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The Bartimaeus Trilogy Boxed Set Hardcover – September 2, 2006

4.5 out of 5 stars 91 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Jonathan Stroud is the author of theNew York Timesbest-selling Bartimaeus Trilogy, as well asHeroes of the Valley,The Leap,The Last Siege,andBuried Fire. He lives in England with his family.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 10 and up
  • Grade Level: 5 and up
  • Hardcover: 1552 pages
  • Publisher: Miramax; Slp edition (August 29, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 142310420X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1423104209
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 5 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (91 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #591,404 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Note: Potential spoiler warning in my descriptions of the books.

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.
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Format: Hardcover
With so many Potter knock-offs being rushed to market these days, it takes patience to separate the wheat from the chaffe. The Bartimaeus Trilogy definitely makes the cut, and is in many ways more imaginative and compelling than HP and his wand-wielding ilk. It is also more concise, a matter of no small concern when one considers the increasingly bloated installments in other more prominent fantasy series. Although there are minor lulls in all three books, they make for a fast and satisfying read. The use of multiple points of view has the potential to be quite annoying, but in this case provides a pleasing change of pace. The humor, like the overall tone, is refreshingly darker than many of the products aimed at young readers.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
For at least the next few decades, I'm thinking, we won't be able to read a book with (a) fantasy content and (b) a teenage protagonist without wondering if we're just going to be subjected to another misbegotten attempt at capitalizing on the Harry Potter craze. I'm so glad to report that this is NOT one of those.

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.
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Format: Hardcover
I couldn't put these books down! They keep you guessing the whole time, even making it nearly impossible to decide whose side you are on! Stroud does the "magic thing" differently than other authors out there and brings us a whole new set of moral and ethical circumstances to consider. The stories of the three main characters are woven into each other, told from different points of view and time periods, and are all seamlessly tied together by the brilliant writing. The main characters are so endearing that I hated to see the books end. But they did indeed end, and the ending itself was a fantastic piece of writing that brings out so many different emotions.

This set is now has a place on my "favorite books" shelf.
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Format: Paperback
I'm an adult and I loved these books as did my college age daughter. Admittedly, we have gotten into the habit of snitching my 10YO's books, because the 9-12 YOs seem to be getting more interesting reading material than adults.

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.
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