Monday, September 1, 2008

The conclusion of the Bartimaeus Trilogy

This novel concludes the Bartimaeus Trilogy, which I highly recommend. Please refer to my reviews of the first two books (listed below) to avoid any unintentional spoilers.

As with the preceding volumes in the trilogy, the narration alternates between the points of view of the young magician Nathaniel, the djinni Bartimaeus, and Kitty Jones, former member of the magical resistance. Nathanial is as self-involved as ever, anxious to keep his position of power in an increasingly inept, unpopular wizard-run government. Yet he is coming to realize that his life is not all he might wish - especially when he sees his beloved former art teacher. Their meeting sets his thoughts along unfamiliar, uncomfortable paths.

Meanwhile, Bartimaeus is in terrible shape. Nathaniel insists on keeping him nearby, even though prolonged exposure to the mortal world has weakened Bartimaeus to the point at which he can barely carry out his duties. Events are coming to a head, and he realizes that he will be in no shape to protect Nathanial, let alone himself. But what can he do about it? And Kitty, in her determination to weaken the despotic wizard government, has hatched an audacious plan: she has been studying magic, and, what's more, she's quite good at it! She has no ambition to become like the dreaded wizards, however. She is the first mortal to suspect a connection between the djinni Bartimaeus and the shape he so often chooses to wear, that of a young, brown-skinned boy. Kitty has a plan that just might work, if her suspicions turn out to be true.

The three characters, whose lives have been entwined since the first book in the trilogy, find themselves caught up in a whirlwind of political intrigue, magical attacks and unexpected revelations. Simon Jones, as with the two previous books, does a marvelous job of narrating the story, particularly when Bartimaeus sardonically recounts his side of the story.

This book completes my participation in the Mythopoeic Award Challenge, and I must say I had a wonderful time reading books for it. I enjoyed them all, and I know I'll be returning to those lists for future reading suggestions.

Books in the Bartimaeus Trilogy
:
1. The Amulet of Samarkand
2. The Golem's Eye
3. Ptolemy's Gate

Ptolemy's Gate (#3 in the Bartimaeus Trilogy) by Jonathan Stroud; narrated by Simon Jones (Listening Library, 2006)

Also reviewed at:
Becky's Book Reviews

7 comments:

  1. I absolutely loved this series of books! I wish Mr Stroud would use Bartimaeus in another series of books!

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  2. (unrelated to the post - sorry!) Just letting you know that I posted about the end of the Irresistible Review Challenge today. Here's the link. Thanks - it was fun!

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  3. Bartimaeus is one of my favorite characters. I really enjoyed watching his relationship with Nathanial evolve.

    This is a really fun series of books.

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  4. I didn't read your whole review to avoid spoilers, but I'm glad this one lived up to the rest of the series! I really think I'm going to fall in love with these books.

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  5. Deslily - I hear you! I miss Bartimaeus already.

    Heather - excellent! I will be posting a wrap-up post soon, which will include links to everyone's blogs and reviews. Thanks for participating - I've enjoyed reading your reviews!

    Rachael - I felt the same way about how the characters grew and the way their relationships changed and evolved. Stroud is a very skillful writer, and I'll definitely be reading his other books (even if Bartimaeus isn't in them!).

    Nymeth - I do think you will enjoy these. I'll be looking forward to hearing what you think. I only hope the build-up hasn't been too much!

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  6. I am really looking forward to reading this seris soon. I love the cover you have.

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  7. Rhinoa - I really enjoyed this trilogy, and the cover art was great on all of them. This one's my favorite, though! :-)

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