy, and sticks to his reading without question, memorizing his lessons on magic with incredible speed.
Until one day, Nathaniel’s master calls for him, and Mrs. Underwood tells Nathaniel that his master had guests over, and wanted to show him off. Nathaniel had been excited, nervous, and scared, and was ready to shine. But what Nathaniel went through instead, was an alarming experience that he would never forget: being mortified by Simon Lovelace in front of dozens of magicians. Filled with childish hate, Nathaniel waits a whole year to cook up a sophisticated plan for revenge. But he can’t do it alone.
His plan? Stealing Lovelace’s Amulet of Samarkand. He knows exactly what he’ll do with the Amulet once obtained, and how he will come to stealing the Amulet. The one thing left he has to do is summon a demon, and charge him steal it. But summoning is not simple. Determined to get revenge, Nathaniel uses his knowledge to secretively summon Bartimaeus, a djinni with a hilarious sense of humor. But one thing seems to go wrong after the other, and when Bartimaeus discovers Nathaniel’s birth name, Nathaniel just might have to be smarter and craftier than ever before to get his sweet revenge.
Mostly written from Bartimaeus’s view, Jonathan Stroud created a magnificent story that really made me chuckle all the way to the last page. I really like the author’s use of footnotes, because they gave me a little background or meaning for some of the words that would otherwise leave me befuddled. The content in the book contains information on magic and wizards that you probably never heard of before. (Even I honestly did not know that dginn could be summoned, and used some of my knowledge from Disney’s Aladdin as a reference.) Anyway, this book was so much fun to read, and I recommend you read it if you like other fantasy books such as Kendra Kandlestar, Magyk, and Inkheart. The book always takes unsuspecting turns, and in the end, creates the unlikeliest of friendships. So what are you waiting for? I charge you to read the book!
*Hikari is a former Quilchena student and library monitor