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Ptolemy's Gate (The Bartimaeus Trilogy, Book 3) Hardcover – January 1, 2006

159 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 6 Up–The loquacious djinni introduced in Amulet of Samarkand (2003) and Golems Eye (2004, both Hyperion/Miramax) is back, or, more accurately, he hasnt left in three years. While Bartimaeus retains all of his wit and wisdom, his essence suffers severely from lack of rest. Nathaniel, now Information Minister, spends his time writing propaganda to bolster the common folks belief that England is winning its foreign wars and tracking down traitors within the government. Kitty Jones has gone into hiding, apprenticing herself to a magician and learning enough from her master and through research to summon Bartimaeus herself. When Nathaniel finds Kitty, the two of them and the djinni must use all their strength and cunning to defeat the most dangerous demons they have yet encountered, demons that take over the bodies of the government magicians. Ptolemys Gate is an exciting and eminently satisfying conclusion to the trilogy, footnotes and all. This time, readers learn more about Bartimaeuss past and his connection to the loinclothed boy whose likeness he wears. Kittys strength and intelligence shine through, and Nathaniels inherent compassion emerges from the mask of John Mandrake. This is a must-have for libraries that purchased the first two books. For those that didnt, buy all three at once for readers who want something that is literate, entertaining, and exciting.–Lisa Prolman, Greenfield Public Library, MA
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

*Starred Review* Gr. 6-9. The final volume in the Bartimaeus trilogy reveals more backstory and exposes greater complexity in the characters, even as the plot thunders along toward its colossal climax. The narrative alternates between first-person chapters from the djinni Bartimaeus' point of view to third-person chapters focused on Nathaniel, the magician, and Kitty, the commoner. Although Bartimaeus has lost none of his caustic wit, another side of his character is revealed through scenes in ancient Egypt and in the spirit world. A cabinet minister, Nathaniel sees the traditional power structure crumble around him, feels his own moral compass grow stronger, and takes actions that once would have been impossible for him. Now they seem inevitable. Kitty, after secretly studying magic, takes a challenge that few magicians would have dared: entering the spirit world and returning. Stroud's picture of this alternate world is one of the most remarkable scenes in recent fantasies. It leads readers' imaginations outside the realm of physical reality and offers an awareness of that reality as seen from the outside. For fans of Bartimaeus, Nathaniel, and Kitty, this will be the most satisfying volume of the three, as questions are answered and hidden depths are revealed. For readers who loved the earlier volumes for the sheer adventure, this, with its battles, magic, and great crashing conclusion, will not disappoint. A worthy ending to an exceptional saga. Carolyn Phelan
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 10 and up
  • Lexile Measure: 730L (What's this?)
  • Series: A Bartimaeus Novel (Book 3)
  • Hardcover: 512 pages
  • Publisher: Disney-Hyperion (December 19, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0786818611
  • ISBN-13: 978-0786818617
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (159 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #166,362 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Jonathan Stroud ( is the author of the New York Times best-selling Bartimaeus Trilogy, as well as Heroes of the Valley, The Leap, The Last Siege, and Buried Fire. He lives in England with his family.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

25 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Amanda Richards HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on June 19, 2006
Format: Hardcover
The third and final installment of the Bartimaeus Trilogy (*1) picks up three years after the "The Golem's Eye" with Nathaniel a.k.a. John Mandrake now the Information Minister, and spending his time making up propaganda pamphlets about the supposed successes of the war in America (*2) He has been increasingly mistreating Bartimaeus, not allowing him to return to the "other place" until his essence is so severely weakened that the puns stop flowing. (*3) Mandrake is now cold and unfeeling, totally absorbed in his work and his own self importance, and has few friends. In order to hang on to whatever little favor he has left with the Prime Minister, he maintains cordial relations with Quentin Makepeace, who has composed a must-see (*4) musical about the life of the Prime Minister.

Things aren't going so well for the government either, and the commoners are revolting. (*5) Some have learned to spot magical beings, and some have developed magical resistance, and this book sees the return of Kitty Jones, who is sneakily learning about the other world, and especially Bartimaeus' past. (*6) Through Kitty's research we learn the secret behind the whole Ptolemy thing, and get a look into Bartimaeus' domain.

When a sinister plot (*7) unleashes the most powerful beings who ever existed to wreak havoc and cause mass destruction, Mandrake, Kitty and Bartimaeus team up in ways none of the three would have before this thought possible, and using the magical artifacts from the first two books, they represent the last line of defense of the human race. After a heart-stopping and pulse-racing (*8) last quarter, the grand finale may not be to everyone's liking, but the redemption of Nathaniel more than makes up for it.
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Yapi Santiago on January 12, 2006
Format: Hardcover
I couldn't have asked for anything more. This was indeed a worthy finale to the trilogy. The character development just went into no-holds-barred mode, giving you such insight on the main characters, and, finally, a revelation on Bartimaeus' past with Ptolemy. What was it that made this djinn love the little Egyptian boy so? We finally find out.

The past two books ensnared me, but this one completely held me captive. There were times when I'd be tired all day from working, my eyes forcing themselves shut, and my body aching for rest. Yet, I fought against its cries for sleep just so I could continue reading Bartimaeus' tale.

Ptolemy's Gate is so well written that you will find yourself getting so involved with the characters throughout the story. I shared Bartimaeus' disappointment with Nathaniel so much that I yearned to jump in there and slap some sense into him myself. Not to mention that I was feeling sorry for Bartimaeus as well, while he goes into his own style of [justifyable] self-pity. Kitty, who I admit did not interest me so much in the past, played such a crucial part here that I could not help but develop a fondness for her as well.

Each turn of the page willed me to go on, and the excitement just seem to build up and up. And the ending.. Oh, the ending. I released the breath I wasn't aware I was holding, as I stare into space dumbfounded; mouth slightly open, as I play that final scene again and again in my head.

I hope to see Bartimaeus again in the future. Even with a completely different cast of characters, I would be happy!
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Optimist on January 1, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Warning - do not read the reviews below mine - they contain major spoilers!!

All in all - a great finale for a captivating series. (I didn't get out of my pajamas today - read straight through!)

Imaginative and compelling - entertaining for adults and children as well. Heartfelt thanks to Jonathan Stroud!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By theshortmad1wivmessyhair on January 7, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Ptolemy's Gate is the final (sob) instalment of the Bartimaeus Trilogy and by far the best! Taking place about three years later than the Golem's Eye, all is not well in London. Nathaniel is under increasing stress with the American war and (another) threat to the government both from magicians and the protesting commoners, Bartimaeus the wonderful djinni has been stuck on Earth for two years now and barely has the strength to lift a paintbrush, while Kitty Jones the commoner is currently hiding in London learning all she can about magic.

Bartimaeus is (as always) charming, witty and utterly loveable but now we learn about some of his history with Ptolemy giving even more depth to his (already) fabulous character.

Nathaniel has definitely grown up and while still determined, ambitious and arrogance is starting to learn some of his own faults and correct them, making him a much more likeable character than in the previous books.

I must admit that I didn't think a lot of Kitty in the last book and mostly ended up skimming through her parts but in Ptolemy's Gate she's definitely grown up and become much more interesting and not quite as depressing as before. I found myself looking forward to reading her parts almost as much as Bartimaeus'!

Ptolemy's Gate is just (if not more) fast paced and exciting as the last two but with added bonuses of more character development and many ends tied up, with a couple of plot twists thrown in too. I enjoyed every moment (except perhaps the very ending, and the fact that it did). Mr. Stroud, you have outdone yourself!

If you've not read the Trilogy yet, I strongly recommend it for anyone who likes fantasy and magical type stories with a bit of bite and a GREAT lead character (I'm talking about Bartimaeus here!). If you've already read the first two but not Ptolemy's Gate, what are you doing hanging around reading reviews?? Go and buy it!
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