In The Bartimaeus Trilogy, Book One: The Amulet of Samarkand, Jonathan Stroud depicts one of the many epic adventures of Bartimaeus and Nathaniel. Nathaniel is an aspiring wizard who summons the ancient demon Bartimaeus to get revenge for a past mistreatment. The battle of wits between Nathaniel, Bartimaeus, and Nathaniel’s chief rival is an amazing and humorous feat of modern literature. This book constantly does the unexpected, and accurately captures emotion through loving teachers, sly demons, and unpredictable escapes from impossible situations.
When Simon Lovelance, a higher-ranking magician, steals a powerful artifact and attempts to use it to capture power in the government, Bartimaeus and Nathaniel are the only ones who can stop him. They engage in various missions to discover Lovelance’s plans and defeat his ever-growing army of evil spirits.
Nathaniel never gives up, and has quite a lot of luck on his side. Just when things seem at their worst, the situation miraculously changes and Nathaniel is given second and sometimes even a third chances, and so on. Even when “Nathaniel’s heart (is) a stone plummeting to the bottom of a deep, dark well,” he still gets lucky and makes it through the tough situation (231).
This book proves that taking risks and boldly doing the unexpected can pay-off. In even the worst of situations, when everything seems lost and there is no hope left, persevering to gain the unimaginable is often the best option. As is made evident throughout the story, hard times produce powerful results. This book is an excellent example of bravery and the way to power. Whether fantasy interests you or not, The Bartimaeus Trilogy Book One: The Amulet of Samarkand is an incredible story and definitely worth a read.