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The Ring of Solomon (Prequel to Bartimaeus Trilogy) (A Bartimaeus Novel Book 3) [Kindle Edition]

Jonathan Stroud
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (140 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Bartimaeus, everyone's favorite (wise-cracking) djinni, is back in book four of this best-selling series. As alluded to in the footnotes throughout the series, Bartimaeus has served hundreds of magicians during his 5,010 year career. Now fans can go back in time with the djinni, to Jerusalem and the court of King Solomon in 950 BCE. Only in this adventure, it seems the great Bartimaeus has finally met his match. He'll have to contend with an unpleasant master and his sinister servant, and he runs into just a "spot" of trouble with King Solomon's magic ring….

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Gr 6 Up–Fans of Stroud's “Bartimaeus Trilogy” (Hyperion) will cheer the return of the sarcastic, chatty, and mischievous djinni in this prequel. Or perhaps this should be termed a pre-pre-prequel as the setting is an alternate version of biblical times during the reign of King Solomon, where magicians command djinni and Solomon rides herd over the known world due to his possession of an all-powerful ring that causes everyone to cower before him. The Queen of Sheba, aware that Solomon is preparing to disrupt her country's frankincense trade due to her refusal of his multiple marriage proposals, sends her most trusted guard, Asmira, to kill Solomon and steal the ring. Meanwhile, Bartimaeus has been humiliated because of his misbehavior and forced to work for Solomon's henchman, Khaba, on his new temple. After an amusing incident in which Bartimaeus is caught in the form of a hippo while illegally using magic to lay stones for Solomon's temple, he is sent to hunt other creatures who are disrupting trade routes. He encounters Asmira, traveling to Jerusalem under an assumed identity to accomplish her mission. How Bartimaeus ends up as her servant, and what they discover about the truth of Solomon's power, makes this a delightful and fascinating book, and it's likely to bring new fans to the original series. Bartimaeus is a wonderful creation, with his constant storytelling digressions delivered in the form of footnotes. But the new character, Asmira, is equally well rendered, with her keen ability with daggers providing her with much-needed self-defense. Definitely a must-purchase for most libraries.–Tim Wadham, St. Louis County Library, MO. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

From Booklist

*Starred Review* Called a Bartimaeus Novel, Stroud’s latest opens in a time and place (950 BCE Jerusalem) so far removed from the nineteenth-century British setting of the self-contained Bartimaeus trilogy that even the word prequel overstates the connection. Still, one unforgettable character from the trilogy energizes the current book as well. After outwitting and slaying his master in the opening chapters here, the mouthy, sardonic djinni named Bartimaeus is summoned to the service of yet another magician from King Solomon’s court. Meanwhile, across the desert in Sheba, a young royal guard called Asmira embarks on a dangerous quest, hoping to save the queen and their land by stealing King Solomon’s ring. Although Stroud’s writing is never less than inventive and entertaining, the first 100-page section feels like a prelude to the rest of the novel, which takes off when idealistic Asmira encounters jaded Bartimaeus and they begin to make their way toward Solomon and his ring of power. The climactic scenes hold surprises for the reader as well as the characters. As in the trilogy, some chapters are related in third person, while others are narrated by Bartimaeus, and the latter chapters often include informative and amusing footnotes in his distinctive voice. A riveting adventure for Bartimaeus fans, old and new. Grades 6-9. --Carolyn Phelan

Product Details

  • File Size: 1148 KB
  • Print Length: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Disney Hyperion; Reprint edition (January 24, 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B007032WWO
  • Text-to-Speech: Not enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #128,585 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
100 of 101 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Welcome return for a great series November 2, 2010
The first Bartimaeus trilogy was one of the best reading experiences of the last ten years for me. Not only did I devour Amulet of Samarkand without a break after finding it in my local library, I went out searching for the next two as soon as I had finished, and when my library didn't have Ptolemey's Gate I bought it. Read all of them straight through, got bleary-eyed, paid for it the next morning, and loved every minute.

When I learned about the Ring of Solomon, the return of Bartimaeus, I worried about whether Stroud might have lost his touch. Maybe you have too.


This book has just the same feel as the previous ones. Although the events happen about 3,000 years before the time of the luckless Nathaniel, the tone and pace and characterization are just as driving, vivid, and entrancing as before. None of the human characters carries over, of course, but Faqarl is there, as well as a few of the stunts about which Bartimaeus will later brag, and some about which he was already bragging, 3,000 years ago. The human characters continue to be three-dimensional, which means they are mixed bags: no one is entirely noble or good, but only a few are truly evil, and then only in very believable (read: power-mad) ways. Most of them are people who act out of good motives but with limited foresight, or with great wisdom but imperfect morality, or wisely and with good motives but insufficient trust in their friends. In other words, they are a little too human for comfort.

And the plot and pacing just swallowed me up and pulled me along, page after page. Stroud's writing style is just wonderful. I wish he were more prolific - but only if this meant NO lowering of his quality.
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26 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fans of Stroud's other books wont be disappointed November 4, 2010
By Books31
I've been a fan of Stroud's other books for years, including his Bartimaeus Trilogy and his standalone novel Heroes of the Valley. So naturally I was a little worried that this new novel might not be as good or engaging as some of his past since it's been so long since Stroud's last release. But I have to say I wasn't disappointed in the slightest with The Ring of Solomon.

The Ring of Solomon takes place in the time of King Solomon, back from the stories of the old testament. Of course Stroud doesn't just give us a bland retelling of the stories of King Solomon instead he puts his own twist on the stories using everyone's favorite djinni, Bartimaeus, to still up trouble, make insulting yet humorous wisecracks, and cause overall general mayhem.

Personally, I found Asmira a much easier and more interesting lead human character to read than Nathaniel. But the true star in all of these books continues to be Bartimaeus. He is still the mischievous, wise cracking, character that we came to love in the previous books. Stroud does a fantastic job of reestablishing Bartimaeus's character though, so new readers of the series wont be lost by any of Bartimaeus's remarks or style.

As for the other human characters they are all 3-D and interesting. My personal favorite was King Solomon, I was genuinely surprised with some of the twists Stroud had in there for the king, and I really enjoyed them. There are some "evil" characters, but to be honest, Stroud does a fantastic job making sure his characters are complex enough that they are able to surprise even loyal fans of Stroud's other books.

As for plot twists The Ring of Solomon has plenty to entertain and keep readers on their toes. Nothing new for fans of the previous series.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars great followup, bit more YA November 14, 2010
Fans of Jonathan Stroud's fantastic Bartimeus Trilogy, that began with The Amulet of Samarkand and ended with Ptolemy's Gate, will be happy to know that the title character--the wise-cracking fourth-level djinn who has long-standing issues with authority--is back and funny as ever in the Ring of Solomon.

Rather than continue the story of the first trilogy, though, or give us a typical "here's what happened just before" prequel, Stroud has chosen to set this new story thousands of years earlier during the time of, well, Solomon (the title's a bit of a giveaway). Luckily, when your main character is basically immortal, that isn't a problem. Bartimeus' favorite bete noir Faquarl, a fellow djinn with whom he's matched insults and blows with for millennia, is back as well. Otherwise, we've an entirely new setting and a whole new cast of characters. Since Bartimeus was the absolute strength of the trilogy, though, the loss of the others makes little difference.

The book opens in Jerusalem, where Bartimeus and Faquarl have been summoned into the service of a cruel Egyptian magician, Khaba, who is in service himself to King Solomon. Years ago Solomon discovered a magic ring of immense power that allows him to summon untold numbers of minor and major spirits, as well as the Spirit of the Ring itself--a forbiddingly powerful demon. Solomon uses the threat of the ring to gather around himself a cadre of magicians whose summoned demons he employs to build his temple, help his people, and cow neighboring realms. One such realm is Sheba, whose queen has several times now rejected Solomon's marriage proposal.

The Ring of Solomon follows several plotlines.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Love it.
Didn't disappoint.
Published 8 days ago by Jimmy Obeid
5.0 out of 5 stars Glad I ordered.
Perfect gift as an addition to my son's trilogy. Arrived quickly. We're happy.
Published 11 days ago by S. Johnsen
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Just as good as the original series. Bartimaeus is as funny as ever. Loved it!
Published 12 days ago by KatieJK
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Magic, corruption, djinn and adventure, what more could you ask for.
Published 16 days ago by Mercedes
5.0 out of 5 stars The story is great, but the narrator
The story is great, but the narrator, Simon Jones, makes it very special. His voice and portrayal was bubbly and musical, making the story move along making you want more. Read more
Published 26 days ago by The White Knight
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Good book! Good writer! Keeps you going!
Published 2 months ago by Theresa Thompson
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Perfect gift.
Published 2 months ago by Wood
4.0 out of 5 stars ... such an amusing character that it's hard not to like these books
Bartimaeus is such an amusing character that it's hard not to like these books. He's vain, witty, irreverent, occasionally brave (usually when the only alternative is certain... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Bartimaeus doesn't disappoint
This was a great read. Not as scary as the others but just as thrilling to read. Bartimaeus is by far my favorite djinni and character from the series. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Shoibhan V Leath
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
The book was as expected
Published 4 months ago by Connie Abel
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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.

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