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Bartmaeus Books In Order

Publication Order of Bartimaeus Books

The Amulet of Samarkand (2003) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Golem's Eye (2004) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Ptolemy's Gate (2005) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Ring of Solomon (2010) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Amulet of Samarkand Graphic Novel (2010) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

The Bartimaeus Sequence series is popular novel series based on the children’s book, fantasy, magic, and alternate history genres. It was developed by the well known British author named Jonathan Stroud. This series is comprised of the trilogy books, which were released between the years 2003 and 2005. Apart from the three books, a prequel book was also written by Stroud, which was published in the year 2010. In all the 4 books, author Stroud has depicted the main character as the 5 thousand year old eponymous djinni called Bartimaeus, who is a reluctant and boisterous spirit. The stories described in the series follow the career of a young magician named Nathaniel. He summons Bartimaeus and is often shown controlling him. The series set in the time of the alternate history era in which London is shown to be at the peak of its domination, being a magical oligarchy. Even though author Stroud has depicted London during an alternate history, a number of other cities, countries, people, and events are described from the real history, including Solomon, Prague, William Ewart Gladstone, the Roman Empire, the American Revolution, Benjamin Disraeli, etc. The other important characters apart from Bartimaeus and Nathaniel include Kitty Jones, Ramuthra, Jessica Whitwell, and Simon Lovelace. All the books are based on the idea that magicians, demons, and magic have been living throughout the history and have been altering it radically too. Particularly, these changes are seen in contrasting ways between the modern and older aspects.

Author Stroud never directly stated the current time, anywhere in the novel series. Occasionally, he has given references to numerous mythologies of the world such as Homer and Arabian Nights. A certain kind of oligarchy is shown to exist in the alternate history depicted. Here, people are mainly divided into two classes, the commoners and the magicians. The magicians form the ruling class of people. Author Stroud has even mentioned the Britsh monarchy in the passing, which is said to have seen its downfall long ago before the books’ events took place. Being in the governing class, the magicians occupy all the important and top posts in the government, right from the Prime Minister up to the lower ministers. Actually, they are also humans like the others, but possess an upper hand than them in relation to magic. An example of this is that they are able to see the demons only after using extraordinary contact lenses. They indirectly perform their magic by controlling, binding, and summoning different spirits from the ‘Other Place’ as well as by making magical artifacts. The commoners comprise of the rest of the society and seem to be quite ignorant when it comes to magic. The governing class keeps them in line by creating fear of magic in them. They seem to have full knowledge about the magical world and also know about the dominance of the magicians. During the later parts of the series, it is mentioned that some commoners get born having the ability to resist magic, or see demons without the use of contact lenses, or being sensitive to the presence of magic. The city of London is shown having the wonderful Crystal Palace. It blends some of the modern aspects with its past epochs. Even the climax of the series takes place in London. Author Stroud has given numerous references of the more modern times such as the London Tower. The third book shows the war with the American colonies, which starts because of the rising discontent among the commoners. Britain is shown dominating North America, sending troops to bring down the rising discontent. Large cities are only present in the colonies of New England, while Native Americans still control the remaining parts of North America.

The first of the Bartimaeus sequence series by Jonathan Stroud is known as ‘The Amulet of Samarkand’. The Disney-Hyperion publication released it in the year 2003. At the start of the plot, author Stroud has introduced Nathaniel as a young boy receiving training as a magician. He was sold by his parents to the government when he was 5 years old. He was made to join a magician master as an apprentice. As Britain and the whole British empire are ruled by the powerful magicians, Nathaniel is told that his sacrifice was done to safeguard the noble destiny. Going away from his parents and leaving behind his past life at such a young age was already tough for Nathaniel and his new master, Arthur Underwood, proves to be even tougher. He is a cruel, condescending, and cold magician working in the Internal Affairs Ministry. The only savior that Nathaniel has is the wife of the master, named Martha Underwood. She shows genuine affection towards him for which he also feels giving his full devotion to her. Things move along in a tolerable way for Nathaniel in the Underwood house over the years and do not turn out to be very bad. But, just before his 11th birthday, he experiences the worst day of his life as an apprentice. A ruthless magician named Simon Lovelace humiliates him publicly and this changes everything for Nathaniel. He feels betrayed when coward master does not come forward to defend him. Finally, he decides to take revenge and begins honing his magical skills. He musters his strength and summons the Bartimaeus djini to avenge Simon Lovelace. When he asks Bartimaeus to steal the powerful Samarkand Amulet, he lands himself in a more deadly and dangerous situation that he had never imagined.

The successful publication of the first book of the series was followed by its sequel titled ‘The Golem’s Eye’. It was also released by the Disney Hyperion publication in 2005. At the start of the novel, Nathaniel is mentioned as a 14 year old rising star. As a young and upcoming magician, he rises quickly through the government ranks. It seems that there is nothing that he can’t handle. Later, he is tasked with the difficult job of dealing with the increasing Resistance movement that has been disrupting lives in London with raids and thefts. Nathaniel does not find it to be an easy task as the ringleader, Kitty, remains largely elusive along with her friends and this land Nathaniel’s life and job at a greater risk. With the increasing pressure, he gets distracted by several other terrifying attacks. Nathaniel wonders whether it is a part of the Resistance or something more deadly. Now, he feels the need to take some desperate measures in order to reveal the perpetrators. Subsequently, he goes on a journey to Prague and once again summons Bartimaeus to help him stop the Resistance movement. This thrilling sequel takes the readers on a roller coaster ride of adventure, betrayal, magic, etc., in which the fates of Kitty, Bartimaeus, and Nathaniel collide explosively.

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