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The Bartimaeus Trilogy Boxed Set Hardcover – September 2, 2006
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Top Customer Reviews
You know, it really is hard to find well-written, well-characterized, well-plotted, witty books nowadays. Surprisingly hard. But I finished the Bartimaeus Trilogy a few months ago, and not only has it got all of the above characteristics, it's also one of the all-around best series I've read in a long time.
I'm puzzled by those who call it a knockoff of Harry Potter. Having a boy magician as the main character doesn't make something a Harry Potter knockoff. Especially when that magician is Nathaniel, as different a character from Harry as you can imagine.
Nathaniel is bitter, ambitious, naïve, and hugely precocious. At the beginning of the first book, he is under the tutelage of inferior magician Arthur Underwood, who treats him terribly. Nathaniel puts up with it, though - until he is humiliated by a man named Simon Lovelace in public, and Underwood is too afraid to help him.
Nathaniel, furious, throws himself into a task that no one expected he could accomplish - summoning a powerful middle-ranking djinni to exact revenge on Lovelace by stealing the Amulet of Samarkand.
But Bartimaeus, the djinni, is not a docile creature. Sarcastic and hilarious, it is his part-narration - and the footnotes that go along with it - that really make the books.
In the second book, THE GOLEM'S EYE, Nathaniel must summon Bartimaeus again when he is put in charge of hunting down the source of a devastating attack. The Prime Minister is certain that the Resistance, a group of commoners rebelling against the magicians' unfair regime, is behind the attack, but Nathaniel is not so sure.Read more ›
The mechanism of magic, for one thing, is really original (I'm sure hardcore fantasy people can contradict me on that and say how so and so wrote a book 100 years ago with the same idea, or whatever), and it adds a tremendous amount to the enjoyability of the book. It's less of a brushed aside handwave and more central to the whole plot. It's significantly more thought-out than other magical mechanisms that I could name (I mean, in some books there is a spell to keep water off your glasses in the rain, and a potion to grow bones back, but nothing to fix your eyes like lasik...what's up with that?).
I'm actually on here looking to buy the series because I want to read it again. There's more to it than twists and turns--the characters are believable, imperfect, human (except for the ones that aren't, I guess :) ). It's the kind of book where you want to read it again because you want to re-examine the motivations and development of the characters.
In my search for stuff for my boys (all Harry Potter fans) to read, this has been my favorite series.
This set is now has a place on my "favorite books" shelf.
I will say, Bartimaeus may be targeted for 9-12YOs, but they are a bit dark for that age group. However, the writing is advanced enough for the 13+ crowd. Fantasy has become so repetitive that I had almost stopped reading it, but Bartimaeus feels original, it's not just one of the same old stories.
Bartimaeus is a witty, smart-mouthed demon with no interest in humans. However, an apprentice magician, Nathaniel, has summoned him correctly so he must serve. Throughout the series Nathaniel grows up and becomes less self-centered. The demon and the boy become tentative friends - except that Nathaniel never quite feels he can trust the demon.
This is a great series, it keeps you on your toes. The characters are well-developed and the reader is often anxious for them. The plots make sense. Each book can stand alone, but they are better together. Excellent series.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
So I wanted the books mostly but the box that holds the books was beat up pretty bad.made me a little sad it came with a box at all....Published 6 months ago by Amazon Customer
Beautifully presented boxed set. Wonderful writing for young and old readers alike.Published 10 months ago by Lynette
Interesting, unique stories. Narrative bounces between the two main characters; Bartimaeus the 5000 year old Djinn, and the human magician child who summons him. Read morePublished 12 months ago by artemise
Was happy with the books, but not too happy with the almost daily requests for feedback.Published 14 months ago by Darkskittlez23