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The Golem's Eye (The Bartimaeus Trilogy, Book 2) Paperback – December 27, 2005

4.4 out of 5 stars 212 customer reviews
Book 2 of 4 in the Bartimaeus Series

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Due to the success of his first campaign involving the Amulet of Samarkand, Nathaniel, now fourteen, has been appointed the youngest representative ever to the Office of Internal Affairs, and has been devising traps to capture members of the Resistance--a secretive group of commoners who are determined to undermine the ruling class of magicians. When a magic-sapping Golem’s surprise first attack is labeled an act of Resistance terrorism, Nathaniel reluctantly summons Bartimaeus for help. Meanwhile, a zealous young member of the Resistance, Kitty Jones, is planning to rob the sacred tomb of the great magician Gladstone, and turn the power of his buried magical instruments against the spell makers. The towering clay Golem and its shadowy master unites the destinies of Nathaniel, Bartimaeus, and Kitty together in one fateful night--unfortunately, that night is much too slow in coming. Stroud’s second book is far too long and gloomy, focusing more on the priggish Nathaniel and wronged Kitty than the dijinni readers have come to adore. Fans of Jonathan Stroud’s breakout hit, The Amulet of Samarkand, may be a little disappointed to discover that Bartimaeus features so little his second book. While Stroud cleverly uses the class war between the ruling magicians and the disgruntled commoners as a metaphor for current political and social clashes, the text suffers overall from a lack of the dijinni’s famous facetious footnotes. Avid fans are left skimming the slow parts and hoping that when Bartimaeus escapes his servile bonds he will be given more space to make them laugh. --Jennifer Hubert --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From School Library Journal

Starred Review. Grade 6 Up–This sequel to The Amulet of Samarkand(Hyperion, 2003) takes place two years later. Now 14, Nathaniel works in the Department of Internal Affairs trying to stop a group of commoners who are responsible for small rebellions against the magician-run government. As he pursues the elusive Resistance, he discovers that an unknown individual is using ancient magic to control a golem and wreak havoc on the city of London. Meanwhile, readers get a look into the heart of the Resistance through the eyes of Kitty, a resourceful young commoner. She was born with a "resilience" to magic, an ability that drew her to the attention of the rebels, and her motivations for joining them are clearly presented. As events unfold, Nathaniel and Kitty are faced with choices that will test their courage and honor. The third-person narrative switches focus between the two characters. As in the first book, occasional chapters narrated by the demon Bartimaeus add sarcasm and irreverent humor to the text and offer a break from the ever-growing tension. The story, which stands alone nicely, retains all of the strengths of Stroud's first installment and adds many more details to his already vivid fantasy world. The characters are well developed and the action never lets up. A must-purchase for all fantasy collections.–Tasha Saecker, Caestecker Public Library, Green Lake, WI
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

Product Details

  • Age Range: 10 and up
  • Series: A Bartimaeus Novel (Book 2)
  • Paperback: 576 pages
  • Publisher: Disney-Hyperion; Reprint edition (December 27, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0786836547
  • ISBN-13: 978-0786836543
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 1.4 x 7.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (212 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #215,971 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Jonathan Stroud (www.jonathanstroud.com) 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

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I consider the first Bartimaeus book to be one of the top five or so novels I have read in the past five years, so the standard it created was exceptionally high. Indeed, one suspects that Stroud felt some nervousness as he wrote and published "The Golem's Eye," as the ceiling effect set by the first novel was bound to set him up for cranky reviewers. And, as one can tell from perusing the other reviews on Amazon, that did in fact occur. Bartimaeus is such a wonderful character that some people did not appreciate the fact that he now shares the scene with two other main characters. And, as a consequence, the biting wit and sarcasm factor of the sequel has been diminished somewhat.

But it is still an excellent book, one that will capture readers' imagination and keep them turning pages way past their bedtimes, children and adults alike. I personally found that the inclusion of Kitty and the corresponding greater emphasis on the Resistance actually contributed greatly to the depth and complexity of the novel. Rather than being yet another children's book about magicians that portrays characters as either rather unidimensional heroes or villians (and yes that means the Harry Potter books), the Bartimaeus trilogy raises and thoughtfully discusses heavier issues, such as the importance of personal liberty, whether there can be such a thing as a benign totalitarian society, and the psychology of the enslaved. Bartimaeus's evolution in thinking in regard to this latter issue is especially intriguing; we see in this sequel his growing awareness of, and weariness with, his fate of always serving as slave to beings who are his intellectual inferiors. Book 3 promises to bring these issues to a head in what will undoubtedly be an explosive conflict between the three main characters.
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Format: Hardcover
The sharp-tongued djinn of "Amulet of Samarkand" returns in the second book of Jonathan Stroud's Bartimaeus Trilogy. It's a solid fantasy romp with some sharp social commentary and chilling wizardry, but it suffers from somewhat less of the delightfully observant Bartimaeus.

It's been two years since budding magician Nathaniel summoned the djinn Bartimaeus, and the two ended up enmeshed in a bizarre conspiracy. Now Nathaniel is working his way up in the world of politics and magic, with the sardonic Bartimaeus as his servant. But then the two end up in another hair-raising adventure -- a golem is attacking people in London, and Nathaniel is trying to find out who sent it, and why.

Meanwhile, the resistance against the magicians is growing, and the golem is supposedly an instrument against the magicians. But that isn't quite the case. Instead, a fiery young resistance member, Kitty, is doing some plotting of a very different sort -- and her plans will bring her neck-to-neck with Nathaniel and Bartimaeus.

Stroud takes readers to a parallel world where England is ruled not by bluebloods, but by wizards. It's not a new idea, but he gives it a new spin by wrapping it in political power as well as magic. If the backstabbing mage's world of the first book wasn't chilling enough, Stroud presents the eerie Night Police in this one.

Stroud's writing is solid and detailed, with plenty of gloomy atmosphere and the occasional hair-raising episode. Perhaps the biggest flaw of this book is that the action more often than not focuses on Nathaniel rather than the cynically lovable Bartimaeus. However, it's to Stroud's credit that he can make the intricate political plotting so interesting, while mixing in some grimly funny magic as well.
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Format: Hardcover
I didn't think it could be possible, but Jonathan Stroud's second part of his Bartimaeus Trilogy exceeds the greatness of the first book. Denser and much more intricately plotted, the story centers much more on Kitty, the young girl at the center of the Resistance movement, who was seen briefly in "The Amulet..." Set two years later Nathaniel is now working for the government, and becoming quite full of himself.When someting begins to destroy cherished parts of London, Nathaniel is enlisted to uncover what's behind it; A task he can't do without the help of a wise djinni he's used before. Like other reviewers I also wished Bartimaeus had more page time as his role is greatly diminished, but it doesn't detract from what a great book this is. Highly recommended.
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Format: Hardcover
The 2nd book of the Bartimaeus Trilogy, The Golem's Eye, is a satisfying read, if slightly darker in tone. As the other reviews have stated, Bartimaeus' inclusion in the story is smaller, with him and Nathaniel having about thirteen chapters each, and the bulk of the story going to Kitty, who is a member of the Resistance. However, even with my inital disappointment at seeing less of Bartimaeus, Stroud weaves an intricate and complex story that will keep you in suspense toward the end of the book and leave you with more questions than answers.

Also, advancement in character development, for me, made up for the slightly gloomier tone, with all three main characters reaching a turning point in their character growth, the most intriguing one, interestingly, being Bartimaeus.

Speaking of Bartimaeus, even though his chapters are fewer, they are as witty as ever, even funnier than in the last book, so they will not disappoint.

At first it may be a jarring read for those expecting a similar setup as "Amulet", but in my opinion it is still a very enjoyable read, and will make you wait as anxiously for the 3rd book as you did for the second.
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